Iconic Store Designs

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wnetmacman
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Iconic Store Designs

Post by wnetmacman » 26 Jan 2017 15:05

We all know that several of the larger, more national chains had some very popular, iconic store designs. By iconic, I mean it was always immediately recognized as having been built by that chain. As an example:

A&P had the Centennial design
Safeway had the Marina
Kroger had two: Superstore and Greenhouse

But what about other chains? From a regional standpoint is best, because I don't believe we have had too many more truly national retailers. If you have pictures, include them.

And because I know our humble host would prefer this, let's try to keep the discussion *pre-1980*. Thanks.
Scott Greer

mjhale
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Re: Iconic Store Designs

Post by mjhale » 26 Jan 2017 21:03

I can think of a few in the mid-Atlantic region...

Giant (MD)'s Cheese Grater stores from the 1960s. The now relocated Del Ray cheese grater store:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/mjhale/15105599195/

Giant (PA)'s mirror front stores. I know this is more of a 1980s/1990s thing but to anyone in the know this design is classic Giant (PA) or in this Martins the name Ahold uses for the Giant (PA) chain in VA, WV and MD.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/mjhale/27284242462/

Penn Fruit:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/baltimore ... 6562405585
https://goo.gl/maps/fi6xXDiGvn72

Acme A-Frame:
http://acmestyleblog.blogspot.com/searc ... %20Clayton


Ephrata1966
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Re: Iconic Store Designs

Post by Ephrata1966 » 28 Jan 2017 18:14

Here are unique designs by chain:

A&P "barrel roof" stores, A&P Centennial stores, A&P "80's Centennial" stores, A&P Futurestores

Safeway Marina stores, Safeway "Spanish tile" stores

Kroger superstores, small greenhouse stores, big greenhouse stores

Acme "50's tower/white tile" stores, Acme "50's square box" stores, Acme "A-Frame" stores, Acme Colonial Cottage stores, Acme "33M" stores, Acme "80's Skaggs Alpha Beta clone" stores

Food Fair/Pantry Pride "50's tower" stores, "Penn Fruit clone" stores, "Grants clone" stores, and the JM Fields department stores owned by Food Fair were architecturally unique (there were at least two memorable JM Fields designs)

Penn Fruit "barrel roof" stores, very similar to certain A&P and Food Fair stores of the same era (also similar to the Kohl's supermarkets in Wisconsin, originally owned by the Kohl's department store chain but later sold to A&P, after A&P had previously left the state)

Grand Union "60's shingle facade" stores... there also was a notable Grand Union facade design that I think was used in the late 70's and early 80's, but unfortunately I don't know its official name or timeline

Steve Landry
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Re: Iconic Store Designs

Post by Steve Landry » 29 Jan 2017 09:55

Food Fair was noted for extensive use of marble.

Did other retailers do the same?

Frederick's (purchased by Food Fair), a 25 store chain in South Florida had very large (for the time) futuristic designed stores. Even things like glass bubble Manager's office suspended from the ceiling.
The Food Fair Empire

pseudo3d
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Re: Iconic Store Designs

Post by pseudo3d » 29 Jan 2017 18:36

The Safeway stores in Houston had large windows across the front and big '70s columns. Kinda some Spanish architecture influence there, but they can still be seen today. Even more iconic was the hexagonal road sign.

BillyGr
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Re: Iconic Store Designs

Post by BillyGr » 30 Jan 2017 21:33

Ephrata1966 wrote:Here are unique designs by chain:
Grand Union "60's shingle facade" stores... there also was a notable Grand Union facade design that I think was used in the late 70's and early 80's, but unfortunately I don't know its official name or timeline
This one was built in 1977 - not sure if that is still the style you mention above (seems like it would be)?
Grand Union Schodack 1977.jpg
I think the next style (which would probably be into the 1980's, since this was almost up to 1980) would be the "arched window" design? (From Caldor1999 at the AmesFanClub - I'm sure I have one somewhere, but...)
LoudonvilleNY2000 Caldor 99 Amesfanclub'.jpg

mjhale
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Re: Iconic Store Designs

Post by mjhale » 30 Jan 2017 21:58

Here is a former 1970s Grand Union which is located on Columbia Pike in Arlington, VA. I'd be curious if this is what the poster upstream was thinking of for the late 1970s/early 1980s facade. Based on other pictures on Flickr this seems to be a fairly common Grand Union facade.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/mjhale/15159682089/

Unfortunately, the county is trying to "redevelop" this corner with a generic apartment complex with a generic Harris Teeter on the first floor. This former Grand Union is unique in that the interior, though repainted, is still vintage Grand Union. For an international/independent market I was really impressed with the variety in the store and how well run the store is.

Ephrata1966
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Re: Iconic Store Designs

Post by Ephrata1966 » 30 Jan 2017 22:18

BillyGr wrote:
Ephrata1966 wrote:Here are unique designs by chain:
Grand Union "60's shingle facade" stores... there also was a notable Grand Union facade design that I think was used in the late 70's and early 80's, but unfortunately I don't know its official name or timeline
This one was built in 1977 - not sure if that is still the style you mention above (seems like it would be)?

Grand Union Schodack 1977.jpg

I think the next style (which would probably be into the 1980's, since this was almost up to 1980) would be the "arched window" design? (From Caldor1999 at the AmesFanClub - I'm sure I have one somewhere, but...)

LoudonvilleNY2000 Caldor 99 Amesfanclub'.jpg
Interesting... yes, that 1977 store has the design I had in mind, but that same design was first used much earlier. The store in Beltsville, Maryland which opened in 1964 (I'm not sure when it closed, but last I checked, is today the home of a PETCO store) had this design. So did the store in Falls Church, Virginia which opened in 1965. I'm not sure when it closed, but it later was "Westlawn Super Market" which was originally part of IGA but then became a Great Valu franchise before closing. The building was demolished sometime in the past few years for a Honda dealership.

There also is a Great Valu in Chambersburg, PA that I suspect was a 60's Grand Union originally. The only other Grand Union stores in Pennsylvania that I know of were in Milford and Matamoras (both in rural northeastern PA, quite far from Chambersburg which is in rural south central PA), but Chambersburg is near the border with Maryland (Virginia and West Virginia also aren't relatively that far from it). Also, there was a Grand Way (Grand Union-owned discount department store) in West Chester, PA (in the Philly metro area) which became a Kmart in 1979 and has been a Kmart ever since.

As for the later Grand Union you pictured, that is exactly the design I had in mind. The Milford, PA store was of that type. Do you know what the Milford store is today? I know it survived with the Grand Union name until at least 2010. At that time, Rite Aid had two stores in Milford only about two blocks apart (one was a former Fay's/Eckerd) but the latter store has since closed.

Strangely enough, the Acme in Phoenixville, PA (which opened in 1988 as the first new Acme to open since 1980) looks a lot like this later style Grand Union.

For anyone interested in Grand Union history, there's a Fiesta supermarket in southwestern Houston that first was a Weingarten's, then Grand Union, then Safeway, then AppleTree, then Kroger, and finally Fiesta.

BillyGr
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Re: Iconic Store Designs

Post by BillyGr » 30 Jan 2017 22:45

Ephrata1966 wrote: As for the later Grand Union you pictured, that is exactly the design I had in mind. The Milford, PA store was of that type. Do you know what the Milford store is today? I know it survived with the Grand Union name until at least 2010.
https://www.google.com/maps/place/Key+F ... 8469?hl=en

This looks like it (similar design but with more standard squared windows rather than the arches for some reason. So it's now a Key Foods.

Also, it could make sense that there was one in a place like Chambersburg, since they also had stores in/around the DC area at one point. Also from being up here in NY, they tended to have stores in quite a few areas (particularly in the Adirondacks) in smaller towns where other stores wouldn't and not always that close to other locations, so even one odd store wouldn't be surprising.

mjhale
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Re: Iconic Store Designs

Post by mjhale » 31 Jan 2017 22:00

Regarding the Chambersburg, PA store, are all of you thinking of the Sunnyway grocery store that is on US 30 west of town? It was a Great Valu store at one point but is now not using that name. A friend of mine from college has family that has lived in Chambersburg for a couple of generations. He told me that the Sunnyway stores - one in Chambersburg and the other in Greencastle - have been independents and were purpose built by the Sunnyway company (for lack of a better description). Here is a Google Street View of the Chambersburg Sunnyway store: https://goo.gl/maps/N552S4R5yrN2 It really does not look like any other grocery chain's store. The Greencastle store used to look exactly like this one until they stuccofied the building. Thankfully Google Street View still has the original store exterior: https://goo.gl/maps/VTqdUSK7rbF2

Historically Chambersburg's chain grocers were Acme, Food Fair, Safeway and A&P. Currently Chambersburg has Giant-PA, Weis, Shop n Save (former Food Lions), Sunnyway, Aldi and a Wal-Mart Supercenter. Giant has been in Chambersburg going back to the beginnings of the chain and is the only grocery other than Sunnyway who has any amount of "age" in town.

I might be way off here but nonetheless Chambersburg being just outside Maryland and the fringes of the DC market has influence from there. For instance Comcast still carries the DC stations on their Franklin county cable systems. Chambersburg is a bit of an ex-ex-exurb of DC. But grocery-wise it is still PA chains for now. I don't see Safeway going back any time soon nor could I see Grand Union venturing up there without building stores along the way in the far Mayland suburbs of DC.

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Groceteria
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Re: Iconic Store Designs

Post by Groceteria » 31 Jan 2017 22:13

BillyGr wrote:I think the next style (which would probably be into the 1980's, since this was almost up to 1980) would be the "arched window" design?
GU also used this design on their Big Star stores in the south.

BillyGr
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Re: Iconic Store Designs

Post by BillyGr » 31 Jan 2017 23:04

Groceteria wrote:
BillyGr wrote:I think the next style (which would probably be into the 1980's, since this was almost up to 1980) would be the "arched window" design?
GU also used this design on their Big Star stores in the south.
Makes sense that they would use a similar design, as we have seen other chains do with subsidiary parts of their companies. Not sure just how long Big Star was owned by GU, so I'd guess they may have had stores of other designs built before the GU ownership?

Also interesting, at one point we wound up with Big Star labelled items (which looked just like GU items but for the name) show up in our GU stores - not sure if that was a mistake (which seems to happen fairly often between related chains), or if that was after they got rid of the Big Star division and just a way to use up items they already had (I seem to remember them being long life things like plastic bags or similar, and that was probably before most of the major "odd lot" chains existed to get rid of odd items like that as easily).

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Re: Iconic Store Designs

Post by Steve Landry » 01 Feb 2017 09:28

Let me ask again just in case ........

Did any grocery retailers extensively use marble on the facades of their stores besides Food Fair?
The Food Fair Empire

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Groceteria
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Re: Iconic Store Designs

Post by Groceteria » 01 Feb 2017 10:39

BillyGr wrote:Not sure just how long Big Star was owned by GU, so I'd guess they may have had stores of other designs built before the GU ownership?
Yeah, the GU era was short (roughly 1982-1988) so it was a very brief chapter of Big Star/Colonial's history, not to mention the final chapter of that history.

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