- Clarence Saunders, the “inventor” of the self-service supermarket, patented his system in 1914 and franchised it nationwide.
- Many divisions were operated by major chains, and others were purchased by them.
- Safeway purchased and operated the west coast division (including San Francisco) from 1928 to about 1935 before absorbing it into the Safeway brand.
- Stores are currently limited mostly to smaller towns in the midwest and southeast.
- Many Kansas City Safeway stores were converted to this format when Safeway left the area in the late 1980s.
- Many eastern North Carolina stores are former Colonial/Big Star stores sold off when Harris Teeter purchased the NC operations of this chain.
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