Gemco Locations

Uh...California.

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socalgrocer

Post by socalgrocer » 09 Feb 2007 20:03

Jeff,

what do you mean by small? The front lot on Nogales is large and the Gale lot is smaller. For the customer volume on weekends, I don't think it is small. It may have been small for Gemco but large for 99.

socalgrocer

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Post by Jeff » 09 Feb 2007 20:03

Dean wrote:
socalgrocer wrote: Rowland Heights became 99 Ranch Market and mini-mall in 1989.
Wasn't it in 1987...essentially immediately when GEMCO vacated? I found this comical, yet sad, that this site was built...and was BARELY open...when it closed. I still have a calculator that I bought there...and used all throughout college!

The Duarte site was the same way...it was barely open...and then converted to TARGET...which it is to this day.
No, I remember it being empty for a couple years. 1989 sounds right.

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Post by socalgrocer » 09 Feb 2007 20:11

Dean,

Lucky shut down the Gemco/Memco division in 1987 together with all of their non food/drug retail operations. For some time, some Gemcos sat vacant after closure and reopened as another store at least a year or two later, as in the case with Rowland. 99's arrival in the former Gemco started the wave of Chinatown-Koreatown in the Rowland Heights area and it proved to be quite a success in grocery retail.

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Post by Jeff » 09 Feb 2007 20:15

socalgrocer wrote:Jeff,

what do you mean by small? The front lot on Nogales is large and the Gale lot is smaller. For the customer volume on weekends, I don't think it is small. It may have been small for Gemco but large for 99.

socalgrocer
Yes, I meant small for a Target or Gemco location.

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Post by Dean » 09 Feb 2007 20:18

thanks to Jeff & socalgrocer...now that you remind me...I now seem to remember it being boarded up. As you can't "truly" see the site directly from the fwy...it was hard to see.

Remember when the restaurant adjacent to the fwy was Herschel's (sp?!)

The San Bernardino GEMCO is TARGET to this day. Still has the original HUGE GEMCO main poled sign on Sterling. (similar to picture above)

They have had many remodels over the years...yet always have had some type of GEMCO remnants about. Believe the LAST remodel finally removed it all. The bathrooms still had the old GEMCO paneling!

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Post by Groceteria » 09 Feb 2007 22:39

Deleted several off-topic, non-Gemco, and non-supermarket posts.

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Post by J-Mac » 10 Feb 2007 00:49

runchadrun wrote:Gemco's Signal Hill store was on 33rd between Atlantic and California, so that matches the 950 E. 33rd Street address. It opened in 1970. Can't you see the sign from the 405?

I found a Target employment ad from 1985 for new stores in Orange (2191 N Tustin), Cypress (6835 Katella), and Fallbrook Mall. That was before Gemco closed down so my guess is that the Orange Target was never a Gemco.
Runchadrun: thanks for the insight. Signal Hill has two freestanding signs, and you can see one of them from the 405, although it is currently draped in black plastic. They are both similar in shape to the one found there in Granada Hills, except with a rectangular post. Hopefully it remains after the remodel, but I don't know what Target has up their sleve.

As for the employment ad, that's very interesting. So the Cypress store wasn't a former FedMart? Live local shows an old photo with an old entry - Target has since remodeled it. I'm not sure I totally understand Target's CapEx, I found a really gritty store (which I will leave unnamed) with those FedMart style air diffusers and a weird black channel thing above the main walkways (couldn't figure out what that was about.) Looks like it needed a lot more help than say the Granada Hills store did. But I'm drifting away from Gemco here...

What is striking about the Orange location is how similar it is to the Duarte Gemco, aside from being a corner entry they both have similar interiors. Perhaps that's just Target's touch, it has been 20 years. But I do wonder who was copying who... and corner entries are pretty rare for Target, aren't they?

Jeff: Thanks for the closure list. I don't recall Gemco closing any locations prior to the 1986 shutdown... so that looks pretty complete for Southern California.

David: Thanks for the cleanup. I was trying to keep this neat and organized, and I realize that Gemco is somewhat marginal when it comes to Groceteria subject matter.

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Post by Groceteria » 10 Feb 2007 01:10

J-Mac wrote:David: Thanks for the cleanup. I was trying to keep this neat and organized, and I realize that Gemco is somewhat marginal when it comes to Groceteria subject matter.
Gemco is entirely on-topic; they (usually) sold food and were owned by Lucky. It's the discussion that emerged tonight that WASN'T about Gemco that I deleted. It got way off-topic really fast. But keep the Gemco stuff coming, definitely. It's much appreciated.

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Post by runchadrun » 10 Feb 2007 09:52

J-Mac wrote:As for the employment ad, that's very interesting. So the Cypress store wasn't a former FedMart? Live local shows an old photo with an old entry - Target has since remodeled it. I'm not sure I totally understand Target's CapEx, I found a really gritty store (which I will leave unnamed) with those FedMart style air diffusers and a weird black channel thing above the main walkways (couldn't figure out what that was about.) Looks like it needed a lot more help than say the Granada Hills store did. But I'm drifting away from Gemco here...
I didn't say it wasn't a FedMart, just that it probably wasn't a Gemco :) That said, I don't have a list of FedMart locations around the time they shut down but I searched through the Times archive and no hits for "fedmart and cypress" or "6835 katella" (other than the employment ad) came up.

BTW, the Granada Hills Gemco-style overhead sign is still there but with the letters removed. Hopefully it will be used again when the new store is built since there's terrible visibility from the corner of Balboa and San Fernando Mission if you're facing north or west. (There's a Shell station blocking the view.) If I read the zoning variance correctly, the new entrance is going to face Balboa instead of SFM. Maybe that will shame the owners of the shopping center across the street to spiff things up a bit.

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Big blue Gemcos

Post by wolvie » 23 Feb 2007 20:08

Toward the end of Gemco's existence, they were test marketing concept stores with a specific architecture ... big, blue-tiled box stores with a cut-out corner as the entrance. Inside, all pastel shades. This was the time when Gemco introduced its new logo with the yellow diamond.

The Encinitas store opened in 1984 and had this prototype design. By '87 or so, it became a Target. It's now three businesses: LA Fitness, El Camino Storage and a consignment store.

I have photos of this store. I'll try to hunt them down and provide them when I can.

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Post by J-Mac » 06 Mar 2007 04:17

I have a small addition to make to my current-day Gemco photo collection. Unfortunately, I haven't had the time I want to devote to the proper photography of these buildings, but I figured I should grab a few quickies this evening.

So, for starters, the Gemco I was most familiar with as a child: Cerritos. This location became a Target and had a refront a few years ago, removing most traces of its Gemco origins and moving the main entry from the middle to the corner of the front. However, the side walls show the original concrete block. The detail along the roofline appears to be common amongst Lucky buildings of the time. I don't have the numbers, but this Target has to be one of the chain's more successful locations, prompting the second Cerritos location to be built over by the mall on the former Fedco property.

http://home.earthlink.net/~it345/retail/GEMCO-CER01.jpg The grown-up trees in this parking lot make photography more difficult.

A couple questions about Cerritos: I *think* I remember a gas station here, was it located to the north of the parcel? I also somewhat remember groceries in this store, am I correct?

Another Gemco I spent time around was Fullerton East. It was just down the road from the Grandparents' house. Sources on the internet say this was the first location to offer groceries - and launching the hypermarket concept for the Gemco. I don't remember much about the interior of this store, mostly the exterior which hadn't changed much until a couple years ago, when Target made a small modification to the front entry. Target also cut numerous skylights into this store, making it an EPA "Energy Star" store ... I don't believe this existed in the Gemco days.

http://home.earthlink.net/~it345/retail ... FULB01.jpg
http://home.earthlink.net/~it345/retail ... FULB02.jpg
... both are night shots ... unfortunately not as detailed as I'd like.

Question about Fullerton East: I believe that this store once had a freestanding sign like the Downey location, tripod-style and VERY tall, is this a false memory?

And since it wasn't far away, I took a peek at the North Fullerton Gemco. Interestingly, this location is nearly across the street from the Alpha Beta La Habra Distribution Center (CVS these days). This location was subdivided and converted to a Lucky (a Target is diagonal across Harbor/Imperial Highway, complete with the Neon-on-Grey interior. I'm not sure of Target's exact vintage.) The location is now an Albertsons via the 1999 buyout, with the Lucky interior. The other major tenant is Staples. Its almost identical to the subdivided Bellflower Gemco location (except that Bellflower became Staters and they repainted the Lucky interior and installed new Aisle Hangers.)

http://home.earthlink.net/~it345/retail ... FULA01.jpg
Again a night shot, someday when I have free daylight I'll be back, hopefully before Supervalu gets to the Lucky interior. (I'm curious though about how they will apply their new design to the Gemco converts, since they tend to be odd shaped stores by grocery standards, rather deep and narrow.)

Speaking of interiors, is there a connection between the late Gemco designs and Lucky's Teal Green/Red highlight interior? (Matter of fact, when did Lucky come up with the Teal Green scheme anyway? Its the only scheme I've ever seen in a Lucky, but there must have been something before it.) I find it notable that a yellow-orange triangle is on Lucky's aisle hangers... where did that triangle element show up first, the Blue Gemco Logo or Lucky?

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Post by javelin » 06 Mar 2007 17:06

Dean wrote:The San Bernardino GEMCO is TARGET to this day. Still has the original HUGE GEMCO main poled sign on Sterling. (similar to picture above)

They have had many remodels over the years...yet always have had some type of GEMCO remnants about. Believe the LAST remodel finally removed it all. The bathrooms still had the old GEMCO paneling!
The only Target in San Bernardino was originally a White Front, then a Fedmart.

The Victorville Gemco was only open for a few years before it was shut down and converted to a Target.

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Post by runchadrun » 06 Mar 2007 18:48

javelin wrote:
Dean wrote:The San Bernardino GEMCO is TARGET to this day. Still has the original HUGE GEMCO main poled sign on Sterling. (similar to picture above)
The only Target in San Bernardino was originally a White Front, then a Fedmart.
The Target on Orange Show is a former White Front/FedMart. There's another Target at 2380 Sterling Ave off of Highway 30 that's a former Gemco.

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Post by Jeff » 06 Mar 2007 20:56

i think it was mentioned before, but the former Carson Gemco/Target has been torn down for a replacement Target.

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Post by javelin » 07 Mar 2007 03:49

runchadrun wrote:
javelin wrote:
Dean wrote:The San Bernardino GEMCO is TARGET to this day. Still has the original HUGE GEMCO main poled sign on Sterling. (similar to picture above)
The only Target in San Bernardino was originally a White Front, then a Fedmart.
The Target on Orange Show is a former White Front/FedMart. There's another Target at 2380 Sterling Ave off of Highway 30 that's a former Gemco.
I had always thought that was a part of Highland, CA. Seems the address is San Bernardino afterall. My mistake.

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