Traditions & History

Albertsons' first store

It all started in 1939.

When Joe Albertson opened his first grocery store in Boise, Idaho, in 1939, he called it “Idaho’s largest and finest food store.” Joe was innovative. He had one of the first magazine racks in the country. He offered his customers hot, buttered popcorn, roasted nuts, and double-dipped home-made ice cream cones, plus one of the first scratch bakeries. From the beginning, his philosophy was to “Give the customer the merchandise they want, at a price they can afford, complete with lots of tender, loving care.”
Today, in all of its 600+ stores from California to Florida and with over 60,000 associates, Albertsons still practices this same philosophy. The organization has evolved from that corner store into a chain spanning several states, but its focus continues to be on the customer, and on becoming the favorite neighborhood food and drug retailer in every market where it does business.

Joe Albertson

Joe Albertson

Albertson’s LLC was formed in 2006, when the assets of Albertson’s, Inc. were sold to three separate companies. SUPERVALU, out of Minnesota, bought the majority of the stores, and the free-standing drug stores in the south were sold to CVS. Albertson’s LLC acquired stores in Northern California, Colorado, Utah, Nebraska, South Dakota, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Florida. In 2013, Albertson’s LLC was able to bring all of the Albertsons stores back together again by purchasing the assets from SUPERVALU that they had acquired in 2006 from the former Albertson’s, Inc., bringing the company full-circle.

The story of Albertsons grocery stores goes back over 70 years, and our company is built on a legacy that reaches back to the roots of what we know today as a “modern grocery store.”

In 1929, Joe Albertson was a college student who had spent two years studying business when the Great Depression sent the country into a tailspin. Joe decided that he would leave school and enter the grocery business, holding onto the philosophy that in good times or in bad, people had to eat, so he figured a grocery store was a good business.

Joe spent ten years working his way up at Safeway, but he knew that ultimately, he would open his own store. In July 1939, he did just that. With $5,000 of his own money and a $7,500 loan from his wife’s aunt, Albertsons Store 101, at 16th and State Streets in Boise, Idaho, opened with new services that customers hadn’t seen in a grocery store before. He introduced things to shoppers like a scratch bakery, an automatic doughnut machine and one of the first magazine racks in the country. He also sold big, double dip ice cream cones, fresh popcorn and roasted nuts, which all became a hit with shoppers.

Joe’s idea about what made for a good grocery store quickly spread, and the following year he was able to open two more stores in neighboring Nampa and Caldwell, Idaho. It was only the beginning of a chain that, sixty years later, would have over 1,000 Albertsons stores, bringing Joe’s visionary idea for a grocery store to millions of customers throughout the country.

In the years that Albertsons has operated stores, we have operated under Mr. Albertsons same philosophy: to give customers the products they want, at a fair price, with lots of care along the way. Our goal has never been to be the biggest, just the best. It’s that simple.