Obituary: Earl Redner, Founder of Redner’s Markets, 91

Earl Redner, founder of Reading, Pa.-based Redner’s Warehouse Markets, has died. He was 91.

Known as “The Chief” by many, Redner guided the company to become a leading regional grocery retailer, with 44 warehouse stores and 20 Quick Shoppe convenience stores in Pennsylvania, Maryland and Delaware.

"It is with a heavy heart that we share our founder, Earl W. Redner, passed away in the early hours Wednesday morning," the company said in a statement.

Redner, along with his late wife, Mary, founded the company in 1970, which began with two IGA-affiliated supermarkets in the Reading area.

In 1940, Redner started his career in the food business at Grand Union in Middletown, N.Y., where he spent 29 years in various positions, including assistant store manager, district sales manager, division grocery sales manager and superintendent of stores in Washington, D.C.

In 1975, to share the success of their company with its employees, the Redners formed an employee stock ownership plan, and became the first employee-owned supermarket company in Pennsylvania.

For the first nine years, Redner’s Markets Inc. operated its stores as IGA Food Stores franchises, until, on Jan. 1, 1979, the company stepped out from beneath the IGA banner and began operating stores under its present Redner’s Markets banner.

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