From the Beginning a Family Store
As a teenager Robert Onstead delivered groceries for his uncle in Ennis, Texas. In 1954 when he was 24 and recently married, his father-in-law offered him a job at Randalls Super Valu Store in Pasadena. He also offered him important words of advice: "Treat your customers the way you treat your family". Onstead was a natural in the business. His marketing flair was demonstrated when he opened his second store shortly afterwards and for the occasion covered the building in a brand new material called Saran Wrap. The "Today" show came and televised it live.
Partners in Prosperity
Twelve years later Onstead joined with two other men whose experience in the grocery business went back two generations. Norman Frewin and R.C. Barclay were instinctive entrepreneurs and together the three men developed the concept of a discount supermarket. Among their innovations were special prices advertised in their large front windows, hot delis, on-the-premises bakeries, electronic check cashing, scanners and mart carts for seniors. Their fresh thinking paid off handsomely. By 1990 the chain had expanded to 42 stores. In 1991 Randalls earned over a billion dollars in revenue, making it easily the fastest growing company in Houston.
In the 1990's Randalls experienced unprecedented growth. We expanded into Dallas, Fort Worth and Austin. We doubled our size with the acquisition of Tom Thumb stores and the gourmet Simon David stores. In 1999 we became part of Safeway Inc., one of the largest food and drug retailers in North America. Safeway operates more than 1,300 stores in the US and employs approximately 138,000 people. The Randalls and Tom Thumb brands include more than 107 combination food and drug stores. Most include fresh seafood, floral, cosmetic, bakery and film processing departments. The premium Flagship Randalls and Tom Thumb stores have increased their take-out departments to provide fresh made pizzas, pastas and barbeque. Many locations even offer bank branches, ATMs, one-hour photo processing, drive-thru pharmacy windows, fueling stations and full-service counters where you can purchase lottery or movie tickets, pay utility bills and car license renewals.
Thirty Years Later, the Customer Still Comes First
In 2015, our parent company, AB Acquisition LLC, completed a transaction with Safeway that included Randalls stores. Today, as part of the company’s Houston division, Randalls operates 44 stores as part of the Albertsons Houston Division in South Texas, which is part of a 2,200+ store operation that employs approximately 265,000 people nationwide.
All of our stores, no matter what banner they operate under, were founded around the philosophy of offering customers the products they wanted to buy at a fair price, with lots of tender, loving care. We still open our doors every day today with that in mind, and because of it, we run really great stores.
Read more about Albertsons Companies