Tag Archives: grocery

Fred Meyers

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

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West Side Bargain Mart (Old Colorado City, Colorado Springs)


Bargain Mart

* 3135 West Colorado Avenue, Colorado Springs * 80909 * (719) 685-4500 *

Bargain Mart – one of my favorite discounted groceries hosts proudly adverts claiming they are the ‘lowest priced groceries in town’ – which they are unquestionably in this town, the most affordable bargains you can find. Its because they deal in the discounted grocery, closeouts, overstocks, and damaged freight goods. Here you can get most high brand salad dressings that usually cost you $3 a bottle, for a great deal of 2 dressings for a $1.25. Started up by John and Jean Fowler, it was taken over by Jim and Diane Krug to provide an alternative for west-side shoppers boasting having 70’s pricing scales. There are two others in the area – on the east side of the Springs and Manitou Springs – all different owners. Here you find a variety of foods – always a treasure trove of finds – always different, though some brand names can be seen there on a frequent basis. They carry the stuff that premiere and pricey grocery stores think they can’t sell – dented cans, surplus that might have torn labels or missing labels, improperly guled cereal boxes, inventory at King Soopers that someone opened up on the shelf to take a single item from, now making the set un-sellable there – all of these items go to a reclamation center to determine what should be boxed up for discount outlets like Bargain Mart, disposed of, or given to charities. Bargain Mart weeds through the surplus and won’t carry anything that is perishable which makes them different than alot of their competitors. They also have alot of organic and natural foods in their inventories.
I’ve found lots of Starbucks coffee, high-end teas such as Oregon Chai, A Taste of Thai, and other great finds. They also have electronics, household goods, and clothing in their offerings. I often get Vitamin Water, Propel, and Gatorade for 50 cents a bottle there. For the soda drinkers, you usually can get your can of coke or pepsi for 25 cents a can. Of course my most favorite grocery store – is Trader Joe’s, where you get perfectly packaged, brand new unique grocery stuff for comparable prices to Bargain Mart – but alas, there are no Trader Joes in the state of Colorado. Therefore my shopping plan is check first at Bargain Mart, write down on a list of what-can-wait for my Trader Joe trips to New Mexico I do every other month, and then its off to the Vitamin Cottage, King Soopers, or Safeway. Rating: 5 stars out of 5.

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