Should Kroger Grocery Stores Come Back to West Michigan?
Don't get me wrong, having been born and raised in West Michigan I am a Meijer girl through and through! Although Meijer will always be #1 in my heart when it comes to grocery stores, I can't help but wonder why other parts of the state get Kroger stores and we don't.
Between Meijer and Aldi my major grocery shopping needs are more than covered-- so why am I obsessed with the fact that yet another major grocery chain is snubbing West Michigan?
Well, I'm not sure.
Maybe it's FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out); people always want what they can't have! But I typically forget about Kroger's existence entirely until I visit other parts of the state where they have them. I've been to some good Krogers and I've been to some bad Krogers; I just want to know more!
I mean, what's so special about Lansing that they get a Kroger and we don't?!
Kroger in Michigan
According to European Supermarket Magazine, Kroger is one of the largest employers in the United States and the third most profitable retail chain in the U.S., after Walmart and Costco.
First opened in Cincinnati 1883, Kroger now operates 1,274 stores across the country with 120 of those are in Michigan-- yet none are in West Michigan! In fact, the closest Kroger to the Kalamazoo area isn't even in the state, it's down in Elkhart, Indiana.
Seriously, what does Kroger have against West Michigan?
The Kroger Clause
I'm too young to remember, but it appears there in fact was a time when Kroger was here in West Michigan. So why did they all leave? One Michigan Reddit user might have some insight:
Sadly, it will never come back. Meijer pretty much dominates and I’m not positive but I think there’s a contract or a clause or something that makes sure Kroger can’t build west or too far north of Lansing
That would certainly explain it! The first Meijer opened in Greenville, MI just north of Rockford in 1934 and quickly expanded into the Grand Rapids area. Maybe there was Kroger vs. Meijer turf war and the two grocers came to an agreement?
Again, why am I so obsessed with a grocery store? It's not so much the store itself, it's more the fact that they're snubbing West Michigan. Be honest: if we had a local Kroger store again in West Michigan would you shop there, or is Meijer enough?