Western Supermarkets

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Western Supermarkets is Birmingham's largest locally-owned grocery store chain. Currently, Western Supermarkets, Inc. operates stores under the Western Supermarket, FoodSmart by Western, Food Depot, and The Village Market brands. The corporate headquarters is located at 2614 19th Street South in Homewood.

Western Supermarket was founded in 1948 by Inos Allen Heard and Stewart Yerton with the opening of a store in Five Points West. In 1987, Ken Hubbard and Ed Goodwin bought the company from Heard. Hubbard is currently the sole owner and CEO of the company. Darwin Metcalf, previously manager of the Mountain Brook Village store, is president and chief operating officer.

In 1998, Western was the number three grocery chain in Birmingham.

In 2001, in an effort to compete against the many larger grocery chains, Western began tailoring each location to its area. This began with the renaming of the Festival Center location in Eastwood to FoodSmart by Western. The store's floral, seafood and deli departments were removed while a "Dollar Smart" section featuring items priced at $1 or less was added. Other examples of this local tailoring are the Mountain Brook store's extensive wine shop and the Highland Avenue location's large, "New York style" deli. Despite these adaptations, Publix surpassed Western as the number five grocery chain in Birmingham in 2003.

2001 also saw the loss of Western's then most profitable store, in Bluff Park, after the landlord decided not to renew the store's lease. The location had been there since 1967.

In 2016, the Mountain Brook Village store moved to a new location in the Lane Parke development. The original store, opened in 1959, closed at the end of the day on October 8 and the ribbon cutting for the new store took place on October 13. The new store, at 28,300 square feet, is about 5,000 square feet larger than the old one. The Lane Parke store will offer an expanded deli and meat section, a mezzanine with a dining area, fresh-baked cookies, Heavenly Donuts, a growler station with 12 taps, and a small conference room available for community meetings.

Locations

Current locations

The Highland Plaza store in March 2006

Former locations

External links

References