The Independent Grocers Alliance was created in 1926 by a group led by Chicago accountant J. Frank Grimes. It was designed as a network for independent grocers who sought to use the purchasing power of the association to compete with the rising chain-grocery companies. The enterprise was a success and lasted through the end of the century. By the 1980s, when it was known as IGA, the combined sales of its 3,000 affiliated stores made it the fourth-largest food retailer in the United States. At the end of the century, with annual sales of $18 billion, IGA was a wholesaling operation supplying the world's largest voluntary network of supermarkets.
The Electronic Encyclopedia of Chicago © 2005 Chicago Historical Society.
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