Phoenix - Remembering Smitty's

Arizona, Hawaii, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas.

Moderator: Groceteria

jamcool
Senior Member
Posts: 213
Joined: 07 Nov 2005 16:10

Phoenix - Remembering Smitty's

Post by jamcool » 27 Apr 2006 00:30

Per Mitch Glaser

http://www.mitchglaser.com/journal/2005 ... ittys.html

--- In remembering_retail@yahoogroups.com, "storewanderer" wrote:
> Kroger has a lot of gems on their hands. It is just a question of
> bringing them together to work well. Frys and Fred Meyer have worked
> very successfully together since the failed Fred Meyer entry into
> Phoenix and they have opened a couple new Frys Marketplace Stores this
> year alone. I believe they have close to 20 Frys Marketplace Stores in
> metro Phoenix now.
>
> One full size Fred Meyer was built in Phoenix but never opened. Kroger
> cancelled the grand opening. The building was demolished.

Most of today's Fry's Marketplace stores were Smitty's stores, a homegrown chain of multi-department "supercenters" that was briefly absorbed into Fred Meyer. I'd like to take some time to remember Smitty's, which operated in Phoenix from 1964 to 1999.

I worked at Smitty's #7 (northwest corner of Baseline Road and McClintock Drive in Tempe) part-time from June 1994 to August 1997, then only during summer and winter breaks from college until January 1999. I witnessed a lot of changes in these years that foretold the end of the chain.

The first "Smitty's Big Town" opened at the southwest corner of Buckeye Road and 16th Street and was a large supermarket but not a true "supercenter” (it was later sold to Southwest Supermarkets, now it’s closed).

The second Smitty's opened at the northwest corner of McDowell Road and Granite Reef Road in a former discount department store. Smitty's "supercenter" mix of food and department store merchandise was first executed here (it was briefly a Smith’s – see below – then closed and demolished).

Smitty's continued to open stores at a rapid clip until the late 1970's, most of them "supercenters" in excess of 100,000 square feet. These stores included: a full supermarket with service meat, deli, bakery, and produce; liquor; health and beauty aids; pharmacy; domestics; housewares; furniture; men's, women's, and children's clothing; shoes; jewelry; toys; books; photo and electronics; cosmetics; hardware; automotive; lawn and garden; a full-service branch bank; a barber shop; a beauty salon; a restaurant; a snack bar; and a candy counter. The chain was agressive in the fast-growing suburbs, fending off competition. Smitty's was the undisputed #1 market leader for a long time.

In 1980 Clyde Smith sold Smitty's to a Canadian retailer, Steinberg. Long-time cashiers I worked with shared how the sale of the chain to a foreign company bothered customers in Phoenix, some of whom threatened to stop patronizing the stores.

Smitty's held on in the 1980's but began to lose ground by 1989. Steinberg's struggles in Canada deprived Smitty's of capital to expand and/or renovate existing stores. In the 1980's, Fry's, which had become part of Kroger, expanded or relocated many of its stores into large "food-drug combo units" and was aggressive about "following rooftops" in the suburbs. Smitty's other competitors in the late 1980's were Safeway, ABCO (a combination of former Alpha-Beta and Lucky stores in AZ), homegrown chain A.J. Bayless, homegrown chain Bashas', and the new warehouse-style chain, Megafoods. Albertsons and Smith's both entered the market in 1989, making Phoenix one of the most competitive grocery markets in the country. Smitty's fell to #2 behind Fry's.

Smitty's began to open new stores again before late 1994, when Steinberg sold it to The Yucaipa Cos. Yucaipa also acquired Ralphs in Southern California soon after. Yucaipa embarked on a remodeling and rebranding effort. The original Smitty's logo from 1962 was replaced with a red-white-and-blue logo to signal that the stores were back under American ownership. The store remodels were largely face-lifts, but in most instances GM sections were cut in favor of more grocery merchandise (Levi's jeans were dropped at this point).

In 1995, Yucaipa sold the reinvigorated Smitty's to Smith's Food and Drug. Smith's was reeling from its disastrous attempt to move into Southern California, and the merger allowed Yucaipa Cos. to take control of Smith's. The merger made for odd bedfellows: Smith's was #4 in the market (impressive considering it had only entered in 1989) and operated newer conventional "food-drug combos" in the 50K square foot range. Smitty's, on the other hand, was a distant #2 behind Fry's and operated older "supercenters" in the 100K square foot range. Smith's decided to keep the Smitty's name and format. Smith's private label products were placed on Smitty's shelves, and the grocery ads were combined. Smitty's did continue to have a seperate ad for its GM selection, however.

Smitty's employees resented that their stores were equipped with the "hand-me-downs" from the aborted Smith’s California division. The Smith's registers, computers, and other store equipment placed in Smitty's stores were obviously used did not function well. Working in the video rental department in 1996, I learned that most of our videotapes had come from stores in places like Santee and Corona.

In 1997, Yucaipa Cos. sold Smith's to Fred Meyer (it also sold Ralphs to Fred Meyer soon after and gained a controlling interest in the company). Fred Meyer saw opportunity in Smitty's and decided to tilt the chain more upscale and to reinvigorate the GM selection. 2 stores were remodeled into the new "Smitty's Marketplace" format in 1997, with the rest converted in the following 2 years. Smitty's was given another new logo; this one had a more "southerwestern" feel. The stores were far more extensively remodeled than they had been by Yucaipa a couple years earlier. The restaurants and snack bars, sadly, were closed at this time - they were replaced with indoor/outdoor garden centers (the outdoor portion usually taken from restaurant-adjacent parking).

According to long-time cashiers I worked with, Fred Meyer had seriously considered buying Smitty's several times over the years. Fred Meyer was obviously pleased at the results at the "Smitty's Marketplace" stores and saw room for future growth in the fast-growing city. Early in 1999, Fred Meyer absorbed Smitty's.

Smitty's had always been different from Fred Meyer: its stores were smaller, less "upscale," and had a more limited GM mix. In recognition of this fact, Fred Meyer renamed all Smitty's Marketplace stores "Fred Meyer Marketplace" and announced plans to build full-scale stores that would be known simply as "Fred Meyer." It was certainly a risk to replace a venerable Phoenix name with a banner no one had heard of, but Smitty's identity had become too blurred. Consider that Smitty's had operated under 4 different owners in 5 years, under 3 different logos in 5 years, and all its stores had been remodeled twice in 5 years. Fred Meyer felt a name change would reflect how much the stores and merchandise had changed (for the better).

The first full-scale Fred Meyer was planned for the northeast corner of Bethany Home Road and 35th Avenue, next-door to an older Smitty's that hadn't been remodeled into the "Marketplace" format. The store was partially built but never opened, and the Fred Meyer name is now long gone from the Phoenix retail landscape.

In 1999, Yucaipa Cos. sold Fred Meyer to Kroger. One of the selling points of the merger was the limited overlap between the two companies - the only market where they overlapped extensively was Phoenix. In Phoenix, Fred Meyer owned its namesake stores and the Smith's Food and Drug units, while Kroger owned Fry's, which mostly operated "food-drug combos" by this point.

By early 2000, Kroger had made some decisions about Phoenix. Most Smith's stores in Arizona were converted to Fry's units (Smith's, of course, continues to operate elsewhere). This was a smart move, considering that the Fry's name had operated in the market far longer and had an excellent reputation. Additionally, Fred Meyer's move into Arizona was stopped; the Fred Meyer Marketplace stores became Fry's Marketplace stores. Kroger preferred to operate its Arizona "supercenters" under a trusted local name while continuing to rely on Fred Meyer for its GM strategy. The full-scale Fred Meyer stores were unceremoniously dropped. For a long time, Arizona’s first Fred Meyer store (partially built, never opened) stood next to the Smitty's it was meant to replace - it too was abandoned. These 2 empty shells were replaced by a Wal-Mart Supercenter. This is appropriate because Kroger was probably afraid to have the Phoenix full-scale Fred Meyer stores compete against the growing number of Wal-Mart Supercenters in Arizona.

Some "new" Fry's Marketplace stores have opened, but they are nothing like Fred Meyer stores, nor are they like the Fry's Marketplace stores that are former Smitty's. They are larger than a combo but smaller than a supercenter (80K square feet or so). There is a good amount of GM, mainly housewares, small electrics, furniture, and garden - these stores are oriented towards the "Arizona lifestyle" and therefore emphasize "home and garden" as opposed to the full range of GM that Fred Meyer had planned to unleash on Phoenix.

The Smitty's story shows that Kroger has no intention of expanding Fred Meyer into new markets (the recent conversion of Fred Meyer stores in Utah to "Smith's Marketplace" units demonstrates this). Kroger does not intend to open Fred Meyer-like stores under other banners, either. Instead, Kroger is focusing on the "Marketplace" concept, larger than a "combo food-drug" but far smaller than a "supercenter." Kroger realizes it can't compete with Wal-Mart Supercenters and SuperTarget; it wants to offer something different, drawing on the GM strengths of Fred Meyer, the acquisition and distribution strengths of the nation's largest supermarket chain, and the loyalty strengths of homegrown store banners. Ralphs and Fry's, for example, have a lot of Kroger private label products, but Kroger sees no need to change the names on the front of the stores to match the products. Kroger is taking a very smart approach, learning what it can from Fred Meyer to make its grocery chains more competitive against Wal-Mart.

marshd1000
Senior Member
Posts: 179
Joined: 07 Nov 2005 13:49
Location: Seattle, WA
Contact:

Post by marshd1000 » 27 Apr 2006 11:17

One thing should be noted that in the conversion of the Utah Fred Meyer stores to Smith's Marketplace, the basic full Fred Meyer concept was kept. The former Utah Fred Meyer stores still have clothing and all of the other departments. Also it should be noted that there were also some Fred Meyer operations in Montana that were abandoned before Kroger took over. Fred Meyer operated in Kalispell and Columbia Falls, Montana. The Kalispell store was a small full line Fred Meyer. In fact, there used to be 3 Freddy's in Montana, with one also located in Polson. The Polson store was closed some time ago. So until Fred Meyer brought. Smith's into Montana, Freddy's presence was limited in Montana.
When Albertsons sold some stores in Montana in order to acquire Buttrey Foods, Fred Meyer bought them and branded them Smith's. After that, the Fred Meyer stores that were left were converted into conventional Smith's. Also notable about Fred Meyer was the fact that they did open one store in Chico, California. I had heard that they were scouting locations in Northern California and had bought land in Sacramento. But I heard that the regulations in California had scared them off. Now the southern most Freddy's is 3 miles from California in Brookings, OR. Freddys had even considered Edmonton, Alberta at one time for Canadian expansion. I had been told this by someone at the Fred Meyer headquarters years ago. I am curious as to why they hadn't looked at Vancouver, BC since that is a more logical extension of the Pacific Northwest market.

User avatar
storewanderer
Senior Member
Posts: 530
Joined: 07 Nov 2005 03:24
Location: Western United States
Contact:

Post by storewanderer » 27 Apr 2006 17:02

Smiths only has four stores in Montana now, the two former Fred Meyer stores and two former Buttrey "Big Fresh" stores, whatever those were.

Fred Meyer had land sites in Redding, Rancho Cordova, and Antelope, CA. Probably more too. I don't think the Redding site was owned, but it was to be the second CA store.

I suspect they would have expanded a bit more today had they not been purchased by KR, but that is purely speculation.

dcpeachy
Novice Member
Posts: 8
Joined: 10 Nov 2005 00:35

Post by dcpeachy » 27 Apr 2006 19:23

The Buttrey Big Fresh stores were one of the two major versions of Buttrey's after they left American Stores. After Buttrey and ASC split, they had to lose the Buttrey-Osco name, so they just went to Buttrey Food & Drug, making some minor changes to signage, but keeping the same font as Jewel-Osco. Just before Albertsons acquired Buttrey's, the stores were remodeled. Larger stores were renamed "Buttrey Big Fresh," and had a sun and mountains as a logo over one of the entrances. The stores reduced the general merchandise offerings in favor of expanded fresh foods, prepared foods, food court, etc. Many of them had branded areas in addition to the traditional food areas--i.e. one store had Cinnabon and Kenny Rogers Roasters among others. The other stores that were remodeled were rebranded Buttrey Fresh Foods and did not have the added food court areas. In most cases they didn't have the space to support a food court (i.e. a store in Harlem, MT, that only has 3 aisles).

Terry K
Full Member
Posts: 27
Joined: 16 Dec 2005 19:53
Contact:

Post by Terry K » 30 Apr 2006 01:25

Its also worth noting the Smitty's name and logo live on today:

http://www.myrpcs.com

There's a very long story behind this, but I'll give the gist of it...

Dave Trottier, who ran Smitty's of Missouri licensed the name from Arizona and copied the stores fully, down to the restaurant and all. Up until 1998, he owned and operated the chain, which was up to 10 stores. He sold them to Albertsons, who almost immediately rebranded them.

Then in 2001, Albertsons bailed from Southern Missouri, and Ramey Price Cutter bought the stores (with some help from AWG, their supplier). Trottier was planning a re-entry into the market by buying a failed DIllon/Kroger location, so they put the Smitty's name back on a few stores they got (namely on two ex-smitty's/albertsons in Joplin, MO and Waynesville, MO, as well as an acquired store in Lebanon, MO) to keep Trottier from re-using the name.

Trottier re-opened as Summer Fresh (http://www.summer-fresh.com) and is having decent success as it is now.

Terry K
Full Member
Posts: 27
Joined: 16 Dec 2005 19:53
Contact:

Post by Terry K » 30 Apr 2006 01:30

dcpeachy wrote:The Buttrey Big Fresh stores were one of the two major versions of Buttrey's after they left American Stores. After Buttrey and ASC split, they had to lose the Buttrey-Osco name, so they just went to Buttrey Food & Drug, making some minor changes to signage, but keeping the same font as Jewel-Osco. Just before Albertsons acquired Buttrey's, the stores were remodeled. Larger stores were renamed "Buttrey Big Fresh," and had a sun and mountains as a logo over one of the entrances. The stores reduced the general merchandise offerings in favor of expanded fresh foods, prepared foods, food court, etc. Many of them had branded areas in addition to the traditional food areas--i.e. one store had Cinnabon and Kenny Rogers Roasters among others. The other stores that were remodeled were rebranded Buttrey Fresh Foods and did not have the added food court areas. In most cases they didn't have the space to support a food court (i.e. a store in Harlem, MT, that only has 3 aisles).
3 aisles!? No wonder ASC dumped it!

The Buttrey Big Fresh was a 1996 prototype (they tried this in Cheyenne to no avail, btw). The first Buttrey locations I saw were in Cheyenne and I wasn't overly amused. They were so ASCish it wasn't funny. Butrey as I recall started out as a GM company who evolved into Food later on. I saw one Ex-Buttrey in Laramie that Albertsons had redone, and it still kept most of the ASCisms (one notible exception was that they'd found room for a pharmacy in it)

Buttrey Big Fresh might have worked if they'd committed more resources to it, but it really did seem like it was done on the cheap. Its my understanding a very small handful of the ex-big fresh stores are still open under Smiths or Albertsons (depending on who ended up with them)

kr.abs.swy
Full Member
Posts: 41
Joined: 01 May 2006 21:24

Post by kr.abs.swy » 01 May 2006 21:55

Storewanderer, I'm not sure that there are two Smith's in Montana that were Buttrey Big Fresh.

The one in Kalispell felt like it was new construction when I was in it four summers ago. I don't think it was a Buttrey because the Albertsons down the street definitely had been a Buttrey (that was in need of a little TLC).

The Smith's in Columbia Falls definitely used to be a Fred Meyer. It had the black and white square blocks pattern that Fred Meyer has used when I went in it in 2001. It was odd for me to go in a store that felt like Fred Meyer but only sold groceries. Columbia Falls had a new Super 1 Foods in 2004.

The Smith's in Bozeman felt like it was new construction, too, when I was in it a few summers ago. There was a Buttrey store in Bozeman's mall, as I recall. I think that store was a Smith's for a while, then Smith's moved a little ways up the road. (I'm not so sure about those facts). Albertsons must not have wanted that Buttrey because they had a store of their own very close by. I think that there's a Barnes & Noble where the Buttrey / Smith's was, but I'm really fuzzy on this. Bozeman has a Safeway, Albertsons, Smith's, Costco, Wal-Mart, and a couple of other grocers. There's something for everyone there.

I don't know anything about the Smith's in Great Falls, except that I saw its sign from the freeway.

The former Smith's in Butte felt like new construction, too, although I could have been fooled. That store closed a few years ago ... there was a Safeway, Albertsons, and Wal-Market near by.

I was in two Smith's stores in Billings in 2001 (I think). They both had Albertsons 1990s interiors, and there was an Albertsons close to each one that had been a Buttrey. Smith's closed both stores (one was in the Heights). I don't know what happened to them since then. In January, I was in an Albertsons in Billings that must have been a Buttrey Big Fresh. It was definitely unique, although fundamentally, it was just a big grocery store.

I really got the feeling that Smith's must have gotten the Billings stores for pennies (one was right next to a Wal-Market, the other one was pretty old) when Albertsons bought Buttrey and figured they'd try operating in Billings, but if it didn't work out, they hadn't invested or lost much. That's all my own theory, though.

There was a store in Helena that used to be Buttrey, then was Smith's, and was empty when I was there last June. Smith's had left the Smith's sign on the store, which I thought was odd. It had been vacant for at least a little while. They must not have any big plans to return to Helena.

I can't think of any other ex-Smith's in Montana, but I've never lived there ...

Anyways, Montana's kind of weird in the grocery store department. Some of the towns have Safeway (Missoula, Butte, Bozeman, and other smaller ones), others have Smith's (Kalispell, Great Falls and Bozeman). The bigger towns all have Albertsons, some of which (but not all) used to be Buttery. There are a few Costcos, plenty of Wal-Marts, and some local stores (County Market, for example, which I believe is supplied by SuperValu). I saw a Rosauers and Tidyman's in Kalispell, too.

OK, I'll stop now ... one of these days I'll post some pictures of the dead IGA/Buttrey/Smith's in Cody, Wyoming. That store was a piece of work. Wal-Mart killed it. Or maybe just the fact that it was nasty.

User avatar
tesg
Senior Member
Posts: 179
Joined: 06 Nov 2005 17:07
Contact:

Post by tesg » 01 May 2006 23:38

A little more fill-in on the Buttrey/Albertson's/Smith's triangle (which as I write has turned more into a "Recent History of Cheyenne Grocers")...

Smith's picked up several old Albertson's as they relocated into old Buttreys, which were typically in better shape than the existing Albertson's. It was reported Albertson's made the Smith's deal in order to complete the Buttrey sale (anti-trust stuff).

Albertson's relocated two stores (one was actually a Max Foods) into the Cheyenne Buttrey and Buttrey Big n' Fresh (both rebranded Albertson's). Cheyenne had a third Albertson's that was unaffected by the changes.

Smith's moved into the old stores with no remodels and cheap signage. Same story in Laramie...Smith's moved into a small old Albertson's that dated back to the Albertson's/Payless combo days. The Payless/Rite-Aid was also still operating. It was clear to me that Smith's was testing the waters and didn't have any intention of putting money into the operations unless they showed some serious potential.

They didn't.

The Cheyenne stores closed within a year. Laramie actually held on for a couple of years.

Nash-Finch, who had previously operated a Food Bonanza in Cheyenne, took over the two Cheyenne Smith's and converted them to Econo Foods with full remodels. The former Max Foods, which was in a decades old shopping development that was otherwise abandoned, didn't last long. The other location just closed in January, blaming the new Wal-Mart Supercenter for its demise. Kroger-owned King Sooper's also entered the market a few years ago. Safeway rounds out the market.

And just as it was before, you have to go west to Rock Springs to find a Smith's.

The Albertson's that moved into the Buttrey Big and Fresh has also since closed.

User avatar
storewanderer
Senior Member
Posts: 530
Joined: 07 Nov 2005 03:24
Location: Western United States
Contact:

Post by storewanderer » 02 May 2006 00:26

Well, I just checked the divest list. It looks like Great Falls is the only Big Fresh that Smith's retained.

I assumed that Smiths did not build any new stores in Montana. It looks like the location in Bozeman is a new store, replacing a prior Big Fresh. Different address for present store than what is on the divest list. This will teach me to look more closely at addresses.

That would make the other two stores former Fred Meyer units.

http://www.ftc.gov/opa/1998/09/albertso.htm

I am glad that Smiths didn't spend too much money on this expansion into Montana, since it seems they have gotten rid of a lot of stores. Maybe the biggest problem with these stores was they were a bit small for Smiths. Smiths seems to be used to a larger store. I've only seen one Smiths that was under 40,000 square feet (former Foodtown), and the place was bursting with merchandise (perhaps it being the only store for two hours was part of the reason for this).

I wish Ralphs had not spent so much money on their entry into NorCal.

Of course, Ralphs completely failed in NorCal, despite significant capex spending to improve former Albertsons units.

I wonder how Smiths would have done, had they been given the resources Ralphs was given to spend in NorCal, with these stores.

On a side note tseg, gas station 10 miles out of town added a Taco Time. First time I've had TT locally in about 6 years. Exciting.

marshd1000
Senior Member
Posts: 179
Joined: 07 Nov 2005 13:49
Location: Seattle, WA
Contact:

Post by marshd1000 » 02 May 2006 10:57

I believe that I have read that when it came to Smith's in Kalispell, that it is actually a new building. However that site was originally a small full-line Fred Meyer. I had read that they had converted that into a Smith's and got rid of the clothes, etc. But then they later closed that building and tore it down and built the present Smith's. But while I don't live in Montana, I know a little bit about the history of that building, as I used to work for Fred Meyer. That store along with the other Fred Meyer locations in Montana were originally opened as B&B stores. B&B started out as a supermarket and eventually became like Fred Meyer and was ultimately bought by Freddy's. I believe that Kalispell was where B&B started. So for that store to just become a food and drug store again, it may have been too difficult of a design for that simple use.

jamcool
Senior Member
Posts: 213
Joined: 07 Nov 2005 16:10

Post by jamcool » 02 May 2006 18:19

Dave Trottier, who ran Smitty's of Missouri licensed the name from Arizona and copied the stores fully, down to the restaurant and all. Up until 1998, he owned and operated the chain, which was up to 10 stores. He sold them to Albertsons, who almost immediately rebranded them.

Then in 2001, Albertsons bailed from Southern Missouri, and Ramey Price Cutter bought the stores (with some help from AWG, their supplier). Trottier was planning a re-entry into the market by buying a failed DIllon/Kroger location, so they put the Smitty's name back on a few stores they got (namely on two ex-smitty's/albertsons in Joplin, MO and Waynesville, MO, as well as an acquired store in Lebanon, MO) to keep Trottier from re-using the name.

I noticed the ABS-style font on the building on the home page!

kr.abs.swy
Full Member
Posts: 41
Joined: 01 May 2006 21:24

Post by kr.abs.swy » 02 May 2006 22:56

The news release announcing which stores would be divested said that there was one market in Montana where Albertsons did not compete with Buttrey, and two in Wyoming. One of the Wyoming markets was definitely Jackson Hole, where there was a Safeway that became Farmer Jack that became Albertsons. The Albertsons moved down the street a few years ago into a brand new store. Then a little while later, a new Smith's opened. (It was new construction). There's a little Food Town, too. I'm guessing the other Wyoming market that had Albertsons but not Buttrey was Rock Springs, but I'm not sure.

I'm also not sure about the Montana market. Miles City would be my first guess. Does anyone have any ideas? It wasn't any of the bigger cities.

Thanks everyone for helping fill in the history of Smith's in Montana. It's an interesting mix of lineage: a former Fred Meyer grocery store, new construction in a town that used to have a full-line Fred Meyer, new construction in a town where the Smith's used to be Buttrey, and a former Buttrey Big Fresh that somehow has held on.

Does anyone know if Smith's made any investments in the Great Falls store? Does it still have the Buttrey interior?

dcpeachy
Novice Member
Posts: 8
Joined: 10 Nov 2005 00:35

Post by dcpeachy » 03 May 2006 07:48

The last time I was there, the Great Falls store still had the Big Fresh interior. It was almost brand new at the time of the merger. The store was new construction as part of the Great Falls Marketplace (big box center). The store was probably the closest thing to the ideal Big Fresh that Buttrey ever got.

Terry K
Full Member
Posts: 27
Joined: 16 Dec 2005 19:53
Contact:

Post by Terry K » 10 May 2006 02:26

jamcool wrote:
I noticed the ABS-style font on the building on the home page!
That IS the albertsons font. They only removed the Alberstons name, kept the look (this store had the aisles straightened recently, but otherwise is in Albertsons 2001 decor)

That is the Grocery Palace as I call it. That's the only new Albertsons they built while they were here. It was open 18 months before it was sold to RPCS.

Terry K
Full Member
Posts: 27
Joined: 16 Dec 2005 19:53
Contact:

Post by Terry K » 10 May 2006 02:30

tesg wrote:A little more fill-in on the Buttrey/Albertson's/Smith's triangle (which as I write has turned more into a "Recent History of Cheyenne Grocers")...


The Cheyenne stores closed within a year. Laramie actually held on for a couple of years.

Kroger-owned King Sooper's also entered the market a few years ago. Safeway rounds out the market.

And just as it was before, you have to go west to Rock Springs to find a Smith's.

The Albertson's that moved into the Buttrey Big and Fresh has also since closed.
Actually, Smiths pulled out of Cheyenne due to FTC orders. They sold those two to Nash so King could go through with its plans to enter Cheyenne. (Cheyenne was planned by King prior to Smiths arrival)

Laramie was a dump. Complete and utter dump. The Albertsons that Smiths got was in such disrepair it was pathetic.

Post Reply