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Posted on 31 March 2011 | 7,794 views

Safeway Stock Market Price After October 1929 Crash

The Sam Seelig Company held a contest in 1925 to develop a new name for the grocery store, the result of which was Safeway. The original slogan was “an admonition and an invitation” to “Drive the Safeway – Buy the Safeway” — the point of the name was that the grocery operated on a cash-and-carry basis, it did not offer credit as had been traditional for grocers.

It was the “Safe Way” to buy because a family could not get into debt via its grocery bill (as many families did, especially during the Great Depression). By 1926, Safeway Stores had 322 stores centered in Southern California. By 1929, there were rumors of a Safeway-Kroger merger.

The initial public offering price of Safeway stock was $226.00 in 1927 — a 5:1 stock split in 1928 brought the price down to under $50.00 per share.

Right before the October 28, 1929 Black Monday and October 29, 1929 Black Tuesday stock market crash, Safeway Grocery Stores stock had been trading at $150.125 per share (a 300% increase in share price from their last stock split) on the New York Stock Exchange. Safeway stock closed on August 11, 1932 at $48.125 per share and hit a 1932 low of $30.125 per share.

The number of stores peaked at 3,400 in 1932, when expansion ground to a halt. The Great Depression had finally impacted the chain, which began to focus on cost control. In addition, the numerous smaller grocery stores began being replaced with larger supermarket stores. By 1933, the chain ranked second in the grocery industry behind The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company and ahead of Kroger.

Resources:

The Pittsburgh Press October 1929
The Pittsburgh Press August 1932

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