“What changes would you make, Mrs. Chicago – if you had your way? What is your idea of a perfect food store?” asked Jewel of Chicago’s homemakers, seeking ideas on how to transform their recently acquired , middling chain of former Loblaw stores into a grocery shoppers’ nirvana.
18,389 women answered the call.
And Jewel responded.
The greatest thing about this May 1934 full page ad, beyond the cute (if now politically incorrect) premise, snappy ad copy and illustrations is the presence of a complete listing of Jewel Food Stores in existence at the time, 87 in number. This was two years into the chain’s ownership by Jewel, by which time they were off to a solid start on their way to Chicago grocery market dominance.
This should serve as a reliable guide for Chicago-based retail archaeologists looking to track down the earliest history of Jewel. Just for fun, I typed in six or seven of the addresses into Windows Live Local, and several times a building turned up that could have easily dated from the early 1930’s or before, a very heartening sign.
Happy hunting, Jewel fans!