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KJ’s Market - The history

KJ’s Market is a family of the Independent Grocers Alliance (IGA).

IGA is a United States brand of grocery stores that runs in not less than 30 countries. Unlike the chain store business model, Independent Grocery Alliance operates as a franchise through stores that are owned separately from the brand. Several of these stores serve small-town markets and belong to families that manage them. It established in the United States as the Independent Grocers Alliance. The headquarters is in Chicago, Illinois.

Independent Grocery Alliance was started in May 1926 when a group of 100 independent retailers in Sharon, Connecticut, and Poughkeepsie, New York led by J. Frank Grimes, organized themselves into one marketing system. Guidance from the IGA management came in the form of marketing and access to a regular supply chain. After a few years, the company started making its own canned food brand.

As at the end of its first year, the group had expanded to include more than 150 retailers. In 1930, over 8,000 grocery stores were using the IGA name. Until 1988 William Olsen was the company CEO till when he was replaced by Thomas Haggai who retired in 2016.

The stores in the alliance remain autonomously held and operated. The coalition supervises several resources shared amongst the member stores. These include the IGA store brand goods and the logistical network that distributes them. The alliance also gives training and assessment programs and an online advertising platform. It usually coordinates promotional events and charity fundraising events that help store communities.