Food 4 Less
Food 4 Less is a national grocery store grocery chain owned by Kroger. It is a no-frills grocery store. Kroger operates Food 4 Less stores in California, Illinois and Ohio. In northern and central California, where Kroger does not have the rights to the Food 4 Less name, it operates as Foods Co. There are other stores scattered throughout the United States with the Food 4 Less name, part of franchise agreements with various wholesalers, including Unified Western Grocers and Associated Wholesale Grocers Midwest; these stores have particular penetration in northern California. The Food 4 Less name was used by Fleming Companies, Inc. but as Fleming exited various regions and collapsed, the rights to the name went to wholesalers who picked up some of Fleming's former customers. The Food 4 Less name and logo was conceived in the 1930s by Lou Falley, who developed a chain of stores both in the Food 4 Less name and the Falley's name; the Falley's stores were full service supermarkets, while the Food 4 Less stores were warehouse stores, where labor costs were cut by having the groceries stocked to the shelves in the original cases, rather than stacking individual items.
These stores were located throughout parts of northwestern Missouri. Over the years, the number of Falley's store diminished, were replaced with Food 4 Less stores. Falley's franchised Food 4 Less in states where it did not operate. Ron Burkle's Yucaipa Companies acquired Falley's in 1987. In a period of consolidation for the grocery industry, Food 4 Less merged into Ralphs. In 2015, Food 4 Less exited Nevada entirely. Six of the stores were converted to sister store Smith's, a prominent grocery chain owned by Kroger in the Las Vegas area; the remaining Food 4 Less stores were shut down. In 1998, Fred Meyer sold Falley's and the midwest Food 4 Less stores to Associated Wholesale Grocers of Kansas City; the warehouse type stores were phased out in favor of full service Food 4 Less stores with a new logo and format. In January 2006, the AWG-owned Falley's and Food 4 Less stores located in Kansas were combined with sister company Homeland Stores, based in Edmond, Oklahoma; the company changed the names of the Food 4 Less stores, which it can't use beyond Kansas and Missouri, to AWG brands such as Price Chopper.
The company uses the Foods Co name in Northern California, where Kroger is bound by an agreement between Falley's and grocer Nugget Markets, Inc.. One Food 4 Less store in Northern California is operated by Nugget. Kroger does not have any administrative control over the single Nugget Food 4 Less store. Nugget's Food 4 Less is limited by its agreement with Fleming in its ability to advertise in circulars. Kroger's Food 4 Less circulars will feature individual products on sale whereas Nugget's Food 4 Less circulars only promote sales events and customer testimony. Ad prices from the Kroger Food 4 Less chain are not honored; the Nugget Food 4 Less store features a different selection of products than the Kroger Food 4 Less stores due to Nugget's pooling of resources from its upscale Nugget Market stores. Marketing and administration of the Nugget Food 4 Less store is handled through the Nugget Market Corporate Office in Woodland and any requests for other Food 4 Less stores will be deferred to the Kroger Corporate Office in Cincinnati, Ohio.
It is unclear whether Nugget Markets and Kroger will continue the Fleming relationship when the franchise agreement expires. Nugget operated a total of three stores in Northern California. In 2014, the Food 4 Less in Cameron Park was converted into Fork Lift, a new store concept by Nugget; the Food 4 Less in Vallejo was shuttered on May 15, 2016, leaving the Woodland location as Nugget's sole remaining Food 4 Less store. Fleming was another franchisee of the Food 4 Less name. In early 2003, Fleming filed for bankruptcy, causing the company to place all Fleming owned Food 4 Less stores up for bids to other national grocers. Three stores in Utah were purchased by Albertsons; the two stores kept the Food 4 Less name until January 2005, when the names changed to the Albertsons owned Super Saver name. Another store in Pinole, California became a FoodMaxx, a price-impact store owned by Save Mart Supermarkets. In Oregon, only one former Fleming store remained, in Salem, part of the Mega Foods local chain of four stores.
The remaining store was converted into Mega Foods. An independently run former Fleming store in Portland was closed in January 2013. PAQ Inc. the parent company of Hawaii-based Times Supermarkets, is another franchisee of the Food 4 Less name with stores in northern California. The franchisee operates Food 4 Less stores in Arroyo Grande, Ceres, Los Banos, Paso Robles, San Luis Obispo and Stockton. Kroger does not have any administrative control over the PAQ Inc. Food 4 Less stores; the franchisee operates Rancho San Miguel Market, a supermarket specializing in Mexican groceries. Gongco Foods operates seven franchised Food 4 Less stores in central California, they are not affiliated with Kroger. In Oregon, stores in Bend and Medford both operate under the Food 4 Less name, but with separate local owners. A Food 4 Less store in Massillon, Ohio, co-owned with local grocery chain Bordner's, closed in 2014. Official Food 4 Less website Official website—Nugget Food 4 Less stores Official website—PAQ Inc.
Food 4 Less stores. Official website—Gongco Foods Food 4 Less st
Acme Markets Inc. is a supermarket chain operating 177 stores throughout Connecticut, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and, as of 1999, is a subsidiary of Albertsons, part of its presence in the Northeast. It is headquartered in East Whiteland Township, near Malvern, a Philadelphia suburb. Acme was established in 1891, when Irish immigrants Samuel Robinson and Robert Crawford opened a store in South Philadelphia; the company today has 177 supermarkets under the Acme name in Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Maryland. After many decades of being the largest grocery retailer in the Delaware Valley, Acme fell to #2 behind ShopRite in 2011; as of 2013, Acme was #3 behind #1 ShopRite and #2 Giant-Carlisle in the Delaware Valley. Irish immigrants and Crawford, founded what is now Acme in south Philadelphia in 1891, according to some sources, with other sources suggesting that it was founded in 1887 or 1872. In 1917, Robinson and Crawford merged Acme Markets with four other Philadelphia-area grocery stores, including English immigrant S. Canning Childs New Jersey-based American grocery chain.
In 1927, smaller rival Penn Fruit began operating in Philadelphia's Center City. In the late 1920s, supermarkets under the American Stores banner sprouted throughout the Philadelphia region, rivaling New Jersey-based A&P, which featured downtown stores throughout the East Coast, as far west as New Orleans. American Stores first introduced self-service stores in shopping centers in the early 1950s. In 1961, American Stores created a new logo, in an attempt to eliminate the inconsistent use of the Acme Markets or Acme Super Markets script logos of the 1950s. American Stores' distribution center, on U. S. 30 in West Philadelphia, retained the gold script "Acme Super Markets" signage until its closure in 1993. The complex remained abandoned, complete with sign, as the last Acme store in West Philadelphia had been sold in 1980; the new Acme logo coincided with a building style known as "A-Frame." These stores were meant to compete with A&P, Food Fair, Penn Fruit, all of which had trademarked architecture of their own.
Most Acmes built in the 1960s were a variant of this design. These could be adapted to major streets and shopping centers alike, averaged 30,000 square feet. Trademark features included a full peaked roof and signage that resembled the then-popular lava lamp, along with a standardized emergency exit; the latter two elements were retained in Acme's 1970s prototype. In turn, the A-Frame's footprint was similar to Acme's first standardized building model, rolled out in 1955. In 1961, the American Stores company acquired southern California's Alpha Beta chain of supermarkets. Many of Acme's stores in the 1960s and 1970s were paired with a regional drugstore chain, a PLCB liquor store, a Kmart, or Woolco, in rarer cases a department store such as Sears or JCPenney. American Stores bought the Philadelphia franchise rights to the fast-growing restaurant chain Pizza Hut in 1968. Acme would acquire a number of stores from Kmart Foods. Starting in the 1980s, these independents were overtaken by family chains Genuardi's and Clemens along with Giant-Carlisle and Giant-Landover in newer suburbs, modernized Acme, Super Fresh, Pathmark stores in the city and older suburbs not long after.
From 1978 to 1982, Acme acquired many stores during Food Fair's bankruptcy, including both ex-Food Fair and Penn Fruit units. The bulk of these dated to the 1950s; the former Food Fair/Pantry Pride stores were replaced by or remodeled into stores with the standard Acme prototype of the 1970s, as were many expanded A-Frame buildings and a few former Pathmark stores. Former Penn Fruit buildings, with their trademark barrel roof, could not be adapted to this model. Many A-Frames were replaced by the older but larger acquired stores. In the late 1960s into the 1970s, Acme introduced a new brand of stores, Super Saver that were high volume, but were in high-crime and low-income areas. Both chains had the slogan "Acme and Super Saver - you're going to like it here!" The brand Super Saver was retired in the 1980s. Some isolated stores retained the signage into the early 1990s, however. American Stores were sold in 1979 to the Skaggs Companies which took the American Stores name, moving its headquarters to Salt Lake City.
In 1979, American Stores announced that it would be closing most of its stores in New York state. In the 1980s, American Stores undertook various acquisitions. In 1995, Acme sold 45 stores in northeastern Pennsylvania to Penn Traffic. American Stores was acquired by major Western and Southern chain Albertsons in November 1999. In 2006, Albertsons' supermarket holdings were bought by Cerberus Capital Management and SuperValu and divided amongst the two companies, with Acme going to SuperValu. In 2013 Cerberus, operating the Albertsons stores it owned under the name Albertsons LLC
Puerto Rico the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and called Porto Rico, is an unincorporated territory of the United States located in the northeast Caribbean Sea 1,000 miles southeast of Miami, Florida. An archipelago among the Greater Antilles, Puerto Rico includes the eponymous main island and several smaller islands, such as Mona and Vieques; the capital and most populous city is San Juan. The territory's total population is 3.4 million. Spanish and English are the official languages. Populated by the indigenous Taíno people, Puerto Rico was colonized by Spain following the arrival of Christopher Columbus in 1493, it was contested by French and British, but remained a Spanish possession for the next four centuries. The island's cultural and demographic landscapes were shaped by the displacement and assimilation of the native population, the forced migration of African slaves, settlement from the Canary Islands and Andalusia. In the Spanish Empire, Puerto Rico played a secondary but strategic role compared to wealthier colonies like Peru and New Spain.
Spain's distant administrative control continued up to the end of the 19th century, producing a distinctive creole Hispanic culture and language that combined indigenous and European elements. In 1898, following the Spanish–American War, the United States acquired Puerto Rico under the terms of the Treaty of Paris. Puerto Ricans have been citizens of the United States since 1917, enjoy freedom of movement between the island and the mainland; as it is not a state, Puerto Rico does not have a vote in the United States Congress, which governs the territory with full jurisdiction under the Puerto Rico Federal Relations Act of 1950. However, Puerto Rico does have one non-voting member of the House called a Resident Commissioner; as residents of a U. S. territory, American citizens in Puerto Rico are disenfranchised at the national level and do not vote for president and vice president of the United States, nor pay federal income tax on Puerto Rican income. Like other territories and the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico does not have U.
S. senators. Congress approved a local constitution in 1952, allowing U. S. citizens on the territory to elect a governor. Puerto Rico's future political status has been a matter of significant debate. In early 2017, the Puerto Rican government-debt crisis posed serious problems for the government; the outstanding bond debt had climbed to $70 billion at a time with 12.4% unemployment. The debt had been increasing during a decade long recession; this was the second major financial crisis to affect the island after the Great Depression when the U. S. government, in 1935, provided relief efforts through the Puerto Rico Reconstruction Administration. On May 3, 2017, Puerto Rico's financial oversight board in the U. S. District Court for Puerto Rico filed the debt restructuring petition, made under Title III of PROMESA. By early August 2017, the debt was $72 billion with a 45% poverty rate. In late September 2017, Hurricane Maria made landfall in Puerto Rico; the island's electrical grid was destroyed, with repairs expected to take months to complete, provoking the largest power outage in American history.
Recovery efforts were somewhat slow in the first few months, over 200,000 residents had moved to the mainland State of Florida alone by late November 2017. Puerto Rico is Spanish for "rich port". Puerto Ricans call the island Borinquén – a derivation of Borikén, its indigenous Taíno name, which means "Land of the Valiant Lord"; the terms boricua and borincano derive from Borikén and Borinquen and are used to identify someone of Puerto Rican heritage. The island is popularly known in Spanish as la isla del encanto, meaning "the island of enchantment". Columbus named the island San Juan Bautista, in honor of Saint John the Baptist, while the capital city was named Ciudad de Puerto Rico. Traders and other maritime visitors came to refer to the entire island as Puerto Rico, while San Juan became the name used for the main trading/shipping port and the capital city; the island's name was changed to "Porto Rico" by the United States after the Treaty of Paris of 1898. The anglicized name was used by the U.
S. government and private enterprises. The name was changed back to Puerto Rico by a joint resolution in Congress introduced by Félix Córdova Dávila in 1931; the official name of the entity in Spanish is Estado Libre Asociado de Puerto Rico, while its official English name is Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. The ancient history of the archipelago, now Puerto Rico is not well known. Unlike other indigenous cultures in the New World which left behind abundant archeological and physical evidence of their societies, scant artifacts and evidence remain of the Puerto Rico's indigenous population. Scarce archaeological findings and early Spanish accounts from the colonial era constitute all, known about them; the first comprehensive book on the history of Puerto Rico was written by Fray Íñigo Abbad y Lasierra in 1786, nearly three centuries after the first Spaniards landed on the island. The first known settlers were the Ortoiroid people, an Archaic Period culture of Amerindian hunters and fishermen who migrated from the South American mainland.
Some scholars suggest their settlement dates back about 4,000 years. An archeological dig in 1990 on the island of Vieques found the remains of a man, designated as the "Puerto Ferro Man", dated to around 2000 BC; the Ortoiroid were displaced
Andronico's Community Markets, known locally as "Andronico's", was a supermarket chain based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Its first store was founded in 1929 on Berkeley's Solano Avenue by Greek immigrant Frank Andronico. In late 2011, Andronico's filed for bankruptcy. A new group of investors has assumed management of the chain during the reorganization process. In November 2016, it was announced that Andronico's approached Safeway, Safeway agreed to buy Andronico's remaining stores; the stores began closing with the North Berkeley store closing first. Andronico's first store opened its doors in 1929 at the Berkeley location by patriarch Frank Andronico, an immigrant from Greece; some time afterward, Andronico renamed the location "Park and Shop". Other locations opened, one in San Francisco by the 1950s. Park and Shop became known for excellent service; the chain was run by founder Frank, succeeded by his son John, by the 1980s, grandson Bill. Under Bill Andronico, the chain changed its name to Andronico's, expanded to nine locations by the year 2000, including a 40,000 sf flagship location in the upscale local suburb of Danville.
Smaller-format locations in Emeryville and Walnut Creek, opened right before the dot-com crash, performed below expectations and were shut down. Rising costs for employee health care and insurance led to layoffs in the early 2000s. Andronico's filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in August 2011, In October 2011, the company was purchased by a private equity firm called Renwood Opportunities Fund, a partnership between Renovo Capital and Rosewood Private Investments. Late in 2011 during reorganization and buyers who once worked for Whole Foods Market joined the management team of Andronico's. Justin Jackson, COO, managed the remaining five stores in the San Francisco Bay Area, he was hired as a consultant by Andronico’s after leaving Whole Foods. John Clougher, president of Whole Foods’ Pacific Northwest region, was chief executive officer of Andronico’s before taking that title at A. G. Ferrari Foods, a local distributor owned by Renovo Capital, the Dallas-based firm that acquired Andronico’s out of bankruptcy last October.
Bill Andronico, the grandson of the company’s founder and its former president and CEO, remained with the organization as chief administration officer. Under the new ownership, Andronico’s stores were remerchandised — dropping 7,000 slow-moving SKUs and replacing them with 5,500 new items. Sales at Andronico’s improved nearly 10%. Andronico's had three locations in Berkeley, on Solano and Shattuck Avenue. Official website
Harris Teeter Supermarkets, Inc. is an American supermarket chain based in Matthews, North Carolina, a suburb of Charlotte. As of April 2019, the chain operates 249 stores in seven South Atlantic states: North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Delaware and the District of Columbia. Supermarket News ranked Harris Teeter No. 34 in the 2012 "Top 75 Retailers & Wholesalers" based on 2011 fiscal year sales of $4.3 billion. On July 9, 2013, Harris Teeter announced; the merger closed on January 28, 2014, though Harris Teeter retained its name and headquarters in Matthews. Harris Teeter was founded by two entrepreneurs, William Thomas Harris and Willis L. Teeter, who started their separate businesses during the Great Depression in Charlotte, North Carolina. William T. Harris opened the first full-service drugstore called Harris Drugs and Willis L. Teeter opened Teeters Food Mart. On they merged their two ventures. Harris, an employee of the A&P store on Central Avenue and Pecan, Charlotte's first supermarket, borrowed funds in 1936 to open the Harris Super Market at 1704 Central Avenue.
The store had eight employees. It was a dry goods store because frozen foods and refrigeration did not become common until World War II. To the family and employees, it was known as Store #1; this store, known as Harris Teeter store #201, closed on June 5, 2012, was replaced by a two-story store #401 on the same site, which opened on May 29, 2013. Harris' store was the first in North Carolina to allow customers to select their own groceries off shelves. Before this time, customers handed a shopping list to a clerk, who selected the groceries for the customers; the store was open until 9 p.m. on Fridays, at a time when most grocery stores closed their doors at 5 p.m. This was done to appeal to working families and to capture their grocery shopping after they were paid on Fridays; the Harris Super Market was the first grocery store in Charlotte to add air conditioning. Harris ran his own dairy farm and sold products from his dairy in his stores. For his wife, LaVerne, the dairy products carried the brand name of Vernedale Farms.
Harris pioneered the first dairy co‑op among local dairy farmers. After running the co-op for several years, he negotiated its sale to Pet Dairy. Harris Super Markets began as a family business. Most of Harris's brothers and sisters were employees, brothers and brothers-in-law were store managers, his sister, ran the accounting department and his wife's sister was Harris's personal secretary. His son, Donald Thomas Harris, began working for the company at 8 years old by sweeping floors. Donald suggested that Harris Teeter should carry more than just food products, recommended the introduction of health and beauty aids, school supplies, kitchen tools, seasonal items, his father liked the idea and told Don that he should create and run that division of the company, which he did until his retirement in 1995. He was the last member of the family. Harris was instrumental in the permanent placement of kindergarten in the South Carolina public school system, supported the effort to turn Charleston College into what is known today as the College of Charleston.
In 1939, Willis L. Teeter—who worked for A&P, at its Mooresville, North Carolina store—and his brother Paul, working for A&P borrowed $1,700 to open Teeter's Food Mart on Main Street in Mooresville, North Carolina. A&P agreed to lease the location to the Teeter brothers; the first Teeter Food Mart opened on July 15, 1939. Teeter's was a family-run operation as Teeter was the manager, his brother was the produce manager, Teeter's wife, Sylvia worked at the store. Paul's wife, Mildred joined the staff as bookkeeper as the Teeter stores expanded; the Teeter brothers believed in exceptional customer service having home delivery service. Because of their foresight of providing great customer service and only the best products, they saw sales rise quickly. Teeter based all. In 1946, the Teeters moved from downtown to a much larger location to keep up with demand; the Teeters were leaders in installing the first automated check-outs in North Carolina. In July 1953, the Teeters opened their second store in North Carolina.
At this point the Teeters had become a household name. Lines of eager shoppers wrapped around the new store in anticipation of being one of the first customers in the Teeters' new store; the Teeters' success continued to grow and by 1957 their third store opened in Newton, North Carolina, a fourth in Cornelius, a fifth in Hickory, a sixth opened in Morganton, North Carolina, in November 1958. After opening his sixth store Teeter joined the NC Food Dealers Association. At one of the Food Dealers meetings, Teeter met Harris; the two men decided that working together would increase the financial strength of the two supermarkets, allow them to grow more and decrease operating costs. W. L. Teeter and W. T. Harris agreed to merge and did so in November 1959 to become Harris Teeter Supermarkets; the merger of 15 stores collectively became official in February 1960. The new company became the largest independent grocery organization in the Carolinas. Harris Teeter was purchased in 1969 by holding company Ruddick Corporation of Charlotte.
The new owners introduced alcoholic beverages for sale for the first time. Harris, a devout Southern Baptist, had refused to allow the sale of alcohol after the merger. In 1970, the chain introduced the Big M discount concept to compete with Colonial Stores Big Star discoun
Fred Meyer, Inc. is a chain of hypermarket superstores founded in 1922 in Portland, Oregon, by Fred G. Meyer; the stores are located in the western U. S. states of Oregon, Washington and Alaska. The company merged with Kroger in 1999; the chain was one of first in the United States to promote one-stop shopping combining a complete grocery supermarket with a drugstore, clothing, home decor, home improvement, electronics, shoes, sporting goods, toys. It should not be confused with Frederik Gerhard Hendrik Meijer, former chairman of the Meijer superstore chain, based in Michigan, with stores in the Midwest. Fred Meyer is part of Kroger Inc. after their merger. The western region of The Kroger Company is headquartered in Portland; the first suburban one-stop shopping center opened in 1931 in the Hollywood District of Portland, a neighborhood he deliberately chose through a application of market research: he would pay customers' overtime parking tickets that they incurred while shopping at his downtown store, just to obtain their home addresses.
The store's innovations included a grocery store alongside a drugstore plus home products, off-street parking, gas station, — — clothing. Fred G. Meyer would base store locations on planned highway construction. In 1951, the Fred Meyer Company built a large warehouse near Providence Portland Medical Center in Laurelhurst, despite complaints and controversy from neighbors and the city council. Neighbors did not want large truck volume in their city, but the area was zoned for industrial and commercial east of 44th Avenue; the huge warehouse was built to the detriment of the Banfield Expressway, built in Sullivan's Gulch less than five years later. The warehouse had to be condemned and destroyed for the freeway, with the state highway commission selling the remaining sections to the Bemis Company; the Fred Meyer Company moved to Swan Island on land occupied by wartime housing for Kaiser Shipyards. In the 1960s, Fred Meyer entered the Seattle market by acquiring Seattle-based Marketime Drugs. Fred Meyer acquired a Spokane-based grocery wholesaler, The Roundup Company.
Roundup owned no stores in Spokane but owned Kalispell, Montana-based B&B stores in northwest Montana and Consumer Warehouse Foods in Soap Lake, Washington. By March 1968, Fred Meyer Inc. was operating in four states — Oregon, Washington and Montana — and had 48 retail stores. In 1968, the first full-fledged Fred Meyer in the Seattle area opened, in Lynnwood, Washington, it was the largest Fred Meyer for about a decade. In 1973, Fred Meyer acquired all five Oregon stores of the Valu-Mart discount chain from its parent company, Seattle-based Weisfield's, Inc; the following year, Weisfield's leased its remaining stores, in 1975 According to an article published in the business section of The Seattle Times on August 10, 1975, Fred Meyer signed long-term leases with most of the 21 Weisfield's-owned stores. Some of the properties may have been purchased by Fred Meyer at the time in the Oregon market but Weisfield's maintained existing leases on properties in the Seattle/Tacoma market since leases for the grocery sections and other smaller businesses within the stores were kept.
Kroger acquired these properties from Weisfield's during the 2000s. Some of these properties such as the Greenwood and Midway locations were demolished to rebuild the locations. In 1975, Fred Meyer opened its first stores in Alaska as a result of acquiring Leslie's/Valu-Mart and changed the Leslie's/Valu-Mart stores to the Fred Meyer banner; as Fred Meyer became better known in the Seattle area, the Marketime Drug chain became known as Fred Meyer-Marketime. While Fred Meyer was building new stores in Washington state some smaller discount stores in the state would lease a portion of their stores to Fred Meyer as well such as The Hi-Ho Shopping Center in Puyallup and the Yard Birds Shopping Center in Centralia. In 1977, Marketime was renamed Fred Meyer. In the mid-1980s, the northwest Montana B&B stores acquired the Fred Meyer name. On September 2, 1978, Fred G. Meyer died at the age of 92; until his death, Mr. Meyer had continued to play an active role in the day-to-day operation of his company.
In 1978, Fortune placed Fred Meyer as the 45th largest retail company by sales. The chain had over $1 billion in sales in 1979. In 1981, the company was purchased by Kohlberg Kravis Roberts in what was one of KKR's first major leveraged buyouts; as of May 1988, the chain had 99 stores in six states. In 1984, Fred Meyer acquired Grand Central of Utah; the Grand Central stores in Utah and Idaho were converted to Fred Meyer stores, although most did not receive full supermarket departments until the mid-1990s. In the 1990s Fred Meyer expanded into California by opening a store in Chico. Plans had been made to open a store in Redding and expand into Sacramento with several sites having been acquired; the Chico location was closed and sold, the Sacramento sites sold. In 1997, Fred Meyer Inc. acquired Smith's Food and Drug of Salt Lake City, though both companies maintained separate operations. In 1998, Fred Meyer acquired Ralphs Grocery Company of Los Angeles, QFC of Seattle. Both acquisitions maintained separate operations with Fred Meyer, Inc. as the holding company.
In that fast string of mergers, Fred Meyer became the nation's fifth largest food and drug store operator. In 1997, Fred Meyer converted its Columbia Falls and Kalispell stores into Smith's Food & Drug
A grocery store or grocer's shop is a retail shop that sells food. A grocer is a bulk seller of food. Grocery stores offer non-perishable foods that are packaged in bottles and cans. Large grocery stores that stock significant amounts of non-food products, such as clothing and household items, are called supermarkets; some large supermarkets include a pharmacy, customer service and electronics sections. In Canada, the United Kingdom, the United States and convenience shops are sometimes described as grocery businesses, groceries or grocers. Small grocery stores that sell fruits and vegetables are known as greengrocers or produce markets, small grocery stores that predominantly sell prepared food, such as candy and snacks, are known as convenience shops or delicatessens; some grocery stores form the centerpiece of a larger complex that includes other facilities, such as gas stations, which will operate under the store's name. Some groceries specialize in the foods of a certain nationality or culture, such as Chinese, Middle-Eastern, or Polish.
These stores are known as ethnic markets and may serve as gathering places for immigrants. In many cases, the wide range of products carried by larger supermarkets has reduced the need for such specialty stores; the variety and availability of food is no longer restricted by the diversity of locally grown food or the limitations of the local growing season. Beginning as early as the 14th century, a grocer was a dealer in comestible dry goods such as spices, peppers and cocoa, coffee; because these items were bought in bulk, they were named after the french word for wholesaler, or "grossier". This, in turn, is derived from the Medieval Latin term "grossarius", from which the term "gross" is derived; as increasing numbers of staple food-stuffs became available in cans and other less-perishable packaging, the trade expanded its province. Today, grocers deal in a wide range of staple food-stuffs including such perishables as dairy products and produce; such goods are, called groceries. Many rural areas still contain general stores that sell goods ranging from tobacco products to imported napkins.
Traditionally, general stores have offered credit to their customers, a system of payment that works on trust rather than modern credit cards. This allowed farm families to buy staples; the first self-service grocery store, Piggly Wiggly, was opened in 1916 in Memphis, Tennessee, by Clarence Saunders, an inventor and entrepreneur. Prior to this innovation, grocery stores operated "over the counter," with customers asking a grocer to retrieve items from inventory. Saunders' invention allowed a much smaller number of clerks to service the customers, proving successful "partly because of its novelty because neat packages and large advertising appropriations have made retail grocery selling an automatic procedure." The early supermarkets began as chains of grocer's shops. The development of supermarkets and other large grocery stores has meant that smaller grocery stores must create a niche market by selling unique, premium quality, or ethnic foods that are not found in supermarkets. A small grocery store may compete by locating in a mixed commercial-residential area close to, convenient for, its customers.
Organic foods are becoming a more popular niche market for the smaller stores. Grocery stores operate in many different styles ranging from rural family-owned operations, such as IGAs, to boutique chains, such as Whole Foods Market and Trader Joe's, to larger supermarket chain stores. In some places, food cooperatives, or "co-op" markets, owned by their own shoppers, have been popular. However, there has been a trend towards larger stores serving larger geographic areas. Large "all-in-one" hypermarkets such as Walmart and Meijer have forced consolidation of the grocery businesses in some areas, the entry of variety stores such as Dollar General into rural areas has undercut many traditional grocery stores; the global buying power of such efficient companies has put an increased financial burden on traditional local grocery stores as well as the national supermarket chains, many have been caught up in the retail apocalypse of the 2010s. However, many European cities are so dense in population and buildings, large supermarkets, in the American sense, may not replace the neighbourhood grocer's shop.
However, "Metro" shops have been appearing in town and city centres in many countries, leading to the decline of independent smaller shops. Large out-of-town supermarkets and hypermarkets, such as Tesco and Sainsbury's in the United Kingdom, have been weakening trade from smaller shops. Many grocery chains like Spar or Mace are taking over the regular family business model. Larger grocer complexes that include other facilities, such as petrol stations, is common in the United Kingdom, where major chains such as Sainsbury's and Tesco have many locations operating under this format. Traditional shops throughout Europe have been preserved because of their history and their classic appearance, they are sometimes still found in rural areas, although they are disappearing. Grocery stores in Latin America have been growing fast since the early 1980s. A large percentage of food sales and other articles take place in grocery stores today; some examples are the Chilean chains Cencosud, Walmart (Lid