Happy Holidays

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rwsandiego
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Happy Holidays

Post by rwsandiego » November 30th, 2017, 10:46 pm

Over the years, Jewel has earned and maintained a ridiculous market share despite having pretty standard food-and-drug combo stores (albeit huge ones that carry more GM than most). One of the ways in which they do it is through community involvement, such as this

Happy Holidays from Jewel-Osco, the CTA, and me. :)

pseudo3d
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Re: Happy Holidays

Post by pseudo3d » December 9th, 2017, 1:25 pm

rwsandiego wrote:
November 30th, 2017, 10:46 pm
Over the years, Jewel has earned and maintained a ridiculous market share despite having pretty standard food-and-drug combo stores (albeit huge ones that carry more GM than most). One of the ways in which they do it is through community involvement, such as this

Happy Holidays from Jewel-Osco, the CTA, and me. :)
I think one of the reasons why Jewel "won" Chicago is that they got there first, having operated stores since the 1930s, and unlike others (like A&P) didn't spread out too far, thus had money to invest in and upgrade stores. I think that if you actually looked at leading supermarkets in metropolitan areas (traditional supermarkets, not Walmart), the "leader" is the one that has been there the longest with continual investment (at least compared to competitors).

buckguy
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Re: Happy Holidays

Post by buckguy » December 9th, 2017, 6:15 pm

Not sure what you mean by "spread out", because they certainly did spread into Wisconsin and downstate markets, as well as an odd collection of other places (Boston & the upper Rocky Mountains).

Jewel started with Loblaw's Chicago stores in the 30s, along with name recognition for the Jewel home shopping service. But continual investment did make a difference--their stores grew in size over time and they saturated the entire region including the city of Chicago, as well as the suburbs and figured out how to make the most of small footprints in dense urban neighborhoods. Kohl's and Eagle entered the market but neither built much of a base and the independents like Hillman were tied to declining inner city neighborhoods. Jewel was aggressive in developing bakeries, delis and combo stores and in general, they were an early adopter with just about every innovation in the field during the 60s and 70s. National did many of the same things but usually later and with less intensive investment. Kroger was completely outclassed by Jewel, as was A&P. Jewel used the 60s to early 80s to basically drive out much of their competition. National was actually gaining ground on them in Chicago when they exited the market, but National was held down by weakness elsewhere and because of that they were having problems maintaining the necessary working capital to repay their long-term debt. In essence, Jewel managed to drive out all of their traditional competition and they never had strong voluntary co-ops or independents taking the place of those chains. Dominick's was always much smaller and geographically more uneven--they benefited from Fisher Foods' investment and in buying Kroger stores as well as a number of locations from smaller players like Kohl's, but still they never were a serious threat to Jewel in the market, overall.

pseudo3d
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Re: Happy Holidays

Post by pseudo3d » December 10th, 2017, 2:23 pm

buckguy wrote:
December 9th, 2017, 6:15 pm
Not sure what you mean by "spread out", because they certainly did spread into Wisconsin and downstate markets, as well as an odd collection of other places (Boston & the upper Rocky Mountains).

Jewel started with Loblaw's Chicago stores in the 30s, along with name recognition for the Jewel home shopping service. But continual investment did make a difference--their stores grew in size over time and they saturated the entire region including the city of Chicago, as well as the suburbs and figured out how to make the most of small footprints in dense urban neighborhoods. Kohl's and Eagle entered the market but neither built much of a base and the independents like Hillman were tied to declining inner city neighborhoods. Jewel was aggressive in developing bakeries, delis and combo stores and in general, they were an early adopter with just about every innovation in the field during the 60s and 70s. National did many of the same things but usually later and with less intensive investment. Kroger was completely outclassed by Jewel, as was A&P. Jewel used the 60s to early 80s to basically drive out much of their competition. National was actually gaining ground on them in Chicago when they exited the market, but National was held down by weakness elsewhere and because of that they were having problems maintaining the necessary working capital to repay their long-term debt. In essence, Jewel managed to drive out all of their traditional competition and they never had strong voluntary co-ops or independents taking the place of those chains. Dominick's was always much smaller and geographically more uneven--they benefited from Fisher Foods' investment and in buying Kroger stores as well as a number of locations from smaller players like Kohl's, but still they never were a serious threat to Jewel in the market, overall.
By that, I mean make an excessive expansion that it ultimately can't afford to maintain (Jewel could afford Star Market and Buttrey, as did ASC, but they had to be sold stemming from the purchase of Lucky). This "big fleet of old stores" damaged Safeway, A&P, Kroger, and Winn-Dixie as they made expansions that they ultimately couldn't afford in the long run and as a result, many markets were pulled out of (if the company wasn't damaged permanently). But that could fall under "continual investment". In my own city, there was a time where Safeway was the market leader but that didn't last long as Safeway had to divest the division, and the successor AppleTree could not afford to update the stores.

Funny you mention Kroger because there was a time when Kroger nearly lost the Houston market. Kroger and Randalls both arrived in Houston at the same time (Randalls home-grown, Kroger bought their way in), and by the early 1990s Randalls was zooming ahead with huge stores building in the suburbs (and they had broken into the Inner Loop, where Kroger had more of an edge) while Kroger had almost no stores built in the previous five years and their store base was largely from 1970s and early 1980s (they even had one store that had been a part of the chain that they bought into that had dated back to the mid-1940s). A labor dispute around this time had even threatened the whole market, and San Antonio's market was about to pull out, having lost the battle to H-E-B (though not without reason, as H-E-B had someone inside Kroger stealing information about the sales and profitability of the S.A. stores). But in 1993, Kroger unveiled the Kroger Signature store, a huge (60k square feet and above) store that incorporated a coffeeshop, a food court, and other features similar to Randalls and moved to upgrade other stores. Meanwhile, Randalls started to have money issues (stemming from their 1992 purchase of Cullum Companies, which owned Tom Thumb in Austin and Dallas) and their store building started dramatically slowing, and they passed Randalls in market share at about the same time Safeway bought Randalls, and things went from bad to worse. It would have to be a constant struggle for Randalls to keep its hold in the market, but they didn't, and H-E-B stepped in to fill the vacuum that Randalls left behind (it was too little, too late for Albertsons to save itself in the Houston market, as Albertsons didn't arrive in the actual area proper until 1995). Had Kroger not built the Signature store and Randalls moved ahead with new stores, then the market would look very different now.

Most of what succeeds is "continual investment" but "getting to the market first" makes the process much easier.

rwsandiego
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Re: Happy Holidays

Post by rwsandiego » December 15th, 2017, 6:58 pm

National, A&P, and Kroger all had stores in Chicago before Jewel acquired Lowlaws' stores and started opening retail stores of their own. I believe (if I had the source I'd cite it) National was larger than Jewel until the late 1950s/early 1960s when Jewel started building larger and larger stores and the others didn't. then, The suburbs hit and Jewel built there while A&P and National were slow to do so. Kroger had relatively few large stores and eventually gave up and sold out to Dominick's/Fisher Foods. Meanwhile, Jewel built stores with an entire Osco drug store inside and offered service departments that the others (aside from Dominick's, who wisely partnered with Heinemann's to install bakeries complete with a cookie machine) didn't offer.

All that being said, in addition to investing in stores, they invested in the community. Parades, sponsorship of events, selling tickets for Great America, all the way up to sponsoring holiday trains and buses. That stuff makes a difference.

PS: My aunt was a Heinemann's cookie lady, but she shopped at Jewel. ;)

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Re: Happy Holidays

Post by buckguy » Today, 7:32 am

National and A&P had plenty of stores in the suburbs. You can find lots of old centennials even now in suburban Chicago--ditto the first generation yellow brick pylon Nationals--they weren't slow, but they both kept their older stores in the city--many of the Nationals became Walgreens. National also bought Del Farm which ran inner city stores. The problem was size and volume. National was slower to build large stores and combos, but eventually did. Unlike Jewel they were not an innovator--they were a me, too operation. A&P was even further behind. Kroger never had a large number of stores in the Chicago area relative to the other big chains and up until the superstores (which debuted just after they departed Chicago), they built very few large stores anywhere. Chicago never had the fleets of often very strong independents that some other cities like Cleveland and New York had, but there were niche players that functioned somewhat similarly like Hillman and High Low which did have trouble expanding beyond the city, and the Chicago area was too large for Eagle, Red Owl, or Kohl's to make significant dents---of those, Kohl's probably was the only chain that could compete with Jewel on something resembling its own terms. There were chains based in satellite cities like Gromer's in Elgin that tried to make inroads into the suburbs but they were weak operators. By the 80s, Jewel essentially had the whole field to themselves--National exited the market in the 70s, A&P bought many of their stores and then those went to Butera and various smaller indies.

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Re: Happy Holidays

Post by pseudo3d » Today, 12:31 pm

buckguy wrote:
Today, 7:32 am
National and A&P had plenty of stores in the suburbs. You can find lots of old centennials even now in suburban Chicago--ditto the first generation yellow brick pylon Nationals--they weren't slow, but they both kept their older stores in the city--many of the Nationals became Walgreens. National also bought Del Farm which ran inner city stores. The problem was size and volume. National was slower to build large stores and combos, but eventually did. Unlike Jewel they were not an innovator--they were a me, too operation. A&P was even further behind. Kroger never had a large number of stores in the Chicago area relative to the other big chains and up until the superstores (which debuted just after they departed Chicago), they built very few large stores anywhere. Chicago never had the fleets of often very strong independents that some other cities like Cleveland and New York had, but there were niche players that functioned somewhat similarly like Hillman and High Low which did have trouble expanding beyond the city, and the Chicago area was too large for Eagle, Red Owl, or Kohl's to make significant dents---of those, Kohl's probably was the only chain that could compete with Jewel on something resembling its own terms. There were chains based in satellite cities like Gromer's in Elgin that tried to make inroads into the suburbs but they were weak operators. By the 80s, Jewel essentially had the whole field to themselves--National exited the market in the 70s, A&P bought many of their stores and then those went to Butera and various smaller indies.
I don't know exactly what happened to Hillman (I started a thread on Groceteria a month or so ago to no avail). Their presence inside a few Chicago area Sears stores made me think they might have been a Sears subsidiary that was closed by the 1980s.

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Re: Happy Holidays

Post by BillyGr » Today, 4:01 pm

pseudo3d wrote:
Today, 12:31 pm
I don't know exactly what happened to Hillman (I started a thread on Groceteria a month or so ago to no avail). Their presence inside a few Chicago area Sears stores made me think they might have been a Sears subsidiary that was closed by the 1980s.
http://www.thedepartmentstoremuseum.org ... inois.html

Mentions (in various comments) that many Wieboldt's stores had these markets in them.

http://www.encyclopedia.chicagohistory. ... s/554.html

Mentions Hillman as an independent chain.

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