Giant Eagle: for more than 80 years

May 1, 2021

That’s Another Giant Eagle Advantage” 

Giant Eagle’s 466 U.S. Store Locations

It’s kind of a funny story…
Almost one hundred years ago, not long after World War I, three families–the Goldsteins, Porters and Chaits–built a small but successful grocery company called Eagle Grocery. Their business did very well and expanded to 125 stores. In 1928, the three families sold Eagle grocery to Kroger Company. The deal required that the Goldsteins, Porters and Chaits leave the grocery business for three years. And, so they did.

At the same time, there were two other families, the Moravitz’s and the Weizenbaums, who had launched a chain of grocery stores called OK Grocery. They, too, were successful.

In 1931, the five families (the Goldsteins, Porters, Chaits, Moravitz’s and Weizenbaums) put their successful grocery chains together to form Giant Eagle.

The first Giant Eagle supermarket opened in 1936.

Throughout the 1930s and 1940s, despite the Great Depression and World War II, the Giant Eagle Chain grew steadily in the Pittsburgh-area neighbourhoods. Giant Eagle was incorporated in 1933.

In the 1980s, the Giant Eagle chain bought Youngstown, Ohio-based wholesaler Tamarkin Company, and its Valu-King stores. These were all converted to the Giant Eagle name.

In the latter half of the 1990s, Giant Eagle bought Rini-Rego Stop-n-Shop in Cleveland.  The Rini- Rego Stop-n-Shop stores were family-owned and operated. The family operators formed a holding company named International Seaway Foods. In 1998, Giant Eagle bought International Seaway Foods and converted the Rini- Rego Stop-n-Shop Stores into Giant Eagle Stores.

In 1991, Giant Eagle introduced the Advantage Card, which replaced the obsolete loyalty stamps program. To entice customers, Giant Eagle started a program called Fuelperks which allowed customers to earn 10 cents off each gallon of gasoline when they purchase fifty dollars worth of authorized products.

Giant Eagle then expanded into Ohio when it bought the former Apples supermarkets. In 2006, Giant Eagle purchased the 18 New York-based Tops Supermarkets.

In 2017, Giant Eagle introduced Fuelperks+, an enhanced version of the existing Fuelperks program.

Giant Eagle offers shoppers so much more than the average supermarket, from ethnic and organic foods to in-store banking, dry cleaning and daycare service that gives parents a chance to shop without the kids–and the kids get to have fun.

Some older Giant Eagle locations are unionized and some are even franchised. However, in recent years the company has started leaning toward non-union company-owned and -operated stores.

Gloria Sauvé
Communications and Marketing

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