Friday’s news that Safeway and Albertsons will merge brings to mind the Northwest bank mergers of the 1980s and ‘90s.
Perhaps the two grocers will continue to operate under their own names, much like QFC and Fred Meyer do as Kroger-owned stores.
Some quick research yields several names of Northwest grocers you knew for years, but that now have vanished. You likely remember recent departees Larry’s Market and Olson’s.
Long ago, Market Basket was bought by Kroger in 1963. Bellevue’s P-X supermarkets became Mayfair Markets in 1966-67, and they in turn were bought by Lucky Stores in 1975. Ten years later, Lucky sold its Seattle-area stores to Associated Grocers, long associated with the Thriftway brand.
A&P exited Washington in 1974. Piggly Wiggly stores in Seattle long ago were converted to Safeways.
Tradewell Stores were common in the Northwest from 1939 until 1985, when its 27 locations in Oregon closed, and in 1988 its Washington stores closed or were sold.
Buttrey Food & Drug closed its Washington, Oregon, and Idaho stores in 1994, but four years later some reopened under the brand of new owner Albertsons.
In 1998, longtime Seattle grocer Art’s Food Center on Holman Road sold out to QFC.
Tidyman’s of Spokane thrived from 1968 until 2006, when it sold its final stores in the wake of legal troubles.
Those and many other grocers have gone the way of Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlours – but’s that’s a whole different category, and a separate blog topic: defunct restaurants of our youth.
I’m undoubtedly leaving out many familiar grocers of the past. Please share yours!