Edwards in Ohio?

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Daniel
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Edwards in Ohio?

Post by Daniel » 16 Apr 2011 01:43

Today I came across an old supermarket turned antiques shop in Medina, Ohio. The name painted on the front (largely obscured but I could still make it out) was Edwards. Does anybody know anything about the history of this store? It looks to have been an 80's build.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/67661849@N ... hotostream

http://www.flickr.com/photos/67661849@N ... otostream/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/67661849@N ... otostream/

rich
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Re: Edwards in Ohio?

Post by rich » 16 Apr 2011 18:32

First National Stores operated a small number of Edward's Food warehouse locations in northern Ohio in the 80s. Some were new builds but most were conversions of existing supers that had been owned by First National or competitors. For example, they had one in the Miracle Mile area of Toledo which had been a super or a discount store previously. They used a similar format in former Finast (a contraction/acronym for First National Stores) stores in New England and in the NYC area and started doing this shortly after they had opened the Ohio stores. This store may have been a new build or a conversion of something else.

The Edwards name was owned by First National. Edwards had been a Cleveland area food wholesaler with roots in the 19th century and the name had some resonance for older generations of Clevelanders. At some point, Edwards was bought by the retail conglomerate that had owned Pick-n-Pay supermarkets (Cook Coffee, later called Cook United). Pick-n-Pay was spun off from Cook United and it later bought First National (which was based in the Boston area; a once dominant New England retailer that had been in a long decline) and assumed the First National name. Pick-n-Pay had used Edwards as its house brand for a number of years (on items supplied by Topco); for a while after the merger with Finast, the combined chain used Edwards/Finast as the house brand, which subsequently became just Finast.

Warehouse stores were popular in the stagflation days of the late 70s and early to mid-80s, but tended to disappear after that especially when they were used as an ancillary brand. They required large volumes and this often were difficult to achieve once prices became more stable. Super Valu's Cub was the major exception to this although it has been gradually disappearing from major markets for years. The Edwards stores had a short life in Ohio, but lasted until about 10 years ago in the Northeast. Ahold converted many of them to Stop-n-Shops, esp. in the NYC area.

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Daniel
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Re: Edwards in Ohio?

Post by Daniel » 16 Apr 2011 19:25

Thansk for that bit of info! I am enjoying this bit of retail archaeology in this area!

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