SuperValu (United States)

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SuperValu, Inc.
Traded as NYSESVU
Industry Retailing
Founded Minneapolis, Minnesota
(1926; 97 years ago (1926))
Headquarters Eden Prairie, Minnesota, U.S.
Area served
United States
Key people
Sam Duncan, CEO
Products Supermarkets, grocery store, pharmacies, food
Revenue Increase USD $19.65 billion (FY 2015)
Increase USD $895 million (FY 2015)
Increase USD $202 million (FY 2015)
Total assets Increase USD $4.606 billion (FY 2015)
Total equity Increase USD 1.444 Billion (FY 2015)
Number of employees
43,532 (2015)
Subsidiaries SuperValu Pharmacies
Slogan Tradition, excellence and future promise.

SuperValu, Inc. is an American retailing company. The corporation, headquartered in the Minneapolis suburb of Eden Prairie, Minnesota,[2] has been in business for nearly a century. It is the fifth-largest food retailing company in the United States (after Kroger and Albertsons), and ranks in the top 100 on the 2015 Fortune 500 list. Supermarket News ranked SuperValu #1 in the 2008 "Top Wholesalers for 2008".[3]

On June 2, 2006, Boise, Idaho-based Albertsons, Inc. and 1,124 of its stores were sold to SuperValu. The sale was approved by the shareholders of both SuperValu and Albertsons on May 30, 2006. In January 2013, the company announced it was selling the Acme Markets, Shaw's, and Jewel-Osco chains and their remaining Albertsons stores to Cerberus Capital Management for $100 million in cash with Cerberus assuming $3.2 billion in existing debt. SuperValu would keep its Cub, Farm Fresh, Shoppers, Shop ‘n Save and Hornbacher’s brands as well as its wholesale supply operation while the Acme, Shaw's, Star Market, and Jewel-Osco stores were reunited with Albertsons.[4] The deal closed March 21, 2013.


In 1870, Hugh G. Harrison provided the money for B.S. Bull and Company, a dry goods wholesaler serving Minneapolis. Though B.S. Bull and Company was short lived, its founders went on to create a similar company. In 1926, Supervalu's direct ancestor, Winston and Newell Company, was founded from the merger of Winston, Harper and Fisher and the Newell Company, two companies founded by B. S. Bull's backers.

Winston and Newell was a charter member of the Independent Grocers Alliance in 1928, but left IGA in 1942 in favor of forming a "virtual chain" of independently owned stores that operated under the SUPERVALU and U-Save banners. However, it still serves as a supplier to many IGA stores. This concept proved to be such a success that in 1952, the company changed its name to Supervalu Inc. The name was modified to SuperValu in 1992.

The company has been listed on the New York Stock Exchange since 1967, and was the first voluntary group to be listed there.


In 1963, the company acquired the Food Marketing Corporation of Fort Wayne, Indiana, which traced its roots to the early 1800s, as Bursley & Company. The acquisition of Food Marketing brought Supervalu into the institutional market.[5] George W. McKay, The President of Food Marketing, joined Supervalu as an Executive Vice President and later as President and Chief Executive Officer of Supervalu in 1970.[6]

In 1971, the discount chain ShopKo was acquired by Supervalu, Inc., and was spun off in 1991 to form a separate, publicly traded company. Supervalu retained a 46% interest in the new company, which Shopko later purchased in 1997.

In 1975, Supervalu acquired Hornbacher's (sale to Cerberus pending)

In 1980, the company acquired Minnesota-based Cub Foods, which operated five stores in the Twin Cities area. As of 2011, Cub is operating more than 73 stores in Minnesota and Illinois.

In the early 1990s, SuperValu started acquiring several chains such as Scott's Food & Pharmacy in 1991, Wetterau, Inc. and its holdings Shop 'n Save and Save-A-Lot in 1992, and bigg's in 1994. Scotts & Biggs have been divested. Biggs was sold to Remke Markets and Kroger bought Scotts. SuperValu acquired Richfood Holdings for $1.5 billion, adding a Mid-Atlantic distribution presence and stores including Farm Fresh Food & Pharmacy, Shoppers Food & Pharmacy, and Metro.

On January 23, 2006, SuperValu announced that it, along with CVS Corporation and a collection of investors led by Cerberus Group, agreed to acquire Albertsons, Inc. for $9.7 billion. The acquisition was completed on June 2, 2006.

SuperValu acquired over 2150 stores in the deal including:

  • Acme (134 locations) (sold to Cerberus)
  • Acme Express, Jewel Express, and Albertsons Express (107 fuel centers) (units were divested to various operators)
  • Albertsons (564 locations) (sold to Cerberus)
  • Bristol Farms (15 locations) (later sold off)
  • Jewel and Jewel-Osco (198 locations sold to Cerberus)
  • Lazy Acres Market (1 location) (later sold off)
  • Max Foods (3 locations) (later rebranded Lucky)
  • Osco Pharmacy and Sav-on Pharmacy (906 pharmacies) (Stand-alones sold to CVS)
  • Save-A-Lot (2 locations franchised by Shaw's)
  • Shaw's (188 locations) (sold to Cerberus)
  • Star Market (20 locations) (7 re-branded Shaw's) (sold to Cerberus)


In 2012, SuperValu operates 2,505 food and food/drug combination stores, 878 in-store pharmacies, 117 fuel centers and serves as primary distributor to an additional 2,200 stores.

SuperValu also supplies a network of independent retailers (often found in smaller cities) that sometimes use the Supervalu name. However, these stores are not owned by the company. Supervalu also franchises the Cub Foods and Save-A-Lot brands to independent retailers.

In 2009, former Walmart executive Craig Herkert took over for Jeff Noddle as CEO of SuperValu.[7]

On January 6, 2011, SuperValu announced it would close 20 underperforming stores on the East and West coasts as it attempts to save money by allowing corporate and office employees to take unpaid time off.[8] The company, despite being profitable, is facing financial problems due to a weak economy, tight margins, falling revenue and asset values.[citation needed] On January 11, 2011, SuperValu has reported a loss of $202 million for the quarter, and revenue also fell 6% to $8.67 billion. Stock prices fell 12 percent to $7.52 per share.[9] The company operates on a strategy of effective and efficient food distribution. The Company conducts its Retail food operations through a total of 2,349 retail food stores and are supplied by 23 dedicated distribution centers and 9 distribution centers.[10]

In September, 2011, SuperValu announced the sale of all but 27 of its fuel centers to several convenience store chains, including Tesoro, Holiday StationStores, Couche-Tard (which operates Circle K Stores), and Stinker Stores. The company announced that it was seeking buyers for the remaining fuel centers as well.

On July 11, 2012, after the close of trading, SuperValu reported net sales of $10.6 billion and net earnings of $41 million for the first quarter of fiscal 2013, compared to net sales of $11.1 billion and net earnings for $74 million for the year-earlier period. Those results sent SuperValu shares down some 45% after the start of trading on July 12, 2012, and hurt performance of other outstanding SuperValu debt, including its high yield bonds and CDS (credit default swap).[11]

On July 30, 2012, Craig Herkert was terminated as CEO of SuperValu, replaced with Wayne Sales.[12] Sales is a former CEO of Canadian Tire.[13]

On January 13, 2013, Sam Duncan, who had retired as CEO of Naperville,Ill-based Office Max in 2011, was named CEO of SuperValu


As a supplier to IGA stores for over 80 years, SuperValu necessarily has formed close relationships with these family-owned grocery businesses, some of which have had relationships with the corporation for over two or three generations. But Walmart's newly arrived grocery competition to these stores also affects SuperValu, Inc. In addition, SuperValu is selling its Shop 'n Save stores in the Pittsburgh market as a result of being unable to compete with Walmart and fast-growing local chain Giant Eagle. Most will be sold to independent owners, and continue to operate under the Shop 'n Save banner. SuperValu will continue to supply all area FoodLand, Save-A-Lot and the independent Shop 'n Save locations of western Pennsylvania and northern West Virginia.

SuperValu enjoys economies of scale when dealing with the well-known national food firms like Kraft Foods, General Mills, Kellogg's, the beer manufacturers, meat suppliers, produce suppliers and dairy suppliers, as well as the health and beauty product suppliers, by purchasing in bulk and then distributing the goods by Direct Store Delivery from its distribution centers, which are located nationwide.

The ethnic foods market is an emerging sector and remains a challenge for this business, as well as the natural and organic foods sector, as there are no clear market leaders for the corporation to deal with in these sectors. It remains to be seen whether SuperValu's tradition of dealing with small grocery businesses can be extended to these emerging markets.

SuperValu brands include:

"Arctic Shores," "Baby Basics," "Carlita," "Culinary Circle," "Equaline," "Essential Everyday," "Farm Fresh," "Farm Stand," "Flavorite," "WholeCare Pet," "Homelife," "Java Delight," "Max Velocity," "NutriPlan," "Richfood," "Shoppers Value," "Stockman & Dakota," "Stone Ridge Creamery," "SuperChill," "SuperCrunch," and "Wild Harvest"

SuperValu also owns two third-party logistics firms, Advantage Logistics and Total Logistic Control. In 2005, SuperValu launched a specialty produce company, W. Newell & Company which is headquartered in Champaign, Illinois.

Market share

As of 2006, SuperValu has a leading market share position in several markets where it has operations. (Operations with a + denoted indicate operations SuperValu has divested.)

  • Philadelphia, PA-NJ (Acme) +
  • Minneapolis-St.Paul, MN (Cub Foods)
  • Fargo, ND (Hornbacher's)
  • Chicago, IL (Jewel, Jewel-Osco) +
  • Billings, MT (Albertsons)+
  • Nampa/Boise, ID (Albertsons)+
  • Las Vegas, NV (Albertsons)+
  • Orange County, CA (Albertsons)+
  • Norfolk/Virginia Beach, VA (Farm Fresh Food & Pharmacy)
  • Boston, MA-NH-ME (Shaw's and Star Market) +
  • Spokane, WA (Albertsons)+
  • St. Louis, MO (Shop 'n Save)
  • Riverside-San Bernardino, CA (Albertsons)+
  • San Diego, CA (Albertsons) +
  • Ventura, CA (Albertsons)+
  • Duluth, MN/Superior, WI (Cub Foods)
  • Pittsburgh, PA (Shop 'n Save)+
  • Seattle-Bellevue-Everett/Tacoma, WA (Albertsons) +
  • Washington, D.C./Baltimore, MD (Shoppers)
  • Los Angeles-Long Beach, CA (Albertsons) +


The company operates under multiple retail banners, or chains:

SuperValu (Ireland) is not related to SuperValu. (SuperValu Ireland is owned by the Musgrave Group wholesale company of Ireland)

Former chains

Product labels

Many of the banners have "private labels".

These are the current active private label brands for SuperValu:

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  • Arctic Shores - Seafood products.
  • Baby Basics - Baby products
  • Carlita - Hispanic foods
  • Cub - Store generic brand
  • Culinary Circle - Restaurant quality food
  • Essential Everyday - Store generic brand
  • Farm Fresh - Store generic brand
  • Farm Stand - Produce
  • Flavorite - introduced by store 178 in year 1997, the focus of this label is low cost soda.
  • Happy Tails (now Whole Care Pet) - Line of pet foods.
  • Heritage - Liquors
  • Java Delight - Supervalu’s own brand of coffee, is sourced from Distant Lands Coffee
  • Max Velocity - Energy Drinks
  • NutriPlan - Pet Foods
  • Richfood - Store generic brand
  • Shoppers Value - Extreme value generic brand
  • Stockman & Dakota - Premium beef
  • Stone Ridge Creamery - Ice cream, frozen yogurt and sherbet
  • SuperChill - Soft Drinks and New Age Beverages
  • SuperCrunch - Snack Foods
  • Village Market
  • Wild Harvest Organic Foods - Natural and organic products

Some of the older inactive private label brands are:

  • Hillfarm
  • Economy Buy
  • Home Best
  • Essensia
  • Chateau
  • Quality Plus
  • Elf



SuperValu received a 100% rating on the Corporate Equality Index released by the Human Rights Campaign starting in 2008.[14]

SuperValu sponsors employee resource groups globally for black, GLBT, Latino, young, handicapped, and other minorities.[15]


Cub Foods and its parent company, SuperValu, was the first grocer in Minnesota to be awarded LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold NC2.2 Certification for one of its stores. The Cub store, located in the Phalen neighborhood of St. Paul is one of just three grocery stores in the nation to successfully achieve LEED Gold Certification.[16]

Albertsons was the first major retailer to earn a LEED Certification on their remodeled La Habra store.[17] It features water saving faucets, over 40 skylights, "Night" curtains over open cold cases and LED lighting.

In August 2009, SuperValu was recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for achieving their emissions target.[18]


In June 2002, SuperValu announced to restate previous financial reports due to accounting irregularities uncovered at its pharmacy division. As a result, shares of the company slumped 18 percent. On July 12, 2002, SuperValu lost a lawsuit about employing improper accounting practices regarding the cost of goods sold for at least the past four years, and paid $4,000,000 for settlement.[19]

Customer Data Security Breaches

SuperValu sent a letter to My CLUB Rewards members on August 25, 2014 who provided their data and shoppers who used credit cards during the period between June 22, 2014 (at the earliest) through July 17, 2014 (at the latest) at 209 SuperValu stores and stand-alone liquor stores who may have been affected by a data security breach. SuperValu posted this information on their website in a press release dated August 14, 2014. Information on the affected stores and eligibility for customers on identity protection programs are available on SuperValu's press release site.[20]

See also


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  2. "Directory." SuperValu. Retrieved on July 22, 2010.
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  10. Securities and Exchange Commission, Form 10-K Filing
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External links