Smith's Food and Drug

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Smith's Food and Drug
Subsidiary of The Kroger Co.
Founded1911 (109 years ago) (1911) in Brigham City, Utah, United States
FounderLorenzo Smith
Headquarters,
Number of locations
142 (2018)
Areas served
Utah, Nevada, New Mexico, Arizona, Montana, Idaho, Wyoming
Key people
Kenny Kimball (President)
ParentKroger
DivisionsSmith's Marketplace, Smith's Express
Websitewww.smithsfoodanddrug.com

Smith's Food and Drug, simply known as Smith's, is a supermarket chain that was founded in 1911 in Brigham City, Utah by Lorenzo Smith. Now a subsidiary of Kroger, it is a prominent regional supermarket chain operating in Utah, Nevada, New Mexico, Arizona, Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming. After completing a merger with Portland-based Fred Meyer in 1997, Fred Meyer was in turn acquired by Cincinnati-based Kroger in 1998, automatically making Smith's a subsidiary of Kroger and making Kroger the largest supermarket chain in the United States. Smith's headquarters is in Salt Lake City.

History[edit]

Beginning[edit]

Smith's location in Elko, Nevada

Smith's Food & Drug began in 1911 when Lorenzo Smith opened a small dry goods store in Brigham City, Utah. It was replaced with a larger store across the street in 1922 and renamed "Smith & Son's Market" in 1932.[1] When his son Dee Glen Smith joined the business after serving in World War II, he began immediately expanding it.[2][3]

The company's growth ramped up significantly from 1946 onward. It changed its name to Smith's Super Market in 1952. When Dee Smith took over as president upon his father's death in 1958, he discovered Brigham City was saturated, and felt the only option was to expand to other markets.[1] Through partnerships and acquisitions, Dee Smith built the company until his death at age 58 in 1984.[4] Later, Dee's son Jeff Smith became Chairman and CEO of Smith's. In 1989 the company completed its initial public offering and shares of the company started trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

Acquisitions[edit]

Fred Meyer[edit]

In 1997, Smith's Food & Drug was acquired by Portland-based Fred Meyer or about $700 million (equivalent to $1.11 billion in 2019) in stock. The deal created a supermarket and general merchandise chain with 374 stores in 17 western states. Under the terms of the agreement, Smith's shareholders received 1.05 shares of Fred Meyer common stock for each share of Smith's common stock, or about $45 a share. Fred Meyer also assumed $1.3 billion (equivalent to $2.07 billion in 2019) in Smith's debt, which was accumulated largely from a recapitalization that was led by the Yucaipa Companies of Los Angeles.[5]

Kroger[edit]

Kroger logo (2019 - present)
Smith's is one of the supermarket subsidiaries of Kroger

In 1998, Fred Meyer was acquired by Kroger in a deal that would create a supermarket giant with $43 billion (equivalent to $65.99 billion in 2019) in annual revenue and 2,200 stores in 31 states. As a result of the Kroger-Fred Meyer merger, Smith's had immediately become a subsidiary of Kroger and most Smith's Food & Drug Centers in Arizona were rebranded as Fry's Food and Drug. Kroger paid about $8 billion (equivalent to $12.28 billion in 2019) in stock for Fred Meyer and assumed $4.8 billion (equivalent to $7.37 billion in 2019) of the company's debt, further consolidating the grocery business and creating the largest supermarket chain in the country. With the transaction, Kroger regained the spot it lost to Albertsons as the nation's largest supplier of eggs and milk. The acquisition gave Kroger the status of the nation's largest supermarket company, stretching from the fast-growing Western markets, where Portland-based Fred Meyer is strong, to the Midwest and the Southeast, where the Cincinnati-based company has many stores and much visibility. The move gave Kroger even greater purchasing power and substantial economies of scale.[6]Among many of the products sold at Smith's are Kroger-branded.

Smith's Marketplace[edit]

In 2004, Kroger introduced a new store concept known as Marketplaces which served as medium sized department stores and sold clothing, household goods and often contained bank branches and a Fred Meyer Jewelers in addition to food and pharmacy sales. In April 2004, Kroger merged Fred Meyer's Utah operations into Smith's. Five Utah Fred Meyer stores were converted to the new Smith's Marketplace banner in June of that year. The other Utah Fred Meyer stores located in Ogden, West Valley City, and Sandy were closed. Earlier, Fred Meyer had closed a full-service store located in Orem that failed to meet expectations.

Smith's Marketplace location in South Jordan, Utah

On November 12, 2008, a new Smith's Marketplace store were opened in Lehi, Utah. The store is 170,000 square feet (16,000 m2). In 2008, Smith's also remodeled the former Fred Meyer store located at 500 East and 500 South in Salt Lake City. On July 16, 2014, Smith's opened a new Smith's Marketplace in Los Alamos, New Mexico. In November 2014, Smith's opened up its seventh marketplace store in North Ogden, Utah. On December 3, 2014, Smith's opened up its eighth store in West Jordan, Utah, located off 7800 South and the Mountain View Corridor. Smith's opened its ninth Marketplace store in Kaysville, Utah in late 2015. Another Marketplace was opened in South Jordan, Utah late 2016, as well as another in Springville, Utah in April 2017.[citation needed] On June 13, 2018, Smith's opened its first Marketplace in northwest Las Vegas.[7]


Smith's Fuel Center and Smith's Express[edit]

Smith's Fuel Center location in Great Falls, Montana

Smith's operates various fuel centers across the northwest and southwest regions of the United States. These fuel centers consist of fuel pumps and kiosks that sell convenient merchandises. Smith's also operates convenient shops known as Smith's Express that sell convenient merchandises and are accompanied with a fuel station.

Smith's Express location in Mesquite, Nevada with a Subway restaurant inside

Products[edit]

Smith's Food & Drug Centers offer a wide range of products from a wide range of brands. This includes Smith's banner products, Kroger banner products and products of Kroger private-label brands such as Simple Truth, Private Selection, Comforts, Abound, Luvsome, Bloom Haus, Murrary's Cheese, Bakery Fresh Goodness, Dip, Home Chef, Pet Pride, OfficeWorks, HD Designs, and Everyday Living.[8]

Online groceries[edit]

Smith's is among the supermarket chains in the United States that offer online services for grocery ordering. Smith's offers Pickup service where customers can order their groceries online via the Smith's website or mobile app available on the App Store and Google Play and pick them up at their select Smith's location. Smith's also has a partnership with online grocery delivery serviceInstacart.

Smith's Rewards[edit]

Just like other Kroger-affiliated stores, Smith's offers a rewards program for both customers and associates where Rewards members can: buy certain items at certain sale prices, get discounts on certain items, earn fuel points that can allow Rewards members to save on fuel at Smith's or other Kroger-affiliated fuel centers, etc. Smith's Rewards can be used at other Kroger-affiliated stores. Smith's also offers a Mastercard credit card known as Smith's Rewards World Mastercard that is issued by U.S. Bank.

Sponsorships[edit]

Smith's has a current sponsorship with Primary Children's Hospital where Smith's provides donations to the hospital. Smith's also has sponsorships with sports organizations such as the Utah Jazz, Utah Utes, and Salt Lake Bees.

Smith's Ballpark main entrance in Salt Lake City. Smith's Ballpark is the home venue of the Salt Lake Bees which are affiliated with the Minor League Baseball (MiLB).

Visa credit cards[edit]

In early April 2019, Smith's Food & Drug had stopped accepting Visa credit cards, describing the fees as excessive and sometimes exceeding the company's profit margin.[9] Smith's Food & Drug started to accept Visa credit cards again in late October 2019.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Smith's Food & Drug Centers, Inc. History". fundinguniverse.com. Funding Universe. Retrieved 8 Feb 2017.
  2. ^ Smith, Dee G. (30 June 1979). "My most influential teacher". The Deseret News. Supplement, pg. 4. Salt Lake City: Deseret News. 130 (13): 2. 112-000. Retrieved 4 March 2015.
  3. ^ Woodward, Don C. (27 Jan 1968). "Food King buys 4 Mayfair Marts". Deseret News. Salt Lake City. p. 8A. Retrieved 8 Feb 2017 – via news.google.com.
  4. ^ "Two chief officers elected at Smith's Food King". Deseret News. Salt Lake City. 7 Jul 1984. p. 8B. Retrieved 8 Feb 2017 – via news.google.com.
  5. ^ Canedy, Dana (31 May 1997). "Fred Meyer Is Acquiring Smith's Food for $700 Million in Stock". The New York Times. New York City: The New York Times Company. Retrieved 7 Mar 2015.
  6. ^ Canedy, Dana (20 Oct 1998). "Kroger to Buy Fred Meyer, Creating Country's Biggest Grocer". The New York Times. New York City: The New York Times Company. Retrieved 7 Mar 2015.
  7. ^ "125,000-square-foot Smith's store opening in Skye Canyon". Las Vegas Review-Journal. June 12, 2018. Retrieved 2019-09-13.
  8. ^ "Kroger Brands". Kroger. Archived from the original on 2018-07-26. Retrieved 04/01/2010. Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  9. ^ https://www.supermarketnews.com/retail-financial/smith-s-food-and-drug-accepting-visa-credit-cards-again

External links[edit]