Big Bear Chain-San Diego Area-1959

Uh...California.

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Jason B.
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Big Bear Chain-San Diego Area-1959

Post by Jason B. » 09 Feb 2011 05:13

There was a "Big Bear" grocery store chain in the San Diego area, according to the San Diego Union of November 12, 1959. The slogan in the ad was "Big Bear for Big Buys!"

"Big Bear" locations listed in the ad were:
(1) 836 Palm Avenue in Imperial Beach;
(2) 2320 Fletcher Parkway in Fletcher Hills;
(3) 3332 Sandrock Road in Cabrillo Heights

The ad also touted "S&H Green Stamps". The main item promoted was Sirloin Steak, full cuts for 75 cents per lb. The price for T-bone steak (porterhouse) was 83 cents per lb.

klkla
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Re: Big Bear Chain-San Diego Area-1959

Post by klkla » 09 Feb 2011 19:15

Jason B. wrote:There was a "Big Bear" grocery store chain in the San Diego area, according to the San Diego Union of November 12, 1959. The slogan in the ad was "Big Bear for Big Buys!"

"Big Bear" locations listed in the ad were:
(1) 836 Palm Avenue in Imperial Beach;
(2) 2320 Fletcher Parkway in Fletcher Hills;
(3) 3332 Sandrock Road in Cabrillo Heights

The ad also touted "S&H Green Stamps". The main item promoted was Sirloin Steak, full cuts for 75 cents per lb. The price for T-bone steak (porterhouse) was 83 cents per lb.
Big Bear reached a total of about 25 stores in the 1980's and was the only big local chain based there. I know they sold most of their stores to Albertson's when they went out of business but I don't remember the year.

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submariner
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Re: Big Bear Chain-San Diego Area-1959

Post by submariner » 13 Feb 2011 08:40

836 Palm in IB: literally a block from my house. I always figured it was something, the sides and back are much older than the facade. It's now an independent called Wally's (who used to be IGA affiliated up until a year or so ago)

2320 Fletcher: Now a 99 Cents Only store. Easily spottable since it has a similar architecture to the Imperial Beach store. (the street view is older, showing the location as a Fitness World)

3332 Sandrock is now a CVS, though likely a Sav•on before that. Good chance it was a rebuild or very heavily remodeled.
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rvwalton
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Re: Big Bear Chain-San Diego Area-1959

Post by rvwalton » 20 Jul 2017 03:05

I found this post while researching Big Bear Stores of San Diego. Two points:

The Sandrock location was a Henry's before it was a SavOn and later CVS. I don't know whether the SavOn/CVS is in the former Big Bear/Henry's building, but my guess is the building was built for SavOn. I never shopped at the Henry's, but remember it being listed in their ads.

A 1993 LA Times Article states Big Bear was sold to Fleming and an unnamed supermarket chain. Of course, we now know that supermarket chain was Alberstons.

klkla
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Re: Big Bear Chain-San Diego Area-1959

Post by klkla » 20 Jul 2017 21:15

Don't know if this is of any interest but this is where there corporate offices were in 1980:
https://www.google.com/maps/@32.7210305 ... 312!8i6656

The store was a former Mayfair Market. The corporate office entered from the back of the store and was in the basement of the market.
https://www.google.com/maps/@32.7202252 ... 312!8i6656

This was the typical sign structure from Big Bear:
https://www.google.com/maps/@32.7209257 ... 312!8i6656

There are still modified versions today like this one in Del Mar which later became an Albertson's, then a Haggen and now a Gelson's:
https://www.google.com/maps/@32.9806054 ... 312!8i6656

klkla
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Re: Big Bear Chain-San Diego Area-1959

Post by klkla » 20 Oct 2018 22:55

This is a very interesting article about the day in the life of a Big Bear store manager written in December 1992. They first announced they were selling all their stores less than a year later in October 1993.

https://www.sandiegoreader.com/news/199 ... ar-market/

They interviewed the owner's son who was running the company at this point and I found this part interesting:

"One fixture absent from the checkstand is scanning equipment (used by all three of the big chains in town). Mabee instead boasts that every grocery item (bottled, canned, boxed, and bagged goods) in his stores bears a price tag, in contrast to his competitors.
“They’re all in violation of the state law (which says that 80 percent of the items in all stores should carry not only a bar code, but also the price]. My competitors are not marking anything. But no one enforces it,” Mabee says.
That’s not to say that the reason he’s bucked the scanning tide is because of the law. He says he tried scanners in some stores a few years ago and came away unimpressed with the advantages for a company his size. “The scan-type systems do create a tremendous quantity of numbers and reports.” But then people want to justify sitting down and reading them all, says the company president, who thinks his managers can get the same results more simply and inexpensively without the reports."

With that kind of thinking it's no surprise their end was soon to come.

Page 2 of the article is mostly a history of the grocery industry in the U.S. and is interesting on it's own.

Caution: The article is very long and has eight pages.

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Re: Big Bear Chain-San Diego Area-1959

Post by Groceteria » 22 Oct 2018 00:44

Looks like a great article. I’m looking forward to reading it when I get home and have time to digest it. Thanks!

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