Southern Belle in Training

Fashion, Travel & Lifestyle Blog || Est. 2012 || Virginia Beach, VA

May 29, 2018

Grocery Store Wars: Giant

     Welcome back to the third edition of Grocery Store Wars on the blog! If you've missed the first two posts, this is the series where I'm reviewing all of the grocery chains with locations in my new home city in Virginia. I've always had a passion for grocery shopping, and through sharing about this randomly on IG Stories one day a couple months ago I learned that a lot of y'all do as well! Hence the idea for Grocery Store Wars. Even if you don't have any of these chains where you live, maybe you're like me and love grocery shopping and still think it's cool to read about regional grocery stores in other parts of the country!! (Or if not and you think this blog post series is super weird- regularly schedule blog programming returns tomorrow. 😉)

     Today's grocery store: Giant! (P.S. The photo of me below was actually taken at home in Maine this weekend, at our local grocery chain, Hannaford! I realized when starting to write this post that I'd forgotten to take a photo of me with the Giant sign back in Charlottesville... so hopefully a grocery cart photo is fitting enough!)

Grocery Store Wars: Giant

     Giant - Fast Facts

     *History and Locations: Founded in 1936 in Washington, DC. Currently operating 150+ stores in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington DC.

     *Known for: Their website highlights the fact they were one of the first grocery chains to use computerized scanners at checkout, and that they have a strong commitment to diversity in their hiring process. Giant was formerly merged and affiliated with Stop n Shop, a large New England grocery chain, between 2004-2011, and the two chains still share the same logo and some store brands, even though they're no longer part of the same parent company today.

     *Rewards program: Giant card program. (I don't shop here often so I actually haven't signed up for this yet.) Some locations have some sort of a fuel rewards program, however I don't think the location near me has it.

      *My prior knowledge: I had never heard of this grocery store prior to moving to Virginia. The one in Charlottesville is located in a neighborhood close to where I work and where my bible study meets, so I am frequently in that area. I was a bit confused at first when seeing Giant since they share the logo of Stop n Shop from New England, but then discovered while researching this post that they're no longer affiliated.

     *Word on the street: I have yet to meet anyone in Charlottesville who really likes shopping at the Giant that's here! It's convenient I suppose for the neighborhood it serves, but it's definitely not a grocery "destination." I've asked a couple of my DC friends where they grocery shop and they've told me they prefer Harris Teeter.

     Giant - My Shopping Experience 

     Like I said above, the times that I've shopped at Giant before were mainly out of convenience (when I'm out and about in the part of town it's in). The best way that I can describe my shopping experiences here is that this grocery store is "average." They have a decent selection of dry goods items at reasonable prices (baking aisle, cereals, pantry items, etc), a moderately sized frozen food section, and okay departments for other things. But nothing about the food at Giant stands out to me. The prices aren't bad, but the sales aren't especially great either. And the selections were definitely lacking in some departments.

    Here's the produce department in my local Giant! It actually had a nice mix of organic and non-organic produce, and the prices weren't too bad. As I've shared in the past Grocery Wars posts, I am trying to get better about eating more fresh produce in my diet, but this is still something I'm working on, so this still isn't my favorite department in the grocery store.

     It wouldn't be one of my grocery posts if I didn't highlight the cheese department! Giant's wasn't the biggest that I've seen in the Charlottesville grocery stores, but not the smallest either. (I haven't tried Giant's store brand cheeses since I don't shop there that often.)

      Their organic section of the store has it's own refrigerated and frozen department, and carried the same store brand that I was familiar with from Stop n Shop in New England! I did like the organic and natural department of the store- they carried some favorite products of mine (like a certain Annie's mac n cheese flavor) that I haven't been able to find at other chain grocery stores in Charlottesville.

     I did notice that Giant had a nice floral department! I usually buy flowers from Trader Joe's since I think you can't beat their prices, but it's nice to know this is an option too.

     One thing that was a major downside at Giant was the bakery. As a lover of sweet treats and freshly baked breads, I always appreciate a grocery store with a big bakery department. Every time that I've been to the Giant in Charlottesville, I've been shocked at the low selection in their bakery. And the few items they do have always seem old and stale looking. This is definitely not somewhere that I'd come to buy fresh bread or any type of bakery baked good.

     Giant - Final Thoughts 

     DC and parts of Maryland seem to be the home base for Giant stores. When I was in DC a couple months ago, I actually passed by some very large and fancy looking Giants. Charlottesville however is not the home for these. There's just not much about this specific store location that makes it stand out enough to me to make me continue doing most of my grocery shopping here! I will say that I thought the Charlottesville store had great customer service- and friendly associates are something I do always appreciate. But other than that, so far Giant is my least favorite Charlottesville grocery store.

     Check out past Grocery Store Wars posts:

     Hoping that y'all enjoyed the long weekend! A new Midweek Ramblings post will be on the blog tomorrow for your Wednesday.

     God Bless,

     xoxo Annaliese


  1. I used to shop at Giant when we lived in Virginia :) It's a great store. Their organic section seems to have grown a good bit since I was in there several years ago! Thanks for sharing !

  2. I think it's so interesting that you have so many grocery stores at your disposal! In my super small town we have one full-service grocery store & it doesn't even have a bakery! We definitely have to make concessions when we choose where to live, don't we?!

    xoxo, SS

    Southern and Style

  3. This is such a cool idea! Thanks for sharing,
    Xx Riley |

  4. I live right across the street from Giant. While it's not my favorite grocery store, it's definitely the one I go to most often because of its convenient location. Plus, I learned recently that they honor coupons from other grocery stores! If I come to Giant with a Safeway coupon, I can use it, which is pretty neat.

    xo Deborah
    Coffee, Prose, and Pretty Clothes

  5. We don't have those in Canada but I love how big there health food section is!! I'm allergic to gluten so I need lots of options.

  6. I used to go to Giant when I lived in Doha. Not very often, but sometimes it stocked food that I couldn't find anywhere else.

  7. I always was a fan of Giant, loved this post girl!!

  8. This chain isn't available where I live, but I love that they have a nice selection in their floral department!

  9. so interesting the different grocery stores around the nation! so interesting to me!

  10. Moving to LA meant learning new grocery stores for me too. In Cincinnati (where I'm from) everyone goes to Kroger and there is maybe one other option, here there has to be 6 or 7 different grocery store options. It's crazy! I still have to ask around for which cares the best of what

  11. I've actually never heard of this grocery chain. We have a grocery store literally 2 blocks from my apartment but I refuse to go because I am so loyal to my favorite grocery, HEB haha.

  12. I’ve never heard of this grocery store company so I loved learning about it! Very cool!

  13. We definitely don't have a Giant in Seattle area but it is interesting to hear about different grocery store chains around the country. I LOVE a grocer with a great floral department and expansive natural food section. Like you I also love sweet treats but I can't resist snacking on them all day when they're around so I sometimes actually like it when the grocery store DOESN'T tempt me, hahaha.

  14. We don't have a Giant here but I love their floral selection! So awesome :)

    -xo, Azanique |


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