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Dillons Food Stores marks 100th anniversary

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As the calendar nears December, Hutchinson, Kansas-based Dillons Food Stores continues to celebrate its 100th anniversary by recognizing its principles and values along with the customers, associates and communities.

A division of the Kroger Company, Dillons operates 80 stores in Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska under the banners of Dillons, Gerbes and Baker’s. It employs more than 12,000 associates are employed at its stores, as well as two distribution centers and its corporate office.

The company offers a store format for nearly every kind of shopper, with small hometown markets, supermarkets, Marketplace stores, price-impact stores and fuel centers. It also features online shopping with pickup, delivery and ship-to-home.

In a press release, Dillons noted that it takes pride in making a significant economic impact on Kansas communities. Over the past five years, the company has dedicated $215.6 million in capital investments to improve its stores. It also remitted $133 million in sales taxes and $27.8 million in fuel taxes to the state of Kansas in 2020.

In honor of its anniversary, Dillons announced it will be dedicating $100,000 from Kroger’s Zero Hunger Zero Waste Foundation specifically to support hunger relief efforts across Kansas.

Non-profits are encouraged to make a grant request.

This zero waste contribution is in addition to the company’s regular community-focused giving. In 2020, Dillons donated more than $2.3 million to nonprofits in the state with a focus on hunger relief, sustainability, education, support of military and families, diversity and inclusion, and grassroots organizations.

Earlier this year, Gov. Laura Kelly praised the company on its milestone.

“Dillons Food Stores has been providing high-quality food products for families, creating jobs, and investing in our communities for a century – the company is a Kansas institution,” she said.

Lt. Gov. and Commerce Secretary David Toland echoed those sentiments.

“Dillons is a staple of the Kansas business community and we are proud that they have called the Sunflower State home for a century,” he said. “Kansas and Dillons have been partners since the beginning and the company has risen to incredible heights. Here’s to the next hundred years.”

Throughout its history, Dillons has served as an innovator and pioneer in the grocery retail industry.  In 1999, it introduced its Plus Card, offering additional savings and fuel rewards with its then partner division, Kwik Shop.

Beginning in 2001, Dillons fuel centers were further expanded. In 2007, Dillons opened the first Marketplace in Wichita. It features a full-service grocery, expanded fresh perishable sections and general and home merchandise.

According to the company, J.S. Dillon founded his first grocery store looking for a better way of providing food for his own family of 12. With this mindset, he treated his customers the same, giving them the best product for the best price.

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Eric Pereira

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