Fry's Food and Drug

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Fry's Food & Drug Stores of Arizona.
Type Subsidiary
Industry Retail
Founded 1954 (Contra Costa County, California)
Headquarters Tolleson, Arizona, United States
Number of locations 119[1]
Key people Steve McKinney, Fry's Division President, Keith Shoemaker, Vice President Retail Operations, Monica Gordon, Vice President-Merchandising
Products Bakery, dairy, deli, frozen foods, general grocery, meat, pharmacy, produce, seafood, snacks, liquor
Employees 18,500
Parent Kroger
Website frysfood.com
Typical Fry's Food and Drug Store in Phoenix, Arizona.

Fry's Food & Drug Stores, Inc., is a chain of supermarkets that has a major presence in the U.S. state of Arizona. Fry's also operates under the banner of Fry's Marketplace, a chain of multi-department stores. Fry's is a division of The Kroger Company.

History[edit]

Beginnings[edit]

Fry's was founded in 1954 by Donald Fry in California. With the help of his brother Charles, the store expanded into Arizona in 1960. Fry's was sold in 1972 and after numerous mergers and acquisitions in the 1970s and 1980s became part of Kroger.[2]

Fred Meyer and Kroger[edit]

On October 19, 1998, Fred Meyer, parent company of Smith's Food and Drug, announced a strategic merger with Kroger.[3] On May 27, 1999, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) approved the merger of the two companies, named The Kroger Co.[4]

Arizona and Texas were the only two of 31 states where there was overlap of stores and brands from the merger. The Kroger Co., choosing to operate with one brand in the market, rebranded most Arizona Smith's Food & Drug Centers to Fry's Food & Drug Stores,[5] though Smith's Food and Drug Centers in Kingman, Bullhead City, and Lake Havasu City did not change.[6] Fry's Phoenix Distribution Center and offices were moved into the more modern Smith's Food and Drug Distribution Center and Offices in the Phoenix suburb of Tolleson.

Fry's Marketplace[edit]

Fry's Marketplace is a multi-department store that offers full-service grocery, pharmacy, Ticketmaster/Ticketron, one-hour photo lab, and general merchandise including outdoor living products, electronics, home goods and toys. Ranging in size from 80,000-105,000 square feet, the Marketplace stores are smaller than the Fred Meyer stores. Fry's Marketplace was derived from the Fred Meyer concept but on a smaller scale and has since expanded to Kroger's Columbus, Ohio Division and the Smith's Food & Drug Centers Division in Utah.

Fry's Marketplace started out as Smitty's, Arizona's first multi-department store. Smitty's was similar to a Wal-Mart Supercenter and even had a food court with four branded fast food choices (such as Taco Bell). In 1996, Smitty's merged with Smith's Food and Drug Centers of Salt Lake City. In 1997, After the Fred Meyer-Smith's merger, Fred Meyer updated and revitalized the Smitty's concept and in January 1999, all Smitty's stores were renamed Fred Meyer. During this time, management of the chain changed from Smith's Food and Drug to Fred Meyer. Construction also started on a full sized Fred Meyer store in Phoenix.

In June 2000, Kroger moved the management of Fred Meyer's Arizona stores to Fry's Food and Drug. The Fred Meyer stores were rebranded Fry's Marketplace. The Phoenix Fred Meyer store was completed but never opened and was later demolished as the store was too large for Fry's to use.

Fry's Signature[edit]

Fry's Signature is marketed as a high-end, neighborhood tailored grocery store. There is one location on 20427 North Hayden Road, Scottsdale, AZ.[7] Another Fry's Signature store is located at 10450 N. 90th Street, Scottsdale, AZ [8] There is also a Fry's signature store at the cross streets of Cave Creek Rd and Carefree Hwy in Cave Creek, AZ.[9] In addition, there is a Fry's Signature Marketplace at the intersection of Shea Blvd and Tatum Blvd.[10]

Fry's Mercado[edit]

Fry's Mercado is geared towards Arizona's Hispanic market. It is located at 43rd Avenue and McDowell. There is a check cashing store, an Aqua bar, a Cocina, a fuel station among other attractions at the location. Several other stores are subletted in the Fry's Mercado (like an electronics store, a women's clothing store, and a barber shop).[11]

Fry's Electronics[edit]

Main article: Fry's Electronics

Fry's Electronics was founded by the heirs of Charles Fry after Fry's Food & Drug Stores was sold. Although they have similar looking logos and a shared family heritage, there is no affiliation between Fry's Electronics and Fry's Food and Drug.

References[edit]