My-Te-Fine Merchant: Fred Meyer's Retail Revolution

Fred Leeson

Shoppers adored the friendly man in the bow tie at grand openings of Fred Meyer's big one-stop shopping centers. Meyer's closest associates knew him better as domineering, brilliant, single-minded, abrassive -- and sometimes unexpectedly compassionate. MY-TE-FINE merchant probes the mind of this tireless, self-taught entrepreneur and provides an insider's view of the company that reshaped 20th century shopping. This richly-detailed biography explores little-known aspects of Meyer's life -- his business setbacks, fractured family life and his beliefs in reincarnation and the power of mind-over-matter. For almost 50 years, the MY-TE-FINE house brand was a part of Pacific Northwest lexicon as Fred Meyer Inc. expanded throughout the region.

Fred Leeson was a newspaper reporter for nearly 40 years for the Oregon Journal and Oregonian in Portland. His journalistic assignments included local governments, courts, business news, and Portland neighborhood issues. He reported on the sale of Fred Meyer Inc. after Meyer’s death and multiple lawsuits that followed it. After retiring from the newspaper, he learned of a trove of Meyer-related transcripts and memorabilia that had been kept at the Oregon Historical Society. This prompted his research for his book, My-Te Fine Merchant; Fred Meyer’s Retail Revolution.