Randall's Food Markets

Randall's Food Markets

company_name = Randall's Food Markets
company_type = Grocer, Subsidiary of Safeway Inc.| company_slogan = Ingredients for life
foundation = 1966
location = Houston, Texas
key_people = Steven R. Frisby, Division President; Leslie Nelson, Vice President Finance; Ronnie Brennan, Vice President Marketing
num_employees = 18,368 (1998)
industry = Retail
products = Bakery, dairy, deli, frozen foods, grocery, meat, pharmacy, produce, seafood, snacks, liquor
homepage = [http://www.randalls.com/ www.randalls.com]
parent = Safeway, Inc.

Randall's Food Markets operates 112 supermarkets in the Houston, Austin, and Dallas-Fort Worth areas under the "Randalls", "Flagship Randalls", "Tom Thumb", "Flagship Tom Thumb", and "Simon David" banners. Randall's employs more than 10,000 associates and is the Texas division of Safeway Inc.

Most stores include fresh seafood, floral, cosmetic, bakery and film processing departments. The premium Flagship Randalls and Flagship Tom Thumb stores have increased their take-out departments to provide fresh made pizzas, pastas and barbecue. Many locations even offer bank branches, ATMs, coffee shops, one-hour photo processing, drive-thru pharmacy windows, fueling stations and full-service counters where you can purchase lottery or movie tickets, pay utility bills and car licenses renewals.


Randalls Food Markets was founded by Robert R. Onstead, R. C. Barclay, and Norman N. Frewin in Houston, Texas, on July 4, 1966, with the purchase of two existing grocery stores. Their fourth store opened in 1970, and by the end of the decade the company owned 15 stores and had established itself in the market. By 1990 the chain had expanded to 42 stores. In 1991 Randall's earned over a billion dollars in revenue, making it the fastest growing company in Houston.

Expanding from Houston

In the 1990s Randall's expanded into Dallas, Fort Worth and Austin. Cullum Companies, owner of 62 Tom Thumb and Simon David stores in Dallas, Fort Worth and Austin, became part of the Randall's family in 1992, doubling the company's size with more than 115 stores statewide. [ [http://www.chron.com/CDA/archives/archive.mpl?id=1992_1064847 Randall's to buy large Dallas chain] , "Houston Chronicle", July 2, 1992.] The Tom Thumb logo was changed to one similar to Randall's, but the Tom Thumb name was retained. Already in Austin with the Tom Thumb name, Randall's added its own name to the market in January 1994 when the company bought 12 AppleTree Markets stores (ironically a grocer formed with former Safeway locations as a result of Safeway leaving Texas in 1988). Nine of the 12 AppleTree Markets and all seven Tom Thumb stores were converted to the Randalls banner, giving the company a significant presence in the Texas Hill Country. The remaining three AppleTree stores were closed. [Randalls shuts three AppleTrees; Nine other area stores are closed temporarily for conversion after grocery buyout, "Austin American-Statesman", January 19, 1994.] [Clash of the titans; Industry giants Randalls, H.E.B. battle for bucks, buyers' interest, "Austin American-Statesman", January 22, 1994.] [Updates from the aisles of Austin's new and changing food storesThe goods on groceries, "Austin American-Statesman", March 23, 1994.] [Grocery stores change names to Randall's, "Ausin American-Statesman", January 8, 1994.] [Randalls banner flies over old Tom Thumbs, "Austin American-Statesman", January 13, 1994.] Though the Simon David would remain open until December 1996, after which it became a Saks Fifth Avenue. [ [http://austin.bizjournals.com/austin/stories/1996/09/02/story1.html Saks Fifth Ave. signs letter of intent] "Austin Business Journal", August 30, 1996.] [ [http://austin.bizjournals.com/austin/stories/1997/04/21/newscolumn2.html Constructors & Associates turns Simon David into Saks] "Austin Business Journal", April 18, 1997.] After many customers lamented the loss of Austin's only Simon David, Randall's decided in 1998 to make its Bee Caves store a Flagship Randall's supermarket, the first in the city and the eighth in the chain. [Randalls brings Flagship specialty store concept to Austin, "Austin American-Statesman", September 24, 1998.]

After 28 years in operation, Randall's began to sell beer and wine in its stores in late 1994. (Though company-owned Tom Thumb and AppleTree stores in Dallas and Austin acquired beginning in 1992 had already been selling beer and wine.)

Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co.

In April 1997, buyout firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. invested $225 million in exchange for a majority interest in the supermarket chain. Randall's then accelerated its growth in various markets and at the same time sold or closed a number of stores that choked advancement. [cite web | publisher="Austin Business Journal"| title=Randalls plans to close Lake Creek location | url=http://austin.bizjournals.com/austin/stories/1997/07/28/story8.html| date=July 25, 1997 | accessdate=21 October | accessyear=2006] [cite web | publisher="Houston Business Journal"| title=Randalls sells three stores to rival Albertson's | url=http://houston.bizjournals.com/houston/stories/1997/11/24/story7.html| date=November 21, 1997 | accessdate=21 October | accessyear=2006] Within a year, the company opened one store in Houston and three stores in Dallas (including two replacement stores), while closing four stores in Houston, two stores in Dallas (which were replaced) and four stores in Austin.


In 1999, Safeway Inc., a Fortune 50 company and one of the largest food and drug retailers in North America based on sales, bought the then 116-store Randall's/Tom Thumb chain. [cite web | publisher="East Bay Business Times"| title=Safeway buys Randall's | url=http://eastbay.bizjournals.com/eastbay/stories/1999/07/19/daily16.html | date=July 23, 1999 | accessdate=21 October | accessyear=2006] [cite web | publisher="Houston Business Journal"| title=Supermarket merger remarkable | url=http://houston.bizjournals.com/houston/stories/1999/08/02/story4.html | date=July 30, 1999 | accessdate=21 October | accessyear=2006] Safeway retained the Randall's name in Houston and Austin and the Tom Thumb and Simon David names in Dallas/Fort Worth, but replaced many of the Randall's/Tom Thumb "Remarkable" house brands with Safeway-label items. Randall's Food Markets, Inc., became a division of Safeway and changed its division name to Randall's Food & Drugs. By 2001, Randall's operated 46 stores in the Houston area, 12 stores in Austin and 69 stores in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area (under the Tom Thumb and Simon David banners).

In early 2005, Safeway was rumored to be attempting to sell the then 138-store Randall's division. [cite web | publisher="East Bay Business Times"| title=Safeway to move on Randalls/Tom Thumb's blues? | url=http://eastbay.bizjournals.com/eastbay/stories/2005/02/21/story8.html | date=February 18, 2005 | accessdate=21 October | accessyear=2006] [cite web | publisher="Houston Business Journal"| title=Safeway may sell off Randalls in second helping of Houston | url=http://houston.bizjournals.com/houston/stories/2005/02/21/newscolumn5.html | date=February 18, 2005 | accessdate=21 October | accessyear=2006] Instead, Safeway announced by the end of the year it would close 15 Randall's stores in the Houston area, one in Austin, and nine Tom Thumb stores in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. [cite web | publisher="Houston Business Journal"| title=Safeway to shutter 15 Houston-area Randalls stores | url=http://houston.bizjournals.com/houston/stories/2005/10/17/daily11.html | date=October 19, 2005 | accessdate=21 October | accessyear=2006] [cite web | publisher="Dallas Business Journal"| title=Safeway to close nine Dallas-Fort Worth Tom Thumb stores | url=http://dallas.bizjournals.com/dallas/stories/2005/10/17/daily11.html | date=October 18, 2005 | accessdate=21 October | accessyear=2006] [cite web | publisher="Austin Business Journal"| title=26 Randalls, Tom Thumb stores in Texas to close | url=http://austin.bizjournals.com/austin/stories/2005/10/17/daily10.html | date=October 18, 2005 | accessdate=21 October | accessyear=2006] Following the closures Randall's/Tom Thumb operated 62 stores in Dallas, 36 in Houston and 14 in Austin. Safeway said the move would revitalize the Texas division and that it planned to remodel stores to fit its "Lifestyle" format and introduce proprietary products. The new Lifestyle format features an expanded selection of perishables and a number of unique offerings, including a large selection of natural and organic foods, full-service meat counters, full-service bakeries and floral design centers, as well as sushi bars and olive bars. As a result of intense competition in Randall's operating markets, the "Lifestyle" format stores are Safeway's response in an attempt to recover lost market share. In Houston, market share fell to 6.9% in 2006. [cite web | publisher="The Houston Chronicle"| url=http://www.marketing2retail.com/!foodretailing.htm | title=New amenities include things like wine stewards and sushi chefs: Randalls stores get makeovers after market share drops to 6.9 percent | date=March 24, 2007 | accessdate=7 August | accessyear=2007]

Community involvement

During Hurricane Alicia in 1983, Randall's kept its doors open despite serious flooding. Over the years Randall's has donated to myriad local causes. Since 1996 alone over nearly $24 million has been given to some 8,000 local non-profit organizations.Fact|date=April 2008

Although many stores closed during Hurricane Ike, they rushed to reopen after the storm had past. The Galveston, Texas store received heavy damage due to the winds and storm surge, but has mangaged to reopen.

Hurricane Relief Fund

After Hurricane Ike, Randall's has partnered up with KHOU Channel 11, 104.1 KRBE, and Jack FM for the Hurricane Ike Relief Fund in order to help those in need.

Loyalty program

Randall's offers a loyalty card (Remarkable Card) that provides a 3-cent discount on gasoline and 10-cents off everytime a customer accumulates $100 on their card with an extra 10-cents off for every $100 after (which expires at the end of the calendar quarter, such as, 3/31, 6/30, 9/30, and 12/31), as well as airline miles or a portion of sales proceeds donated to charity. The loyalty card is good at all Safeway stores. (Loyalty cards issued before the purchase by Safeway can only be used at Randall's and Tom Thumb stores.)


External links

* [http://www.randalls.com/ Randall's Food Markets official website]
* [http://houston.bizjournals.com/houston/stories/1999/08/02/editorial1.html Innovative Randalls a remarkable story] "Houston Business Journal" (July 30, 1999) commentary on Randall's being bought by Safeway
* [http://www.fundinguniverse.com/company-histories/Randalls-Food-Markets-Inc-Company-History.html Randall's Food Markets History] from FundingUniverse.com

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