After four decades in operation, Globe Supermarket closed its doors last week. But the closing only lasted a few days, as this morning a new, improved and more efficient grocery store opens just a few hundred feet away. With its new sliding door entrance, shiny floors, spacious aisles and new building smell, Globe Supermarket will introduce the next generation of shopping while keeping their same low prices.
The dedication of the store is offering customers what they need and want, like “The Wall of Values” will continue on in the 36,000-square-foot store. The Wall of Values is one of the most sought out sections of the store, offering lower prices per item than any other store.
With its competitive South Tenth Street location, the store has fought off the challenges of rival grocers throughout the years. That proof comes from their loyal customers as they return each week to take advantage of the lower prices the store has to offer. Globe also operates Foy’s Supermarket in Mission and El Globo Supermarket in Brownsville.
At a time when stores like Carl’s Supermarket, HEB, Gibson’s Discount Center and Foodland Center were popping up around the Rio Grande Valley in the ‘60s, the idea to build a store that would give the customer lower prices came from the first owners, Supermarket Interstates.
Store construction for the Globe Discount City store began in June of 1966 with its doors opening Nov. 16 of that same year with a ribbon-cutting ceremony that included attendees like McAllen Mayor Paul Veale, the owner and developer Vannie E. Cook Jr. and store manager E.M. Zelta. The combination department store and grocery store was over 80,000-square-feet and employed approximately 250 people. It offered a “Total Savings Program” that guaranteed an average savings of $200 in groceries.
In 1966, the new discount store had a unique new store atmosphere and offered up to 60 different departments that included everything, from a jewelry department and tire shop to a clothing department. Other departments included a coffee shop called the “Sun Room,” which offered a full-service grill and snack bar that was located at the entrance of the store. During their grand opening, customers were offered a Globe check-cashing courtesy card that would allow customers to cash personal checks.
After keeping the stores in operation for over a decade, Supermarket Interstates began to sell their stores and in 1979, Foy Johnson became the new owner of Globe. In May 1986, Johnson sold Globe to Steve Grill, who has been the owner of Globe Supermarket ever since.
Grill says Globe stores differ from other supermarkets in the area because they have catered to their clientele differently than every other supermarket. “We never put any limits on our sale items,” he said. “We always try to cater to our customers with the items that they need.”
Pete Charles, director of operations, has been working at Globe for 33 years and knows hard work and dedication is what has kept the store running for so long. He credits Grill for the success of the stores. “He lets us run the store, and he has trust in us that we are going to run the store successfully,” he said.
Charles knows the new store location will thrive stronger than the old location because of the loyal customers the store has had throughout the years. In just a few years, the shopping center where Globe stands now has seen many businesses come and go and new construction has continued. “When we started construction, we had bulldozers, construction trailers, and people still came to shop here,” Charles said.
Charles, who controls the pricing on several departments, has been asked by competitors to work for them. “There I just might be a number in that corporate store; here the owner knows us by name,” he said. He began his career sacking groceries in 1976, right out of high school with a desire to work.
Charles says the store caters to low and middle-income families. “They’re our target customers,” he said. “We want to offer them lower prices on everyday items.”
One of Globe’s successes, according to Charles, is the McAllen warehouse they’ve operated for over 20 years. With the warehouse, they are able to buy directly from local and out-of-state vendors and ship quickly to each store location. “We try to buy locally as much as we can,” Charles said.
“The old store, which has been up for 43 years, is starting to look tired,” said Senior Vice President Gary Curtis. The new store is double the size of the old store and will have an exciting new look, he said. Each department features hand-painted murals and art work that will enhance its atmosphere. The store will also have exciting new colors that will appeal to the customers.
“With the new colors and art work, the store will look modern,” he said. “Our customers will be pleasantly surprised with the new look.”
Curtis said Globe Supermarket had the opportunity to expand to a bigger and better location that would offer more to the people of the Rio Grande Valley. The success of Globe Supermarket has continued to cater to its loyal customers he said.
The new store will continue to be open 24-hours, as the original store and will have a full-service meat department, full-service bakery with an on-site tortilleria and a deli where customers can sit and enjoy a meal. The Wall of Values will also be bigger and offer more choices.
Hard work and dedication has been Grill’s secret to the success of Globe Supermarkets. “There really is no secret,” Grill says cheerfully. “Just making sure our prices are the lowest has been my outlook in serving the community.”