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Vons (formerly Von's) is a southern California supermarket chain (it also operates locations in and around Las Vegas, Nevadamarker), and is a division of Safeway Inc. It is headquartered in Arcadia, Californiamarker.


Charles Von der Ahe opened a cash and carry store named Von's Groceteria in downtown Los Angelesmarker, Californiamarker, in 1906. The business had grown to 87 stores by 1928, when he sold the operation to McMarr Stores (itself acquired by M.B. Skaggs' Safeway in 1930). In 1932 his sons Ted and Wilfred re-entered the business, founding the Von's Grocery Company.

In 1948, Von's opened a pioneering store which offered self-service (i.e., pre-packaged) produce, meat, and deli items. By 1958, it had doubled in size to 27 stores, the third-largest grocery chain in the Greater Los Angeles Area.[155612] In 1960 it acquired the sixth-largest, competitor Shopping Bag Food Stores, a merger that was challenged by the Federal Trade Commission on antitrust grounds. In 1966 the United States Supreme Courtmarker ruled against Von's in United States v. Von's Grocery Co. (384 U.S. 270), forcing a re-divestiture of the stores. The Von der Ahe family sold the chain to Household Finance Corporation (now HSBC Finance) in 1969.

1980s, 1990s

In 1984, Vons was named official supermarket of the 1984 Summer Olympics.

In 1984, Bill Davila was named Chairman and CEO of Vons, the first Mexican-American to be CEO of an American supermarket chain. Prior to his appointment, Davila worked for 37 years at Vons before becoming CEO. He opened up Tianguis, catering to Hispanic consumers, and was well-received as the company's television spokesman, starring in commercials in both English and Spanish during his tenure. He retired in 1992.

In 1986 Household spun off Vons Companies in a leveraged buyout. To recapitalize itself, Vons merged with Detroit, Michiganmarker-based Allied Supermarkets and sold off its assets outside California. Vons was listed on the New York Stock Exchangemarker in 1987.

Also in 1986, Vons introduced Pavilions, a "combination store" concept which offered a wider variety of upscale products as well as pharmacy and other non-food products and services.

Safeway withdrew from southern California and southern Nevada in 1988 and sold most of its stores to Vons in exchange for an ownership stake. In April 1997, Safeway exercised its option to acquire control of the company, and Vons has since operated as a subsidiary. Most of the Safeway brands and advertising campaigns are used by the Vons stores.

The Charles Von der Ahe Library was the main library of Loyola Marymount Universitymarker (LMU) until the Fall of 2009 when the new William H. Hannon Library was opened. In the new library there is a Von der Ahe suite located on the third floor.[155613] Its construction was made possible by a 1957 gift from the Von's Foundation. Wil Von der Ahe was an alumnus of LMU's predecessor, Loyola University Los Angeles.Wil Von der Ahe has a daughter named Brookie Von der Ahe.


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