||This article needs additional citations for verification. (November 2010)|
|Type||Subsidiary of Safeway Inc.|
|Number of locations||24|
|Products||Bakery, dairy, delicatessen, frozen foods, fuel, grocery, pharmacy, photographic processing, produce, seafood, snack food, liquor, flowers, and Western Union|
Carrs-Safeway (formerly Carrs Quality Centers) is a supermarket chain that is based in Anchorage, Alaska and is a subsidiary of Safeway Inc. It was acquired in April 1999 by Safeway from an employee ownership group, who themselves had purchased the company from founder Larry Carr and his partner Barney Gottstein in 1990.
The proposed acquisition led to an antitrust lawsuit filed by the Alaska Public Interest Research Group, which was resolved by a consent decree reached between Safeway and the Alaska Attorney General's office which required the company to divest 7 stores. Those stores re-opened as the grocery chain Alaska Marketplace, which closed at the end of 2000. One of those stores, the Foodland Shopping Circle in Fairbanks, one of the earliest stores in the Carrs chain, has remained largely vacant since.
As of 2010, there are 24 stores in Alaska, including: Anchorage, Fairbanks (both in multiple locations), Juneau, Kenai, Ketchikan, Kodiak, Nome, North Pole, Palmer, Seward, Soldotna, Valdez, Wasilla and Unalaska.
Laurence John "Larry" Carr (July 28, 1929 - May 12, 2011) moved to Anchorage, Alaska in 1947 after graduating from high school in San Bernardino, California. After a short stint in management at the Alaska Railroad commissary, in which he hoped to make enough money to return to California and open a grocery store there, he instead became a competitor in the grocery business in Anchorage.
Carr opened his first store in a Quonset hut, located on the southern end of Gambell Street in the Eastchester (now known as Fairview) neighborhood of Anchorage, in February 1950. The location would prove to be beneficial, as Gambell Street, which became Potter Road after leaving the townsite limits and dead-ended several miles south of town at a railroad section house, soon became the northern terminus of the Seward Highway.
The name Carrs was derived from the original operating partnership of Larry Carr and his brother, Bernard Joseph Carr, Jr. They were joined by their father, Bernard Joseph "Pop" Carr, following his retirement from the Santa Fe Railroad in 1954. The senior Carr left the company in 1964 to launch a successful campaign for the Alaska House of Representatives.
Another person involved in the company during its early days was Bernard J. "Barney" Gottstein. His father, Jacob B. Gottstein, started a wholesale grocery business in Anchorage when the town was founded in 1915. Carr and Gottstein began their formal business partership in 1960, integrating retail and wholesale grocery operations and real estate development (particularly construction of shopping centers) into one company. Carr and Gottstein were also heavily involved during the 1960s in promoting the business and political career of a recent young arrival to Alaska named Mike Gravel.
The second Carrs location and associated construction, the Aurora Village Shopping Center, was built in 1966. The Mall at Sears, an enclosed mall with an interior motif resembling a downtown sidewalk, was built the following year. Both were built along Northern Lights Boulevard, which being a section line arterial, was mostly known for illegal drag racing and associated businesses such as drive-in restaurants, as the vast majority of Anchorage's retail landscape was located downtown at the time. The construction of these two malls, combined with the Northern Lights Center constructed by Wally Hickel in 1960, started the shift in customer traffic away from downtown and towards the outlying areas of Anchorage.
These two malls began a pattern of Carrs Grocery and strip mall construction which followed for most of the next two decades. By the mid-1970s, there were Carrs stores throughout southcentral Alaska, as well as the Foodland Shopping Circle in downtown Fairbanks. Carrs operated a pseudo-wholesale grocery called Prairie Market in the 1970s and 1980s, which operated in only two locations close to the Old Seward Highway in Anchorage.
Carrs stores were primarily located throughout the "Railbelt" area of Alaska. A subsidiary, Eagle Quality Centers, operated in numerous mid-sized and smaller Alaskan communities, both within and outside of the Railbelt. The company branched out into Southeast Alaska in the early 1990s, opening stores in Juneau and Ketchikan.
Carr and Gottstein sold the grocery portion of their business to an employee ownership group in 1990. The company purchased the Fairbanks supermarket chain Super Valu (formerly Market Basket) in 1992. Vladimir Paul Gavora (perhaps better known recently as the father of writer and Sarah Palin contemporary Jessica Gavora) emigrated from Czechoslovakia to Alaska, seeking a professorship at the University of Alaska. When that didn't materialize, Gavora opened his first grocery store on South Cushman Street in Fairbanks in 1958. Like Larry Carr, he took a store in a location whose main attraction was being located along a highway (at the time, South Cushman was the northern terminus of the Richardson Highway), and parlayed the store into a local retail and real estate empire. Gavora also operated two stores (called The Hub) similar to the Prairie Market.
Safeway merger 
|This section requires expansion with: The 1999 Carrs-Safeway merger. (May 2011)|
In 1999, Safeway, Inc. acquired Carrs. The merger caused stores to be renamed Carrs-Safeway, and customer had to begin using a loyalty card.
Lifestyle branding 
- Main Article: Safeway Inc. Lifestyle Branding
On April 18, 2005, Safeway began a $100 million brand re-positioning campaign labeled "Ingredients for life." This was done in an attempt to differentiate itself from its competitors, and to increase brand involvement. Steve Burd described it as "branding the shopping experience".
The launch included a redesigned logo, a new slogan "Ingredients for life" alongside a four-panel life icon to be used throughout stores and advertising, and a web application called "FoodFlex" to improve consumer nutrition. Many locations are being converted to the "Lifestyle" format. The new look was designed by Michigan-based PPC Design. In addition to the "inviting decor with warm ambiance and subdued lighting", the move required heavy redesign of store layout, new employee uniforms, sushi and olive bars, and the addition of in-store Starbucks kiosks (with cupholders on grocery carts). The change also involved differentiating the company from competitors with promotions based on the company’s extensive loyalty card database. At the end of 2004 there were 142 "Lifestyle" format stores in the United States and Canada, with plans to open or remodel another 300 stores with this type of theme the following year. "Lifestyle format" stores have seen significantly higher average weekly sales than their other stores. By the end of 2006, shares were up proving that this rebranding campaign had a major impact on sale figures.
Fuel stations 
Carrs Fuel stations have a discount with your club card and Carrs recently received a new discount program for fuel called Fuel Rewards. A customer shops at the grocery store and shops $50 in one transaction and receives a fuel discount for their purchases. It is not valid for liquor, tobacco purchases, gift card purchases, money orders, or fuel purchases. This information is available at Carrs QC Stores