As a teenager, Robert Onstead delivered groceries for his uncle in Ennis, Texas. In 1954 when he was 24 and recently married, his father-in-law offered him a job at Randalls Super Valu Store in Pasadena. He also offered him important words of advice: “Treat your customers the way you treat your family.” Onstead was a natural in the business. His marketing flair was demonstrated when he opened his second store shortly afterwards and, for the occasion, covered the building in a new material called ‘Saran Wrap’. The Today Show came and televised it live.
12 years later, Onstead joined two other men—Norman Frewin and R.C. Barclay—whose experience in the grocery business went back two generations and who were both instinctive entrepreneurs. Together, the three men developed the concept of a discount supermarket. Among their innovations were special prices advertised in their large front windows, hot delis, on-the-premises bakeries, electronic check cashing, scanners and mart carts for seniors. Their fresh thinking paid off handsomely. By 1990, the chain had expanded to 42 stores. In 1991, Randalls earned over a billion dollars in revenue, making it easily the fastest growing company in Houston.
Today, Randalls operates as a banner of Albertsons Companies, one of the largest food and drug retailers in the United States. With both a strong local presence and national scale, the company operates stores across 35 states and the District of Columbia under 20 well-known banners. Albertsons Companies is committed to helping people across the country live better lives by making a meaningful difference, neighborhood by neighborhood. In 2017 alone, along with the Albertsons Companies Foundation, the company gave nearly $300 million in food and financial support. These efforts helped millions of people in the areas of hunger relief, education, cancer research and treatment, programs for people with disabilities and veterans outreach.