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When were the first and last A&P Centennials built?

Posted: 31 May 2008 00:29
by Max
I recall reading that A&P built its Centennial stores from 1959 to 1969. However, I was curious if anybody knows of any Centennials built outside of this period?

I am 100% percent certain that the first Centennial opened prior to 1959. That's because I went to the Ohio Grocery website/message board and saw a grand opening advertisement of the Wickliffe, OH Centennial A&P Supermarket. The date of this advertisement is September 10, 1957.

I also have a hard time believing that no Centennials were built in the 1970's. Any insight into this topic would be greatly appreciated.

Re: When were the first and last A&P Centennials built?

Posted: 31 May 2008 23:53
by rich
The last centennial in NE Ohio was built at Madison Mall (which was just A&P and a small regional department store, Carlisle-Allen) on Rt 20 at Rt 528 in Madison, Ohio, an exurb of Cleveland. It opened around 1972. A&P began opening stores with a more contemporary look in 1973 or 74; these stores were much larger than the centennials (30K sf vs. 19K or fewer sf) and had service departments such as delis and bakeries, which had been rarities in all but the last centennials. They also switched to their current logo when these new stores were introduced. They opened relatively few stores in the early 70s, regardless of design and, instead had gone through waves of store closings, and eventually exited many markets. A&P had ended the 60s by converting low performing stores (including that '57 centennial) to the discount "A Mart" format. They ran into legal threats from K-Mart and didn't really do well with the format anyway, so they consolidated it with the regular A&Ps a short time later and began closing stores.