Why does Kroger have so many aliases?

In my area (Wisconsin), Kroger is called Pick 'n Save. In other places, it’s called Pay Less Super Market, Fry’s Food Store, among other names. Why do they do this, exactly? It seems very meaningless to have 15-20 names for the same freaking store, so what’s the point?

Most of those “aliases” are (or, at least, were) local or regional chains that Kroger bought.

In the case of Wisconsin, Pick 'n Save was owned by a Wisconsin company, Roundys, which also owned the Mariano’s chain in the Chicago area. Kroger bought Roundys in 2015, but kept the names of the stores unchanged, likely due to consumer familiarity with, and preference for, the existing store brands.

I think some of those were existing store chains that they acquired. They could rename them all to Kroger stores, but some people are loyal to the store they’ve always gone to, and so they’d lose some customers. Also, some chains are aimed at different markets; one is supposed to be the discount grocer, another is the premium, high-end retailer.

You see the same thing with hotel chains. Marriott and Hilton have a bunch of hotels under various brands targeting different guests.

We call them Smith’s out here. Not very convincing, is it?

When they bought Hiller’s in SE Michigan they rebranded them all Krogers. Maybe because they were closer to the home office in Dayton and already had a brand presence (stores) here. The Kroger stores in Dayton are awesome btw.

Almost everything seems to be owned by either Albertsons or Kroger. They keep the subsidiary brand names, and perhaps some degree of distinct brand identity, but you see the same own-label products on the shelves.

Publix is large and separate, as is H-E-B, both privately held.

May also be to some extent so that people don’t realize how large a company Kroger is.

People talk quite a bit of negativity towards Wal-Mart and Amazon, but I never hear much about Kroger, even though it’s the largest supermarket and 4th largest employer in the US.

Ralph’s here in California is the local Kroger chain. I believe it was an independent grocer before being bought out by Kroger’s.

What’s fun is using my Ralph’s customer card when I’m back in Ohio. Some cashiers will say something about needing a Kroger’s card. I say try it, they scan it, and all it well.

What I found interesting here in North Carolina is that when Kroger bought the local Harris Teeter chain, all the local Krogers became Harris Teeter stores. Which was disappointing, because Kroger had some products that Harris Teeter does not, and its not like we didn’t already have lots of Harris Teeter stores.

As mentioned, in Arizona the Kroger’s food outlet is called Fry’s. In Colorado and Wyoming, Kroger operates King Soopers. It’s another case of Kroger acquiring an existing chain of stores. And the loyalty cards from one Kroger outlet can be used at the others.

What kind of superstore doesn’t have an alias?

In Oregon, another alias for Kroger is Fred Meyer.

You could tell the store manager the names of the Kroger products you miss; perhaps they can add them?

There’s also Ahold Delhaize, which is international.

The Ralphs corporate history is kinda complicated — several mergers and acquisitions.

(“‘Alpha Beta’ — now there’s a name I haven’t heard in a long time.”)
Kroger also owns the SoCal discount grocery chain Food 4 Less. In Long Beach, they closed one of those, and a Ralphs, after the city passed a temporary COVID wage premium for grocery workers.

The Kroger Co. Family of Stores includes:

  • Baker’s
  • City Market
  • Dillons
  • Food 4 Less
  • Foods Co
  • Fred Meyer
  • Fry’s
  • Gerbes
  • Harris Teeter
  • King Soopers
  • Jay C Food Store
  • Kroger
  • Pay-Less Super Markets
  • QFC
  • Ralphs
  • Smith’s Food and Drug

https://www.kroger.com/i/kroger-family-of-companies

And for completeness, the Albertson’s brands:

  • Acme
  • Albertsons
  • Amigos
  • Andronico’s
  • Balducci’s
  • Carrs
  • Haggen
  • Jewel Osco
  • Kings
  • Lucky
  • Market Street
  • Pavilions
  • Randalls
  • Safeway
  • Shaws
  • Star
  • Tom Thumb
  • United and United Express
  • Vons

https://www.albertsonscompanies.com/about-us.html

@kenobi_65 nailed in in the first response. Many of the names are former independent chains that were acquired. People know the ___ store in their town but might be hesitant to shop in the brand new Kroger that took over their favorite ___ store.
Hotels have different nameplates, TJX owns TJ Maxx, Marshall’s, Home Goods, & a few others. In 2005, the then Federated Dept stores renamed all of the local chains that they had acquired over the years to Macy’s; not everyone liked the loss of their Filene’s or Field’s or ___. Supposedly this was to help w/ national advertising; they were able to advertise one national brand instead of a dozen or so regional ones.

I find Jenny shops everywhere. Enter the local area code & her phone # & you’ll get whatever member discounts are applicable. If you don’t know Jenny’s #, I got it on the wall.

There was a regional chain in Indiana and a bit of Ohio called Marsh Supermarkets. They went bankrupt in 2017. Kroger bought most of their old stores.

What’s interesting is that in my city, Muncie, Indiana, they re-opened the two former Marsh locations under the Pay-Less name, not the Kroger name. Pay-Less had never had any presence in Muncie before, so it couldn’t be because of brand loyalty. I’m still not sure why they chose that branding. Whenever I buy anything there, the purchase shows up on my credit card receipts as “Kroger.”

And City Market, another grocery chain in Colorado they acquired.