Retailers

Kroger’s Mid-Atlantic Division Relocating From Roanoke to Richmond

Move reflects activity in fast-growing market
Photograph: Shutterstock

In a move reflecting patterns of population growth, store growth and sales growth, Kroger’s Mid-Atlantic division is moving its headquarters from its longtime home in Roanoke, Va., to Richmond, Va.

Kroger this week said its new office—which will employ more than 70 transferring and new workers—would be located in Glen Allen, Va., a Richmond suburb. Kroger last month acknowledged that it would be departing Roanoke.

The Mid-Atlantic division, one of 21 local operating divisions of the Cincinnati-based retailer, operates more than 100 stores in Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee and Ohio, employing about 18,000 associates. Its growth over the past 20 years has primarily been in metro Richmond, which Kroger entered for the first time in 2000 with the acquisition of 10 Hannaford stores spun off in the Hannaford-Food Lion merger. Kroger has since grown to 18 stores in the region, including four Marketplace supercenters and 16 fuel centers, and is now the third-largest food retailer in the Richmond metro area behind Food Lion and Walmart, according to Metro Market Studies’ 2020 figures.

Richmond’s population has grown 8.9% over the past decade and now encompasses about 1.3 million residents, 2019 U.S. Census estimates show. In addition to Kroger, Richmond’s growth has drawn new investment from food retailers such as Wegmans, Publix, Aldi and Lidl over the past decade, while a former local leader, Ukrop’s, saw its stores dispersed—first to Ahold USA, which operated them under its Martin’s banner before Martin’s exited in 2017, selling seven of its sites to newly arriving Publix.

Some pockets of the Mid-Atlantic division's operating area, such as West Virginia, have in the meantime seen population declines, Census estimates show.

Kroger said the move—about 170 miles northeast from the Blue Ridge Mountains city of Roanoke—would take place early next year. 

“The Three Chopt District and all of Henrico County are excited to welcome Kroger’s Mid-Atlantic division headquarters to Innsbrook,” Henrico Board of Supervisors Chairman Tommy Branin said. “Kroger has been a part of many peoples’ lives in Henrico for many years, and the addition of the new executives and employees to our community is fantastic.”

“We’re excited for this transition for our company, and Henrico County has been an excellent partner throughout the past few months,” added Paula Ginnett, president of Kroger Mid-Atlantic. “We’ve worked to make this as seamless as possible for our team members and we’re thrilled that the relocation will bring new jobs to the Richmond area.”

Kroger is also the third-largest food retailer in the Roanoke metropolitan statistical area with 28 stores, according to Metro Market Studies. The company has been operating stores in the area for more than 90 years. “This is not a goodbye to Roanoke because we will remain committed to the region and we will continue to support our associates, customers and community partners throughout the area,” Ginnett said last month, according to a local report.

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