In 1939, Joe Albertson and partners L.S. Skaggs and Tom Cuthbert opened their first one-stop shopping market, which they named Albertson’s Food Center, in Boise, Idaho. By 1945, Joe Albertson incorporated the store and expanded it into Montana, Oregon, Utah and Washington, and the company eventually went public.
The Albertson’s chain moved into California in 1964 and purchased Greater All American Markets. It then partnered with Skaggs Drug Centers Inc. to open combination food-and-drug stores — a trend that continued until 1976, when the company started to build what is known today as “Superstores” that carry a broader line of products and services.
Between 1977 and 1979, Albertson’s and Skaggs dissolved their partnership, and Albertson’s began building a warehouse-style store for commercial and public use. It eventually established the first fully mechanized distribution center in Portland and began expanding at a rapid rate, acquiring 74 Jewel Osco food-and-drug stores in Arkansas, Florida, Oklahoma and Texas from American Stores Company in 1992. Seven years later, Albertson’s acquired Salk Lake City-based American Stores Company — which operated 288 combination stores, 514 supermarkets and 783 stand-alone drugstores — for $11.7 billion.
To gain Federal Trade Commission approval, the company agreed to divest 145 stores and four store sites in overlapping markets in California, Nevada and New Mexico. This was believed to be the largest retail-merger divestiture ever.
With everything going well, Albertson’s continued expanding, and in 2004 acquire the Shaw’s and Star Markets chains in New England for $2.5 billion. That year Albertson’s was the second largest operator of grocery stores in the United States, trailing only the Kroger Co. In overall food retailing it also trails Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the leader in that category.
Albertson’s operated more than 2,500 stores in 37 states. The retailing stores include about 1,350 combination food-and-drug stores and some 420 conventional supermarkets under the Albertsons, Acme Markets, Jewel Food Stores, Shaw’s, and Star Markets names. The company also operated two dozen warehouse stores (Max Foods and Super Saver Foods) and more than 700 stand-alone drugstores (Osco Drugs and Sav-on Drugs). More than 230 of the company’s stores also include onsite gasoline stations.
Succumbing to competition, Albertsons’s sold itself to SUPERVALU in 2006, and has continued to reduce in size. There are now about 220 stores left in the southern U.S.
Headquarters: Boise, Idaho
No. of Stores: 220
No. of Employees: 36,815
Geography: Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Louisiana, New Mexico, Texas
Special Services: Bakery, dairy, deli, frozen foods, general grocery, meat, pharmacy, produce, seafood, snacks, liquor, gasoline
Acme Markets Inc., American Drug Stores Inc., American Food and Drug Inc., American Stores Company, Jewel Companies Inc., Jewel Food Stores Inc., Jewel Osco Southwest Inc., Osco Drug of Massachusetts Inc., Osco Drug of Texas Inc.
Large selection of national brands and Albertsons own name brand products.