Albertsons was founded in 1939 by Joe Albertson and is headquartered in Boise, Idaho. As of 2020, Albertsons has approximately 325,000 employees. The company generated over $62 billion in sales during 2019.
Albertsons is not owned by Kroger. They have reached in massive size from its acquisition of Safeway Inc. for $9.2 billion, and they are currently the second largest grocery store chain in the US just behind Kroger.
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They are in 29 different states under 12 different names or banners. Currently, there are 2,253 stores that are owned by Albertsons across the US. That number may vary depending on how many may open or close over a given time.
In addition to its massive grocery store chain, Albertsons owns several other companies. Perhaps in part to reflect is conglomerate nature, Albertsons removed the apostrophe from its name back in 2002. What follows are the companies that Albertsons owns and how much that they were purchased for where that information is available.
Founded in 1891 in Philadelphia, Acme Markets operates 163 stores mostly in the northeastern US. This includes Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Delaware, and Connecticut. Over its first century, Acme Markets, which is sometimes known simply as Acme, expanded its brand and even acquired other stores. However, the company was sold to Skaggs Companies in 1979 and ultimately by Albertsons in 1999.
Also known as Andronico’s Community Markets, this supermarket chain was founded in 1929 by Frank Andronico. It remained a single store until the 1950s when it became known as Park and Shop. The name switched back to Andronico’s in the late 1980s and expanded to serve much of the San Francisco area.
However, the company went bankrupt in 2011 and was purchased by Renwood Opportunities Fund. And while the chain survived and grew, it was purchased by Safeway in 2016, a subsidiary of Albertsons by that time.
Balducci’s Food Lover’s Market current operates six grocery stores with its headquarters in Germantown, Maryland. Founded in 1916, Balcducci’s was the first grocer in New York to sell premium quality foods. The chain expanded to cover New York, Connecticut, and Maryland.
However, in 2009 Balducci’s was purchased by Kings Food Markets and subsequently that company was purchased by Albertsons.
A supermarket chain of 24 grocery stores located in Alaska, Carrs was founded in 1950 by Laurence Carr and his brother Bernard. The company expanded through the 1950s through the 1990s across Alaska. However, it was merged with Safeway in 1999. The popularity of the name was such that it was retained despite being part of Safeway. Carrs-Safeway was merged with Albertsons as part of Safeway as a whole.
Founded in 1933 by Ben and Dorothy Haggen, the grocery story and pharmacy got its start in Bellingham, Washington. Over the next several decades, Haggen became the largest grocery retailer in all of Washington state. By 2014, Haggen had agreed to purchase 146 grocery stores that included Albertsons that would’ve expanded the company into Oregon, California, Nevada, and even Arizona.
However, the company went bankrupt the following year and the 29 remaining stores were acquired by Albertsons for $106 million in 2016.
Jewel-Osco was founded in 1899 as a door-to-door coffee delivery service. Three years later it became the Jewel Tea Company and quickly expanded. However, the aftermath of World War I put the company in dire straits. However, the Great Depression was a boon to the company and soon it expanded into grocery stores.
Jewel-Osco was taken over by American Stores on June 14th, 1984. It was purchased for $1.15 billion. It was as part of American Stores that Jewel-Osco was acquired by Albertsons. It currently has 188 stores located in Illinois, Iowa, and Indiana.
Kings Food Markets
Headquartered in Parsippany, New Jersey, Kings Food Markets was founded in 1936. Today, the chain has expanded to 19 stores that can be found in Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York. The chain remained relatively modest for decades, although it did purchase Balducci’s in 2009. An upscale grocery store, Kings Food Markets remained quite successful for a long time.
However, Kings Food Markets could not survive the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic. The shutdown forced the grocery chain to go bankrupt. Albertsons stepped in and made the purchase for $96.4 million under its Acme banner.
Founded in 1935 with its first store opening in San Leandro, California, Lucky Stores currently has 68 locations across Northern and Central California. The grocery stores are noted for being community-oriented, providing specific goods and services for each location.
The company maintained its independence until 1988 when it was purchased by the American Stores Company. This caused a realignment with some Alpha Beta stores taking the Lucky name. In 1998, the American Stores Company was purchased by Albertsons for $11.7 billion.
Pavilions is one of the newer grocery chains having been founded in 1985. Pavilions is an offshoot of Vons but focusing more on upscale customers and features organic and specialty foods along with wine. The first Pavilions was opened in Garden Grove, California and it has expanded to 26 stores across the Southern California area.
As with Vons, the company was purchased by Safeway in 1997 and subsequently by Albertsons in 2014.
Founded in 1966, Randalls currently operates 32 supermarkets in the state of Texas. By 1990, it was the fastest growing company in all of Houston. However, like several other grocery chains, it was purchased by Safeway in 1999. The company did retain its name, but it started to fall off in terms of growth. As with all other Safeway acquisitions, Randalls became part of Albertsons when it was purchased in 2014.
One of the most recognizable grocery store chains, Safeway began in 1915out of American Falls, Idaho. The company expanded quickly across the US, becoming most famous for its red “S” logo. For decades, Safeway retained its independence and even purchased smaller grocery store chains across the US. And for many years Safeway was a rival to Albertsons and Kroger’s, serving communities around the country.
However, by the 2010s, the company started running into financial difficulty which eventually led to it being sold to Albertsons for $9.2 billion. This was one of the larger purchases in recent years by a maor corporation. The sale includes Safeway and the many grocery store chains it has acquired over the years.
Shaw’s and Star Market
One of the older grocery store chains in the US, Shaw’s and Star Market began in 1860. Located in the New England area of the US, it began as two separate chains before being purchased by J Sainsbury in 1987. The two names were merged into one and continued to serve the New England area until 2004 when they were purchased by Albertsons for $2.4 billion.
It should be noted that Shaw’s and Star Market are considered by some to be two separate brands and for decades they operated as independent chains. However, they were combined before their purchase by Albertsons.
Founded by J.R. Bost and Robert B. Cullum in 1948, Tom Thumb was created from six Toro supermarkets that folded when the owner left the country. The chain grew across Texas over the next several decades.
As with the fate of many grocery store chains on this list, Tom Thumb was acquired by more than one company before it was purchased by Albertsons. In 1992, Randalls purchased the chain although they kept the Tom Thumb brand name. Then, Randalls was purchased by Safeway before it became a part of Albertsons in 2014.
First opened in 1916 in Sayre, Oklahoma, United Supermarkets has expanded over the years to 95 stores located in Texas and New Mexico. It should not be confused with the similarly named United Supermarkets that operates out of Oklahoma under the banner of Homeland.
United Supermarkets maintained its independence until 2013 when Albertsons purchased it for $385 million. However, to abide by FTC law, Albertsons was required to sell off its single stores in Wichita Falls and Amarillo, Texas.
A popular supermarket chain in the Southern California and Nevada area, Vons was founded by Charles Von der Ahe in Los Angeles back in 1906. What started as a 20-foot wide store soon expanded thanks to their emphasis on self-service and pre-packaged meats, deli, and produce. The company was purchased by the Household Finance Corporation in 1969 but regained its independence in 1986.
However, Vons was purchased by Safeway in 1997 which was subsequently purchased by Albertsons in 2014.
Albertsons continues to grow and expand, adding new stores to its lineup of brands. Today, there are 23 Albertsons Markets, a subsidiary of Albertsons operating across New Mexico. In addition, there are 390 Albertsons grocery stores across 15 states. When added up, Albertsons is one of the most prosperous retail stores in the US, on part with Kroger’s and Wal-Mart in terms of size and name recognition.
And much like Kroger’s, Albertsons has expanded greatly by acquiring many different grocery stores across the US.
Benjamin is a certified financial advisor, with over 10 years of experience in the industry. He is knowledgeable about various business and financial topics, such as retirement planning and investment management. Ben has been recognized for his work in the financial planning industry. He has also been featured in various publications.