In a move officials say reflects evolution at the brand, horizons beyond physical stores and the role it plays in the lives of customers, Ahold Delhaize’s Giant Food Stores banner is introducing a new name—The Giant Co.—and refreshed logos to accompany it.
The switch was revealed to the retailer’s employees during the company’s annual business meeting on Feb. 26 in Hershey, Pa., with the new logo—a tweak that replaces the triangular “A” in the Giant and Martin’s logos with a leaf inside the “A” among other subtle modernizations—unveiled at the Giant Center arena in Hershey. Over the course of the year, the new logo will be integrated into operations at the 186-store chain, including Giant, Martin’s, Giant Heirloom Market and Giant Direct brands. Consumers will also see the new logo in high-visibility spots such as Philadelphia’s Citizens Bank Park and Pennsylvania Farm Show, and in social media and advertising.
In an interview with WGB, Matt Simon, Giant’s chief marketing officer, explained the changes were “symbolic of the fact that we’re about more than just our stores and about more than just food, and speak to how our brand has evolved in recent years.”
Giant’s evolution has been evident in a number of bold strategic moves in recent years, including the introduction of new branding and capabilities of its omnichannel business, now known as Giant Direct; geographic expansion that brought a fleet of innovative small stores into the city of Philadelphia for the first time; and several small acquisitions that have grown its market share.
That evolution has been carefully orchestrated, Simon noted, with innovations coming only after the company strengthened its foundation behind a year of attention to community partnerships and donations. The new name, he said, is a nod to neighbors such as The Hershsey Co.—distinct from its stores alone and representing an overarching corporate parent to grocery stores, fuel and pharmacy services, and e-commerce.
Retro Goes Modern
The Giant and Martin’s logos being updated are “at least 20 years old,” Simon said, but a perusal of archival newspaper advertisements reveal that elements of the design—the typeface and pyramid "A"—are more than twice as old, dating back to at least 1973, when it appeared in some Martin’s ads. Giant acquired Hagerstown, Md.-based Martin’s around 1970 and announced its own logo change in 1974, with the stylized type replacing a starburst logo on a diamond background.
Giant traces its roots to 1923 when it was founded as a butcher shop in Carlisle, Pa. The company was sold by its founding Javitch family to Netherlands-based Ahold in 1981.
The new look ditches the triangle "A," and in Giant’s case, the connected "N" and "T" that Simon confessed would occasionally trigger issues in lighted signs. But he said the new look is an update and not an overhaul, tested carefully with groups with an eye toward maintaining the positive brand perceptions Giant holds among shoppers. The company for example is maintaining the distinctive style of the "G" in Giant and is keeping the same shade of red, used to alert shoppers to deals such as Bonus Buys in-stores and online. “That’s important because it signals to our customers that our great low prices will not change,” Simon said.
Simon said the leaf inside the new "A"—meant to represent growth and freshness—could also be used alone as a brand signifier in other activations.
“For nearly a century, we’ve been a trusted part of the communities we serve, helping families come together to share a meal and create special memories,” Nicholas Bertram, president of The Giant Co., said in a statement. “For us, food and families go hand in hand, and as we look to our future, we wanted to make sure our name reflects all we aspire to be as an omnichannel retailer. We are proud of the role our brand has played in connecting millions of families, and as The Giant Co., we will continue to passionately serve our customers and communities for a better future.”