When he opened his first store on Pearl Street in downtown Cincinnati, Barney Kroger couldn’t have a clue what his legacy would be.
Today, The Kroger Co. is one of the largest grocery retailers in the world. Its headquarters are still in Greater Cincinnati because the city continues to nurture the company’s growth.
The right home for a booming grocery chain
Greater Cincinnati was recently named the least expensive big city for businesses – an important factor for expanding companies. From low facility leasing costs and property taxes to labor costs driven down by a low cost of living, it is easier for companies to succeed in our region.
Cost of living isn’t the only factor influencing talent acquisition. Greater Cincinnati’s 1.3 million-person workforce offers Kroger – and other companies – a diverse set of skills to create, brand, ship and sell its products. And that talent pool continues to grow. Every year, most than 200,000 students graduate from the 300 colleges and universities within a 200-mile radius of Greater Cincinnati. While the region is not immune to workforce challenges facing the rest of the country, various organizations are working to recruit and retain talented employees.
The region’s centralized location also supports Kroger’s continued growth. Located in the middle of the U.S., Greater Cincinnati makes it easy to ship products to most of the nation within a day of that product being produced. While strong distribution channels are important for any manufacturer, it’s especially necessary for companies that make perishable food products.
Grocery chain expands in Greater Cincinnati
The company continues to grow in its headquarters town. In 2015, Kroger committed to more than 600 new jobs and $46 million in capital investment during the next three years. Those jobs are expected to be filled by customer service representatives who will make it easier to shop at and interact with the company.
In June 2016, Kroger announced a new cooking school to mentor company chefs from Kroger locations throughout the U.S. The school will be built at Ninth and Elm Streets to capitalize on the vibrant food scene in downtown Cincinnati. The facility will not be open to the public, but it will be available to approximately 20 chefs at a time to train and share ideas. City incentives are supporting this initiative. This innovative idea further demonstrates the grocer’s commitment to growing in Greater Cincinnati.
Interested in exploring what Greater Cincinnati can offer your large company or small business? Contact Kim Harp at KHarp@REDICincinnati.com or (513) 579-3127.