The Kroger Co., the nation's largest traditional supermarket retailer, is moving its regional headquarters to the Richmond area.
Kroger’s Mid-Atlantic division — which operates the chain's local stores in the Lynchburg area as well as about 100 other locations elsewhere in Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee and Ohio — will move to western Henrico County by the end of the year.
The chain's current divisional headquarters is in Roanoke, where it has been for decades.
Kroger said it was moving the offices to the Richmond area because the location is "better equipped and positioned" to serve and support stores in all of the division's markets.
The chain also is making the change because much of its recent growth has been centered in the Richmond and Hampton Roads regions.
Ohio-based Kroger entered the Richmond and Hampton Roads markets in 2000 by buying the former Hannaford Bros. Co. stores so that a merger between Food Lion and Maine-based Hannaford could be approved by federal regulators.
Kroger acquired the 10 Hannaford stores in the Richmond area and has since grown its presence to 18 local stores, including 16 fuel centers.
The chain's Mid-Atlantic office will be at 140 East Shore Drive off Nuckols Road. It plans to have the 26,000-square-foot office in full operation by the start of 2021.
The 100 employees working in the divisional offices in Roanoke are being offered jobs with the company, including options to relocate to the new offices in the Richmond area.
Kroger isn't sure how many employees it will have in the new offices "as we are still finalizing our relocation plans," said Allison McGee, corporate affairs manager for Kroger’s Mid-Atlantic division.
The chain's warehouse operations, logistics and its Roanoke district office will remain.
Kroger opened its first store in the Roanoke Valley 91 years ago and currently operates 11 stores in that region.
The business news you need
With a weekly newsletter looking back at local history.