The stores that eventually became Giant Eagle started out as a small chain of stores that were founded by three families. That chain was sold and the three families joined two others and in 1931, Giant Eagle was born. The company is still privately held by the five families and a grandson of one of the founders is chairman and CEO today. The company headquarters are in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Giant Eagle operates under several banners: Giant Eagle, Market District, GetGo, Giant Eagle Express, and Valu King.
Giant Eagle stores are large supermarkets that offer a deli, bakery, drive-through pharmacy, banking, and cooking demonstrations from Giant Eagle Kitchens. The stores also offer Eagle’s Nest, an in-store, supervised learning and activity center to keep children occupied while the parents shop.
Their upscale store, Market District, is designed around the idea of an open European marketplace. The products are those not normally found in a regular supermarket. They carry gourmet food from all over the world and often have cooking demonstrations and special events by Giant Eagle Kitchen.
GetGo are convenience stores/fuel stations that offer fresh made sandwiches from the Giant Eagle Kitchens. This sets them apart from the competition of 7-11 and other convenience stores in the area. These locations also have GoWet car wash facilities, and free WiFi.
Giant Eagle Express is the in-between market. They are smaller than the Giant Eagle stores, but bigger than the GetGo stores. The have much the same amenities as Giant Eagle, but on a smaller scale. They offer a café with freshly prepared sandwiches, Market District coffee, salad bar, free WiFi and GetGo gasoline.
Valu King is a market chain of six stores owned by Giant Eagle and they serve communities in Pennsylvania and Ohio.
The Giant Eagle store locations and number of stores are as follows.
Western Pennsylvania………………….. 99
Northeastern & Eastern Ohio………… 122
West Virginia………………………………. 2
There are 156 company owned stores and 69 franchised locations. In addition, there are 128 GetGo fuel stations.
The Giant Eagle chain established several customer loyalty programs such as Fuelperks! and Foodperks! Customers earn cash off services by buying fuel and groceries at Giant Eagle facilities. Giant Eagle also issues its own credit card through Citizens Financial Group, with which holders can earn perks when using it in-store. There are 500,000 users registered at GiantEagle.com, and over 250,000 Giant Eagle Advantage Card holders.
The supermarket chain has won numerous awards for community involvement, environmental programs, and many other awards. Late in 2007, Giant Eagle’s division in Columbus, Ohio, was ranked in the top 10 places to work. It has also received an award as Grocery Headquarters’ Retailer of the Year and the EPA Energy Star Retail Partner of the year award. Forbes magazine has rated Giant Eagle 29th in the biggest private corporations listing. They are also sponsors of several community support programs. Currently the company holds 1.1% of the food retail market and is ranked 19th.
By the end of the fiscal year ending July of 2010, the company reached $8.2 billion in total sales and the stores employed approximately 36,000 people. Each supermarket has 50 to 375 team members.