A company’s name doesn’t always describe who or what they are. Take Giant Eagle for example. The name doesn’t exactly sound like a supermarket chain, but that’s exactly what it is.
In fact, it’s one of the top 75 North American food retailers according to Supermarket News. It was even recognized by Forbes Magazine as the 32nd-largest privately held corporation. In 2014 alone, the company had $9.9 billion in annual sales.
Is it just me, or does it sound like you need to fill out a Giant Eagle application as soon as possible? I’m glad you agree, but first we need to prepare you. Let’s check out the company’s history, business model, and the hiring process. This will prepare you for your career and beyond.
The History and Business Model of Giant Eagle
Giant Eagle began way back in 1918 when three families by the names of Goldstein/Shapira, Porter, and Chait built a number of small grocery stores that they named Eagle Grocery.
Success came quickly and by 1925 they had 125 stores. The families sold the company to the Kroger Company in 1928 and agreed to stay out the industry for three years.
While this was going on, two other families by the names of Moravitz and Weizenbaum created chain of successful grocery stores called OK Grocery. In 1931 these five families got together like the plot of a classic mafia film and formed Giant Eagle.
The new company started in Pittsburgh and grew throughout the 30s and 40s. Through continued innovation, the company continued to grow despite World War II and the Great Depression.
In the 1980s, Giant Eagle expanded into Ohio by purchasing the Youngstown-based wholesaler known as the Tamarkin Company. The Valu-King stores under this company were converted after the sale.
Cleveland came next in the 1990s when the company purchased the Stop-n-Shop stores in the area. This method of expansion proved to be beneficial for the company, purchasing and converting stores was easier than building new ones.
Expansion into Columbus was similar, Giant Eagle capitalized on the demise of the Big Bear supermarket chain by inserting itself as the premiere upmarket option for people in the area. This was done by purchasing previous Big Bear locations and converting them, in addition to building several new stores in strategic areas.
In the Pittsburgh area, Giant Eagle has the largest market share of any supermarket. This is the result of a pseudo-monopoly that the company has in the area. There is very little competition, which allows for them to dominate that market. To stay competitive, the company has also had a history of utilizing loyalty programs and discount rewards cards.
This began in 1991 with the “Advantage Card” which provided customers with an electronic discount system similar to what many other chains at the time were doing.
This was combined with the Fuelperks! program which enticed customers by providing discounts on gas purchases from the affiliate GetGo brand when they spend certain amounts in Giant Eagle stores. They tried to reverse the discounts with the Foodperks! program, but it soon became too complicated so the food discount program was dropped.
This little tidbit of information shows that Giant Eagle isn’t afraid to try new things and innovate wherever they can. Currently, there are over 221 locations in the U.S:
- 122 in Ohio (central, northeastern, and eastern regions)
- 99 in Pennsylvania (western region)
- 2 in West Virginia (Morgantown)
- 2 in Maryland (Frederick)
Each store has between 22,000 and 60,000 items in stock, 5,000 of which fall under Giant Eagle brands. There are twenty-four different departments across the stores. These include things like the following:
- Redbox rental terminals
- Dry cleaning
- In-store day care
- Citizens Bank (Pennsylvania) and Huntington Bank (Ohio and West Virginia)
- Coffee shops in-store
- Prepared foods
Larger locations also feature experimental departments like ethnic and organic food, Iggle video, and other innovations.
Giant’s Eagles major competitors are few and far between, but they are there. It’s always wise to apply to more than one company so let’s take a moment to see what other supermarkets are currently hiring. For starters, Walmart is always looking for good people to populate their massive stores. In addition, Kroger tends to be a strong competitor for Giant Eagle. Finally, check out Harris Teeter.
Giant Eagle Application Online
When you arrive on the Giant Eagle job page, you’ll notice that there are plenty of opportunities. The company is growing and with the slogan “We don’t just work together, we win!” and “We’re not just a team, we’re a family” are great reassurances that this company wants its team members to feel welcome and wishes to see them succeed.
There are plenty of opportunities for entry-level candidates looking to start their career in this industry. Positions like clerk or cashier will only require good physical health, and strong work ethic. This welcomeness for candidates without experience makes Giant Eagle a great place to start a career, especially if this is your first job.
The process of applying only takes between 30 to 60 minutes to complete. Make sure you set aside the proper amount of time to do everything calmly and review your forms for any errors or mistakes before you submit the forms. Once you have some tenure with the company, you can look forward to upper-level position opportunities or speciality jobs that pose major career potential.
You could easily become a manager, a chef, a pharmacist, or anything else the company has need for. You simply need to pursue your education while putting in good work each and every day with the company. Remember, you can search for job positions on the website and apply online once you’ve made a profile.
It’s all very easy and understandable, which is all the more reason to apply to Giant Eagle today!
While Giant Eagle isn’t an international brand, it is growing and expanding. With roots dating back to 1918, it’s not going anywhere anytime soon. With plenty of opportunities for entry-level positions, this is also a great place to start your first job and build that into a career! Fill out your Giant Eagle application today, and start a rewarding career!