Texas grocer Minyard Group operates about 15 supermarkets (down from 70 in 2004) under the Minyard Food Stores and Sack 'n Save banners in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, one of the nation's most competitive grocery markets. Minyard supermarkets range in size from 15,000 sq. ft. to 76,000 sq. ft. Sack 'n Save locations offer budget shopping where customers bag their own groceries. Most of Minyard's stores have pharmacy departments. The company also operates about five On the Go gas stations. The company has sold its Carnival Food Stores business, which catered to the state's large Hispanic market. Founded by the Minyard family as a single store in east Dallas in 1932, the chain was sold to Texas investors in 2004.
The regional grocery chain has gone through some wrenching changes in recent years resulting in a greatly reduced retail footprint. In 2008 Minyard sold 37 stores and its Hispanic-focused Carnival brand to Grocers Supply Co., a grocery wholesaler and owner of Minyard's Houston-based rival Fiesta Mart. Minyard's CEO at the time, Michael Byars, cited the complexity of running three separate banners and the tough economy as reasons for the sale.
In early 2009 Minyard appointed a 44-year veteran of the chain, Ron McDearmon, as its new CEO, succeeding Byars, who resigned. Also in early 2009 the grocery company closed a supermarket in Arlington, citing lagging sales. While Minyard is a much smaller chain following the Carnival sale and other select divestments, the company says it is committed to serving the Dallas-Fort Worth market.
Intense competition in the grocery industry led to the 2004 sale of Minyard Food Stores to Fort Worth-based Q Investments, led by grocery investor Ron Johnson. Johnson, a former CEO of the defunct Jitney-Jungle chain, ran the grocery company until May 2006. At that time Byars, a former executive with the Florida-based Kash n' Karry grocery chain, took over as CEO. Johnson remained chairman until mid-June, when he left the company altogether. He later sued his former employer, claiming it owed him $600,000 in bonus pay. Minyard countersued alleging that Johnson had accepted kickbacks from suppliers during his tenure at the grocery chain. A Dallas court rejected Johnson's allegation and in March 2009 ordered him to pay $2.3 million to Minyard.
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