John S. Dillon started his grocery business by opening J.S. Dillon Cash Store in Hutchinson, Kansas in 1913. Dillon’s Inc. was officially founded in 1921, when Dillon’s sons John and Ray opened J.S. Dillon and Sons Stores Company, Inc. in Sterling, Kansas. It became successful and thus the company started expanding. The company survived the Great Depression in 1929 and World War II. Hard work and new innovations made the company grow. They were the first to introduce off-street customer car parking and public rest rooms.
In the 1940s they started converting their grocery stores into self-service food markets with check-out cash registers and food aisles. By 1946, the company’s profits rose to $12.6 million. In 1957, the company bought 16 stores of Kroger Company, located in Wichita, Kansas. They also bought King Sooper supermarkets. Dillon’s also started introducing new departments like soft goods, housewares, health and beauty aids, and books and magazines.
Over the next few decades, Dillon’s expanded vastly, with a new distribution center in Hutchinson. Also, all the stores were computerized. By early 1980s, the competition in the retail field became intense. In 1982, Dillon’s Inc. was sold to The Kroger Co, but the company was allowed to run independently. By the late 1980s, the company renovated most of its existing stores and also acquired 30 more supermarkets. However, the expansion slowed due to the financial crisis in the U.S. When the country recovered, Dillon’s again started expanding its stores. By 1940, the company acquired 240 supermarkets and 930 convenience stores. But, there were only 20 stores with the original name. J.S. Dillon’s great grandson, Dave Dillon is the current CEO of the company.
Company Headquarters: Hutchinson, Kansas, United States
Ownership: Wholly owned subsidiary of The Kroger Co.
Annual Revenue: $5,610,000,000
No. of Employees: 44,000
Geography: Wichita, Topeka, Andover and Derby in Kansas and Omaha in Nebraska.
Demography: Organic shoppers, green shoppers and value shoppers
Special Services: Pharmacy, liquor, specialty grocery, pet insurance, personal finance, phone services.
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