Northville and Plymouth, MI chain grocery/supermarket locations

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Andrew T.
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Northville and Plymouth, MI chain grocery/supermarket locations

Post by Andrew T. » 21 Sep 2018 11:43

Here's a list that almost rivals Lindsay, Ontario for brevity:

Northville, MI supermarket history 1938-2018, and Plymouth, MI 1938-60

Why Northville? It's a small place tucked in the northwest corner of Wayne County, but I did it purely for personal, familial reasons. What's more, even though my directories cut off after 1960, I was able to pinpoint store opening dates with precision and extend the table through the present day simply through judicious use of the local newspaper archive and my own intimate familiarity with the city.

Northville has historically been combined with the neighbouring community of Plymouth in city directories, so it made sense to cover Plymouth as well. Unfortunately Plymouth is a bigger place and its newspaper archives are far less chronologically thorough, so I wasn't able to construct its post-1960 history with any modicum of accuracy. That means stores like this one (which opened sometime between 1960 and 1975, and closed in 1984) couldn't be listed:
meatstolen.png
"The pale pastels which have been featured in most food stores during the past 20 years are no longer in tune with the mood of the 1970s."
Andrew Turnbull

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Andrew T.
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Posts: 521
Joined: 18 Oct 2007 14:26
Location: London
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Re: Northville and Plymouth, MI chain grocery/supermarket locations

Post by Andrew T. » 30 May 2019 00:09

While I was in Michigan last weekend, I visited the Plymouth District Library to see what research could be gleaned. Unfortunately they had only two post-1960 Northville-Plymouth directories on the shelf, covering 1968 and 1978 only. Even so, this gave me enough guidance to flesh out the Plymouth section of the CSV as best I could...though I still had to lean primarily on newspaper archives as a source of information.

One curiosity of the directories was that the Kmart store at 40855 E. Ann Arbor Road was listed in 1978 in the grocers' section. This store almost definitely had an adjacent Kmart Food at 40725; however, it was rebranded as Wrigley by 1974 and sold to Chatham after Wrigley closed in 1976...why Kmart itself would warrant a mention two years later is a mystery!

Incidentally, the Wrigley-Great Scott merger of 1976 wreaked havoc on Plymouth...where the combined company found itself with two stores across the street from each other! The ex-Wrigley (at 1400 Sheldon) was transferred to Allied's Bonnie Lo drugstore subsidiary, and eventually became Arbor Drugs and CVS. The ex-Great Scott (at 44505 W. Ann Arbor) was retained and eventually sold with the chain to Kroger, who around 1999 demolished the original store and rebuilt on the same site.
"The pale pastels which have been featured in most food stores during the past 20 years are no longer in tune with the mood of the 1970s."
Andrew Turnbull

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