Cub Foods

Cub is a supermarket chain with 77 stores in Minnesota and Illinois.[1] The company is a wholly owned subsidiary of SuperValu Inc., based in Eden Prairie, Minnesota. The store was famous for being "no frills; bag your own groceries...."

Cub Foods, Inc.
IndustryRetail, Grocery
Founded1968 (1968) in Minneapolis, Minnesota
HeadquartersStillwater, Minnesota
Number of locations
OwnerUnited Natural Foods



Cub Foods was founded by Minnesota-based Hooleys Supermarkets in 1968 in the riverside city of Stillwater by brothers Charles and Jack Hooley, brother-in-law Robert Thueson, and Culver Davis, Jr. The name “CUB” was Culver Davis Jr’s nickname, and from it they coined the acronym “Consumers United for Buying”,[2] and Cub Foods was one of the first total discount food stores in the United States. The chain was bought by Minnesota-based SuperValu in 1980 with five stores in the Twin Cities.[3] After the purchase, the chain expanded to 83 stores in three states. Until 1999, WinCo Foods operated several Cub Foods stores. Cub Foods began operations in Colorado in 1986, but shuttered their nine stores in 2003; Kroger acquired some of the former locations.[4] Cub once had a presence in Wisconsin and Iowa as well. A store in Ames closed in 2010, ending the chain's time in Iowa. [5] The last Wisconsin store closed in 2012. [6]

The chain also had locations operated by Delhaize Group in parts of the Southern United States, namely in the metro Atlanta and metro Nashville areas in the 1980s and 1990s.[7] The distinctively curved aqua-green tin roof on the front of a red brick façade can still be seen on many of these buildings, including the Big Lots in Woodstock, Georgia and the Northeast Cobb YMCA.

Effects from Albertsons merger

As part of SuperValu's acquisition of New Albertsons, including its Chicago-based Jewel-Osco stores, SuperValu divested its Chicago-area Cub Foods locations to an investment group headed by Cerberus Capital Management, to avoid market concentration issues. (The Cerberus-led group later acquired New Albertsons from SuperValu in March 2013, reuniting the two Albertsons companies under the common holding company Albertsons LLC.) Since Cerberus took control, four locations (Algonquin, Bedford Park, 87th Street in Chicago, and Naperville) closed, and Cerberus then announced that it was selling the remaining Illinois stores to other operators.[8] The last of the Chicago-area Cub Foods stores closed on December 10, 2006. A majority of them were sold to Central Grocers Cooperative and operated as Strack & Van Til and Ultra Foods by a wholly owned unit of the cooperative, and as Garden Fresh Markets by one of its members;[9] others were sold to Grand Mart International Foods. However, only four of the eight stores sold to Grand Mart ever opened under that company's ownership, and all were closed after less than five months of operation. Central Grocers Cooperative subsequently went bankrupt in 2017.

Cub Foods once had multiple locations in Illinois, including stores in the Peoria metropolitan area. In 2009, a Peoria-area store closing drew controversy, as the city was liable for a portion of the initial project.[10] A single location remains in Freeport.

Three Springfield, Illinois, stores independently owned by Niemann Foods (two of which are former Jewel-Osco stores acquired from the Cerberus-led group) had a franchise to use the Cub Foods name as part of the stores' branding. These stores also carried selected Cub Foods-branded products under the same agreement. As of recently, these three stores no longer use the Cub Foods name; instead, they are now called County Market (another trademark owned by SuperValu but franchised to independent grocers). A Niemann-owned store in Bloomington, Illinois, used the Cub Foods name under license from SuperValu until closing in 2015.[11]

In 2018 the word "Foods" has been dropped from the name. The signs and ads now simply say “Cub,” and the remodeled stores reflect the broader assortment of goods that it needs to compete not just with Hy-Vee but Target, Walmart, Aldi and even Amazon. Cub is the biggest chain in Supervalu's retail portfolio. Its sale of the Save-A-Lot discount chain for $1.3 billion “fundamentally changed our leverage,” Chief Executive Mark Gross said this year. Some of that is going toward updating Cub. As of 2017, new stores have opened in Blaine and Oakdale, while 18 Twin Cities locations have been remodeled. Nearly all of Cub's remodels are in areas where Hy-Vee opened stores nearby, including Maple Grove, Plymouth, and Brooklyn Park. Cub brought elements to the remodeled stores that customers liked — more grab-and-go foods, a larger produce section and a drive-up pharmacy — but those were reactions to Hy-Vee. Stillwater is an exception. The new 88,500-square-foot store includes ideas that Cub executives are trying out before adding to other stores.[12]

On July 26, 2018, it was announced that parent company Supervalu would be purchased by United Natural Foods for $2.9 billion. As a result of this purchase, Cub and other Supervalu retail properties will be divested from the company. It is still unclear as to who will eventually purchase Cub Foods.[13]

In 2007, two customers filed a lawsuit against parent company Supervalu Inc., accusing them of violating Minnesota's Uniform Deceptive Trade Practice Act. [14] In response, a company spokesperson issued a statement saying that SuperValu stood behind the integrity of their products.

In 2011, Cub filed a lawsuit against the labor union Centro de Trabajadores Unidos en Lucha. [15] The CTUL had attempted to represent cleaning workers; previous to legal action, they held hunger strikes. SuperValu sued on May 27, 2011. The case was settled with CTUL being disallowed from organizing against Cub Foods.

Parent company SuperValu sent a letter to customers on August 25, 2014, that My CUB Rewards members who provided their data and shoppers who used credit cards during the period between June 22, 2014 (at the earliest) and July 17, 2014 (at the latest), at 209 SuperValu stores and stand-alone liquor stores may have been affected by a data security breach. SuperValu posted this information on their website in a press release dated August 14, 2014. Information on the affected stores and eligibility for customers on identity protection programs are available on SuperValu's press release site.[16]

See also


  1. "SuperValu:Cub Foods Corporate Banner". Archived from the original on 2014-01-01. Retrieved 2007-07-02.
  2. "Cub Foods Co-Founder Charles Hooley Was a Bargain-Shopping Pioneer". The Wall Street Journal. June 22, 2018. Retrieved May 7, 2019.
  3. "Timeline: Supervalu through the years". Minneapolis StarTribune. July 26, 2018. Retrieved May 7, 2019.
  4. "Colorado Cub Foods stores closing". KUSA. October 19, 2003. Retrieved May 4, 2019.
  5. "Ames Cub Foods location will close in November". Iowa State Daily. Retrieved May 4, 2019.
  6. "Cub Foods closes last Wisconsin store; Metcalfe's prepares to fill void". Wisconsin State Journal. Retrieved May 4, 2019.
  7. "History". Delhaize Group. Archived from the original on 20 July 2012. Retrieved 19 July 2012.
  8. "Topic Galleries". Chicago Tribune.
  9. Holecek, Andrea (2007). "Four Sterk's stores changing hands". NWI Times.
  10. "Cub Foods has been closed for eight years but Peoria is still paying". Peoria Journal Star. January 18, 2017. Retrieved May 7, 2019.
  11. "Cub Foods announces it is closing local store". Pantagraph. June 15, 2015. Retrieved May 7, 2019.
  12. "Remodeled Cub grocery in Stillwater tests new concepts". Star Tribune. Retrieved 2018-07-18.
  13. Ewoldt, John; Painter, Kristen Leigh (July 26, 2018). "Sale of Supervalu puts future of Cub Foods up in the air". Star Tribune. Minneapolis. Retrieved July 26, 2018.
  14. "Cub Foods sued over beef labels". St. Paul Pioneer Press. February 22, 2007. Retrieved May 6, 2019.
  15. "Cub Foods settles lawsuit with cleaning workers". City Pages. October 17, 2011. Retrieved May 6, 2019.
  16. "SUPERVALU INC. - Grocery Retail and Supply Chain Services - Security". Retrieved 2018-07-18.
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