Albertsons Companies Inc. began as a single store in Boise, Idaho, in 1939. It became the first combination grocery store and drug store in 1969, and it has also acquired several smaller store chains. As of 2015, it operates over 2,200 stores in 33 states.
The grocery store chain was founded by Joe Albertson in an attempt to offer the widest selection and variety of food products within the state of Idaho. Albertson introduced several new concepts to the grocery store market, including free parking and a money-back guarantee on products. Over the next several decades, he opened numerous additional stores within Idaho and other states, in addition to acquiring companies such as Greater All American Markets in Southern California. Around the same time, Albertson formed a partnership with Skaggs Drug Centers to offer pharmaceutical sales and services within his stores, becoming the first grocery chain to offer both products within the same location.
Over time, the company continued to acquire other stores and chains across the country, including Jewel-Osco, Shaw's, Star Market, Tom Thumb and Randalls. In 2015, the company purchased Safeway Inc., which placed grocery stores such as Vons, Safeway and Pavilions under its corporate umbrella. The company offers service primarily in the Midwest, the West Coast and sections of New England.