Two chains, same name, same state

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jimbobga
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Two chains, same name, same state

Post by jimbobga » 21 Oct 2009 23:33

This has gotten me to wondering about how two grocery chains which share the same name but are totally unrelated to each other can operate in the same state. I know of a couple of instances in retail recently where the owner of a store could not use the name they had chosen originally because there was already another retail establishment using the same name in the state. Two different companies named Acme operated in Virginia for what seems like thirty or more years. Were the ordinances/laws different in 1940 regarding this than they are now?

Even today there are two different chains called Foodland in Virginia, although one is a voluntary chain...the name is still the same. Additionally, Food Lion changed their name from FoodTown when they started expanding into adjoining states because of the presence of other FoodTown chains in these new areas.

Sorry if this is kind of off-topic...but it did relate to Acme's presence in both northern Virginia and in southwestern Virginia.

rich
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Re: Acme in Virginia

Post by rich » 22 Oct 2009 12:55

There seems to be nothing precluding two chains with the same name. It's probably a matter of how specific trademark laws are and whether there is geographic overlap. There were numerous unrelated Food Fair's including one in the DC area and the Philly one that operated also in nearby Baltimore. Food Fair used the "Food Lane" name in DC until after Grand Union bought the local Food Fair chain.

In Ohio, there were two Foodtowns: Cleveland and Toledo, completely unrelated although both began as voluntary co-ops. The Cleveland Foodtown was bought by Wrigley of Detroit, then by Cook United which folded it into Pick-n-Pay. The Toledo Foodtown lasted until a few years ago, controlled by the family that had dominated the original co-op (but publicly traded). It was bought by Spartan, a Michigan-based wholesaler.

Ohio also had two variations on Stop & Shop. Both were co-ops. One had and "&", the other had an "n" between "Stop" and "Shop". The "n" chain was in the Cleveland area and ran large stores that comepeted successfully with major chains. The "&" chain operated small stores in small towns just East of the other co-op's territory.

There are other twists. There were 2 Loblaw's in Ohio and Pennsylvania: one with a few stores in Erie, PA & extreme NE Ohio, the other based out of Youngstown with stores in Akron, Canton, Stuebenville, & Pittsburgh--both evolved out of the Buffalo-based US arm of Loblaw of Canada. The Youngtown-based stores were bought by National Tea (in which Loblaw of Canada had acontrolling stake). Ultimately, both operations were merged into National Tea, but for many years used different logos, pricing, etc.

TenPoundHammer
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Re: Two chains, same name, same state

Post by TenPoundHammer » 24 Oct 2009 17:04

Not a grocery chain, but I do know there're at least two BC Pizzas here in Michigan. One began in Boyne City, and the other in Bay City. When the Boyne City chain opened up in Boyne City, they had to call it Best Choice instead.

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Brian Lutz
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Re: Two chains, same name, same state

Post by Brian Lutz » 24 Oct 2009 22:53

As far as I am aware, there have been at least four different chains in different times and different places that have used the name of "Market Basket": One in the Seattle area that was affiliated with Marketime and was eventually absorbed into Fred Meyer with them, the Kroger-affiliated one in California that disappeared sometime in the Eighties, and existing ones in Texas and New England. As far as I know, none of these have operated at the same time in the same markets.
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krogerclerk
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Re: Two chains, same name, same state

Post by krogerclerk » 25 Oct 2009 00:33

Publix operated Food World in Central Florida from the early 70's until the early 80's while Alabama based Bruno's operated Food World in Northwest Florida from the 80's until the present. There may have been a short time in the 80s that both chains were simultaneously operating in Florida. Additionally Greensboro, NC based Food World was acquired by Harris-Teeter in the 80's while Basha's operated Food World in Arizona.

Food Fair/Food Fare chains have existed across the US under various ownerships including Bruno's, Gerland's Food Fair in Texas and Food Fair in Detroit(Borman's) in addition to the most famous Food Fair that eventually became Pantry Pride before its demise.

There were 3 Acme chains in close proximity to one another-the Philly Acme chain stretched from New York to northern Virginia and West Virginia at its peak and west to Pittsburgh. Another Acme was as noted in this thread was in Southwest Virginia. The third and still in business is based out of Akron, OH and was named for the Philadelphia chain. Both Acme and Akron are derived from Greek "Akros" meaning high or peak, as in acrophobia.

Ephrata1966
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Re: Two chains, same name, same state

Post by Ephrata1966 » 18 Dec 2009 22:42

krogerclerk: Just how was the Acme chain of Ohio named after the famous Philadelphia chain?

rich: The "Food Fair" stores acquired by Grand Union were a different chain? When did they become Grand Union?

Jeff
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Re: Two chains, same name, same state

Post by Jeff » 20 Dec 2009 16:45

I'm surprised no one has mentioned LUCKY yet. Here in California, Lucky in the north part of the state (owned by Save Mart) is a regular full line market, while LUCKY in the south is more of a warehouse type store.

Both have the same slogans and script as the original chain.

krogerclerk
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Re: Two chains, same name, same state

Post by krogerclerk » 20 Dec 2009 17:42

Fred Albrecht, founder of Ohio's Acme named them after the Philly Acme after visiting Philadelphia in 1901 according the the company's web site.

http://www.acmestores.com/history.html

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