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Retailers of the West

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Fred Meyer

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Fred Meyer was founded by Fred G. Meyer in 1922 when he opened a corner grocery store in Portland, Oregon. Fred Meyer created two major concepts the first one was America's first self service drug store which opened in 1930 and the world's first hypermarket which opened in 1931. Fred G. Meyer's store included groceries with a drug store plus general merchandise, off street parking, gasoline station, and eventually apparel.

In 1973, after several decades of growth in the Portland area, Fred Meyer purchased Valu Mart and converted them to Fred Meyer stores. In 1975, Fred Meyer entered Alaska's market. Bad news struck the company in 1978 when founder Fred G. Meyer died at the age of 92. In 1982, the company was purchased by Kohlberg Kravis Roberts.

In 1985, Fred Meyer acquired Grand Central discount stores of Salt Lake City, Utah and converted Utah and Idaho stores into Fred Meyer and sold other stores to Wal-Mart. Fred Meyer also acquired B & B of Kalispell, Montana in the mid-1980s all of these Montana stores were sold in 1997.

In 1997, Fred Meyer merged with Smith's Food & Drug Centers. Both companies remained as separate operations. Fred Meyer also snagged west coast chains Ralphs and QFC in 1998. Both companies also remained as separate operations.

In 1999, Fred Meyer merged with Kroger of Cincinnati, Ohio. The acquision made Kroger the #1 grocery company in the United States. In 2000, the Arizona Fred Meyer stores, all of which were formerly Smitty's stores that Fred Meyer acquired in the Smith's merger, were converted into Kroger subsidary Fry's Marketplace. In 2004, Smith's Food and Drug assumed the operations most Fred Meyer stores in Utah.

Fred Meyer also operates Fred Meyer Jewelers which began as a catalog showroom. As the catalog showroom fad starting passing away, Fred Meyer liquidated the stores to place Jewlery only stores near by. Fred Meyer Jewelers operate in most Fred Meyer stores.

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