- Alpha Beta
:"This article is about the former chain of supermarkets. For the search-tree technique, see
alpha-beta pruning. For the alphabet whose first two letters are alpha and beta, see the Greek alphabet"
Alpha Beta was a chain of
California supermarkets started by Albert and Hugh Gerrard. Alpha Beta began as a system of organizing the groceries in the store in alphabetical order. They took this idea to their flagship grocery store, Triangle Grocerteria, in 1915. Two years later, in 1917, they opened their first Alpha Beta store in Pomona, California.
The operation was bought by
American Storesin 1961. Skaggs Drug Centers bought American Stores in 1979 and assumed the American Stores name. Combined food and drug stores in Alpha Beta territory were re-branded Skaggs Alpha Beta. In 1984, American Stores bought Jewel, which had owned Osco Drugsince 1961. In 1984, all 34 Alpha Beta stores in Arizonawere sold to ABCO Foods, and the stores continued operating under the Alpha Beta name. [ [http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=940CE1DA1038F936A3575AC0A962948260 American Stores] , "The New York Times", September 5, 1984.] . In Tucson, Alpha Beta-branded stores changed to ABCO-branded stores around 1989.
Some Alpha Beta stores went beyond normal supermarket merchandise. In 1980, a
Cupertino, California, Alpha Beta store sold Bohsei color TVs (for under $200 USD); Atari400 and 800 computers, among other goods.
To consolidate the names of some of its subsidiaries under one title with nationwide recognition, American Stores renamed some of its Skaggs Alpha Beta stores to Jewel-Osco in mid-September 1991. American replaced the Skaggs Alpha Beta name with that of Jewel-Osco on all 76 stores in Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, and Arkansas. (months later, Albertsons bought some of the freshly renamed stores in Texas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas.)
Most remaining Alpha Beta stores in the United States were taken over by Lucky Store brands, which in turn became Albertsons, then became Lucky again. Most stores in Southern California were acquired by
In its later years, its slogan was "Tell a Friend."
Yucaipa Companies, then-owner of the Alpha Beta chain in southern California, purchased Ralphs Grocery Company and renamed itself after Ralphs. All existing Alpha Beta stores in the state were rebranded as Ralphs or Food 4 Less [ [http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9C04EFDD123BF936A2575AC0A962958260 COMPANY NEWS; California Grocery Deal: Yucaipa to Buy Ralphs - New York Times ] ] , and the Alpha Beta name ceased to exist by September 1995.
* [http://www.groceteria.com/alphabeta/index.html History of Alpha Beta]
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