Grocery Outlet

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Grocery Outlet Corp.
Cannery Sales (1946–1970)
Canned Foods (1970–1987)
Traded as
IndustryRetail / Grocery
FoundedJune 11, 1946; 74 years ago (June 11, 1946)
San Francisco, California, U.S.
FounderJames Read
HeadquartersEmeryville, California, U.S.
Number of locations
347 (2019)
Key people
Eric Lindberg, CEO
MacGregor Read, Vice Chairman[1]
ProductsBakery, dairy, deli, frozen foods, general grocery, meat, produce, snacks, beer & wine
OwnerPublic company
Number of employees
847 (2019)

Grocery Outlet Holding Corp. is a chain of discount supermarkets that offer discounted, overstocked and closeout products from name brand and private label suppliers.[2][3][4][5][6] The company has stores in California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Nevada and Pennsylvania.[2][7][8]

The majority of Grocery Outlet’s stores are independently operated by locally based, married couples.[4][5][6][9] Each store has flexibility in its product offerings to serve local tastes and demand.[9][10] The Read family founded the company in 1946. The formal name is Grocery Outlet Bargain Market.[1]


A location in Hillsboro, Oregon

James Read founded the company on June 11, 1946, in San Francisco, California.[3][4][6] He bought government surplus food products and sold them in previously vacant stores throughout San Francisco.[3][6][11] He named his new company Cannery Sales.[6][11] In 1970, Cannery Sales acquired Globe of California and renamed it Canned Foods.[6][11] Canned Foods changed to selling closeout, factory second, and discounted products.[6][11] In 1971 Canned Foods signed its first agreement with a supplier, 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.[4]

Following founder James Read's death in 1982, his sons Steven and Peter took over company management.[4] In 1987, the company was renamed Grocery Outlet.[6][7] 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] All of the 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 Albertsons an injunction against Grocery Outlet over its use of the Lucky brand name in a Rocklin, California, store.[18] In 2009 the company added "Bargain Market" to its store branding. In 2011 Grocery Outlet acquired the Pennsylvania-based chain Amelia's Grocery Outlet.[19]

In 2014, private equity fund Hellman & Friedman LLC agreed to partner with senior management and acquire Grocery Outlet from principal owner Berkshire Partners LLC.[20]

In December 2018, the Board of Directors appointed Eric Lindberg to Chief Executive Officer and MacGregor Read to Vice Chairman.[1]

In June 2019, Grocery Outlet went public, shares of Grocery Outlet’s common stock began trading on The Nasdaq Global Select Market on June 20, 2019 under the symbol “GO.” [21]


Inventory comes primarily from overstocks and closeouts of name brand groceries, as well as private label groceries.[2][3][4][5][6] Grocery Outlets buy mostly closeout or seasonal merchandise, so particular brand names change often.[2] The company’s stores also carry food staples such as fresh meat, dairy and bread.[2] All products sold by Grocery Outlet are purchased directly from manufacturers, not other retail stores.[2]


  1. ^ a b c "Grocery Outlet Bargain Marketin Announces MacGregor Read as Vice Chair, Eric Lindberg as CEO". BusinessWire. December 26, 2018. Retrieved February 5, 2019.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Tanya Mannes (July 11, 2012). "Grocery Outlet opens new San Diego store". UT San Diego. Archived from the original on April 2, 2015. Retrieved September 24, 2013.
  3. ^ a b c d Carolyn Said (June 20, 2010). "Grocery Outlet cashing in on new frugality with expansion". San Francisco Chronicle.
  4. ^ 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.
  5. ^ a b c Brian Wilkinson (April 24, 2013). "Sierra Lanes to be converted to Grocery Outlet". Sierra Star. Archived from the original on September 27, 2013. Retrieved September 24, 2013.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i John Hollis (Nov 1, 2013). "New owners grow with Grocery Outlet". Appeal Democrat. Retrieved April 29, 2015.
  7. ^ a b Clay Moffitt (April 6, 2012). "Grocery Outlet building new Fresno store". The Business Journal Now. Archived from the original on 2013-09-28. Retrieved September 24, 2013.
  8. ^ Tim McLaughlin (October 13, 2009). "Berkshire invests in W. Coast grocery chain". Boston Business Journal. 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. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  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. Archived from the original on September 27, 2013. 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. ^ "RetailWire Discussion: FD Buyer: Grocery Outlet Grows".
  20. ^ Company (September 16, 2014). "Grocery Outlet Announces Partnership with Hellman & Friedman". Grocery Outlet Inc. Retrieved February 27, 2015.
  21. ^ {{cite web|url=://

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