Fred Meyers Grocery Chain
National U.S. Grocery Store Chain – Primarily West Coast
Considered a hypermarket superstore, headquartered in Portland, the chain was founded in Portland Oregon in 1922 by Fred G. Meyer. Today they are located in the western United States specifically Oregon, Washington State, Idaho, and Alaska. They merged with Kroger in 1999 but retain their Fred Meyer branding. They specialize in one-stop shopping hosting complete grocery supermarket, drugstore, banking, clothing, jewelry, home decor, home improvement, gardening, electronics, restaurants, coffee shops, shoes, sporting goods, and toys. They spread from Portland to Seattle in the 1960’s acquiring Seattle based Marketime Drugs and the Roundup Company. By 1968 they operated in Oregon, Washington State, Idaho, and Montana with over 48 retail locations. The first full-fledged Seattle store was opened that same year. They spread in the 70’s through the Valu-Mart discount chain and its locations leased by Weisfield’s and joined the Weisfield’s owned stores in 1975 with some locations leased by Associated Grocers in 1973. Around the same time they opened their first store in Alaska. By 1977 Marketime was renamed to Fred Meyer. Fred G. Meyer died on September 2, 1978 at age 92. In 1984 Fred Meyer acquired Grand Central of Salt Lake City Utah and converted them to Fred Meyers. By the 1990’s they expanded into California with the first store in Chico, then attempted a second store in Redding followed by Sacramento. These locations were closed and didn’t succeed, the Redding site turned into a Walmart in 1996. Kroger acquired the properties during the 1990’s. In 1997 Fred Meyer acquired Smith’s Food and drug in Salt Lake City although continued to operate separate operations. They acquired Ralph’s Grocery in 1998 Los Angeles and QFC of Seattle. They still maintained separate operations with Fred Meyer as the holding company. Many mergers later, they became the fifth largest food and drug store in the nation. By 1997 they converted their Columbia Falls and Kalispell stores into Smith’s Food and Drug. By 1999 they were merged with Kroger of Cincinnati Ohio, and in 2000 the Arizona Fred Meyer stores (all of which were formerly Smith’s) were re-branded as Fry’s Marketplace. 2004 the Smith’s Food and Drug assumed operations of the Utah Fred Meyer stores which were also re-branded as Smith’s Marketplace. Kroger and Fred Meyer stores are slowly becoming more similar in branding, management, and merchandising. One of the Fred Meyers in Seattle merged its operations with QFC keeping its QFC Marketplace branding, and is the only one of its kind. (Capital Hill neighborhood) By 2018 Fred Meyer’s stopped selling guns and ammunition to people under the age of 21. Fred Meyers employs Kroger’s manufacturing creating the brands Kroger, Fred Meyer, Kivu Coffee, Country Oven, Everyday Living, FMV – For Maximum Value, Moto Tech, Private Selections, HD Designs, Michael Morgan, Great Northwest, GNW, Curfew, Kidz Korner, Splash Spa, Simple Truth, Psst, Homesense, and Naturally Preferred.
They established their rewards program in 2004 so that customers received one point for every $5 they spend, and upon 100 points during a 13 week cycle receive $5 in rebate vouchers. This changed in 2007 to one point per dollar spent and needing to earn 500 points during a 13 week cycle to receive a rebate voucher. This became tied into their credit card. By 2011 they switched from MasterCard to Visa, using the same point system. They also began giving 15 cents off fuel per 100 fuel points.
July 2010 they claimed they would no longer offer plastic bags at any of its 10 Portland stores due to environmental impacts. This was followed by City of Portland banning the use of plastic bags in groery and big box stores in October 2011.
Rating: 4.4 stars out of 5