Gigante History

Uh...California.

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Jeff
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Gigante History

Post by Jeff » 19 Aug 2007 22:24

Wow, didn't see this one coming. This store opened as a Max Foods in the 90's and closed in 2000 to reopen as a Gigante.

From the SGV Tribune:

Latino supermarket to close doors
By Airan Scruby Correspondent

Residents of Pico Rivera looking for a little Latin flavor in their groceries may soon notice a gigante void in their supermarket options.

The city's Gigante supermarket on Whittier Boulevard will close Sunday after seven years of serving the community.

Pico Rivera Store Director Juan Luis said he was brought in to Pico Rivera to shutter the 60,000-square-foot store two to three months ago. He would not comment further on the store closing its doors.

Company executives did not return phone calls for comment.

The Gigante Supermarkets chain was founded in Mexico and is widely recognized there. The company began its expansion into the U.S. in 2000 and currently operates nine supermarkets in the United States, including the stores in Pico Rivera, Santa Fe Springs and Covina.

The store was popular among Latinos in the area for the wide selection of traditionally Latino foods, the Spanish-speaking staff and signs written in English and Spanish.

One customer, Rosa Ruelas, 54, said many products at Gigante are hard to find elsewhere.

"They have a lot of things I really need," Ruelas said. "When I read they were closing, I felt sad. The people who work here are so nice."
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Gigante's frugal prices are also a large draw for customers looking for a bargain.

"I'm not too happy about it because their prices are really reasonable," Lydia Lopez said. Lopez, 45, said she may shop at Food-4-Less when Gigante closes, but is not looking forward to the inconvenience of finding a new grocery store.

A Time magazine article in 2003 said Gigante endured early controversies over labor problems when the company resisted unionization for workers. Critics claimed the supermarket used racist practices by hiring primarily Latinos, many of whom did not speak English and were willing to accept sub-market wages.

Gigante eventually reached an agreement with the United Food and Commercial Workers Union, and the store in Pico Rivera thrived, outdoing profits of other grocery stores in the area.

Web site records show the Pico Rivera store is the first Gigante in the United States to be shut down.

Eddie Valdez, 58, pointed to competition with Wal-Mart and other grocery stores in the area as a reason for the closure. Valdez said he does not shop regularly at Gigante, but uses the store when he is in the area.

scanman2
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Gigante in Pico Rivera closing

Post by scanman2 » 26 Sep 2007 01:40

My sources in Superior tell me they are taking over the lease on the Gigante in Pico Rivera and will reopen in 3-4 months. I can also tell you that the Gigante in Chino has already closed as well. I'm being told SUperior got that store too but they already have a store down the street in the old Gemco/Pavilions/Vons/Pak n Save building unless they prefer the Gigante location which Superior prefers to buy locations over leasing them and the current location is a sub lease with Safeway (Vons).

Jeff
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Post by Jeff » 26 Sep 2007 21:27

Wonder why Gigante is closing stores up

scanman2
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Gigante Closing stores

Post by scanman2 » 27 Sep 2007 13:07

I can tell you from my opinion that Gigante opened stores in areas that they were trying to cater to the Latino population and as an example they opened a store in Chino that has some latinos but is still mostly anglo and I personally went and checked out the store a few weeks after it opened and was surprised to see the signs all in spanish including the aisle markers so they lost the non-latino customers. In comparison, Superior started out targeting Latinos only and realized they had to merchandise each store a bit different to suit the neighborhood and still try to target the Latino clientele.

luckysaver
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Gigante Pico Rivera

Post by luckysaver » 27 Sep 2007 21:05

What's the exact cross streets of this Gigante?

I have an LA TIMES article from 1980 that stated that Montgomery Ward (co-financing the project) and Alpha Beta were opening on a 23 acre parcel on the corner of Rosemead and Whittier Blvds (Junction State Routes 19 and 72). The other major tenants at the shopping center were Thrifty Drug and Roberts Department Store. I believe the Alpha Beta is now the Gigante (correct me if I'm wrong).

luckysaver

scanman2
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Gigante stores closing

Post by scanman2 » 28 Sep 2007 00:27

I just went by the Gigante in Chino that closed and saw the liquor license transfer which is in the name of Super Center Concepts, Inc. which is the corporate name for Superior Super Warehouse. A sign is on the building welcoming the Gigante customers to the Superior in Chino and Ontario. I also got some gossip from the security guard on duty outside and he verified that Superior will move and the current Superior on Walnut and Central will be the future home for the Chino PD. Also some history on the Gigante building, it was built as a Market Basket about 1980 just before Kroger closed all the CA Market Basket stores. After that it was a Ralphs that closed in less than 1 year (had no business). It sat empty a short time and then was a Drug Emporium for several years until Drug Emporium bellied up. Funny thing is the owners of Superior looked at this building about 2001 and said it was too small but Gigante has spread out into empty shops in the center.

Jeff
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Re: Gigante Pico Rivera

Post by Jeff » 28 Sep 2007 00:41

luckysaver wrote:What's the exact cross streets of this Gigante?

I have an LA TIMES article from 1980 that stated that Montgomery Ward (co-financing the project) and Alpha Beta were opening on a 23 acre parcel on the corner of Rosemead and Whittier Blvds (Junction State Routes 19 and 72). The other major tenants at the shopping center were Thrifty Drug and Roberts Department Store. I believe the Alpha Beta is now the Gigante (correct me if I'm wrong).

luckysaver
Incorrect.

The Pico Rivera Plaza across the street.
The Alpha Beta later became a Food 4 Less and it eventually expanded into the old Roberts store.

The Gigante is across Rosemead and is a former Grocery Warehouse / Max Foods that opened in the late 80's.

Tortuga One
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Gigante History

Post by Tortuga One » 02 Jan 2008 22:33

According to our local Gigante's Weekly Supermarket Flyer that comes in the mail, dated Friday Decembr 26, 2007 to January 3, 2008:

Arleta 9710 Woodman Ave.
Covina 960 W. Arrow Hwy.
LA-Gage Ave 1301 E. Gage Ave.,Bldg. A.
Santa Fe Springs 10531 S. Carmenita Road
LA-Slauson 1100 West Slauson Ave.
Anaheim 650 N. Euclid St.
Inglewood 3321 W. Century Blvd.

Separately: LA-Slauson and Inglewood are both new build buildings. The Anaheim store may have been an extisting structure located in a rehabilated former mall that originally contained The Broadway and Robinsons Department Stores. Currently the Anaheim store is on one end of this rehab'ed shopping center with Wal Mart on the other end. Santa Fe Springs is also a new build, added to the rehabilatated former Santa Fe Springs Shopping Mall, that originally contained a Sears and a Target. Sears left and Wal Mart built a new store near the Gigante Store.

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submariner
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Re: SORIANA markets/Mexico

Post by submariner » 02 Jan 2008 23:18

Tortuga One wrote:...The Anaheim store may have been an extisting structure located in a rehabilated former mall that originally contained The Broadway and Robinsons Department Stores.
The Anaheim Plaza (Mall?) Was torn down in the early 90's completely and the buildings you see there now are all new construction.
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Jeff
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Re: SORIANA markets/Mexico

Post by Jeff » 03 Jan 2008 02:54

Covina's location used to be a former Max Foods store that closed around 1998-2000.

The Anaheim location is actually across the street from the mall, on the north side of Crescent.

Arleta was a Smith's Originally.

klkla
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Re: SORIANA markets/Mexico

Post by klkla » 03 Jan 2008 19:53

Jeff wrote:Arleta was a Smith's Originally.
I had forgotten all about that one... I went to the grand opening of that store. It later became a Lucky, but was quickly closed, but don't rememeber if it was closed by Albertson's or Lucky. I'm 90% sure it was closed by Lucky prior to merger with ABS.

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J-Mac
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Re: Gigante History

Post by J-Mac » 04 Jan 2008 01:52

The Anaheim Gigante is the second tenant in that location, Orchard Supply Hardware occupied the spot in the late 90s. (Yes, OSH was the first tenant in the new building.)

Trivia: If I recall correctly, the Mervyn's building is original to the Anaheim Plaza, while everything else was razed and rebuilt.

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submariner
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Re: Gigante History

Post by submariner » 04 Jan 2008 10:51

J-Mac wrote:Trivia: If I recall correctly, the Mervyn's building is original to the Anaheim Plaza, while everything else was razed and rebuilt.
You're right, I forgot about that!
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