Jay C was founded by John .C. Groub, in 1862. He and his wife Elizabeth migrated from Switzerland to Indiana. They opened the first Jay C store in Seymour, Indiana, on South Chestnut Street. The business turned out to be very successful, so they expanded their business and opened a large wholesale department store. The company grew very fast and by 1885, the profits peaked to $80,000.
John .C. Groub passed away in 1888. Before his death, he handed over the company to Theodore Groub and William Masters. Theodore was his son and William Masters was his son-in-law. William Masters also had good experience in managing supermarkets, as he had grocery stores of his own. Before his death, Theodore handed over the management of the company to his two sons, Thomas and John.
During the 1910s and 1920s the profits of the wholesale store business reduced considerably. So, they decided to leave grocery stores and tried their luck in retail industry. In 1927, the name of the company was changed to Jay C Food Store of Scottsburg. By late 1940, the company acquired 44 retail stores in Southern Indiana, which was a major expansion for the business. During 1960s and 1980s, the company stopped expanding its retail stores. Instead, the existing stores were renovated and made bigger to sell different varieties of food. The products they sold included bakery, dairy, deli, general grocery, frozen foods, meat, drugs, produce, seafood, snacks and liquor.
In 1994, the company had 900 employees. In 1997, Jay C had the largest number of employees among the retail stores in Indiana, with around 2700 employees. Due to financial struggles, the company was sold to The Kroger Co. in January 1999. Currently, Kroger maintains the 31 retail stores in Southern Indiana. The Kroger Co. also changed the name of some of their Food Plus stores to Jay C Plus Food stores.
Company headquarters: Seymour, Indiana, United States
Ownership: Owned by The Kroger Co.
Number of Stores: 31
Annual revenue: $2,356,000,000
Geography: Southern Indiana
Demography: Organic and green shoppers, value shoppers
Special Services: pharmacy, specialty grocery, personal finance, phone services, pet insurance.
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