Sneak Preview: Houston, 1925-1982

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Great Pumpkin
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Sneak Preview: Houston, 1925-1982

Post by Groceteria »

Unfortunately, the dates for which I currently have data end right before things got really interesting in Houston, with Safeway's acquisition of Weingarten's and subsequent exit from the market, etc. But even pre-1982 was still pretty interesting. More tweaks, notes, and commentary to follow:
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Re: Sneak Preview: Houston, 1925-1982

Post by pseudo3d »

A Houston library card allows you to access Chron's microfilms, which does fill in a lot of gaps. I can't say for sure about Safeway abandoning stores en masse in the 1970s (there were stores in the 1980s that closed, and in case, closed and reopened a few years later), but Kroger also had a fair amount of short-lived stores that lasted 5-10 years at most.

The Eagle stores (which I believed all closed in 1985) were actually owned by Lucky (as were a handful of Gemco stores).

Just to fill you on post-1982 history.

- In 1984, the Weingarten stores are divided up, some end up closing, some go to Rice, about half go to Safeway.
- In 1989, Safeway pulls out of Houston, stores are renamed as AppleTree following the brand's spin-off.
- In 1992, both H-E-B Pantry and Food Lion enter the market. Food Lion builds only about a dozen stores, with H-E-B Pantry building dozens, both in new-builds and retrofitted older grocery stores (and in at least one case, an industrial building)
- In 1994, AppleTree pulls out of the market, selling its stores to Fiesta, Randalls, Kroger, and independents (a few AppleTree stores remain the area until around 1997, when the last Houston store closes).
- In 1995, Albertsons enters the area officially (some stores had been built in outer suburbs, but none in Houston).
- In 1998, Rice Food Markets closes its other stores (Pricebusters, Rice Food Markets, Grocery World) to focus on Rice Epicurean Markets. [Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market also enters sometime around this era, but never gains much headway]
- In 1999, Randalls is bought by Safeway (a purge would follow in 2005, with stores closing ever since).
- In 2001, the first full-line H-E-B store opens (the remaining Pantry stores end up closing or rebranding).
- In 2002, Albertsons pulls out with most stores going to Kroger (in some cases, Kroger reopens the store the next day!)
- In 2012, Rice Epicurean closes all but one store, the other stores become The Fresh Market after downscaling locations and major renovations. (The Fresh Market pulls out a few years later).

Present day, H-E-B continues massive growth, with Kroger holding a strong but stagnating hold, a few Aldis cropping up, a strong Walmart showing (Supercenters were built in the main city starting around the early 2000s), and an increasingly diminishing Randalls presence.
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