NEW: Kalamzoo, 1926-1995

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Groceteria
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NEW: Kalamzoo, 1926-1995

Post by Groceteria » 24 May 2019 17:26

ABCDEFGHI.... (If you got this reference, you're probably even older than I am.)

Anyway, for your Friday night/holiday weekend enjoyment, here's Kalamazoo:

https://www.groceteria.com/place/us-michigan/kalamazoo/

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Andrew T.
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Re: NEW: Kalamzoo, 1926-1995

Post by Andrew T. » 24 May 2019 19:02

Wow, you really are on a roll!

It's interesting to see how nicely radial the development patterns in Kalamazoo have been over the years. And given how close together Kalamazoo and Battle Creek are on the map, it's surprising how different their chain histories have been:

* Kalamazoo and Portage have a strong local chain, Harding's, that's completely MIA in Battle Creek.

* Jewel operated continuously from the 1970s to the 1990s in Kalamazoo, while they barely lasted an eyeblink in Battle Creek.

* A&P and National may have done marginally better in Kalamazoo as well, while Kroger may have done worse.

The greatest artifact from the list might be 3520 E. Main Street. This was a National in a small shopping centre that looks to have been changed only slightly over the years. Better yet, the store itself has a narrow tower over the entrance that spells out EASTWOOD! I can just imagine this once spelling NATIONAL, which has the same number of letters.
portage.jpg
* 6274 S. Westnedge Ave. in Portage was an early Kroger superstore that opened in February 1973, and vintage photos are on the Portage District Library website (and also here). Currently the building is split between Petco and a (vacant) MC Sports store...but if you look very carefully at the store on Google Maps, a portion of the original facade is still intact!

* The Harding's at 1000 E. Cork has a great sign! Hard to believe this location has only been a unit of that chain only since the 1980s; though it was a Kroger 20-30 years before that.

* There's a nice old building with a stairstep wall profile at 615 W. Michigan that apparently was both a Kroger and an A&P at different times. (FWIW, it looks more like an A&P to me.) 1261 Portage St. is another ex-A&P; it had a long operational life, and it stands mostly intact.

* 806 Shopper's Lane is a rather narrow A&P centennial that's housed other food stores almost continuously since.

* The 1960s Kroger at 328 Stockbridge Ave is completely original and intact.

* The Dole's/National at 1708 S Westnedge Ave is yet another excellent artifact.
"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."
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Re: NEW: Kalamzoo, 1926-1995

Post by Groceteria » 24 May 2019 20:03

One thing I didn't mention in the notes is that A&P seems to have completely disappeared as of 1975, but then reappeared with three new stores in 1980. By 1985, gone again...

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Re: NEW: Kalamzoo, 1926-1995

Post by rich » 31 May 2019 10:40

National had a division based in Kalamazoo into the 70s. It probably was consolidated with Chicago or Indianapolis when they received new distribution centers. It would have serviced stores in places like Benton Harbor, Niles and South Bend.

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