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Image:National-logo-mini.png, National logo used for both divisions in the USA National Supermarkets was a Grocery store, grocery Chain store, chain in both the St. Louis, Missouri, and New Orleans, Louisiana, New Orleans, Louisiana, areas of the United States. Both firms were owned by Loblaw Companies of Canada, but in June 1995, they were sold by Loblaw to Schnucks, Schnucks Markets. Immediately after that, per the Federal Trade Commission, FTC, Schnucks sold the National New Orleans division to Schwegmann Brothers Giant Supermarkets of Metairie, Louisiana, which later sold them to The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company, Great A&P, which finally sold them to Rouses, Rouse Markets in 2007. National itself had cemented the number two spot in St. Louis by acquiring several former Kroger locations and the Kroger distribution center in the market when the latter exited St. Louis in 1986. Kroger and National had been battling for the number two and three spots since the 1970s, swapping rankings several times over throughout the 1970s and 1980s. New Orleans and St. Louis represented the last two divisions of National Supermarkets, a.k.a. National Tea, which originated in Chicago in 1899, making the chain one of the oldest in the USA. It was also one of the largest, ranking as the fifth largest in the late 1960s, only A&P, Safeway Inc., Safeway, Kroger, and Food Fair were larger. Loblaw bought the company in 1955. Among the chains National acquired were Miller's (Mobile, Alabama), Standard (Indianapolis), and Applebaum's (Minneapolis-St. Paul). Besides the National and Standard banners, Big D and Del Farm banners were used in the Midwest and That Stanley! was used in the South. At its height, National's footprint extended from western Pennsylvania to Colorado, with stores in Denver, Sioux Falls, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Milwaukee, Pittsburgh, the Quad Cities, Indianapolis, Chicago, Youngstown, Ohio, Youngstown, Memphis, Tennessee, Memphis, and Nashville. It was the largest supermarket chain serving the Mississippi Valley. Major rivals included Jewel (supermarket), Jewel, Red Owl (retail chain), Red Owl, Bettendorf-Rapp (Allied), Kroger, A&P, Dominick's, Eagle Food Centers, Hy-Vee, Marsh Supermarkets, Marsh, Winn-Dixie, Hill's, Fisher/Fazio's/Costa, Thorofare, and Safeway, depending on the market. National's logo was Loblaw's logo turned upside down to look like an "n" instead of an "L".


Slogans

At the height of their market share in the late 1960s, National Supermarkets' slogans used in television advertising included "Super National-Market" and "The Underpricer". In their final years in the 1980s and early 1990s, the National slogan in the St. Louis market was, "You're Important to Us!"


Failed resurrection

As a condition of buying National from Loblaws, Schnucks had to sell off 24 stores for anti-Trust (monopoly), trust reasons. In 1996, Family Company of America, a group led by Belleville, Illinois, financial consultant James R. Gibson, bought 23 stores from Schnucks and reopened them under the name National Markets. However, the new National was unable to make much headway against Schnucks, despite a "Great Grocery Giveaway" promotion where random customers had their day's shopping given to them free of charge, and disappeared for good in April 1999. After the bankruptcy, it emerged that Gibson had financed the purchase with money embezzled from 183 clients of his investment company, among them orphans, accident victims who trusted Gibson to invest money from their settlements, and disabled people who trusted him with their life savings. In 2005, Gibson was sentenced to 40 years in prison for his crimes. He will not be eligible for release until 2036, when he will be 91 years old.


National Supermarket Murders

Shortly after closing on September 4, 1987, at the National Supermarket at 4331 Missouri Route 115, Natural Bridge Avenue in St. Louis, two men disguised as the cleaning crew made their way into the store where employees were preparing for the next day. They shot seven employees execution-style as they laid on the floor, killing five. It remains one of the worst mass murders in St. Louis history.https://www.stltoday.com/news/local/from-our-archives-five-killed-wounded-at-national-supermarket/article_ce306bdb-3c75-5526-9081-43a6f6f8a356.html


National Supermarkets—New Orleans division

At the end of 1994, National operated 28 stores in the New Orleans area (in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama) under the following names: * National * Canal Villere * Superstore * That Stanley! * The Real Superstore * The Real Superstore Express * The Real Uptown Superstore The former "Real Uptown Superstore" building is still in operation as a Rouses supermarket. Denham Springs, Louisiana, also had a National Supermarket (#18) that was simply known as "Superstore." The building is now a home furnishings store.


References


External links


History of National Supermarkets

Website for National Supermarkets in St. Louis
{{Authority control 1899 establishments in Illinois American companies established in 1899 Defunct supermarkets of the United States Loblaw Companies Retail companies disestablished in 1999 Retail companies established in 1899