Shopping Bag Food Stores In Southern California

Uh...California.

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melrose1960
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Shopping Bag Food Stores In Southern California

Post by melrose1960 » 06 Jan 2008 14:39

I finally found a "drawing" of what I remember these supermarkets looking like...

The one near where I grew up (corner of Hacienda Blvd and Amar Road in La Puente, CA)
evolved into a "E.F. Mac Donald's Shopping Bag Ranch Market" (with cute animated "Hee Haw"
type characters on all of the walls...)

Then it became a fancy Fazio's (mid 1970's). Then it turned into one of the first Albertsons locations
in Southern California (late 1970's). This location still has the distinctive "sign wall" standing (minus
the pink neon Shopping Bag signage...) It is currently sub-divided into a number of businesses.

Anything googled on "Shopping Bag Food Stores" returns nothing but Vons' acquistion of Shopping Bag
in the 60's.

I also remember the Shopping Bag location on Glendora / Vine in West Covina. It didn't have the sign wall.

There was the famous Shopping Bag location at the West Covina Fashion Plaza (seen from the 10 freeway).

Does anyone have any photographs or stories about Shopping Bag? It is the one supermarket in Southern California
that is rarely discussed or mentioned.
Attachments
Shopping Bag.jpg

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runchadrun
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Re: Shopping Bag Food Stores In Southern California

Post by runchadrun » 06 Jan 2008 23:12

I'm surprised we have haven't had a thread dedicated soley to Shopping Bag. Shopping Bag was founded in 1930 and operated 38 markets in 1960 when they merged with Vons, which had 28 stores. The merger triggered an antitrust suit that was settled by the US Supreme Court in 1967, which forced a divestiture. Their combined market share in 1960 was 7.5% which was considered anticompetitive at the time. How times have changed...

I posted a list of Shopping Bag stores from 1972 (the ones Fazio's took over) over on this thread: http://www.groceteria.com/board/viewtop ... =27&t=1072

There's some other information about their purchase of the Socal A&P stores in 1969 and the chain's eventual sale to Fazio's in 1972 at http://www.groceteria.com/board/viewtopic.php?t=872

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Re: Shopping Bag Food Stores In Southern California

Post by Dean » 07 Jan 2008 02:38

melrose1960 wrote: The one near where I grew up (corner of Hacienda Blvd and Amar Road in La Puente, CA evolved into a "E.F. Mac Donald's Shopping Bag Ranch Market" (with cute animated "Hee Haw"
type characters on all of the walls...)

Then it became a fancy Fazio's (mid 1970's). Then it turned into one of the first Albertsons locations in Southern California (late 1970's). This location still has the distinctive "sign wall" standing (minus the pink neon Shopping Bag signage...) It is currently sub-divided into a number of businesses.
Didn't the La Puente site become a hardware store before the division into various shops? I remember going there. It was a chain hardware store...one of many that are all now gone. It wasn't Ole's, Angels, Dooley's, or Builder's Emporium. Possibly National Lumber? NOT Merritt's Ace...is that is down the street. Do you recall which chain it had been?

Jeff
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Re: Shopping Bag Food Stores In Southern California

Post by Jeff » 07 Jan 2008 04:44

Hmm, could the Vons store on Paramount and Florence in Downey be a former Shopping bag location?
It still has the Sign Wall up if it is.

And the sign wall is still up at the Monterey Park location on Garfield. Maybe I can take a picture of it tomorrow.

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Daniel
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Re: Shopping Bag Food Stores In Southern California

Post by Daniel » 07 Jan 2008 11:28

There was an episode of Adam-12 where you can see a Shopping Bag roadside sign, but I don't recall exactly which episode it was.

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runchadrun
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Re: Shopping Bag Food Stores In Southern California

Post by runchadrun » 07 Jan 2008 13:51

EF MacDonald was a diversified company based in Dayton. They paid $30m for 40 Shopping Bag stores. Their only grocery experience was owning a small chain in Italy. They bought the 30 Socal A&Ps for $4.1m, but closed a total of 20 stores before selling the chain to Fisher Foods, parent of Fazio's, for only $6.5m.

The Shopping Bag divestiture was a blessing in disguise for Vons. The $30m MacDonald's paid for SB gave Vons the cash it needed to expand. They started buying sites for new stores instead of leasing them and were able to build new stores of modern sizes which are still functional today, while older chains like Alpha Beta, Safeway, and A&P languished with the relatively small stores that they built during their expansions in the 50s and 60s.
Jeff wrote:Hmm, could the Vons store on Paramount and Florence in Downey be a former Shopping bag location?
The Downey Vons opened circa 1955 and is of a similar vintage (and design) as the La Tijera store

The Downey Shopping Bag was at Firestone and Lakewood but I'm not sure where. Big Lots is a former Ralphs. There was an Albertsons across the street in Stonewood Shopping Center (I believe a former Great American) so any Shopping Bag/Fazio's wouldn't have become an Albertsons.

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Re: Shopping Bag Food Stores In Southern California

Post by Jeff » 07 Jan 2008 14:07

runchadrun wrote:
Jeff wrote:Hmm, could the Vons store on Paramount and Florence in Downey be a former Shopping bag location?
The Downey Vons opened circa 1955 and is of a similar vintage (and design) as the La Tijera store

The Downey Shopping Bag was at Firestone and Lakewood but I'm not sure where. Big Lots is a former Ralphs. There was an Albertsons across the street in Stonewood Shopping Center (I believe a former Great American) so any Shopping Bag/Fazio's wouldn't have become an Albertsons.
I think the current Pep Boys on Firestone and Lakewood was a market prior.

melrose1960
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Re: Shopping Bag Food Stores In Southern California

Post by melrose1960 » 07 Jan 2008 14:52

The "drawing" is from the LA Public Library, stating that this drawing is from the Stonewood Shopping Center in Downey.

As far as the La Puente SB location goes, Fazio's went out of business. I don't know about any other locations,
but I can confirm that Fazio's went out of business in La Puente and became Albertsons. (This was in the 1970's).

Albertsons lasted only a couple of years at this former Shopping Bag location. Albertsons would reappear in the vicinity
many many years later.

This former SB location may have turned into a hardware store, but I can't remember which company....I also remember that this former SB location was a furniture store for many years before being sub-divided into smaller shops.

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Re: Shopping Bag Food Stores In Southern California

Post by melrose1960 » 07 Jan 2008 15:00

To quote Chad:

Fazio's was later bought by Albertsons yet none of the A&Ps are Albertsons today.

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Re: Shopping Bag Food Stores In Southern California

Post by runchadrun » 07 Jan 2008 15:32

You can ignore what I said above about the Stonewood Albertsons being a former Great All-American. The Stonewood Albertsons is the former Shopping Bag shown in the artist rendering. The GAAC is now the Stater Bros down the street. See http://www.groceteria.com/board/viewtop ... 914&p=8201

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Re: Shopping Bag Food Stores In Southern California

Post by buckhead » 07 Jan 2008 22:43

I've posted another topic regarding Plaid Trading Stamps and their (possible) use at Shopping Bag Food Stores and A&P in Southern California at http://www.groceteria.com/board/viewtop ... f=2&t=2168.

Thanks for any information you might be able to provide there.

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Re: Shopping Bag Food Stores In Southern California

Post by melrose1960 » 12 Apr 2008 22:31

Fazio's California Adventure courtesy of Pleasant Family Shopping...

http://bp2.blogger.com/_Ei2Ik5quiI0/R_6 ... g+1973.jpg

http://bp2.blogger.com/_Ei2Ik5quiI0/R_6 ... g+1972.jpg

http://bp3.blogger.com/_Ei2Ik5quiI0/R_6 ... +bag+6.jpg

http://bp2.blogger.com/_Ei2Ik5quiI0/R_g ... s+1969.jpg
Under management by the Fazio/Costa group, Fisher Foods became widely recognized as one of America’s fastest-growing supermarket chains at the end of the 1960’s, going into the early 70’s. The company had begun a successful expansion program, adding other key Ohio markets to their original Cleveland base. The acquisition of the Dominick’s chain in Chicago was bearing fruit as well, and the purchase of Kroger’s remaining Chicago stores in 1970 would more than double their presence there.


To keep the momentum going, the Southern California market was chosen as Fisher’s next expansion frontier. On June 12, 1972, a purchase agreement was announced between Fisher Foods and the Dayton-based E.F. MacDonald Company, owner of the Shopping Bag supermarkets, a 46-store chain with regional headquarters in San Gabriel, California and stores throughout the SoCal market. MacDonald, known best as the owner of Plaid Stamps, was eager to sell the operation, which had been losing money.

Shopping Bag Food Stores began its existence with one small grocery store on L.A.’s Wilshire Boulevard in 1930. Three years later, Shopping Bag would open its first supermarket, and the company would grow with the area from there, going public in 1954. In 1960, Shopping Bag was merged into Vons Grocery Company, adding its 38 stores to Vons’ 28. The Shopping Bag units would continue to operate under their original name. In 1965, The Federal Trade Commission filed suit against Vons in the U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, alleging that the Vons/Shopping Bag merger served to lessen grocery competition in the area. Initially, Vons won the case, but the Justice Department appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, who in a landmark ruling the following year ordered Vons to divest the Shopping Bag stores. The whole proceeding seems almost laughable today, considering the favorable eye the FTC has cast upon much larger mergers through the last 30 years or so, truly setting up a “mega-merger’’ climate.

In June 1967, Vons completed the sale of 40 stores (35 Shopping Bags and 5 Vons) to E.F. MacDonald. The MacDonald firm was founded by Elton “Mac” MacDonald, who in 1957 had sold out his 1/3 interest in Top Value Stamps, the brand used by Kroger and Boston’s Stop and Shop, among others. After initially turning away from the trading stamp biz when he ventured off on his own, MacDonald created Plaid Stamps and landed a huge customer for them at the dawn of the sixties– The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company, who had previously resisted the trading stamp trend with vehemence. Eventually, competitive pressures and the pleas of A&P district managers led the company to adopt the stamps in a number of its regions.

A successful supplier to the industry, now MacDonald would try its own hand as a supermarket operator, in arguably the most dynamic market of all. They would modernize some stores, open new ones, and sell off a good number of the smaller units. MacDonald made a bold move in 1969 when they bought out A&P’s 31 supermarkets (adding to the 40 existing Shopping Bags at the time) in the Los Angeles, ending A&P’s presence there. A&P, having decided that they would need twice their present number of stores in Southern California to maintain a profitable operation there, opted instead to throw in the towel. The A&P stores were converted to Shopping Bags.

In 1972, having whittled down the Shopping Bag store count to 46 stores, MacDonald agreed to sell them to Fisher Foods. The stores would be rebranded “Fazio’s-Shopping Bag” and would shift to the ever-popular “every day low price” strategy, ditching trading stamps (Ironically, Shopping Bag gave out Blue Chip Stamps, the standard for most SoCal grocery chains, instead of MacDonald’s own Plaid stamps) along the way. The stores were remodeled, and deli and bakery departments were brought up to Fisher standards. Marshall Italiano was placed in charge, reporting to John Fazio in Cleveland. Ground was broken for a new office and distribution center in City of Industry, and the first all-new Fazio’s-Shopping Bag store was slated to open in the fall of 1974 in Fountain Valley.

The California (ad)venture didn’t last long, unfortunately. The troubled economy of the mid-70’s and Fisher’s growing internal and financial problems were largely to blame. Also, a couple of embarrassing incidents – charges of false advertising and mislabeling – made the news, affecting the company’s reputation. In 1978, the Fazio-Shopping Bag stores were sold to Albertsons.

The photos above are from 1973 and 1972 respectively, and show two Shopping Bag stores freshly rebranded to add the Fazio’s name. If you click on the enlargement of the second photo, you can see three original signs with the classic Shopping Bag logo, two backlit signs above the entrance doors and a neon sign (barely visible) on the right side, near the edge of the photo. Below is a full-page display ad from late 1972, trumpeting the ownership change and new pricing policy.

I’d love to know the location of those two stores. If anyone can advise on that, I’ll gladly give them a free one-year subscription to this site.

Oh wait, it’s already free…
In that case, a free “thank you” instead!

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Re: Shopping Bag Food Stores In Southern California

Post by runchadrun » 13 Apr 2008 22:43

I will make guesses on two of these stores:

http://bp2.blogger.com/_Ei2Ik5quiI0/R_6 ... g+1973.jpg
I think this is the store at Palms and Sepulveda, which was a former Leonard's Department store. It became a Grocery Warehouse/Max Foods and is now a heavily-remodeled and rebuilt Albertsons.

http://bp2.blogger.com/_Ei2Ik5quiI0/R_6 ... g+1972.jpg
I believe this is the Alhambra store on Valley Blvd, which is now a Lucky. The front looks familar and I know there was a laundromat nearby.

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Re: Shopping Bag Food Stores In Southern California

Post by Dean » 14 Apr 2008 11:02

runchadrun wrote:I will make guesses on two of these stores:

http://bp2.blogger.com/_Ei2Ik5quiI0/R_6 ... g+1973.jpg
I think this is the store at Palms and Sepulveda, which was a former Leonard's Department store. It became a Grocery Max and is now a heavily-remodeled and rebuilt Albertsons.
It also looks like the former La Habra location. Whittier Boulevard @ Hacienda Road.

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Re: Shopping Bag Food Stores In Southern California

Post by klkla » 14 Apr 2008 17:02

http://bp2.blogger.com/_Ei2Ik5quiI0/R_6 ... g+1973.jpg

My guess for this one would be the Glendale Ave. store in Glendale. It looked almost identical to that when it was an Albertson's and from what I can tell the parking lot is similar. It's now a Whole Foods and has been extensively remodeled.

Just my guess.

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