Pueblo has been one of Puerto Rico's major supermarket chains since the 1950s.
The brainchild of brothers Harold Toppel and George Toppel, Pueblo began as a single store operation on Roosevelt Avenue in the Puerto Nuevo section of San Juan, Puerto Rico. The success of the first store led the Toppels to open 43 other Pueblo Supermarkets around the Island and, by 1960, to convert the enterprise into a public corporation that began trading on the New York Stock Exchange.
In 1963, Pueblo expanded beyond Puerto Rico's shores to other U.S. territories. Pueblo opened stores in St. Thomas and St. Croix, quickly becoming a popular supermarket chain.
The company also introduced the trademark Pueblo Foods, which included anything from paper towels to rice and was sold in all Pueblo stores.
In 1983, Pueblo launched the Pueblo Xtra concept, a discount warehouse type supermarket which allowed the customer to shop for food in a larger store featuring lower prices. The lower prices were because the Xtra stores had no baggers; less employees, more savings. In 1990, Pueblo introduced Blockbuster Video to Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.
In 2003, Pueblo faced financial troubles and there were rumors of a potential buyer from Venezuela. Despite this, Pueblo's management remained optimistic about the company's future.
In 2007, Pueblo appeared to be facing serious financial difficulties again, as many locations were closed. Some were acquired and taken over by rival supermarkets Econo, Grande, COOP and Supermax.
Reopening and PS Acquisition
The entire chain was expected to cease operations in September 2007, until a bid by Ramón Calderón president of Holsum of Puerto Rico (a baker goods company) for $139 million succeeded in taking over the rest of its operations. The new parent company expects to restructure Pueblo in an effort to revive the brand.
In September, 2009 its flagship store in Carolina, PR (in front of their corporate headquarters) changed its name to Econo. Its unknown at this time if this means the end of the Pueblo brand.
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