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The Giant Food Company is concentrating on quality, value, and service for the customers. Having 45 percent of the Washington market and a significant share of the Baltimore market, the company predominates in many market areas. It has three independent drugstores located in Washington, D.C., Virginia and Maryland as well. Giant's subsidiary, GFS Realty, Inc., possesses 18 shopping centers and also five independent grocery/pharmacy stores. 

Landover and Jessup in Maryland., are places where distribution centers are located. Half of the voting shares of Giant Food belong to the UK retail company J. Sainsbury, which at the same time possesses the New England food retail chain Shaw's Supermarkets. 

As for history, in 1939 Giant had grown into three shops. The fourth one had a facade of brick and glass with the brand name's image, which was lit up at night, being a novel step at the time. Giant launched its sixth shop in Arlington in Virginia, which made this location the first one outside of Columbia. It happened at the time the US entered World War II. 

Giant ceased to increase in size after the war; however, in 1945, two new shops were opened in Washington, and in Virginia, one. Giant started to shift into utilizing vertical integration at the end of the 1940s. It opened the slaughterhouse to ship meat directly to its shops. The company purchased the Sheridan Bakery in 1948, and even before that, it was providing baked goods for retail. 

Giant Food Shopping Center Inc. was re-named and became Giant Food Inc. in 1957. During that decade, the company computerized inventory records, customer information, payroll and bookkeeping duties. The features introduced to customer service in the 1950s contained self-opening doors, mechanized check-outs, and open display cases for consumers to access meats and frozen food directly. 

Giant sold away its four independent Super Giant shops to Woolco in the early 1970s and immersed itself into food retailing again. Giant started discounting its prices in the inflationary times of the mid-1970s, hoping that the increased production would offset the lower costs. The first billion dollar income was gained in 1979. 

Giant started to use computer-assisted checkout in 1975 and then introduced price scanning equipment in all its shops in 1979. Although introducing scanners was a significant historical move, Washington consumers and lawyers claimed that the company was using the scanning technology to lead consumers to pay more. The prices were only put on shelves, not on every product. Giant's waves of protests were weathered showing the data that proved that the system had cut operational costs. 

Giant Food remained one of the most revered regional supermarket chains in the US despite its slight setback in 1997. Throughout the company's history, it has been constant in its aiming for efficiency, value and service. Giant seemed to have a clear strategy for growth in low margin fields of high competition, utilizing continuous geographical expansion and the rise in its independent drugstores' activity in the late 1990s.

Typical Hours of Operation

Mo 8:00 - 20:00
Tu 8:00 - 20:00
We 8:00 - 20:00
Th 8:00 - 20:00
Fr 8:00 - 20:00
Sa 8:00 - 20:00
Su 8:00 - 20:00

Locations: 265 locations in 24 states and 192 cities.


  • Supermarkets & Super Stores
  • Grocery Stores

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