Fareway Stores makes green through groceries. The regional grocery chain operates under the Fareway banner, primarily in Iowa but also in Minnesota, Nebraska, and several other Midwestern states. Fareway's 100-plus locations average about 25,000 sq. ft. Eschewing such amenities as video rentals and dry-cleaning services, Fareway Stores sticks to the basics -- lots of meat (all cut to order) and groceries only -- counting on low prices and customer service to compete with supercenter operators, such as
workers Paul Beckwith and Fred Vitt founded Fareway in 1938; the Beckwith family controls the company. Because of the founders' biblical beliefs, the stores are closed on Sundays.
Iowa-based Fareway operates about 95 stores in its home state. Other markets include Minnesota, where the chain has about half a dozen locations, Nebraska, with a handful of stores, and Illinois and Iowa. The regional grocer entered South Dakota in 2013 with a store in Sioux Falls.
Fareway's stores rang up an estimated $1.2 billion in sales in fiscal 2012 (ended October).
Fareway takes a measured approach to growth, adding just a few stores each year. In 2013, the company entered South Dakota, after adding about half a dozen new stores in 2012. Besides South Dakota, Fareway in 2013 opened new stores in Rochester and Owatonna, Minnesota, and Polk City and Oskaloosa, Iowa. It's looking to add stores in Wisconsin and Missouri.
Fareway, and its local rivals, are all facing stiff competition from supercenter operators, including Wal-Mart Stores, the nation's largest seller of groceries. To distinguish itself from its supercenter rivals, the chain offers "to your car" carry-out service at its stores.