Lewis County Mall, Chehalis, WA

Moderator: Groceteria

Post Reply
Super S
Senior Member
Posts: 411
Joined: 07 Jan 2006 00:40

Lewis County Mall, Chehalis, WA

Post by Super S » 11 Mar 2018 23:05

I recently stopped at the closing Sears in Chehalis, WA and took a walk through this mall. There isn't much of anything left as far as retail in the mall as it is mostly offices now. It won't really qualify as a mall any more when Sears is gone.

I am curious about the history of the mall. I know that the other end has a theater (does not open into the mall) which started life as PayLess Drug, then briefly was a Rite Aid until they built a new store just down the road, and JCPenney at one time had a unique store which was basically split in two by the mall corridor. It closed a long time ago. Not sure what else was in the mall as far as chain stores. But it is on the small side.

My guess is that it was built in the late 1960s or early 1970s. It is more of a neighborhood type of mall than a regional mall. I got the impression that it probably struggled since day one, and am honestly surprised Sears stayed open this long.

One oddity is that there are NO outbuildings of any kind on the mall property.

Yard Birds is practically next door, and this could have had an impact on the mall, but Yard Birds is becoming more run down looking and is mostly a flea market these days. The grocery store there closed within the past year.

tkaye
Senior Member
Posts: 179
Joined: 25 Jan 2006 17:12

Re: Lewis County Mall, Chehalis, WA

Post by tkaye » 21 Apr 2018 17:50

I did a little research and found that it opened in 1974 with Sears and Value Giant at the initial anchors. Value Giant was the discount department store division of Castle & Cooke, parent company of the Dole Food Co. Their stores were primarily in Northern California, but there were a couple in Oregon and one in Bremerton.

When the mall held its grand opening in November, there were 9 tenants. Kinney Shoes, House of Fabrics, and a Hallmark dealer were the notable names. A Radio Shack opened before Christmas. A July 1975 article said that the mall was three-quarters full with 17 tenants, mostly local or regional businesses. Jay Jacobs opened in 1977 and stayed until the chain folded in 1999. In the early '80s, B. Dalton and Kits Camera would have locations there.

Pay Less purchased the Value Giant chain in 1976 and the name was phased out over the next few years. They had to continue operating as Value Giant in Bremerton until 1990, as there was a separate Pay Less chain based in Tacoma that had a longstanding presence there.

Super S
Senior Member
Posts: 411
Joined: 07 Jan 2006 00:40

Re: Lewis County Mall, Chehalis, WA

Post by Super S » 22 Apr 2018 11:10

tkaye wrote:I did a little research and found that it opened in 1974 with Sears and Value Giant at the initial anchors. Value Giant was the discount department store division of Castle & Cooke, parent company of the Dole Food Co. Their stores were primarily in Northern California, but there were a couple in Oregon and one in Bremerton.

When the mall held its grand opening in November, there were 9 tenants. Kinney Shoes, House of Fabrics, and a Hallmark dealer were the notable names. A Radio Shack opened before Christmas. A July 1975 article said that the mall was three-quarters full with 17 tenants, mostly local or regional businesses. Jay Jacobs opened in 1977 and stayed until the chain folded in 1999. In the early '80s, B. Dalton and Kits Camera would have locations there.

Pay Less purchased the Value Giant chain in 1976 and the name was phased out over the next few years. They had to continue operating as Value Giant in Bremerton until 1990, as there was a separate Pay Less chain based in Tacoma that had a longstanding presence there.
Thanks. I had no idea that this one started life as Value Giant. There doesn't seem to be a large number of photos, or much other information, out there on the smaller malls in Washington.

Oddly enough, I became aware of Value Giant when I was with my parents at a PayLess Drug in Boise in the mid-1980s and our purchases were bagged in Value Giant bags (which were identical to what PayLess used except for the logo), but as far as I know they did not operate in Boise.

Post Reply