Charles Crouch

Charles Crouch, merchandising executive, was born in Augusta, Georgia, Sept. 15, 1898, son of Joseph William and Lily (Strom) Crouch. In 1932, he purchased six of the former Clarence Saunders stores in the San Francisco peninsula area and founded Peninsula Stores (later Lucky Stores, Inc.), of which he became the first president. When he retired from the presidency of Lucky Stores in 1947 there were thirty-three stores in the chain with an annual gross of $30,000,000. At the openings of his various stores Crouch used such devices as simulated carnivals, also hiring popular jazz bands to attract customers. He engaged Raymond Loewy Associates of New York to design what was considered to be a new type of supermarket, employing color psychology to attract customers and providing each customer with a lightweight aluminum shopping cart on which was mounted a printed directory to all merchandise in the store. In 1949 Crouch was named man of the year in the merchandising field by Operations, Inc., a national research and sales organization serving large chain stores, manufacturers, and wholesale grocers. Charles Crouch was considered to be one of the primary forces behind the development of the modern supermarket.

In 1950, with N. Clark Earl, Jr., Crouch bought control of the Childs Company New York, then operating its chain of fifty-three restaurants. He became executive vice-president of the company at the time of the purchase and shortly thereafter was made president. Two months after purchasing Childs, the new owners also bought 90 per cent of the stock in Louis Sherry, Inc., New York, makers of fine candy and ice cream. Crouch became president of the company upon the purchase.

Throughout his life, Charles Crouch was an avid horseman and polo player. On May 18, 1921, in Vicksburg, Mississippi Charles Crouch was married to Nancy Carol Brabston, daughter of a prominent Mississippi planter and direct descendant of the Earl of Arundel, the Duke of Norfolk, and King Edward I of England. They had one son, Charles Lanham Crouch, Jr.

Charles Crouch died in San Francisco on December 11, 1957.

Famous quotes containing the word crouch:

    Don’t crouch any more and cling to my knees,
    don’t tempt me and try me,
    don’t beg like a child and cry,
    “you have taken my hope away.”
    I am not a god.
    I cannot make you happy.
    Hilda Doolittle (1886–1961)