Weingarten’s Grocery

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Harris Weingarten and his son, Joseph, opened a grocery store in downtown Houston in 1901. A second store opened in 1920. Advertising “Better Food for Less,” Joseph Weingarten pioneered self-service and cash-and-carry shopping. Weingarten’s chain of stores in Texas, Arkansas, and Louisiana grew by 1926 to six; by 1938 to twelve; by 1951, twenty-five; and by 1967, seventy.

To concentrate on real estate development for retail shopping centers, Weingarten Incorporated sold its stores, which had grown to a chain of 104 stores in five states, to Grand Union in 1980. Grand Union then resold most of the stores to Safeway (Safeway acquired 43 of the stores), Randall’s, and Gerland’s Food Fair in 1984, including 55 stores in the Houston area. However, lease provisions at several locations barred the automatic transfer of leases between operators. Because Weingarten’s and Rice Food Markets couldn’t agree on a disposition of the Post Oak Center lease, Weingarten’s continued to operate the store at that location until April 1986.

• “Weingarten’s,” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Weingarten%27s (accessed December 18, 2007).

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