A look into Houston's retail past



Company History

Albertsons was founded in Boise, Idaho. The original store was opened in 1939, by Joe Albertson. The location was a huge success and the huge profits that the store took in allowed them to open new locations. The company continued to grow reaching 100 locations in 1964. In 1969 Albertsons started a partnership with Skaggs Drug stores creating the first combination Grocery-Drug stores, now a normal fixture.

Around 2002 Albertsons started to divest unprofitable divisions, and different regional chains due to lacking market share. This would include the Houston Division. In 2014 Albertsons was approached by Safeway regarding a merger, and after FTC approval including closing and selling certain locations from both chains the merger was completed in 2015. The new company is divided into 14 different divisions. This now means that certain locations purchased by Randall’s are once again owned by Albertsons.

Operations in Houston | 1995-2002

Albertsons entered the Houston, Texas market in 1995.1 The chain expanded into the Houston market by opening about 10 locations in 1995. They were able to get a feel for the market and opened a few stores in the coming years. The real expansion occurred in 2000 with around 15 stores opening and even more being opened in 2001.

Albertson’s on Veteran’s Memorial Blvd. at time of opening. Photo Source: Airbinder.com

In March 2002 Albertsons made an announcement that they had decided to pull out of under performing markets. Contrary to Albertsons current and planned growth this included the Houston area. At the time of the announcement the company had 43 stores open. With multiple parcels of land that they were planning to develop. Albertsons managed to claim 8.7% of the Houston grocery market. For comparison at the time Kroger claimed 26 percent, Randall’s claimed 17 percent, HEB claimed 13 percent and Fiesta claimed 10 percent. The chain had previously closed six stores in Houston under the guise of restructuring the chain. At the time of their announcement 10 stores were closed immediately with the remaining 33 vowing to stay open until buyers could be found. At the time of pull-out Kroger agreed to buy 16 stores directly from Albertsons along with two parcels of land they were planning to build on. The list of stores can be found here.

Since Albertson’s exit from the Houston market was so unexpected many new stores and concepts were being developed right up until the point of exit. Because of this many of the Kroger acquired stores have very unusual features. The features include Gas Stations with full Convenience Stores. Also, some stores were fitted with Garden Centers. Most Gas Station and convenience stores continue to operate under Kroger. However, the Garden Centers were not long-lived. Due to the reluctance of getting Kroger to operate a full-blown Garden Center an alternative use for the space was established. They decided to use the area as a Dollar Store. You can read more about the concept here.

When moving into an Albertsons that was already operating Kroger did little to change the aesthetics. Going so far as to leave all original signage that did not say “Albertsons” anything that did have to be replaced was even given a special font as to match that already hung signs. You can see one example of the special Kroger logo here. Two Locations were purchased by HEB during their early 2000s expansion into the Houston area. They both replaced Pantry Foods locations and were converted after being closed by Albertsons. One located on Spencer Highway would later be converted again to another HEB brand, Mi Tienda.

Photo Gallery

Store Number
270312555 Briar Forest Dr. Houston, TX Albertsons: 1995-2002 Kroger: 2002-Present
27047430 Spencer Hwy. Pasadena, TX Albertsons: 1995-2002 Vacant: 2002-Present
27057530 Westheimer Rd. Houston, TX Albertsons: 1995-2002 Linens N Things: 20002-2008 DSW: 2008-Present REI: 2002-Present
27064425 FM 1960 W. Houston, TX Albertsons: 1995-2002 24 Hour Fitness: 2006-Present
270715875 FM 529 Houston, TX Albertsons: 1995-2002 Food Town: 2002-Present
270810535 Jones Rd Houston, TX 77065Albertsons: 1995-2000 Moved towards the end of run
2721604 Hwy. 332 Lake Jackson, TX Albertsons: 198?-2002 Randalls: 2002-2013 Vacant: 2013-Present
2723220 S. Loop 336 W. Conroe, TX Albertsons: 1995-2002 Kroger: 2002-Present
2726525 S. Fry Rd. Katy, TX Albertsons: 1996-2002 Randalls: 2002-Present
27273517 N Main St. Baytown, TX Albertsons: 1995-2002 Food Town: 2002-Present
272814625 Beechnut St. Houston, TX Albertsons: 1995-2002 Vacant: 2002-2005 World Food Imports: 2005-Present
272910010 Cypresswood Dr. Houston, TX Albertsons: 1997-2002 Kroger: 2002-Present
273019750 N. Fwy. Spring, TX Albertsons: 1995-2002 Vacant: 2002-2012 Conn's: 2012-Present Sears Outlet: 2013-Present
27314811 Hwy. 6 Missouri City, TX Albertsons: 1996-2002 Vacant: 2002-2004 Velocity Sports Performance: 2004-2010 Star Cinema Grill: 2011-Present
273216811 El Camino Real Houston, TX Albertsons: 1996-2002 HEB: 2002-Present
27337506 FM 1960 Atascocita, TX Albertsons: 2000-2002 Vacant: 2002-2008 Autzone/Bike Barn: 2008-Present
27343830 W. Davis Street Conroe, TX Albertsons: 2000-2002 Kroger: 2002-Present
27352250 Buckthorne Pl. Spring, TX Albertsons: 2000-2002 Randalls: 2002-Present
2736151 N. Friendswood Dr. Friendswood, TX Albertsons: 2000-2002 Kroger: 2002-Present
274110251 Kempwood Dr. Houston, TX Albertsons: 1998-2002 HEB: 2002-Present
27421630 Spencer Hwy. South Houston, TX Albertsons: 1997-2002 HEB: 2002-2011 Mi Tienda: 2011-Present
274320851 FM 1485 New Caney, TX Albertsons: 2000-2002 Food Fair: 2002-Present
2744250 S. FM 270 League City, TX Albertsons: 2000-2002 Kroger: 2002-Present
27457121 Broadway St. Pearland, TX Albertsons: 2000-2002 Food Town: 2002-Present
27511890 FM 359 Richmond, TX Albertsons: 2000-2002 Randalls: 2002-Present
27524303 Kingwood Dr. Humble, TX Albertsons: 2000-2002 Vacant: 2002-2003 HEB: 2003-Present
27539725 Fondren Rd. Houston, TX Albertsons: 1997-2002 Vacant: 2002-2006 Food Town: 2006-Present
27548000 Research Forest Dr. The Woodlands, TX Albertsons: 2000-2002 Kroger: 2002-Present
27559525 S. Kirkwood Rd. Houston, TX Albertsons: 1998-2002 Kroger: 2002-2005 Food Town: 2005-Present
27572770 N. Sam Houston Pkwy. W. Houston, TX Albertsons: 1998-2002 Food Town: 2002-Present
27601500 W. Grand Pkwy. S. Katy, TX Albertsons: 2000-2002 Kroger: 2002-Present
276111701 E. Sam Houston Pkwy. Houston, TX Albertsons: 1998-2002 Kroger: 2002-Present
276218322 Clay Rd. Houston, TX Albertsons: 1999-2002 Randalls: 2002-Present
27634710 Spring Cypress Rd. Spring, TX Albertsons: 1999-2002 Vacant: 2002-2012 DPS Mega Center: 2012-Present
27669125 W. Sam Houston Pkwy. N. Houston, TX Albertsons: 1999-2002 Kroger: 2002-Present
27685620 W. Tidwell Rd. Houston, TX Albertsons: 2000-2002 Kroger: 2003-2011 YES Prep 2012-Present
276912603 Louetta Rd. Houston, TX Albertsons: 1999-2002 Vacant: 2002-2005 Enchanted Cypress Ballroom: 2005-Present
27731770 E. T.C. Jester Blvd. Houston, TX Albertsons: 2000-2002 Vacant: 2002-2004 Heights Self Storage: 2004-Present
27785807 East Sam Houston Pkwy N Houston, TXAlbertsons: 2002-2002 Subdivided Big Lots/99 Cents Only Store
27807747 Kirby Dr. Houston, TX Albertsons: 2001-2002 Kroger: 2002-Present
278811565 Hwy. 6 Sugar Land, TX Albertsons: 2000-2002 Kroger: 2002-Present
279012400 FM 1960 W. Houston, TX Albertsons: 2000-2002 Kroger: 2002-Present
27948745 Spring Cypress Rd. Spring, TX Albertsons: 2001-2002 Kroger: 2002-Present

Reader Comments

    1. Sorry Charlotte but I don’t control that! You might want to get directly in touch with Albertsons/Safeway to check with them!

      1. Food Town is on Bissonnet and Kirkwood before that it was Kroger which didn’t last very long and before that it was albertsons

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