Fred Meyer

Fred Meyer

company_name = Fred Meyer, Inc.
company_type = Hypermarket Grocery/Department store
foundation = 1922 (Portland, Oregon)
location = Portland, Oregon
key_people = Michael Ellis, president
industry = Retail
products = Food, clothing, footwear, bedding, furniture, jewelry, beauty products, electronics, toys, lumber, garden supplies and housewares.| parent = Kroger
homepage = []

Fred Meyer, Inc is an American company founded in 1922 in Portland, Oregon by Fred G. Meyer. The company was one of the pioneers of the retail supercenter or hypermarket format of store which combines a grocery supermarket and a department store. It has locations throughout the Pacific Northwest. Prior to the company's merger with Kroger it traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol FMY. Although the company is now a division of The Kroger Company, Fred Meyer and the western region of Kroger are still headquartered in Portland. Fred Meyer is sometimes known as "Freddy’s", a nickname the company has used in its advertising and for its mascot, Fred Bear. [ [ Fred Meyer Stores, Inc. at] ] [ [ Halverson, Richard C.; "Fred Meyer invades California's heartland - combination discount and grocery store opens in Chico, California";; June 4, 1990] ] For a number of years the company has used the marketing jingle, "What's on your list today? You'll find it at Fred Meyer!" in print, radio and television advertising.



Fred Meyer, originally of New York City, opened his first public market at the corner of Fifth and Yamhill in downtown Portland, OR in 1922. In 1928, Mr. Meyer opened the first self-service drug store.

In 1931, he opened his first suburban one-stop shopping center in the Hollywood District of Portland, a neighborhood he deliberately chose through a shrewd and prescient application of market research: he would pay customers' overtime parking tickets that they incurred while shopping at his downtown store, just to obtain their home addresses. The store's innovations included a grocery store alongside a drug store plus general merchandise, off street parking, gasoline station, and—eventually—apparel.

In the 1960s, Fred Meyer entered the Seattle market by acquiring Seattle based Marketime Drugs. Fred Meyer also acquired a Spokane based grocery wholesaler called The Roundup Company. Roundup owned no stores in Spokane but owned Kalispell, Montana based B & B stores in Northwest Montana and Consumer Warehouse Foods in Soap Lake, WA. About 1968 the first full fledged Fred Meyer in the Seattle area was opened in Lynnwood, WA. It was also the largest Fred Meyer for about a decade.

Valu-Mart acquisition, death of Fred Meyer

In 1975, after several decades of growth in the Portland area, Fred Meyer purchased the Pacific Northwest-based Valu-Mart. Valu-Mart had been renamed Leslies about a year or two before the sale to Fred Meyer. In 1975, Fred Meyer opened their first stores in Alaska as a result of acquiring Leslies/Valu-Mart. Fred Meyer changed the Leslies/Valu Mart stores to the Fred Meyer banner at that time. As the Fred Meyer name became more well known in the Seattle area, the Marketime Drug chain became known as Fred Meyer-Marketime.

In 1977, Marketime was renamed Fred Meyer. Also in the mid 1980s, the Northwest Montana B & B stores also took on the Fred Meyer name.

On September 2, 1978, Mr. Meyer died at the age of 92. Mr. Meyer played a huge role in the day to day operation of his company until his death.

In 1982, the company was purchased by Kohlberg Kravis Roberts in what was one of KKR's first major leveraged buyouts.

Acquisitions of Grand Central and Smith's

In 1985 Fred Meyer acquired Grand Central of Salt Lake City, Utah. The Grand Central stores in Utah and Idaho were converted to Fred Meyer stores, although most did not receive full supermarket departments until the mid 1990s.

In 1997, Fred Meyer Inc. acquired Smith's Food and Drug of Salt Lake City, though both companies maintained separate operations. In 1998, Fred Meyer acquired Ralphs Grocery Company of Los Angeles, California, and QFC of Seattle, Washington. Both acquisitions also maintained separate operations with Fred Meyer, Inc. as the holding company. In that fast string of mergers, Fred Meyer quickly became the nation's fifth largest food and drug store operator.

In 1997, Fred Meyer shut its Montana stores, converting two stores to the company's Smith's Food and Drug chain. The Kalispell Smith's was eventually closed and demolished for a new Smith's location after the size of the building was determined too big for Smith's.

Merger with Kroger

In May 1999 Fred Meyer, Inc. merged with Kroger of Cincinnati, Ohio. In 2000, the Arizona Fred Meyer stores, all of which were formerly Smitty's stores that Fred Meyer acquired in the Smith's merger, were rebranded as Fry's Marketplace.

In 2004, Smith's Food and Drug assumed the operations of the Utah Fred Meyer stores, which were rebranded as Smith's Marketplace. Also, since the acquisition of the Fred Meyer Company, Kroger has been unifying standards across the company. Kroger is adapting many of the Fred Meyer store standards, and implementing their own standards to the Fred Meyer stores. Kroger and Fred Meyer stores are slowly becoming more similar in management, and merchandising standards.


Fred Meyer currently operates 128 stores divided into seven merchandising zones as well as an online special order site for their postal prescription service, online photo ordering, online music/movie/video game sales through partner The Store 24/7, and an Alaska bush fulfillment center allowing those in remote areas of the state to shop Fred Meyer. The zones represent geographical areas of the Northwest, including: West Portland (Zone 1), SW Washington/East Portland (Zone 2), The Remaining Outskirts of Oregon (Outer Ring) (Zone 3), North Puget Sound (Zone 4), South Puget Sound (Zone 5), Idaho/Eastern Washington (Zone 6), and Alaska (Zone 7). Each "zone" is made up of about twenty stores and has its own administrative team of regional directors.

tore design

Fred Meyer stores are well known for their huge floor space. To compete, other supermarket chains operating in the northwest (like Safeway) often build stores that are much larger than their standard store format.A typical store is divided into four major departments:
*An apparel (ALE) and leisure division with shoe (some full service; most self-serve), women's and men's ready-to-wear, intimate, cosmetics, accessories, and young men's/junior's department called "Elements". In most stores, ALE has anywhere from three to six checkstands of its own; these checkstands (and their cashiers) belong to a section known as SG2 (an abbreviation of "Soft Goods").
*A grocery (FOD/GRO) which includes a Nutrition Center, Health and Beauty Aids department and Pet Center as well as full-service meat, seafood, deli, produce, and bakery areas. FOD also manages the Bottle Return found in most Fred Meyer parking lots.
*A home division (HOM) featuring toy, stationery, sports and auto, home improvement, garden, furniture, and bed & bath areas and a special area for seasonal merchandise. Fuel centers (SPG) are part of the HOM department. Many locations have checkstands in the HOM department; these checkstands belong to a section known as HG2 (an abbreviation of "Home & Garden"), some locations provide a HOM U-Scan as well.
*Additionally, most Fred Meyer stores possess an Operations (OPS) department, which is responsible for the main bank of checkstands or 'Central Check Cashiers' (CCK); the Customer Service Desk (CSD), also known as the Customer Information Desk, or CID, where services such as Western Union, Fish & Game licenses, bus passes, tobacco sales, and merchandise returns/exchanges are offered; U-Scan (a customer self checkout option) and the parking lot. In some stores these areas are a section (known as GR2 - an abbreviation of "Grocery") of the grocery (FOD/GRO) department. Playland, a child-care center provided free of charge for shoppers at some locations is also a division of the Operations department.

Home Electronics (PEM) departments offer a high tech selection including computers, televisions, etc. as well as a photo station and a music market for CDs, movies, and video games. Most stores also include an outlet of Fred Meyer's jewellery chain, Fred Meyer Jewelers, and a pharmacy.

In some stores' parking lots an "FM Fuel Center" is added, managed by the Home Department .

Most Fred Meyer stores lease peripheral retail space to other businesses. For example, an average store in Oregon and Washington would have a Hollywood Video store and a Washington Mutual Bank branch, and a locksmith in the store's parking lot. Many stores also house a Starbucks Coffee outlet, (some of which are) operated by Fred Meyer under contract. Other locations include a Starbucks operated outlet in an outside tenancy, while Fred Meyer operates a Tully's Coffee, or Kivu Coffee bar inside as an extension of the Multi-Service-Deli.

In Alaska, all Fred Meyer locations contain Alaska USA Federal Credit Union branches, except the Palmer and Soldotna location, While the Soldotna location has an Alaska USA Federal Credit Union directly across the street. Many other locations throughout the chain lease space to a Washington Mutual Bank branch.

Department structure

The store is managed by a store director (and one or two assistant directors if they are a management training store). Each department is run by a manager, an assistant manager, and often a third or a fourth manager, depending upon the size of the department. In addition to the management staff, "persons-in-charge" (PIC) are non-management supervisors who assume management duties and responsibilities for the duration of a shift, but are otherwise level with co-workers. In the major divisions (ALE, HOM, FOD) "Sectionheads" or Department managers are responsible for a given section of the department.


A single Fred Meyer store employs anywhere from 50-300 employees at any given time. During mid-day, usually you will find around 100 employees working at one time within an average Fred Meyer location. Employee benefits vary, depending on the position an individual holds, how many hours per month/week that employee works, and whether or not that store/department of a store belongs to a union. All employees receive Employee Rewards cards that double as Employee Discount cards. Discounts range from 0% - 20% depending on which department goods are purchased from. Employees now receive an extra 10 cents off per gallon on gas. A typical Fred Meyer store has job opportunities available on a weekly basis, depending on employees retiring, getting promoted, quitting, or being terminated. Many job opportunities also become available on whether a store becomes busier, due to nearby businesses or the addition of new departments or fuel stations. Recently, the Fred Meyer store chain switched to an online employment system, powered by Unicru, which can be found at [ [ Official site] ]

Alternate store formats

Not all Fred Meyer stores conform to the conventional hypermarket format that the majority of stores do. While still department-style stores, Fred Meyer has two additional formats for stores too small to fit the vast space requirements of those in more eclectic neighborhoods.

Fred Meyer Marketplace

Fred Meyer Marketplace is a comparatively compact Fred Meyer, centered on a full service grocery section, with many of the other departments missing or considerably smaller than a full size Fred Meyer store. These are usually older locations in more central locations in Portland, with limited, often unique parking arrangements (like the Burlingame location's multistory parking garage, or the rooftop parking at the Hawthorne location). Most Marketplace stores in the Seattle area were once standard supermarkets that have been acquired from other grocers.

Some marketplace locations are early examples of Fred Meyer in its typical mall format, being the anchor store in a small Fred Meyer shopping center. Locations from this early era are typified by having the lawn and garden department in a different building immediately across the street or parking lot.

Fred Meyer Northwest Best

Fred Meyer Northwest Best is the company's "new concept" store in upscale Northwest Portland near PGE Park. It was converted from the Fred Meyer Stadium Marketplace in 2004 to compete against newly arrived retailers such as the Pearl District Whole Foods Market and Northwest Portland Trader Joe's. Fred Meyer also has Northwest Best stores in Gig Harbor, Washington and Redmond, Washington.

Private label brands

Fred Meyer employs Kroger's manufacturing by adding its own private label brands alongside national brand products. Aside from products labeled "Kroger" or "Fred Meyer", one might also find the following brands at a Fred Meyer store: Kivu, Country Oven, Everyday Living (and the more upscale eL²), F•M•V ("For Maximum Value"), Moto Tech, Private Selection, HD Designs, Splash Spa, and Naturally Preferred. Former brands associated with Fred Meyer were My-T-Fine, Presidents Choice, F. G. Meyer First Choice, Personal Choice, and Perfect Choice.

Rewards program

On May 4, 2004, Fred Meyer introduced Fred Meyer Rewards, a program that rewards (pays) customers for shopping in their stores. To participate, a customer completes a registration form and receives 3 purple cards (a credit card-sized card and two keytags). When the program was introduced, participating customers received one point for every $5 they spent in a single transaction (transactions with totals under $5 did not receive a point). If a customer earned 100 points (by spending at least $500) during a 13-week rewards cycle, they would receive about $5 in rebate vouchers. The rewards mailer also typically included percentage discount coupons on specific items. [ [ "Fred Meyer Rolls Out New Rewards Card";; May 5, 2004] ]

On April 29, 2007, the company revised the program somewhat, simultaneously with the launch of their [ Fred Meyer Rewards MasterCard] . Effective on that date (which was the beginning of a 13-week cycle), customers receive a point for each dollar spent, but the value of each point decreased proportionally, and a customer must earn 500 points in a 13-week rewards cycle to receive a rebate voucher. Customers who use the MasterCard version of Rewards earn double points (2 points per dollar spent). [ [ Fred Meyer Rewards at] ]

While using Fred Meyer Rewards does not provide discounts in the store (and sale prices are not contingent upon using Rewards), card holders receive a 3¢ per gallon discount on all FM Fuel Center fuel purchases. Rewards MasterCard holders receive a 15¢ per gallon discount on all fuel. Each time a customer accumulates $100 in eligible purchases, they receive a 10¢ per gallon discount (up to 20 gallons discounted) on their next fuel purchase.

ee also

*Fred Meyer Jewelers
*The Kroger Co.


External links

* [ Fred Meyer Stores]
* [ Fred Meyer Alaska Bush WebStore]

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