American brands owned by foreign companies: Working-class Americans launched many successful brands that went from being small local enterprises to becoming household names across the country or perhaps the world. However, not all American-made firms continue to have their headquarters in the country.
Purchasing American brands that have been sold in America for many years is seen by some foreign businesses as a fantastic opportunity to conduct business in the United States. They can already stealthily access a sizable customer base.
The following American mainstays aren’t so American anymore, which may surprise you.
1. Trader Joe’s
Founded in: Pasadena, California
Now owned by: Aldi Nord, with its headquarters in Essen, Germany
When Joe Coulombe decided to change directions and launch a chain of grocery stores, he was managing a failing convenience store. According to Coulombe, he intended to open a store for people who were tired of name-brand products and wanted meals to be an adventure. He first began this American brand in 1967, and in 1979 he sold the chain to Theo Albrecht’s family, which at the time owned the Aldi grocery chain in Europe.
Founded in: Dallas, Texas.
Now owned by: Seven & i Holdings Co. in Tokyo, Japan.
When the firm was first established in 1927 as Southland Ice Co., it sold ice blocks to households without electric refrigerators as a means of preserving food. During the Great Depression, it filed for bankruptcy and reformed, putting a greater focus on food and beverages. The corporation gave itself the moniker 7-Eleven in the 1940s because of its operating hours, which were 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. However, in 1963, several of the stores started to work around the clock.
3. Sunglass Hut
Founded in: Miami, Florida.
Now owned by: EssilorLuxottica, headquarters in Paris, France.
Sanford Ziff, an optometrist, decided in 1971 to serve Miami people by shielding them from the Florida sun. After growing to Australia and the UK twenty years later, Luxottica—now known as EssilorLuxottica—purchased it in 2000.
4. Holiday Inn
Founded in: Memphis, Tennessee.
Now owned by: InterContinental Hotel Group (IHG), which has its main office in Berkshire, England.
Inexpensive roadside lodging: In the 1950s, this was revolutionary, despite it being a given today. Motels frequently had little amenities and were pricey.
In 1951, while driving from New York to Washington by car with his family, Kemmons Wilson decided to create a network that would offer dependable lodging to Americans on the go. He launched Memphis’s first Holiday Inn the following year.
The network currently operates hotels all over the globe and has a global parent corporation.
5. Smithfield Foods
Founded in: Smithfield, Virginia
Now owned by: the Hong Kong-based WH Group.
In 1936, Joseph W. Luter Sr. and his son Joseph W. Luter Jr. founded the Smithfield Packing Co. They began modest, buying fifteen hog carcasses every day to cut, package, and sell to nearby companies.
Currently, the corporation, which is owned by a Chinese conglomerate, believes that it helps feed about 8 billion people globally.
Founded in: New York
Now owned by: Hong Kong-based Integrated Whale Media Investments in the main.
Before founding Forbes Magazine in 1917, Scottish immigrant Bertie Charles Forbes worked as a columnist in New York. For almost forty years, he served as the editor-in-chief until Malcolm Stevenson Forbes, his son, succeeded him. Malcolm Stevenson Forbes Jr., often known as Steve Forbes, was the grandson of Forbes and would eventually take over as publisher of the magazine.
Although the Forbes family still owned a portion of the business, Forbes Media sold the bulk of its shares to Integrated Whale Media Investments, a collection of foreign investors, in 2014.
7. Dirt Devil
Founded in: Cleveland, Ohio
Now owned by: Techtronic Industries Co., which has its headquarters in Hong Kong.
The P.A. Geier Co., one of the first American brands that made vacuum in history, was the original Dirt Devil brand. In 1937, the “Royal Prince,” the first handheld vacuum, was produced. Royal Appliance Manufacturing, which merged with another investment firm in the 1950s and went by many names, including Royal Appliance Manufacturing, was the company that first introduced the renowned cordless Dirt Devil Hand Vac.
Currently, TTI Floor Care North America, based in Charlotte, North Carolina, and a division of Techtronic Industries Co., based in Hong Kong, owns Royal, the Dirt Devil brand, and Hoover.
Founded in: Akron, Ohio
Now owned by: Bridgestone, with its headquarters in Tokyo, Japan
Harvey S. Firestone, a fourth-generation farmer, founded the Firestone Tire & Rubber Co. in 1900 in Akron, which became known as “Rubber City” because of its tire manufacturing sector. This specialized in tires for farm tractors, whereas the majority of the area’s companies made tires for cars. Firestone was manufacturing one million pounds of rubber a day by 1955.