Robert Taylor announced that he would step down as CEO of United Supermarkets, LLC on March 1, 2021, and Sidney Hopper, President of United Supermarkets, will assume all CEO responsibilities. Taylor will continue in an advisory role to the company as Executive Vice President – Senior Advisor.
“I have been working for, or with, this great company for 51 years, and I am ready to have a little more flexible time to spend with my wife Jan and our kids and grandkids,” Taylor said in a video released to team members today.
The company’s footprint more than doubled to 96 stores during Taylor’s tenure as CEO, with a large expansion of its self-distribution center and acquiring a manufacturing facility and ice plant.
In 1971, Taylor began operating his father’s wholesale tobacco and candy business, R.C Taylor Wholesale, after his father became seriously ill, and the company flourished under Taylor’s leadership. In July 2007, Taylor sold R.C. Taylor Wholesale to one of his largest customers, United Supermarkets, and joined United’s leadership team as vice president of logistics. In 2010, Taylor was named CEO of United Supermarkets, subsequently purchased by Albertson’s LLC in 2014.
In his new role, Taylor will continue spearheading the United Food & Beverage Services. Recently formed, the latest venture of United Supermarkets was to provide banquet services, concessions and operate the “Rave On” restaurant in Buddy Holly Hall, a $153 million privately-funded entertainment and education venue opening in Lubbock this month.
He will continue to serve on the executive team with government relations, real estate, innovation, and special projects.
Taylor has also been extraordinarily active in professional organizations. In 2018, Shelby Report named him Innovator and Executive of the Year. He served as a board member and two terms as president of the Texas Association of Wholesale Distributors, earning multiple accolades, including the Southwestern Community Service Award, Texas Wholesaler of the Year, and the Texas Political Network award. Taylor also served on the board of directors for FMI (Food Marketing Institute).
Taylor is currently serving as chairman of the Downtown TIF Committee, working to revitalize Downtown Lubbock. He formerly served on the PlainsCapital Bank board of directors and is now on the board of Hill Top Holdings, a publicly-traded company.
“It is hard to quantify all Robert has brought to this company,” said Sidney Hopper, speaking of his friend and mentor. “Robert is an innovator, and he invests in developing people and communities.” “There are few things that have happened in our company over the last 13 years that don’t carry Robert’s fingerprints. He is an ardent community supporter and models that value for all the leadership in stores and facilities across the 54 communities we serve.”
Hopper has been in the grocery industry for over 35 years and has worked for United Supermarkets most of that time. He joined the company as a packer in 1980. After a short time away, Hopper returned in 1986 as an assistant manager at the store #524 (I-40 and Grand, Amarillo, now Amigos, Amarillo). He stayed in the Amarillo area, eventually holding the position of regional vice president in that area before he was promoted into the role of COO in 2004. After 14 years in that position, in 2018, Hooper was named president of The United Family. He holds an executive MBA from the University of Texas-Dallas.
In its 105th year of operation, United Supermarkets – d.b.a. The United Family – is a Texas-based grocery chain with stores in 54 communities in Texas and New Mexico. A self-distributing company with headquarters and distribution centers in Lubbock,
The United Family currently operates 96 stores under five unique banners: United Supermarkets, Market Street, Amigos, Albertsons Market, and United Express, along with ancillary operations R.C. Taylor Distributing, Praters, United Food and Beverage Services, and Llano Logistics. The company is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Albertsons Companies.