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Raley’s: The Depression Store

October 3, 2013

Actually there’s nothing depressing about Raley’s.  In fact it’s a source of inspiration. The company founder Tom Raley opened his first store in 1935 during the Great Depression and more stores opened later. The business flourished.

Tom Raley headed the company until his death in 1991. His family still controls the company today. His daughter Joyce Raley Teel and son-in-law Jim Teel are co-chairs of the board of directors. Michael their son is the president and CEO.

The company currently runs around 125 supermarkets and superstores in California and Nevada. Aside from its nearly 80 flagship Raley’s Superstores, the firm operates around 20 Bel Air Markets (in the Sacramento area), Nob Hill Foods (a high-end Bay Area chain with around 20 locations), and almost 10 discount warehouse stores under the Food Source brand in Northern California.

The stores typically sell groceries, natural foods, liquor, and also have in-store pharmacies. Raley’s had revenue of $3 billion in 2011 and has 13,400 employees. While the Great Depression brought sadness and despair, Tom Raley had other ideas that brought jobs and hope to many.

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