IGA (aka Independent Grocers Alliance) is a name used by many independent grocery stores throughout the world. IGA stands for Independent Grocers Alliance. It has since expanded to the world's largest voluntary supermarket chain, where the IGA banner is licensed in 45 countries and territories to more than 4,000 independent supermarkets served by 37 independent distributors. The headquarters is in O'Hare, Chicago, Illinois.
IGA was started in the United States in May 1926 when a group of 100 independent retailers in Poughkeepsie, New York, and Sharon, Connecticut, led by J. Frank Grimes, began operating as the Independent Grocers Alliance. This group quickly expanded, and by the end of the year there were more than 150 IGA retailers. In 1930 there were over 8,000 grocery stores using the IGA name. The company uses the "Hometown Proud Supermarkets" slogan. Today, many IGA grocery stores are still located in smaller cities and towns throughout the United States.
In Canada, other than British Columbia, IGA is a group of independent grocers supplied by Sobeys, which franchises the name. Acquired by Sobeys as part of its purchase of The Oshawa Group Ltd., it now operates primarily in Quebec. The IGA operations in Atlantic Canada were sold to Loblaw Companies Limited and were restructured under its existing brands, while its company-owned stores west of Quebec now mainly operate under the Sobeys banner. In Ontario, Sobeys forced franchise owned IGA stores onto the Foodland program, and announced the upcoming closure of the IGA program in Ontario. There are, however, many IGA stores still operating in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta.
IGA Extra locations are larger and carry a wider variety of general merchandise, more akin to the hypermarket model. They include a pharmacy, large bakery, a bank, a bistro, a post office and a larger selection of food items.
In addition, IGA in Quebec also operates smaller supermarkets, such as Bonichoix and Tradition (a branding introduced in 1999).
In British Columbia, IGA and Marketplace IGA stores are, for the most part, independently owned and are supplied by the H. Y. Louie Co.
Source : IGA (supermarkets) Wikipedia