Cincinnati is the home to both the Kroger and Albers chains, among others, and has a fascinating history both as a city and as a retail incubator. Barney Kroger opened his first location in the city in 1883 and the company is still headquartered a few blocks away. Kroger VP William Albers left to form Albers Super Markets (the first chain to use the term “super market” in its trademark) in 1933. Albers sold out to Colonial Stores (but retained its name) in 1955, and exited the region in 1974, moving division offices to Columbus and selling many of its local stores to Great Scot-owned Food World. Faced with competition from the new Albers supermarkets, Kroger began operating “cash and carry” supermarkets under the “Pay-n-Takit” name in the mid-1930s; interestingly, the name (albeit with slightly different punctuation) was originally used by a chain in Phoenix which was purchased by Safeway and used on some of its own stores in other markets as well. The region has also been served by A&P, Biggs, Liberal Markets, and Marsh, among others.
Metro Cincinnati – Ohio cities and suburbs:
Metro Cincinnati – Kentucky cities and suburbs:
- Covington Chain Grocery/Supermarket Locations, 1926-2015
- Newport (Kentucky) Chain Grocery/Supermarket Locations, 1926-2015
Timeline (to be expanded):
1883: First Kroger store opens on Pearl Street.
1933: Kroger VP William Albers forms the Albers Super Markets chain.
Mid-1930s: Kroger begins operating “cash and carry” stores under the “Pay-n-Takit” name
1955: Albers sells out to Colonial Stores (but retains the Albers name, though some stores are branded Albers-Colonial)
Early 1970s: Colonial opens a few Big Star discount stores with little success.
1974: Colonial abandons Cincinnati.
1979: A&P closes its last remaining stores in the area.
1979: Liberal Markets of Dayton sells its Cincinnati stores to Thorofare of Youngstown.
1981: Thorofare exits Cincinnati after two years, selling some of its stores to Thriftway. Others become IGA franchises.
1993: Meijer enters the area.
1995: Thriftway sells out to Winn-Dixie, though the store apparently retain the Thriftway name.
2004: Thriftway/Winn-Dixie abandons Cincinnati.