Housewives Boycott—
Grocers Cut Prices

Denver Boycotters Lead a National Trend

Denver—October 17, 1966

Just three days before a scheduled grocery store boycott, a planning meeting was sparsely attended by Denver housewives. But on the Monday morning of October 17, it was the five major supermarket chains in Denver that were sparsely attended. Housewives had formed two action groups, Housewives for Lower Food Prices (HLFP), and National Housewives for Lower Prices (NHLP). Their efforts in Denver were so successful that one of the chains closed within twenty-four hours to mark down prices and change policies to effect operational cost savings.

Furr's Supermarket sign

Fair Use

The Denver housewives also created a nationwide reaction, spawning boycotts and grocer reactions in other cities. US President, Lyndon Johnson, dispatched an aide to attend Denver meetings between housewives and grocers. Within a week, the housewives had declared their actions successful, though some boycotts continued. Among the effects of the boycott were the almost immediate discontinuance of trading stamp promotions, and drastic reductions of coupon promotions in Denver. The housewives demanded lower prices instead of the expensive promotions.

It was more than a decade before major coupon promotions and special non-food merchandising returned to Denver stores, and trading stamps have never been seen here again. It's also worthy of note that three of the targeted chains closed their operations many years ago

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© J. C. Adamson, 1996