Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Albertsons Mid-South Division Stores (4700 Series - Complete List)


The month of August is now here, and with it comes my final post of the summer to the Mid-South Retail Blog. Why is that special? Well, normally, it's not: I strive to post quality content all throughout the year, even though I do end up getting more things posted in total during the summer months than the other seasons. But this post in particular is one I think you'll all agree is well worth the excitement!

In case you missed it, at the start of the summer I posted a complete list of Albertsons stores ever to operate in the state of Mississippi, compiled by my good friend Albertsons Florida Blog. (You may visit that post at this link.) At the time, I promised that AFB had another great contribution waiting to be posted. Well, today's the day, folks! Courtesy of Albertsons Florida Blog, I am very happy to present to you the complete listing of Albertsons stores ever to operate in the entire Mid-South. Albertsons's definition of the Mid-South, as you'll see, is slightly different than the Mid-South Retail Blog's own (as seen in our logo); it encompasses the metropolitan areas of Nashville and Chattanooga, TN, for example, and not just that of Memphis. But Mid-South is what Albertsons called its division of stores in this region regardless, with all store numbers in the 4700s (hence the title of this post and the table mentioning the "4700 series"), so Mid-South it will remain.

Although we both worked together on it, as with the Albertsons in MS table, this table is mainly AFB's grand work; to be sure, he is the one who researched all of the stores, their store numbers, and their locations, and compiled them in this table. I am happy to say that I provided the detailed store history/info for all of the Memphis-area Seessel's stores therein, but once again, that column for the rest of the stores in the table was filled by AFB. Anyway, yes, you read that right: this table includes an extremely detailed history/info description for every single store! Anything you could possibly want to know about Albertsons's operations of these stores (and, in many cases, even more info about what has happened to them post-Albertsons) is in this table!

First, for those of you who are unfamiliar on the matter or simply would like a quick summary to refresh your memory, here is a brief history of Albertsons's operations in the Mid-South, taken from the chain's own 75th anniversary special publication:

"In the mid- to late '90s, Albertsons history is a mix of accomplishments and challenges. ... On the accomplishment side, in January 1998 Albertsons purchased Seessel Holdings Inc., the Memphis, Tenn.-based subsidiary of Bruno's Inc., operating 10 stores. Albertsons also purchased Seessel's central bakery and commissary that supplied the stores. Chairman and CEO Gary Michael called the deal 'a significant market entry opportunity for Albertsons....This transaction accelerates our entry into that marketplace by several years.' He added that the acquisition provided a foundation for Albertsons to grow in Memphis and surrounding areas. ...
"In July [1998], Albertsons agreed to acquire 14 operating stores and one under construction from Bruno's Inc. in connection with Bruno's bankruptcy filing. The stores were in Nashville and Chattanooga, Tenn., where Albertsons did not have stores. ...
"In January 2001, Albertsons eliminated its regional structure, moving to a divisional model, with 19 divisions. ... In April of 2001, Lawrence R. Johnston joined Albertsons as chairman and CEO. ... He oversaw a restructuring that during which 165 stores were closed in just a little more than a year. ... Soon after, [in 2002] Albertsons completely exited the New England market, as well as the Memphis and Nashville, Tenn., and Houston and San Antonio, Texas, areas. Capital raised from the sales was used to upgrade existing stores."

In essence, then, Albertsons regards their entire tenure in the Mid-South - which was no small operation, mind you; it encompassed a total of 38 stores throughout five states, one bakery/commissary, and several additional stores which were planned but never built - as worthy of only a few paragraphs in their entire corporate history. The 2000 closure of the Chattanooga-area stores doesn't even garner a mention, while the 2002 closure of the remainder of the 4700 division is spun into a positive as providing "capital [for the] upgrade [of] existing stores," without so much as blinking an eye at the devastation their departure caused the former employees and shoppers they left behind.

In other words, it's about time that Albertsons's Mid-South stores got some more attention. And Albertsons Florida Blog and I are proud to give them just that.

I've copied this next paragraph pretty much verbatim from the Albertsons in MS post because its message stands here as well: It is AFB's and my hope that this table will serve as a valuable, accurate, and composite resource for anyone interested in Albertsons's history in the Mid-South, whether they are former employees of the stores or just fans of retail. If you have any additional information, memories, or other comments regarding these stores that you'd like to share, please feel free to leave them in the designated area below this post! Or, alternatively (especially if you have photos or longer stories of your own that you'd like to share), you can always email me at midsouthretailblog [at] gmail [dot] com with those, as well as how you would like to be credited, and I will happily post them here on the blog. (You could even write your own contributor post, if you wish!)

So, here it is: please click this link to access the full Albertsons Mid-South Division Store List! As with last time, AFB and I have packed so much information into the table that it wouldn't fit properly on my blog template, haha, so he was kind enough to host it over at his blog (which you ought to check out while you're there, if you haven't already!). If, for whatever reason, that link doesn't work for you, and/or you'd rather view the table in image format, I have split the table into screenshots by division for your browsing pleasure. You may check out the separate screenshots (and posts, where applicable) for the Memphis-area Seessel's by Albertsons stores here; the Nashville-area Albertsons stores here; the Chattanooga-area Albertsons stores here; and the remaining three "outlier" Mid-South stores below.

Click image to enlarge. Note that the Cape Girardeau store was the only Albertsons-branded store ever to operate in the state of Missouri. (Albertsons's other operations in that state were under the Smitty's by Albertsons banner, another acquired chain.) Additionally, the Hot Springs store was one of only two Albertsons stores ever to operate in Arkansas, and the Tupelo store was one of only ten Albertsons stores ever to operate in Mississippi. In both of those states, they were each the only Mid-South (4700) division stores.

In initially sharing this project with me, Albertsons Florida Blog also provided some additional information about the division which did not wind up in the table itself, including a breakdown of Albertsons's numbering system for its Mid-South stores which you may find helpful. All of that is printed below.

"The Mid-South division was run out of Memphis (from Seessel's headquarters), and later opened a branch divisional office in Nashville. Most of the Mid-South division was built up through acquisitions (28 out of the 38 stores were acquired from others), which is a bit unusual for an Albertsons branded division. Anyway, here's a breakdown of the 4700 series:

4700 – Never existed (Albertsons never used the XX00 store numbers for some reason)
4701-4710 – The original batch of 10 Seessel’s stores when Albertsons acquired the chain in 1998
4711-4716 – Added/Replacement stores for Seessel’s during Albertsons’ ownership (with the exception of 4714, Tupelo)
4717-4719 – The three Memphis Jitney Jungle stores Albertsons purchased in 2000
4720-4723 – The Chattanooga area stores (all purchased from Bruno’s in 1998)
4724-4734 – The Nashville area stores. These were all former Bruno’s stores Albertsons purchased in 1998.
4735-4739 – Added/Replacement stores built by Albertsons around Memphis and Nashville
4740 – The Cape Girardeau, MO store
4741-4753 – Never used, as far as I know. This probably would have been for more stores throughout the division had it not been dissolved in 2002.
4754 – The Hot Springs, AR store."

To build off of what AFB wrote, I'll say that having the majority of the Mid-South Albertsons portfolio made up of acquired stores may well have accelerated the entire division's demise, unfortunately. And I agree with him in that "it's quite sad what happened to them" all, especially the Seessel's stores, since "Albertsons really invested a lot of money into [these stores]...only to give up on them after a few short years." My post from last summer, The Aftermath of Seessel's, details more about how Albertsons's sale of those stores was just one in a string of many unfortunate events to plague the once-beloved locally-owned Memphis grocer. Please feel free to visit that post at this link if you're interested in reading more about that topic.

Additionally, if you're interested in learning more about Albertsons in general, let me remind you that Albertsons Florida Blog is no stranger to compiling in-depth tables like this! As I noted in that Albertsons in MS post, he has a similar table to this Mid-South one covering the Florida Division stores that you can check out here. Also, blogger Psuedo3D's page here has even more information on several other Albertsons divisions.

I'm sure most of you stopped reading after I gave you the link to the table, lol, so I might as well wrap up this post now. Again, many, many thanks are in order to my friend Albertsons Florida Blog for creating, allowing me to edit and otherwise help in the production of, gifting to the Mid-South Retail Blog, and hosting on your own blog, this awesome table. It's an honor! From originally hoping to one day have simply a complete listing of all of the Seessel's stores (which, by the way, this table doubles as, at least from the years 1998 to 2002!), I've been met with so much more, and it was a great surprise at that. And for you, the readers: as I've said already, I sincerely hope that, whether you're a regular visitor of this blog or this table brought you here (and if it did, let me know, I'll be glad to hear it!), you'll enjoy the table's contents! It's my absolute pleasure to be able to share it with each and every one of you. :)

Okay, that's enough waxing poetic from me, haha! Be sure to check out the MSRB's newest sidebar tab (on the site's desktop version), titled "Tables," from here on out for quick access to this and all of the other tables I've had the privilege of posting (several more are to follow in the coming months, so stay tuned!). And as always, have fun exploring the retail world wherever you are!

Retail Retell

7 comments:

  1. You did a good job with the post! It was my pleasure to share the table with you, and to collaborate to make a great final product!

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  2. Looks *kinda* fun, but also tedious to put together at times I would think! Definitely looks like you guys did a thorough job either way, and I agree: great final product! I think I've read through major portions of "The Aftermath of Seessel's" post about three times(!), and now with this newly-compiled information, can't see why I would never need any other source for Seessel's/Albertsons stores in this area, or at least the best starting point on the internet to check out other links. Too much info to take in all at once, that's for sure!

    I had forgotten all about the Whitehaven Montesi location briefly becoming a Megamarket (seems like it was for a brief time anyway)! Seems also the Southaven Sack & Save turned Jitney Premier turned Megamarket might of been a nice, large store (at one time at least) for Albertsons as well, but probably wasn't even being considered since the Goodman Rd. Seessel's store had opened long before then. When I worked there briefly during it's opening days as Sack & Save, it was easily the largest grocery store in Southaven (probably larger than any in Whitehaven also), state of the art all the way, and always jam-packed with shoppers (except when I was working during 3rd shift)!

    Also would like to add that the large store at Germantown (now known as Riverdale) and Holmes did that brief stint as temporary school classrooms (complete with the Grocery Palace Décor still intact!), though I think that was only for one school year.

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    1. Ha! Yeah, the research was tough at times. The times when I finally had breakthroughs in my searches felt great, though. And when I couldn't find a thing I was looking for no matter how hard I tried, I asked AFB and he dug it up for me ;D Anyway, thank you for all the compliments!

      At one point in the research I also went off on a bit of a tangent trying to piece together info on the Memphis-area Jitney Jungle stores. Seems I even vaguely remember reading at one point that the Southaven Megamarket was going to be sold to Albertsons, but obviously that never came to pass! Surely the Goodman Road store had something to do with that, as well as the presence of the existing Stateline Road Seessel's (or, if it had closed by that point, the fact that they wouldn't have wanted to return to that area of town). Of course, I could be entirely wrong on having read that in the first place anyway XD

      Yep, good point! I totally forgot to put that in the table :P Oh well - thanks for adding it here for me instead, haha!

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  3. Sorry I'm just now seeing this response (10 days later :P) Guess I should log in to Google more often on the PC, seeing how the email blog notices sometimes jam up on the mobile version, if I even get them at all!

    You're welcome! I want to say the Southaven Sack & Save came first, then Jitney expanded into Memphis sometime later by buying up all the Megamarket locations. It was kind of exciting (at first, at least!) being part of Jitney's initial foray into this area. I remember in an associate meeting at Sack & Save (the only one I ever remember attending in the few weeks I worked there!), the store manager talking about having a couple of their people walking around in the Southaven Kroger checking out prices, only Kroger got wise to it real quick and threw them out XD Guess that goes to show how nervous Kroger gets when they have real competition...

    No problem, and you're welcome!

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    1. Ha, no worries!

      Lol! I'm glad that store never caught on to any of us local folk taking pictures of its Bauhaus décor, then!

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