NEW: Montgomery AL locations, 1925-1959

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Groceteria
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NEW: Montgomery AL locations, 1925-1959

Post by Groceteria » 16 Aug 2018 21:33

Lots of street renumberings in the early 1950s made this one especially challenging. Unfortunately, my data stops in 1959, just as things were getting interesting as Delchamp's and Winn-Dixie took over a market that had long belonged to H.G. Hill.
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Re: NEW: Montgomery AL locations, 1925-1959

Post by rich » 17 Aug 2018 15:32

HG Hill's withdrawal from a huge territory has struck me as one of those potentially great, untold stories in retail. I lived in Nashville when they were running a shrinking, but still very popular chain, which a loyal clientele, albeit one who seemed older than the folks who shopped at Kroger.

Their management was very conservative--relatively good perishables but no service departments. The store stock looked like it mostly dated from the 70s or before (this being 1990) and closings on Sunday, for what I assumed were religious reasons. They once had had a great many 13K sf stores, probably from the 50s, in many parts of Nashville but closed the last one of those ~1989, which was close to the Vanderbilt University campus. I think some of these stores closed after a boycott by African-Americans, who were not being employed in Hill's stores in their neighborhoods.

The family exited the super market business a number of years ago (I think somewhere in the 2000s) and operate as a real estate company, which seems to be pretty common end for family owned retail companies, particularly department stores (places as different as Pizitz in Birmingham and Alexander's in NYC were sold or liquidated while the family used real estate holdings to move their finances in a different direction). They probably sold out after the scion and namesake of the Hill fortune died---I remember driving past his house in the West Meade section of Nashville quite often, with his name on the mailbox.
Last edited by rich on 19 Aug 2018 19:43, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: NEW: Montgomery AL locations, 1925-1959

Post by Groceteria » 17 Aug 2018 21:13

H.G. Hill has struck me as very odd since I've been doing more research in their area as well. There's not really a lot about their history online. They had a wide frootprint at one point, including New Orleans. Per the website for the current version of the company, they once had over 500 stores. It looks like their meltdown started in the late 1950s; that's when they disappeared from Montgomery and also apparently sold the New Orleans stores to Winn-Dixie.

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Re: NEW: Montgomery AL locations, 1925-1959

Post by rich » 19 Aug 2018 19:44

Given their conservative management and pulling out in the 50s, I wonder if they were concerned that transitioning to supers would have required taking on debt.

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Re: NEW: Montgomery AL locations, 1925-1959

Post by Groceteria » 07 Sep 2019 22:07

Montgomery is now updated through 2015. All the different Bruno's banners are parsed as best I could...

https://www.groceteria.com/place/us-alabama/montgomery/

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