I'm reading a book titled Vas You Ever In Zinzinnati? A Personal Portrait Of Cincinnati, which came out in 1966. In addition to a history of the area author Dick Perry covers numerous aspects of then-current Cincinnati life. On page 255, he gives a list of Greater Cincinnati supermarkets. as follows:
A&P, 16 stores
Albers (Colonial Stores), 31 stores
Dot Food Stores, 10 stores
IGA, 29 stores
Kroger, 55 stores
Liberal Markets, 6 stores
Parkview Markets, 67 stores
Thriftway Super Markets, 11 stores
White Villa food stores, 24
Kroger, A&P, and Albers are all well documented. Kroger is the current no. 1 supermarket chain in the Cincinnati area, A&P has long since left the market, and Albers/Coloinal was gone before the '70s were over.
The great regional chain Thriftway (not connected with other chains with the same name elsewhere) was started in the early 50's. Winn-Dixie bought the chain around '95 and things started going south, especially with respect to out-of-date merchandise on the shelves. Winn-Dixie eventually righted things, but it was too little too late, and all of the Thriftway locations--which had grown considerably in number since 1966--were closed by early '05. What a sad ending for a chain which, in the '80's and I believe into the early '90's, was second only to Kroger in the Cincinnati market.
Speaking of the '80s and early '90s, the IGA franchises were the no. 3 player in Cincinnati. Hard to believe, perhaps, but true. IGA stores are still around but are down to a handfull Sad.
Liberal, I believe, was a chain based in Dayton, Ohio, just up the road from Cincinnati. If memory serves, I think they had a huge store near the University of Cincinnati, where a Kroger now sits.
I don't know about Dot, White Villa and Parkview Markets. Subjects for further research on my part, I guess. Does anyone know anything about these three grocers? I would guess that Parkview was a c store chain, based on the sheer number of locations. Of course, I welcome any other comments as well.
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