What Is the History of Smith's Grocery Stores?

What Is the History of Smith's Grocery Stores?

Lorenzo Smith opened the first Smith's grocery store in 1911. Lorenzo's son, Dee Smith, grew the company significantly from the late 1940s until his death in 1984. Fred Meyer acquired Smith's in 1997, and Kroger Company acquired Fredy Meyer in 1999.

The first store opened by Lorenzo Smith was similar to the other dry goods stores in Brigham City, Utah at the time. After about 10 years, he bought a larger store. In 1932, he named the store Smith and Son's Market. Business increased in 1942 when the U.S. Army built a hospital near the store.

Dee Smith, his partner George C. Woodward and Lorenzo Smith expanded the stores because they believed smaller stores were becoming obsolete. In 1952, the refurbished Smith's Super Market opened and sales increased. In 1954, Smith's acquired American Food retail stores and began opening more stores.

In the 1960s and 1970s, Dee Smith developed a strategy of buying failing stores at low prices, improving them and making them profitable. In 1969, he acquired Souvall Brothers, a company that offered a diverse product line and had a higher profit margin than Smith's.

Smith's started developing combination stores that sold more than just groceries. After Dee Smith's death, his sons took over and continued his plan of phasing out older stores in favor of combination food and drug centers.