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Grocery Stores


Coclanis, Peter A.; Elam, Sonya; Joyner, Gail B.; & Williams, Wiley J. (2006). Grocery Stores.. Powell, William S. & Mazzocchi, Jay (Eds.) (pp. 540-541). Chapel Hill, N.C.: University of North Carolina Press.


North Carolina is home to one of the nation's largest supermarket chains, Food Lion, as well as major regional chains. One of the state's earliest grocery chains, Pender Stores (forerunner of Colonial Stores and Big Star), was founded in 1900 by David Pender, the nephew of Pender County namesake Maj. Gen. William Dorsey Pender, a Confederate leader slain at Gettysburg. The first Pender Store opened on Monticello Avenue in Norfolk in 1901 and eventually expanded to include a delicatessen, soda fountain, and restaurant under the name Pender's Mammoth Food Department Store. By 1926, when controlling interest in the business was sold to New York investors, the Pender Stores had expanded to 244 locations, many in North Carolina, and employed more than 1,500 people. Pender remained as managing director, and his chain merged with the Rogers chain of stores in Georgia, Alabama, and South Carolina to cover the entire Southeast. In the mid-1930s, they were the first major chains in the South to move into the supermarket business. The larger supermarkets were named Big Star; their smaller counterparts were called Little Star. In 1940 the David Pender Grocery Company became Colonial Stores, Inc., and Rogers Stores ceased to exist. In 1988 Harris Teeter bought out the chain from the Grand Union Company, selling some Big Star stores to other chains while switching most to its brand.

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Coclanis, Peter A.
Elam, Sonya
Joyner, Gail B.
Williams, Wiley J.