Supermarkets Make 75 Years of History.
New York City, Today marks the 75th anniversary of the supermarket.
The first supermarket opened Aug. 4, 1930 in Jamaica, N.Y. The King Kullen store, comparable to today’s no-frills warehouse outlets, served as the catalyst for a new age in food retailing, selling more than 1,000 products. Other companies pioneering the supermarket concept in 1930 were Ralphs Grocery Company in California, Piggly Wiggly in Tennessee and the Texas-based Weingarten’s Big Food Markets and Henke & Pillot, which was purchased by The Kroger Co. in 1956.
According the Food Marketing Institute, the supermarket helped shape American culture and history in the following ways:
• Endure The Great Depression: The supermarket emerged while America was grappling with the Great Depression. The impoverished American public welcomed the unprecedented low prices, boundless variety and the opportunity to select products directly from shelves. This innovation became an immediate success.
• Create the Middle Class: The supermarket’s low prices freed up substantial funds for families to spend on cars, homes, education and other needs and amenities of life. As supermarkets proliferated in the 1950s and 1960s, they played a pivotal role in creating the American middle class. On the supermarket’s silver anniversary, President John F. Kennedy said that the supermarket’s low-cost mass marketing techniques “… have enabled a higher standard of living and have contributed importantly to our economic growth.”
• End the Cold War: Between 1958 and 1988, some 50,000 Soviet citizens traveled to the U.S., most touring an American supermarket on their trip. The supermarket showcased the possibilities of food abundance and became a metaphor for what capitalism could do and Communism could not. In his autobiography, Boris Yeltsin gave this account of his 1989 visit to a supermarket in Houston: “When I saw those shelves crammed with hundreds, thousands of cans, cartons and goods of every possible sort, for the first time I felt quite frankly sick with despair for the Soviet people. That such a potentially super-rich country as ours has been brought to a state of such poverty! It is terrible to think of it.”
Albertsons To Test In-Store Health Clinics
Boise, Idaho, Albertsons has signed a deal with Take Care Health Systems to test its in-store Health Centers in six Osco Drug Stores in the greater Kansas City market. The clinics will be staffed by certified nurse practitioners who will provide diagnosis and treatment of common family illnesses, administer vaccines and perform diagnostic screenings. Customers will be able to visit the clinics without an appointment.
CVS Sees Quarterly Profit, Sales Rise
Chicago, CVS Corp. reported an 18% increase in quarterly profit and a 5.1% rise in July sales in stores open at least a year. The increases are attributed to the greater demand for prescription drugs and more general merchandise sales.
CVS surpassed its expected profits. Analysts had expected a profit of 31 cents per share, but the drugstore chain’s profit rose 33 cents per share to $275.9 million. Last year, profits were $234.5 million, or 28 cents per share.
Preliminary figures revealed a 6.1% increase in pharmacy same-store sales and a 2.9% increase in same-store general merchandise comparable sales for the month of July. CVS will release its final July sales numbers on Thursday.