This is a list of all known chain grocery addresses in El Paso between 1925 and 2020, compiled from city directories, telephone books, and other sources. It is generated through a live Google Spreadsheet so it reflects the latest information I have.
- Safeway entered the market in 1928 with the purchase of the Standard Grocery Company’s Newway Markets.
- Furr’s arrived in 1945 with the purchase of the Yearwood Grocery Company.
- Skaggs Albertsons made its debut in the early 1970s and rebranded as Skaggs-Alpha Beta in 1979 upon the merger of Skaggs Drugs and American Stores. Albertson pulled out of the partnership at this point but ultimately re-acquired these stores around 1991, converting them to the Albertsons banner.
- In 1987, Furr’s acquired Safeway’s El Paso division. Furr’s was primarily operating under the Save’n Gain and Food Emporium banners by this time. There was significant labor strife accompanying the merger. Furr’s operated the division under the Safeway name (through a licensing agreement) until 1990, when its different brands consolidated under a resurrected Furr’s banner (advertised as “the new Furr’s”).
- Smith’s Food and Drug arrived (as Smith’s Food King) around 1979 with the purchase of Winn-Dixie’s Foodway stores, most of which were adjacent to Kmart and Globe discount stores. All the Foodway stores but one were gone within a year but Smith’s began opening new stores in the mid 1980s. Smith’s left the area in 2001, selling out to Fleming. The stores briefly operated under Fleming’s Rainbow banner. (Smith’s also had very incomplete city directory listings in the 1980s).
- Furr’s went bankrupt in 2001 and the stores that remained open mostly became Big 8 or Lowe’s franchises, supplied by Fleming (which owned a large stake in Furr’s as well). Many have since been converted to the Food King Cost Plus format.
- Big 8/Food King/Lowe’s
- Food Mart
- Furr’s (Save’n Gain, Food Emporium, Bag & Save)
- Piggly Wiggly
- Quality Food Mart/Vista