ABINGDON, VA (Tuesday, August 19, 2008) – K-VA-T Food Stores, Inc. (Food City’s parent company) will soon be celebrating a milestone event, as they prepare for the opening of their 100th store. The 46,000+ square foot unit, located on East Main Street in Rogersville, TN will serve as a replacement facility for Food City’s former location which closed earlier this year. The new store is expected to open later this fall.
“As you can imagine, we are very excited about the opening of our 100th store and would like to express our gratitude for the loyalty and support of our customers and associates, without whom this feat would not be possible,” said Steven C. Smith, Food City president and chief executive officer. “Our company was founded on the simple principle of running the best store in town – a tradition that still applies today.”
In celebration of the much anticipated opening, company officials have ordered the construction of a steel support beam, bearing a plaque commemorating their 100th store. The structure will be transported to many Food City locations (schedule attached) over the course of the coming weeks. Over 14% of the company is owned by its associates through the stock ownership plan. Each shareholder will be given an opportunity to sign the beam, which will be mounted in the foyer of the new Rogersville store.
“We wanted to select a memorial befitting of the occasion and are especially pleased that our associates will have an opportunity to participate in commemorating this special event in our company’s history,” added Smith.
The Food City banner dates back to 1918 with the opening of a store in Greeneville, TN, but Food City’s parent company, K-VA-T Food Stores, Inc. really began with the opening of an 8,800 square foot (then Piggly Wiggly) unit by the Smith family in Grundy, Virginia on November 17, 1955.
K-VA-T later acquired Quality Foods, a 19 store chain in 1984 and adopted the Food City name, followed by the acquisition of 37 White Stores in 1989, 11 Kennedy Piggly Wiggly locations in 1998, 7 Winn-Dixie stores in 1999 and 8 BI-LO units in 2006.
Now headquartered in Abingdon, Virginia, K-VA-T operates 92 Food City supermarkets throughout the tri-state regions of Southeast Kentucky, Southwest Virginia and Northeast Tennessee, in addition to seven Super Dollar Discount Foods limited assortment locations in Wytheville, Abingdon, Hillsville, and Christiansburg Virginia, Pikeville and Prestonsburg, Kentucky and Asheville Highway in Knoxville, Tennessee.
K-VA-T has its own 1.1 million square foot distribution center located in Abingdon, Virginia, in addition to Misty Mountain Spring Water, L.L.C., a K-VA-T owned subsidiary. Misty Mountain bottles over 16 million gallons of spring water for sale in Food City and other retail locations.
The company is well known for their vast civic and community involvement, as well as Food City initiatives like Apples for the Students, through which Food City has donated more than 11 million dollars in equipment to over 800 participating schools. Food City also proudly partners with farmers in Southwest Virginia and Northeast Tennessee to bring local produce to their customers. Last year alone, Food City has purchased in excess of $6,000,000 in locally grown produce. The company continues to grow with the acquisition and construction of new sites and added conveniences, such as their in-store pharmacies and fuel stations.
K-VA-T Food Stores, Inc. ranked 40th on the latest (2008) Progressive Grocer's list of America's 50 Largest Supermarket Chains, 55th on Supermarket News "Top 75 North American Food Retailers" (January, 2008) with over 1.6 billion dollars in sales and 269th on Forbes Magazine's "List of the largest privately-held companies in 2007" .