Kroger Buys Harris Teeter

Kroger bought Harris Teeter Supermarkets Inc. today for $2.44 billion cash, securing their position as the largest traditional supermarket operator in the US. The purchase is part of Kroger’s plan to remain competitive against retail giants including Target Corp. and Wal-Mart Stores Inc.

The purchase includes a total of 212 Harris Teeter stores throughout eight different states. Kroger executives expect to keep the stores open, which will help build their presence nationwide.

As reported by CBS News, the purchase includes stores in Delaware, Florida, Maryland, and Washington, D.C. Kroger does not currently have any locations in those states.

Kroger is committed to maintaining the charm and personality of the Harris Teeter locations. Additionally, Kroger plans to retain much of the existing staff, specifically management.

Kroger released the following statement concerning the transition:

“Following closing, Harris Teeter will continue to operate its stores as a subsidiary of The Kroger Co. and will continue to be led by key members of Harris Teeter’s senior management team.”

With previous purchases, including Ralph’s, Fred Meyer, and Fry’s, Kroger has kept the names and made few overall changes.

As reported by Forbes, Harris Teeter stores are primarily located in resort and college towns. Many locations are in affluent communities and are considered “high-growth markets.”

Kroger bought Harris Teeter’s outstanding stock for nearly $50 per share. They will also assume nearly $100 million in debt.

As reported by, Kroger was founded by Barney Kroger in 1883. Investing $372, Mr. Kroger opened his first grocery store in Cincinnati, Ohio. Kroger grocery stores were the first to include fresh baked goods, meats, and groceries in one location.

There are now more than 2,400 Kroger locations in 31 states. Annual sales are close to $100 billion. Kroger’s success is based on their commitment to providing consumers with “service, selection, and value.”

As Kroger buys Teeter Harris, they continue to excel in the grocery and retail markets.

[Image via Flickr]