Raley's has to stock plenty of fresh fruit and great wines -- it sells to the people that produce them. The company operates about 125 supermarkets and superstores in California and Nevada. In addition to nearly 80 flagship Raley's Superstores, the company operates about 20 Bel Air Markets (in the Sacramento area), Nob Hill Foods (an upscale Bay Area chain with about 20 locations), and nearly 10 discount warehouse stores under the Food Source banner in Northern California. Raley's stores typically offer groceries, natural foods, and liquor, as well as in-store pharmacies. Founded during the Depression by Thomas Porter Raley, the company is owned by Tom's daughter Joyce Raley Teel.
In addition to supermarkets, Raley's operates about a dozen Aisle 1 full-service fuel stations in Northern California and Nevada.
Raley's three smaller chains serve different markets. Bel Air Markets are located in the greater Sacramento area. Nob Hill Foods stores are located along the Central Coast region of California and in the Bay Area. Food Source stores caters to customers in Hayward, California, the Sacramento area, and northern Nevada.
The privately-owned company rang up an estimated $3 billion in sales in fiscal 2012 (ends June).
The company's store count is trending down as it struggles to compete. Indeed, Raley's has announced the pending closure of two more stores in October, which will bring to six the number of stores shuttered in 2012. Raley's is being squeezed between non-traditional grocery operators, such as Wal-Mart and WinCo Foods on the low end, and more upscale chains like Whole Foods and grocery-giant Safeway. In a bid to cut costs, the company has trimmed its executive ranks and cut health care coverage for retired hourly employees. The cost cutting has fueled speculation about Raley's future and led to strike threats by its unionized work force. The retailer has been closing conventional Raley's stores and, in some cases, converting them to its discount Food Source banner. The growing discount warehouse format caters to economically-stressed and value-seeking shoppers, a growing niche in California and Nevada. Still, the grocery chain's attempts to market itself as a value retailer haven't resonated with customers who increasingly are shopping elsewhere. Also, Raley's has struggled to expand beyond its core market in California. It has a relatively small footprint in Nevada, and exited New Mexico five years ago with the sale of its stores there to Albertsons. – less