United Family Supermarkets will be a subsidiary of Albertson’s. The family who started United will leave the business, but Robert Taylor, CEO, will be retained as well as well as staff reported the Amarillo Globe-News.
United is 97 years old, and this is its best year ever. Expansion has begun into the Dallas-Fort Worth market, construction and remodeling projects are underway, and at the peak, the fourth generation opts to sell-- to keep the growth going.
Bill Bishop, a longtime retail industry consultant and chief architect of bricksmeetclicks.com, said slow economic growth paired with fierce competition has chipped away at traditional supermarket revenues in an industry where profit margins are thin.
“We’re seeing a very substantial amount of consolidation in the supermarket business now,” said Bishop, “The traditional supermarket really has had to struggle to maintain an economic viability, and part of that is the function of the growth of supercenters and particularly Walmart, although Target, too, has been very aggressive.”
Richard Ware, president of the Amarillo National Bank, United’s bank, and a lender to many grocery companies in Texas, agrees. He said consolidation is the grocery game now.
Jon Mark Beilue is an AGN Media columnist. He says prior to the announcement Monday, he would have predicted United purchasing Albertson’s. Beilue said, “We will see. All I know is Albertson’s has purchased one legendary historical name in West Texas business. They deserve the opportunity to make good on it. But, at the same time, they better not screw it up.”
Read the rest of his commentary here.
The United Family operates 51 stores in the Texas Panhandle, South Plains and Dallas-Fort Worth markets under the United Supermarkets, Market Street and Amigos banners.