Even More Stores
Note that this is not an exhaustive list of every supermarket chain ever, nor even of most of them. It is a work in progress. There is more attention to North Carolina and California, because these are the areas I know. I'm also more interested in LARGER regional and national chains and chains with some HISTORY; independents, very small chains, and those in operation only for the past decade or so will probably not be represented here.
If the store you're looking for is not listed here, it may have its own page.
Please contact me if you'd like to write a capsule for this section.
Midwestern chain acquired in 1955 by Colonial Stores.
Andronico's Park & Shop
Begun as a general-purpose chain in Berekely CA, these stores now operate as high-end gourmet markets around the Bay Area.
Southeastern chain owned by Ahold. Operates many former Kroger stores.
Greensboro NC chain, started by George Hutchens, began operations in the early 1950s, changed its name to "Food World" about 1972 (possibly due to pressure or expansion plans which would caused conflict with the Ohio Big Bear chain), and was merged into Harris-Teeter in 1984.
Big Bear (Ohio/West Virginia)
The first real supermarket in the Midwest opened in 1934. After many year of innovation, Big Bear was acquired by Penn Traffic in 1989. The chain went under in late 2003, with stores sold to Giant Eagle and Kroger, among others.
Big Bear (Southern California)
Founded by John Mabee with his first store, Johnny's Market on 43rd Street in San Diego, in the 1940s. The chain grew to over 30 stores before being sold in the early 1990s.
Big Bear (Washington)
This chain in the Seattle area was acquired by Lucky Stores in the late 1950s or early 1960s as its entry into the region.
Louisina-based chain with distinctive architecture.
Big Star Foods (see Pender Grocery Company)
Massachusttes chain. Originally operated as Y Cash Stores.
California Central Valley chain with locations in Stockton and Fresno among others. Defunct by the late 1950s.
Deep south chain which operates under several names.
Buttrey Foods (see Lucky Stores)
Louisiana chain named after the location of its first store. Eventually purchased by National Stores and retooled as an economy outlet. Many National outlets in Louisiana were rebranded to this brand in the 1970s.
Cardinal Stores (see Lucky Stores)
Alaska chain now owned by Safeway.
Former Detroit-area chain.
Warehouse franchise seen in various parts of the country.
Louisiana and Gulf Coast chain. Sold to Winn-Dixie along with Jitney Jungle in 2001.
Longtime Kansas City chain currently owned by Kroger.
Dixie Home Stores (see Winn-Dixie)
Illinois chain now owned by Safeway.
Eagle Food Centers/Eagle Country Markets (see Lucky Stores)
I don't know much about these stores, which apparently operated in random shopping centers in the western states. I have a suspicion it may have been a franchise operation.
FAD (Food at a Discount) (see Alpha Beta)
Farmer Jack (see A&P)
Finast (see First National Stores)
Originally a chain of stores in Fresno CA, operating from the 1940s to the early 1970s, this name was also used in the late 1970s and early 1980s on some stores owned by Save-Mart in the Stockton CA area.
Baltimore area chain which grew from a corner store established in 1947. First supermarket opened in 1960. Purchased several Big Valu stores from Penn Fruit in 1976, fourteen Pantry Pride stores in 1981 from Food Fair, and ten Basics Food Warehouse stores and two Grand Union stores in Washington. By 1985, when the company was sold to Super Rite Foods, it was the second largest chain in Baltimore, with 48 stores under the Food-A-Rama, Super Super, Cost-saver Food Warehouse, and Basics Food Warehouse names.
Franchised warehouse operation, operated by Fleming Foods in Northern California and Ralphs in Southern California. Other owners nationwide.
Food Emporium (see A&P)
Established in Salisbury NC as Food Town, and pioneered the "every day low price" concept. Stores renamed in the 1970s to avoid competition with existing Food Town chains in new market areas. Purchased Hannaford Brothers in 1998.
Food Town (NC, see Food Lion)
New name for Big Bear (North Carolina) as of 1972. Acquired by Harris-Teeter in 1984.
Food World (Deep South) (see Bruno's)
I believe this is a franchise concept, as I've seen locations scattered around the country, all with the same (or similar) logo, but all with a rather "independent" feel. There are several locations in Fresno CA, most of them in locations originally operated by other chains.
Chain of small stores usually in either run-down urban areas, or in small towns. Acquired remants of Thorofare chain in 1982 based out of Pittsburgh. Known to operate in PA, MD, and WV.
Warehouse stores operated by Ralphs in northern California. Most were formerly branded Food4Less.
Innovative Portland chain which spread across the Pacific northwest with combination stores. Acquired Ralphs in 1998 and was acquired by Kroger the same year.
Texas and New Mexico chain, established 1929 and recently acquired by Fleming Foods.
Gemco (see Lucky Stores)
Southern California chain which also operates what appear to be the only remaning Mayfair Markets.
Pennsylvania chain recently purcahsed by Safeway.
Based in Carlisle, PA with a strong presence around the capital area of PA. Purchased Martin's Food Markets in 1960's and purchased by Ahold in 1980. Martin's and Giant comprise over 150 stores throughout 4 states, which penetrate into Philadelphia and Baltimore trade areas. Giant stores of Maryland were a separate company until their purchase by Ahold in 1998.
Pittsburgh chain established in 1931, which has spread into Ohio and Maryland.
Former Detroit-area chain.
Large Texas chain.
Longtime Nashville chain.
New England and southeastern chain with roots dating to 1883. Currently a part of Delhaize/Food Lion.
Midwestern chain, centered in Iowa.
Southern California chain eventually purchased by Ralphs.
Established 1963, centered in the Carolinas and Georgia. Built distinctive, yet gaudy yellow and orange fronted stores throughout 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s. Ingles is now redefining itself, building bigger stores in bigger areas including expansion to the Atlanta Metro, and becoming more of a big-city type player.
Established in Chicago, late 1800s. Acquired by American Stores in 1984. Currently operates many Jewel-Osco combination stores.
Jim Dandy Markets (see Lucky Stores)
Deep south chain recently purchased by Winn-Dixie.
Supermarket pioneer. Widely regarded as America's first volume supermarket. Chain still operates in the northeast.
Denver-based chain owned by Kroger.
Kohl's (see A&P)
Kwik-Chek (see Winn-Dixie)
MacMarr/Mutual/Modern Stores (see Safeway)
Margaret Ann Stores (see Winn-Dixie)
Southern california chain owned by Kroger Stores. Disappeared in the 1970s or 1980s. Not to be confused with the currently-operating Texas chain of the same name.
Martha Washington Stores
West coast chain of the 1920s.
Fresno CA chain of the 1950s and 1960s, purchased by Save-Mart.
Family-owned midwestern superstore chain.
Memco (see Lucky Stores)
Nob Hill Foods (see Raley's)
New York City chain, also operates in Philadelphia.
Pavilions (see Vons)
Early discounter still active in the northeast.
Chain which existed in San Francisco and Northern California prior to 1930. Some stores purchased by Safeway.
Pacific Northwest chain currently owned by Kroger.
Northern California and Nevada chain. Also owns Bel-Air and Nob Hill Foods, as of the 1990s.
Texas chain currently owned by Safeway. Also operates Tom Thumb stores.
Voluntary chain established by independent grocers to compete more efficiently with large chains.
Sanitary Stores (see Safeway)
Save-A-Lot (see SuperValu)
Shop & Save (see SuperValu)
Skaggs Cash Stores (see Safeway)
Skaggs Alpha Beta (see Alpha Beta)
Southwestern chain owned by Kroger. Stores in Southern California were originally known as Food Giant, and later Smith's Food King. Sold out to Albertsons in the 1980s, and then tried, unsuccessfully, to re-enter Southern California market in the 1990s. Currently based in Salt Lake City.
Midwestern chain, perhaps based in Indiana.
Los Angeles-based chain founded by Cleo and Leo Stater in Yucaipa, California in the mid 30's, now headquarted in Colton, California, has around 100 or so stores.
Grocery distributor and operator of branded stores in the upper midwest. Also operates Cub Foods, Shop & Save, and Save-A-Lot stores, among others. Some stores are franchised.
Super Saver (see Lucky Stores)
Table Supply Stores (see Winn-Dixie)
Chain centered around Pittsburgh and Youngstown OH. Eventually expanded to Cincinnati. Also operated under trade names of Evans and Pennyfare. Dismantled by 1982, remainder of Pittsburgh stores sold to Foodland. Small stores even by standards of the day.
There's a good collection of Thorofare photos and memorabilia at the Ohio Grocery site.
Tom Thumb (see Randall's)
Washington state chain which no longer exists.
Warehouse Economy Outlet (WEO) (see A&P)
Midwestern chain owned by Ahold. Operates many former First National stores.
Large northeastern chain.
Waldbaum's (see A&P)
Based in Sunbury, PA with stores in 6 states. Chain dates to 1912, and operates stores under the King's, Mr. Z's, and Cressler's banners. Chain also over 150 stores, proving dominant in capital area of PA. Tried expanding to DC and Baltimore in 1980's but the division has recently collapsed. Operates in PA, MD, WV, VA, NY and NJ.
Early San Francisco and California chain. Disappeared by 1930.
Western discount and grocery retailer which disappeared in the 1970s. Few details. Some stores may have had Safeway locations attached or within. Stores liquidated in 1973 so parent company could concentrate on its other chain: Toys-R-Us.
Employee-owned west coast discounter.
Winn & Lovett (see Winn-Dixie)
Former Detroit-area chain which also operated stors in Texas. Eventually sold out to Kroger.
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