What Is the History of Shoppers Food and Pharmacy?


Quick Answer

Shoppers Food and Pharmacy was founded by brothers Irving and Kenneth Herman who were raised by Russian immigrants in northwest Washington, D.C. The brothers worked in the family delicatessen while growing up. They went on to open the first Jumbo Food Stores in 1949; these later became Shoppers.

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Full Answer

The first Shoppers Food Warehouse opened in 1978 when the Jumbo stores converted to a warehouse format wherein product was offered in packing boxes and customers bagged their own purchases. The strategy was an effort to offer lower prices on brand-name products by keeping services and employment costs to a minimum. The success of the model allowed Shoppers to expand to 11 stores in a growing competitive market.

In 1989, Irving sold 49 percent of his shares in the company to the Dart Group, leaving his brother Kenneth with the controlling portion. The company further expanded over the following 10 years until Dart Corporation acquired full control of the company prior to Dart's demise. In 1999 Shoppers was acquired by Supervalue Inc. and the chain continued to grow with additional acquisitions, including stores in Maryland and Virginia.

As of 2004, the chain had 58 locations, all maintaining the original low warehouse pricing philosophy. As of 2015, the company remains active in its community and supports organizations such as the Maryland and Capital Area Food Banks, The American Red Cross of the National Capital Area, and many community churches, schools and not-for-profit organizations.

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