LUBBOCK, Texas — United Supermarkets emerged in rural towns where oil derricks, cattlemen, cowboys and ranchers were part of the landscape. It wasn't the Wild West, but a time for community growth and development.
It’s from this Western heritage that United expanded and became recognized as a community service provider — an important reason it has thrived for 87 years, according to company executives.
Although H.D. Snell opened his first store in Sayre, Okla., in 1916, seven years after Lubbock was incorporated, it was primarily in Texas Panhandle towns here and in surrounding communities that United expanded its business. United first moved to Lubbock in 1956 with a half dozen stores. The company now operates 44 stores in 23 communities.
In 1991, United moved its corporate headquarters here. Over the next decade, the retailer continued to build its reputation on service and quality products. It became known for its superior meat markets and fresh produce. It introduced full-service delis, hot foods, restaurants, bakeries, pharmacies and in-store banks.
In 2000, United built a $50 million, 500,000-square-foot distribution center here. It opened the Lubbock Market Street, a flagship format that featured takeout, specialty foods and Living Well whole health products. The company also reached out to Hispanic customers with United Supermercado, the company's international format.
Last week the company debuted its 45th unit, a 72,000-square-foot Market Street in Colleyville, in the Dallas-Ft. Worth metroplex area. A second metroplex Marketplace is slated for 2004 in McKinney.