STOP & SHOP AND GIANT OF LANDOVER trace their roots back to the early years of the last century, and they have a long history of close ties to the communities they serve in the Northeast.
Founded as the Economy Grocery Stores Co. in 1914 in Somerville, Mass., by the Rabinovitz family, Stop & Shop later became one of the pioneers of the modern supermarket through the leadership of family member Sidney Rabb. The company changed its name to Stop & Shop in 1947, after expanding to 86 locations.
It opened the first Super Stop & Shop in 1982, bringing the “superstore” concept to New England, according to information on the company's website.
It was acquired by global retailer Ahold, based in Amsterdam, in 1996. Today the banner includes more than 375 locations, many of which include gas stations and full-service pharmacies, in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York and Rhode Island.
Giant of Landover, meanwhile, was founded in 1936 in Washington, D.C., by N.M. Cohen and Samuel Lehrman as the first full-service supermarket in the city, and it has long been seen as an innovator.
In 1958 it opened its first Super Giant stores, which included 35 different departments offering a range of grocery items and general merchandise like appliances, clothing and jewelry.
The chain was the first to offer nutritional shelf-price labeling, according to information on Ahold's website, before such labeling was required. In 1970 Giant created a new position — called “consumer advocate” — to work with government agencies and others to test consumer programs.
The chain was acquired by Ahold in 1998. Today it has more than 180 locations and employs more than 22,000 people in the Baltimore-Washington region and Delaware.
Carl Schlicker, president and chief executive officer of both Stop & Shop and Giant-Landover, told SN the chains have a rich history of community involvement and of close relationships between customers and employees.
“I think the companies — both Giant-Landover and Stop & Shop — have always been reliable,” he said, discussing reliability as one of the “four pillars” that are keys to the chains' success going forward (low prices, quality food and an engaging customer experience are the others).
“We deem reliability to be about trust and the relationship with our customers and associates — do we trust each other, and run that as a filter on the decisions we make? Both companies have a long history of doing that, and it is something that both companies feel is an imperative.”
He cited the dedication of the company's workers as integral to the longtime success of the chains.
“We have very good and dedicated people in the stores, in the warehouse and the offices,” he said. “They are people who have come from a background of being with a winning company and banners.”
Communication with both workers and customers is key to improving to company's value position, he said — something that will define the company going forward.
“We think value is foundational. It is our strategy for the things we have done recently, and the things we are planning to do in the future. Everyone [in the market] wants to win at value, and there are different definitions and connotations of value, but it's a concept we feel strongly about, and it's how we are going to keep Stop & Shop going for another 95 years and Landover for another 73.”