Tom Thumb Food & Pharmacy
|Type||Grocer, Subsidiary of Safeway Inc.|
|Products||Bakery, dairy, delicatessen, frozen foods, grocery, meat, pharmacy, produce, seafood, snacks, liquor|
Tom Thumb Food & Pharmacy is a chain of supermarkets in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. Tom Thumb stores operate under the names Tom Thumb—traditional grocery stores; Flagship Tom Thumb—high end stores, usually in affluent areas. Tom Thumb and Randall's Food Markets make up the 112-store Texas division of Safeway Inc. Tom Thumb is (as of December 2005) the number three supermarket in the super-competitive Dallas/Fort Worth area (in terms of market share) behind Walmart and Kroger. Stores in the Tom Thumb supermarket chain tend to be slightly more upscale and expensive than competitors such as Kroger or Albertsons.
Tom Thumb was founded in 1948 by J.R. Bost and Robert B. Cullum as Tom Thumb-Page Food Stores and was once a publicly traded company on the NYSE under the name Cullum Companies. By 1956 it had grown to 20 stores. They bought 34 Hinky Dinky stores in the Midwest, 17 Pantry Food Markets in California, as well as Page Drug Stores (the freestanding Page stores were later sold to Eckerd). They also bought the gourmet specialty Simon David stores in 1963.
Tom Thumb partnered with Wal-Mart in 1987 to create Hypermart USA stores, but the initial lack of success led them to drop out in 1991. There were several Hypermart locations including Garland, Texas, and Arlington, Texas. The Hypermart stores were the early prototype for the current Walmart supercenter concept, though these stores were much larger than today's Supercenter.
In January 1989, Cullum Companies sold six of its Tom Thumb stores in Austin to Albertsons.
The company was acquired by the Randall's Food Markets chain of Houston in 1992 and adopted a logo similar to Randall's, but retained the Tom Thumb name. Randall's converted the seven Tom Thumb stores in the Austin market to Randall's in January 1994, the same time it acquired and converted nine AppleTree Markets. The Simon David in the Arboretum Market was not converted, but it would close in December 1996 and would be converted into a Saks Fifth Avenue. Though 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.
In 1999 Randall's Food Markets was acquired by Safeway. Safeway retained the Randall's name in Houston and Austin and the Tom Thumb name in Dallas/Fort Worth, but replaced many of the Tom Thumb/Randall's "Remarkable" house brands with Safeway-label items. Randall's Food Markets became Safeway's Texas division, which today is legally known as Randall's Food & Drugs.
By 2001, Randall's operated 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. 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. Following the closures Randall's operated 62 Tom Thumb stores in Dallas. 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.
Beginning in 2006, some Tom Thumb stores began operating under Safeway's "Lifestyle Store" concept. Lifestyle stores carry an expanded selection of finer foods, ready-to-eat meals, and have a more upscale decor.
Tom Thumb offers a loyalty card (Reward Card) that provides a discount on gasoline, as well as a portion of sales proceeds donated to charity. The loyalty card is good at all Safeway stores. During the period after Tom Thumb was purchased by Randall's but before Randall's was purchased by Safeway, the card was accepted at both Tom Thumb and Randall's locations.
- "Distribution Centers." Safeway Inc. 2. Retrieved on May 13, 2010.
- Handbook of Texas Online - Robert B. Cullum
- Austin Chain is Acquired by Cullum, Dallas Morning News, July 18, 1972
- 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 stores The 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.
- Hudgins, Matt (July 25, 1997). "Randalls plans to close Lake Creek location". Austin Business Journal. Retrieved 21 October 2006.
- Saks Fifth Ave. signs letter of intent Austin Business Journal, August 30, 1996.
- Constructors & Associates turns Simon David into Saks Austin Business Journal, April 18, 1997.
- Randalls brings Flagship specialty store concept to Austin, Austin American-Statesman, September 24, 1998.
- Goll, David (February 18, 2005). "Safeway to move on Randalls/Tom Thumb's blues?". East Bay Business Times. Retrieved 21 October 2006.
- "Safeway to close nine Dallas-Fort Worth Tom Thumb stores". Dallas Business Journal. October 18, 2005. Retrieved 21 October 2006.