MILL VALLEY, Calif. — IGA re-established a presence in the San Francisco Bay Area for the first time in more than 20 years last week with the opening of the first of eight DeLano IGA Markets here.
Seven other locations in San Francisco and Marin County to the north are scheduled to open under the IGA banner during the next six weeks — “the biggest pop for IGA under a single owner in California,” Byron Loveall, president of the Sacramento division of C&S Wholesale Grocers, Keene, N.H., told SN last week. C&S will supply the DeLano IGA stores.
The addition of the eight stores will give IGA 36 locations in California.
“C&S is trying to rebuild IGA in California,” Loveall said, “and we believe IGA will be one of our major growth vehicles in the state.”
He said IGA had a strong California presence through the mid-1980s under the sponsorship of Fleming.
Harley DeLano, owner of the stores with his son Dennis, cited three factors that influenced his decision to join IGA: brand identity, IGA's training and certification programs, and IGA's national consumer marketing events.
The stores range in size from 8,900 to 23,000 square feet, and will be remerchandised to meet the needs of individual markets.
The DeLano IGA stores were formerly owned by Ralphs Grocery Co., a division of Kroger Co., Cincinnati, which operated them under the banners of Cala Foods and Bell Markets. They were acquired late last year by DeLano Retail Partners, a partnership between father and son.
Harley DeLano was president of the Cala-Bell stores from 1990 until 2000, while Dennis DeLano worked for Ralphs in Northern California for more than 15 years.