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In 1870, Hugh G. Harrison provided the seed money for BS Bull and Company, a dry goods wholesaler serving the Minneapolis/St. Paul region. Although the company’s existence was short lived, its founders continued on their quest to develop similar enterprises, and in 1926, they joined to form Winston and Newell Company, the direct parent of Supervalu. 

 
 
 
 
Profile
  • Headquarters: Minneapolis, Minn.
  • Founding year: 1870
  • Number of locations as of January 2011: approximately 4,300
  • Chains: Save-A-Lot, Acme, Albertsons, Cub, Farm Fresh, Hornbacher’s, Jewel-Osco, Shaw’s/Star Market, Shop ’N Save, and Shoppers
  • FY 2011 net sales: $37.5 billion

In 1870, Hugh G. Harrison provided the seed money for BS Bull and Company, a dry goods wholesaler serving the Minneapolis/St. Paul region. Although the company’s existence was short lived, its founders continued on their quest to develop similar enterprises, and in 1926, they joined to form Winston and Newell Company, the direct parent of Supervalu.

Although there have been many changes in the grocery industry since, Supervalu has stayed true to the people and communities it serves, said Shannon Bennett, vice president of corporate communications and public affairs. “Every day we provide millions of families with the products and services they depend on through a diverse, nationwide network of nearly 4,300 owned, licensed, or affiliated independent stores. Supervalu’s owned and operated stores, along with the independents we supply, have deep roots in their respective communities. These stores understand the unique needs of their customers in a manner that only a neighbor could.”

As one of the nation’s largest grocery retailers, Supervalu’s greatest competitive advantage can be found in its store network, which offers the full range of grocery retailing formats, blending service, quality, and selection to best address the many communities it serves.

Ranging from hard discount stores to full-service combination food and drugstores, the company’s diverse retail formats allow it to meet the needs of its shoppers in any market. Supervalu serves customers across the US through a network of approximately 4,270 stores comprising approximately 1,100 traditional and premium stores, including 805 in-store pharmacies; 1,280 hard discount Save-A-Lot stores, of which nearly 900 are operated by licensee owners; and 1,900 independent stores serviced primarily by the company’s food distribution business.

Said Bennett: “For more than 140 years, Supervalu has provided a foundation of leadership and innovation for the grocery retail and supply chain industries. Our combined expertise in grocery, pharmacy, and supply chain operations provide us with a strong platform for sustainable success.”

As the competitive nature of the grocery industry continues to escalate, Supervalu takes care to differentiate its stores from others through its product offerings. It ensures that its fresh areas, produce, bakery, and butcher shops exceed its customers’ expectations. The company also empowers its store directors to ensure they carry the products that represent the demographics of their neighborhood.

“While we are a large, public company serving customers across the country, our hyper-local strategy is focused on meeting the individual needs of the communities we serve,” said Bennett. “This approach is what is helping us to realize our goal of becoming America’s Neighborhood Grocer.”

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