Eagle Food Centers
was a chain of supermarkets
that operated in Iowa
for a number of years. The company was based out of Milan, Illinois
, which is near the Quad Cities
. The company operated stores under many names, including BOGO'S, Eagle Country Market, Eagle Discount Centers, Eagle Discount Supermarkets, Eagle Food Centers, May's Drug and MEMCO.
- 1893: Tenenbom family opens forerunner of Eagle's chain in Davenport.
- 1921: Geifman's and Eagle Kash and Karry open small neighborhood markets in the Quad-Cities, specializing in fruits and vegetables. These two operations grew during the 1930s as the family added new stores.
- 1935: Self-service became an important part of the grocery business, with Eagle and other stores responding by allowing self-service at lower prices.
- 1952: Geifman's merged five stores with the eight stores of Davenport's Tenenbom family. Together, they became known as United Supermarkets.
- 1954: United merged with 10 stores of Eagle Kash and Karry, forming the largest area chain, called Eagle-United Supermarkets.
- 1957: New Milan warehouse construction completed with of space.
- 1961: Eagle purchased by Consolidated Foods Corp. of Chicago, one of the nation's leading food processors and distributors. Consolidated operated 68 Piggly Wiggly stores. The Eagle and Piggly Wiggly operations were combined and operated from Eagle's corporate office and warehouse in Milan, Illinois.
- 1965: Coin Bakery, Rock Island, was purchased and became a part of Eagle under the name Harvest Day Bakery.
- 1968: California-based Lucky Stores buys Eagle Foods from Consolidated Foods Corp. Eagle Food Centers and Piggly Wiggly stores were renamed Eagle Discount Supermarkets, following Lucky's unique and successful discount pricing program. Lucky establishes Lucky Midwestern Division headquarters in Milan, Illinois.
- 1981: Eagle operates 136 stores and has sales of $1.2 billion.
- 1984: United Food and Commercial Workers Strike Eagle Foods Stores in Illinois & Iowa resulting in the creation of a bitter labor atmosphere.
- November 1987: Lucky Stores sells majority ownership of Eagle Food Stores to New York-based Odyssey Partners. Odyssey gives monetary transfusion, allowing Eagle to expand old stores and add new ones.
- December 1987: Eagle's files building permit for a $1.2 million expansion at its Avenue of the Cities store in Moline, ballooning the store by .
- 1988: New stores open in Galesburg and Chicago suburb of Downers Grove.
- August 1988: Eagle announces construction of a $2.5 million, grocery store in East Moline to replace an aging, store at 1313 42nd Ave.
- November 1988: Eagle applies for building permit to allow a $1.2 million, expansion to Milan warehouse. Company also announces $1 million expansion of Geneseo store on U.S. 6, expanding the building from 19,000 to .
- August 1989: Eagle becomes a publicly owned corporation.
- June 1990: Eagle Food Centers elects its first board of directors at the company's first annual stockholders' meeting at the Milan Community Center.
- May 1992: Pasquale "Pat" Petitti, chairman of the board of chief executive officer of Eagle Food Centers, Inc., retires after 35 years with the company.
- December 1999: Eagle sells five of its Chicago-area stores, leaving 90 stores in Illinois, Iowa and Indiana. Stock price dips to $2.03, down from a 52-week high of $4.25. Company reports net loss of $1.5 million.
Eventually, the company found that it was unable to compete with other chains, such as Jewel-Osco
. The first sign of this was the selling of the Harvest Day bakery plant in Rock Island, Illinois to the Metz Baking Company in 1998. The company went into Chapter 11 bankruptcy in March 2000.
In 2003, Eagle Food Stores ceased operations, and sold off its assets. Some of the stores were acquired by other chains, such as Hy-Vee, Kroger, Albertsons, and Butera. The Downtown Eagle Corporation was founded to take over two stores - one in Clinton, Iowa and the other in Dubuque, Iowa. They purchased the rights to the Eagle Country Market name and signage and operate the two stores under the Eagle Country Market name.