Smith's in El Paso

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Smith's in El Paso

Post by pseudo3d »

OK, help me out here, Smith's had stores in El Paso, Texas when Fred Meyer was bought by Kroger (I remember reading in several places that Smith's had stores in Texas), which had stores in the eastern part of the state (Texas is huge, in El Paso, California is closer to you than Houston), which there's a list of here. The list is obviously out of date (note that it lists Albertsons stores in San Antonio, they pulled out 15 years ago), and it's been of interest trying to collect the store numbers for Albertsons' defunct San Antonio division, but it lists Smith's in El Paso, which they aren't anymore. I picked a random store, 5200 Montana Avenue, and it's now an Albertsons. While they have since repainted it, does this look like an Albertsons to you? (It's also pretty big at 74k square feet, bigger than the ~60k square foot Albertsons prototype)

The other two stores listed became an Albertsons and a gym (which did not become an Albertsons). When did Smith's close? It's a bit strange that Albertsons would pick it up due to their big expansion plans coming to a swift end in 2002 (yeah, they built a few new stores in existing markets and picked up Shaw's and Bristol Farms, but that was the functional end of Albertsons' expansionist era), but I guess stranger things have happened.

The only thing that I can find is that the El Paso Times reports that until February 2003, they were "Rainbow Foods" owned by Fleming (yes, the same Rainbow Foods later owned by Roundy's), though the news articles go back to only January 1999, suggesting that the Smith's listings are even older (and actually pre-dated Kroger's purchase of FM, though articles of FM and Smith's in 1997 do mention that Smith's empire went as far to El Paso, Texas). So when did Smith's pull out of Texas, and why can't find ANYTHING about it? Usually Supermarket News or some other store history page mentions it...

EDIT: Another source says the Smith's stores sold to Fleming in 2001.
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Re: Smith's in El Paso

Post by KrogerTexas »

Not surprising that the Smith stores were sold. They were a long ways from a distribution center and were an island. When the merger happened a few problems popped up with the El Paso stores and some of their back office operations had to be moved to Houston with operational control being handled by Smith's.
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