Kansas City is fascinating in that it was served for decades by all of the “big three” (A&P, Kroger, and Safeway) and in that all three chains pulled out in about a ten-year period starting in the late 1970s. After this, KC was left with one local chain on the way down (Milgram) and a collection of independents, franchises, and co-ops. Except for the presence of limited assortment chains like Aldi and the relatively recent arrival of Hy-Vee and Walmart Neighborhood Markets, it is still largely a city of independents and co-ops, particularly Price Chopper and Sun Fresh, though these co-ops are owned by family chains (particularly Consetino’s) that have become large chains in their own right.
Kansas City did experience population declines in the late twentieth century, but nothing like many Midwestern cities did, which makes its lack of national chains even more surprising.
Metro Kansas City – Missouri cities and suburbs:
- Kansas City (Kansas) Chain Grocery/Supermarket Locations, 1925-2020
- Overland Park, Shawnee, Mission, Johnson County Chain Grocery/Supermarket Locations, 1955-1991