IGA is a name used by many independent grocery stores throughout the world. It has since expanded to the world's largest voluntary supermarket chain, where the IGA banner is licensed in 45 countries and territories to over 4,000 independent supermarkets served by 37 independent distributors.
IGA was started in the United States
in May 1926 when a group of 100 independent retailers in Poughkeepsie, New York
, and Sharon, Connecticut
, led by J. Frank Grimes
, began operating as the Independent Grocers Alliance
. This group quickly expanded, and by the end of the year there were more than 150 IGA retailers. In 1930 there were over 8,000 grocery stores using the IGA name. The company uses the "Hometown Proud Supermarkets" slogan. IGA is a common sight in small town America.
In Canada, other than British Columbia, IGA is a group of independent grocers supplied by Sobeys, which franchises the name. Acquired by Sobeys as part of its purchase of The Oshawa Group Ltd., it now operates primarily in Quebec. The IGA operations in Atlantic Canada were sold to Loblaw Companies Limited and were restructured under its existing brands, while its company owned stores west of Quebec now mainly operate under the Sobeys banner. There are, however, many IGA stores still operating in Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta.
In British Columbia, Marketplace IGA stores are owned by the H. Y. Louie Co.
IGA stores in Quebec
are larger and carry a wider variety of merchandise. Many of these stores are known as IGA Extra
The "Independent Grocers of Australia" brand is owned by Metcash
, a South African based retailer and wholesaler. This company supplies groceries, promotional materials and other things to a large number of locally owned Australian supermarkets, and a few smaller chains. Collectively, they are a competitor to major Australian supermarkets Woolworths/Safeway
On May 1, 2006, IGA grew to include Dewsons, Ritchies, 'Action' and SupaValu.