Grocery Outlet

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Grocery Outlet
Type Private
Industry Retail (Grocery)
Founded 1946
Founders Jim Read
Headquarters Berkeley, California
Number of locations 185[1]
Key people Eric Lindberg & MacGregor Read, Co-CEOs[2]
Products Bakery, dairy, deli, frozen foods, general grocery, meat, produce, snacks, beer & wine

Grocery Outlet Inc., previously known as Canned Foods Grocery Outlet, is a private, family-owned supermarket chain. It focuses on discount overstocked and closeout products from name brand and private label suppliers.[3][4][5][6][7] Jim Read founded the company in 1946 in San Francisco, California.[4][5][7] Grocery Outlet operates in California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Nevada, Pennsylvania [3][8] Its co-CEOs are Eric Lindberg and MacGregor Read.[2]

The majority of Grocery Outlet’s stores are independently operated by locally-based married couples.[5][6][7][9] Each store also has flexibility in its product offerings to better serve local tastes and demand.[9][10]


A location in Hillsboro, Oregon

In 1946, Jim Read bought government surplus food products and sold them in vacant stores throughout San Francisco.[4][7][11] He named his new company Cannery Sales.[7][11]

In 1970, Cannery Sales acquired Globe of California and renamed it Canned Foods.[7][11] Canned Foods changed to selling closeout, factory second, and discounted products.[7][11]

In 1971, Canned Foods signed its first supplier agreement, an agreement with Del Monte Foods.[12] It later signed agreements with companies such as ConAgra, the Quaker Oats Company, and Revlon.[12] Canned Foods opened its first independent store in Redmond, Oregon in 1973.[5]

Following founder Jim Read’s death in 1982, his sons Steven and Peter Read took over company management.[5] In 1987, the company was renamed Grocery Outlet.[7][8] Grocery Outlet’s 100th store opened in 1995.[11]

In 2001, Grocery Outlet acquired all remaining liquidated inventories of Webvan following the online grocery delivery service’s bankruptcy.[13] During the same year, Grocery Outlet acquired online retailer’s remaining inventory following that retailer’s bankruptcy.[14] In 2002, the company changed its corporate name to Grocery Outlet, Inc.[11]

Grocery Outlet purchased 16 Yes!Less grocery stores in Texas and another in Shreveport, Louisiana from Dallas, Texas-based Fleming Cos. in January 2003.[15] 17 stores were closed by May 2004.[16]

The company promoted MacGregor Read and Eric Lindberg to co-CEO in 2006.[11][17] Prior to their appointment, Read was vice president of real estate and Lindberg vice president of purchasing for the company.[17] They took over for Steven Read, who became executive chairman of Grocery Outlet.[17] MacGregor Read is the son of Steven Read and Lindberg the son-in-law of Grocery Outlet Chairman Peter Read.[17] MacGregor Read is the third generation of the Read family to serve as CEO of Grocery Outlet.[17]

In 2007, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit awarded Albertson’s LLC an injunction against Grocery Outlet over Grocery Outlet’s use of the Lucky brand name in a Rocklin, California store.[18]

In 2011 Grocery Outlet acquired a Lancaster County based chain of stores named Amelia's Grocery Outlet.[19]


Grocery Outlet’s inventory comes primarily from overstocks and closeouts of name brand groceries, as well as private label groceries.[3][4][5][6][7] Grocery Outlets buy mostly closeout or seasonal merchandise, so particular brand names change often.[3] The company’s stores also carry food staples such as fresh meat, dairy and bread.[3] All products sold by Grocery Outlet are purchased directly from manufacturers, not other retail stores.[3]

Grocery Outlet sells many products past their expiration date, per their agreements with specific manufacturers. For example many cheese products are held thirty days past their expiration date.[20]


  1. ^ Jon Stinnett (June 25, 2013). "Grocery Outlet coming to town". Cottage Grove Sentinel. Retrieved September 24, 2013. 
  2. ^ a b Tim McLaughlin (October 13, 2009). "Berkshire invests in W. Coast grocery chain". Boston Business Journal. Retrieved September 24, 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f Tanya Mannes (July 11, 2012). "Grocery Outlet opens new San Diego store". UT San Diego. Retrieved September 24, 2013. 
  4. ^ a b c d Carolyn Said (June 20, 2010). "Grocery Outlet cashing in on new frugality with expansion". San Francisco Chronicle. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f Robert Goldfield (June 1, 2003). "Grocery Outlet hits spot with budget shoppers". Portland Business Journal. Retrieved September 24, 2013. 
  6. ^ a b c Brian Wilkinson (April 24, 2013). "Sierra Lanes to be converted to Grocery Outlet". Sierra Star. Retrieved September 24, 2013. 
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i John Hollis (July 28, 2012). "New owners grow with Grocery Outlet". Appeal Democrat. Retrieved September 24, 2013. 
  8. ^ a b Clay Moffitt (April 6, 2012). "Grocery Outlet building new Fresno store". The Business Journal Now. Retrieved September 24, 2013. 
  9. ^ a b Carolyn Said (June 20, 2010). "Grocery Outlet eyes expansion in lean times". SFGate. Retrieved September 24, 2013. 
  10. ^ Robert Rogers (May 23, 2013). "New Grocery Outlet set to open doors in Richmond, where grocers have been scarce". Contra Costa Times. Retrieved September 24, 2013. 
  11. ^ a b c d e f g Eve Mitchell (February 5, 2010). "Berkeley-based Grocery Outlet expands as shoppers turn frugal". Contra Costa Times. Retrieved September 23, 2013. 
  12. ^ a b Greg Stiles (September 3, 2003). "Shopping adventures". Mail Tribune. Retrieved September 23, 2013. 
  13. ^ "Grocery Outlet Buys Inventory From Webvan". Oakland Post. August 22, 2001. 
  14. ^ David Goll (December 3, 2001). "Grocery Outlet buys's inventory for $4M". San Francisco Business Journal. Retrieved September 23, 2013. 
  15. ^ Mark Hamstra (June 30, 2003). "Grocery Outlet Extends Reach To Texas With Yes!Less Buy All". Supermarket News. Retrieved September 23, 2013. 
  16. ^ "Grocery Outlet to close Texas, La. stores". Austin Business Journal. March 4, 2004. Retrieved September 23, 2013. 
  17. ^ a b c d e "Grocery Outlet Names New Co-CEOs; Preps for Aggressive Growth". Progressive Grocer. March 8, 2006. Retrieved September 23, 2013. 
  18. ^ "Report: Albertsons gets Lucky in appeals court decision". San Francisco Business Times. September 11, 2007. Retrieved September 23, 2013. 
  19. ^
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