Texas Updates

Arizona, Hawaii, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas.

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Groceteria
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Texas Updates

Post by Groceteria » 14 Jun 2019 21:15

Dallas now extends to 1986 rather than 1979:
https://www.groceteria.com/place/texas/dallas/

Abilene now extends to 2015 rather than 1963:
https://www.groceteria.com/place/texas/abilene/

Fort Worth and Houston will be coming soon.

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Re: Texas Updates

Post by klkla » 15 Jun 2019 23:05

This was interesting.

1986 Dallas gives about as good a snapshot as you can get into Safeway's operation near the end of their presence there. They announced the decision to close the Dallas Division on April 24th 1987.

This Tom Thumb was particularly interesting. Does anyone know the story of it?

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Tom+T ... 96.8049312

The spreadsheet shows Tom Thumb having been in the building that is listed as a Barnes and Nobel on the right.

That looks like a Safeway Marina store to me. Going down at street level it looks like a pretty old structure:
https://www.google.com/maps/@32.8966464 ... 312!8i6656

It also resembles a Penn Fruit or White Front. It would be interesting to know what it was.

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Re: Texas Updates

Post by explorersea » 17 Jun 2019 07:48

hey Kikla, good detective work there, who would have thought that Tom's is a Marina in hiding. Safeway exited Dallas due to the buy out, where Safeway needed cash and paid KKR to purchase the company and thwart a hostile takeover. Safeway which had entered Texas in the 1950s sold their Dallas area stores to Randalls/Tom Thumb, and Houston stores to Apple Tree. Flash forward to 1999 and Safeway is performing very well and purchases Randalls/Tom Thumb. The acuisition would prove to be misguided the and company was looking for a buyer as soon as 2005, just as it did with Dominicks in Illinois.

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Re: Texas Updates

Post by Groceteria » 17 Jun 2019 10:49

I'm not feeling Safeway on this one. It looks too big and there was also a Safeway across the street at 10740 Preston Road from the late 1960s on. I'm thinking it may have been a discount department store, which would make sense with the Tom Thumb originally being in the smaller adjacent space.

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Re: Texas Updates

Post by NoVa Grocery Buff » 18 Jun 2019 19:44

Great updates, thanks!

The only question I have is about the two Food Lion locations in Abilene. Were they there so short that there's hardly any to no record of them other than the physical stores? When I researched Food Lion's quick attempt in Texas I saw Food Lion's at:
909 N Willis Street, Abilene, TX 79603
6381 Buffalo Gap Road, Abilene, TX 79606 (this is one pretty far South in the town and appears more in Wylie, TX)

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Re: Texas Updates

Post by Groceteria » 18 Jun 2019 19:50

NoVa Grocery Buff wrote:
18 Jun 2019 19:44
The only question I have is about the two Food Lion locations in Abilene. Were they there so short that there's hardly any to no record of them other than the physical stores?
I know that Food Lion's Texas expansion was by most accounts a very short-lived fiasco. I do locations at five-year intervals, which can lead to some things falling through the cracks. This might be a good example of where that happened.

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Re: Texas Updates

Post by NoVa Grocery Buff » 21 Jun 2019 21:51

That makes sense thanks!

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Re: Texas Updates

Post by Groceteria » 21 Jun 2019 22:27

Did a little more checking. Food Lion entered Texas in 1991-1992 and had closed many of the stores by early 1994. The gave up on the entire state a couple of years later, so their entrance and exit all happened during my "missing" years in the 1990s (I was not able to get data for 1995).

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Re: Texas Updates

Post by wnetmacman » 04 Aug 2019 19:10

Groceteria wrote:
21 Jun 2019 22:27
Did a little more checking. Food Lion entered Texas in 1991-1992 and had closed many of the stores by early 1994. The gave up on the entire state a couple of years later, so their entrance and exit all happened during my "missing" years in the 1990s (I was not able to get data for 1995).
Food Lion's entrance into the Texas market started in early 1992. They spread fast, hoping to wow the Texas market, but they didn't. And then the Dateline NBC story about their questionable Deli and meat practices came out, and that pretty much tanked it. Store sales went to nothing, and meat sales were practically non-existent. The DC and final stores closed in 1997.

Additionally, Food Lion's stores weren't even in the same league with Kroger, Tom Thumb, Randalls and Albertsons, who were building full service, 50,000 square foot supermarket/drug combo stores, where Food Lion was building, essentially, weak Winn Dixie-like stores with no pharmacy, and no service meats. And the stores were all identical; 35,000 square feet supermarkets with just the basics. Many of the stores don't even serve as Supermarkets now; a good number went to Brookshire Grocery Company, who operates about a dozen of them or so under their flagship Brookshire's banner.
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Re: Texas Updates

Post by pseudo3d » 03 Sep 2019 00:10

wnetmacman wrote:
04 Aug 2019 19:10
Groceteria wrote:
21 Jun 2019 22:27
Did a little more checking. Food Lion entered Texas in 1991-1992 and had closed many of the stores by early 1994. The gave up on the entire state a couple of years later, so their entrance and exit all happened during my "missing" years in the 1990s (I was not able to get data for 1995).
Food Lion's entrance into the Texas market started in early 1992. They spread fast, hoping to wow the Texas market, but they didn't. And then the Dateline NBC story about their questionable Deli and meat practices came out, and that pretty much tanked it. Store sales went to nothing, and meat sales were practically non-existent. The DC and final stores closed in 1997.

Additionally, Food Lion's stores weren't even in the same league with Kroger, Tom Thumb, Randalls and Albertsons, who were building full service, 50,000 square foot supermarket/drug combo stores, where Food Lion was building, essentially, weak Winn Dixie-like stores with no pharmacy, and no service meats. And the stores were all identical; 35,000 square feet supermarkets with just the basics. Many of the stores don't even serve as Supermarkets now; a good number went to Brookshire Grocery Company, who operates about a dozen of them or so under their flagship Brookshire's banner.
The other part of Food Lion's problems even before that was that H-E-B started building in Houston first, hitting fast and hard. As a result (that and the ABC special), only a dozen stores in Houston ever opened, and pulled around 1994. (The DC was enormous as Food Lion expected Texas to be a huge market, it became Tom Thumb's main warehouse). Only a small handful of the Houston Food Lion stores are still grocery stores, one became a self storage facility, one became a church, and one became a public elementary school.

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Re: Texas Updates

Post by wnetmacman » 03 Sep 2019 00:19

pseudo3d wrote:
03 Sep 2019 00:10
The other part of Food Lion's problems even before that was that H-E-B started building in Houston first, hitting fast and hard. As a result (that and the ABC special), only a dozen stores in Houston ever opened, and pulled around 1994.
And the irony of the Houston portion of this story (they got many more stores off the ground in Dallas, Tyler, Longview and Shreveport) is that HEB was only opening Pantry stores in Houston at the time. An HEB Pantry was a very small, basic version of the San Antonio full line supermarkets, with no real service departments to speak of in most stores. Many were purchases from other companies (Apple Tree provided a good number to them) and they did very well with that model, only really expanding into the current model from around 2002 on (when Albertsons left the first time).
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Re: Texas Updates

Post by pseudo3d » 03 Sep 2019 08:43

wnetmacman wrote:
03 Sep 2019 00:19
pseudo3d wrote:
03 Sep 2019 00:10
The other part of Food Lion's problems even before that was that H-E-B started building in Houston first, hitting fast and hard. As a result (that and the ABC special), only a dozen stores in Houston ever opened, and pulled around 1994.
And the irony of the Houston portion of this story (they got many more stores off the ground in Dallas, Tyler, Longview and Shreveport) is that HEB was only opening Pantry stores in Houston at the time. An HEB Pantry was a very small, basic version of the San Antonio full line supermarkets, with no real service departments to speak of in most stores. Many were purchases from other companies (Apple Tree provided a good number to them) and they did very well with that model, only really expanding into the current model from around 2002 on (when Albertsons left the first time).
AppleTree filed for bankruptcy almost at the same time as H-E-B came in. Most of the stores were either new-builds or extensively renovated from others (Gerland's, Rice, independents). The real winner of the Albertsons pull-out was Kroger, which allowed them to get a huge jump on Randalls with large, modern stores (as opposed to old Greenhouse stores) instead of trying to build their way through Signature stores.

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Re: Texas Updates

Post by Groceteria » 03 Sep 2019 21:39

FYI, Houston is on my "soon" list, but I currently only have data through 1982. It looks like they may have stopped publishing city directories for Houston by 1986.

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Re: Texas Updates

Post by pseudo3d » 04 Sep 2019 23:38

Groceteria wrote:
03 Sep 2019 21:39
FYI, Houston is on my "soon" list, but I currently only have data through 1982. It looks like they may have stopped publishing city directories for Houston by 1986.
I assure you that there are city directories for Houston that exist past 1986 (a point in the mid-1980s is missing, though for phone books AND directories); but they're only in the Houston downtown library and Rosenberg.

The yellow pages are generally available (at the library) but because of the way grocery stores grew, they lumped in grocery stores with convenience stores.

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Re: Texas Updates

Post by Groceteria » 05 Sep 2019 09:00

pseudo3d wrote:
04 Sep 2019 23:38
I assure you that there are city directories for Houston that exist past 1986 (a point in the mid-1980s is missing, though for phone books AND directories); but they're only in the Houston downtown library and Rosenberg.
I’ll take your word for it; the library catalog doesn’t show anything after 1986 as far as I can tell, but MARC records can be misleading with respect to city directories. Supermarkets get lumped in with convenience stores even in the city directories, so I’m used to that. I try to only use yellow pages as a secondary resource, because they’re almost universally very incomplete, particularly with larger cities. I’ll go with what I have for now, and then expand either the next time I find myself in Houston (not as unlikely as it may sound) or if some generous soul pops by the library and sends me page images from the later years!

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