Every town in America used to have a local pharmacy, local restaurants and other “mum and pop” stores.
In the past few decades, however, countless local businesses have disappeared as massive retail chains have moved in.
This isn’t necessarily a tragedy. Chains like Starbucks are beloved by millions of Americans.
These are the retailers with the most locations in the U.S.
Locations in the U.S.: Over 6,800
Headquarters: Charlotte, North Carolina
Family Dollar opened its first store in 1959 in Charlotte. 10 years later, it opened its 50th location in, you guessed it, Charlotte.
Locations in the U.S.: Approximately 6,925
Headquarters: Dallas, Texas
The omnipresent convenience store started out as an ice house in Dallas in 1927. There are also more than 39,300 7-Eleven stores outside of the United States.
Locations in the U.S.: 7,382
Headquarters: Woonsocket, Rhode Island
The first Consumer Value Store was founded in 1963 in Lowell, Massachusetts, originally selling just health and beauty products. By 1970 CVS was operating over 100 stores in the northeastern United States, and nearly doubled in size when it purchased Clinton Drug and Discount Stores in 1972.
Locations in the U.S.: Around 7,469
Headquarters: Miami, Florida
Burger King was founded in 1954 by James McLamore and David Edgerton. They started franchising their restaurants just five years later. They opened their first international location in Puerto Rico in 1963, and had 275 privately operated restaurants by 1967 when the Pillsbury Company purchased the burger chain.
Locations in the U.S.: Around 8,359
Headquarters: Deerfield, Illinois
The first Walgreens opened in 1901 in Chicago, after Charles Walgreen purchased the pharmacy he was already working in. Walgreens grew from 20 locations in 1920 to 525 by 1929.
Locations in the U.S.: Around 10,000
Headquarters: Goodlettsville, Tennessee
Dollar General is one of the nation's largest small-box discounters. Originally called Turner's Department Store, Dollar General changed its name in 1955, when no item in the store cost over $1. From 1983 to 1985, the company acquired over 450 new locations.
Locations in the U.S.: 10,787 as of October 2, 2011
Headquarters: Seattle, Washington
Starbucks started as a single store in Seattle's Pike Place Market. Howard Schultz, who joined Starbucks as the director of retail operations and marketing in 1982 sought to replicate the coffeehouse culture of Italy in addition to producing and selling coffee.
Locations in the U.S.: 14,027 as of 2010
Headquarters: Oak Brook, Illinois
In 1954, Ray Kroc stumbled upon Dick and Mac McDonald's small restaurant in San Bernadino, California. Ray presented the McDonald brothers with a plan to turn their operation into a national chain. By 1958 the McDonald's corporation, which Kroc founded, had sold over 100 million burgers.
Locations in the U.S.: 18,050 as of 2011
Headquarters: Louisville, Kentucky
Yum! Brands, which owns Taco Bell, KFC, and Pizza Hut, is the world's largest restaurant company in terms of system units. They have over 37,000 restaurants worldwide.
Locations in the U.S.: 25,257
Headquarters: Milford, Connecticut
The first Subway opened in Bridgeport, Connecticut during the summer of 1965. The restaurant's founder, Fred DeLuca, started the business as a means to help him pay for medical school. DeLuca and his business partner sought to open a total of 32 Subway restaurants in the company's first 10 years, but by 1974, they only had 16 restaurants.
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