Thrifty Drug in the Northwest

Moderator: Groceteria

User avatar
timbabcock
Full Member
Posts: 34
Joined: 13 Mar 2007 18:52
Location: Federal Way, Washington

Thrifty/Payless in Federal Way

Post by timbabcock » 19 Mar 2007 00:38

For awhile in the 1980s and 1990s it seemed like all the drugstores in Federal Way (except for Drug Emporium/Longs Drugs) were under the same company.

There was a time when Thrifty, Pay and Save, and Payless were under the same umbrella there were four stores in shopping centers next to each other. Then there was a fifth one in Twin Lakes which used to be a Skaggs and a Osco. That one still remains.

They must of had to finish some leases up. I remember they had a Giant T at Century Square (Where Michaels is today) that didn't stick around very long but did see the Thrify name and Pay and Save name while still leasing space at Sea Tac Village.

The former House of Values location for Payless at The Federal Way Shopping Centers days were numbered but they did keep the one next to Albertsons open for awhile until the big remodel to Albertsons happened.

justin karimzad
Senior Member
Posts: 249
Joined: 14 Nov 2005 01:23
Location: California

Post by justin karimzad » 20 Mar 2007 01:42

Thank you for sharing all of this; it cleared up a lot. Thanks go to everyone that contributed information on this topic.

tkaye
Senior Member
Posts: 179
Joined: 25 Jan 2006 17:12

Re: Thrifty Drugs

Post by tkaye » 20 Mar 2007 02:25

timbabcock wrote:It's the same reason why Payless in Pierce, Thurston, and Kitsap Counties in Washington State went by the names House of Values (acquired when they took over Gov Mart as well in 1973) and Value Giant.
So, the House of Values stores were originally opened by Gov-Mart? (By the way, I just heard on the radio the other day that founder and parking magnate Joe Diamond died at the age of 99.) I don't know of any House of Values stores that were in Pierce County, but there was one in Federal Way. The Bremerton store was in a mid-'50s ex-Tradewell building on Fourth Street... it was just demolished a couple of years ago for a Navy parking garage. Very cool building... with a mezzanine level (House of Values used this for the fabric department -- Value Giant/PayLess seemed to use it for seasonal items mostly) and a basement (the House of Values appliance and electronics department -- PayLess usually roped this area off, but sometimes used it for home and garden merchandise).

After it became a Value Giant (once PayLess acquired that chain and, with it, an existing Value Giant in East Bremerton), most of the wall graphics were removed and the backgrounds painted white, except for a "FABRICS" sign with the HV logo upstairs and a sign over the pharmacy. Other than the aisle markers, there was very little identification of departments left, making the place look pretty spartan. The flourescent lights ringing the outside of the building were masked by a translucent cover with repeating red oval HV logos... these were so high up that they were never taken down, even after the store was closed (and 25 years since it had used the House of Values name). Even by PayLess standards, this was a large store, especially for a downtown area and by the mid-'90s, they had difficulty filling it... eventually, they cordoned half the interior off with a wall of shelving. This location lasted a few months into the Rite Aid era, but it was clear they weren't serious about keeping it open, since they simply hung a Rite Aid banner over the PayLess sign (it did get Rite Aid's cash registers, however).

The Value Giant stores were acquired in the early '80s from San Francisco-based Castle and Cooke (better known as the parent company of Dole pineapple). They were primarily located in Northern California, with some in Washington and Oregon as well (perhaps even Hawaii).

VibeGuy
Full Member
Posts: 40
Joined: 02 Feb 2007 03:30

Post by VibeGuy » 20 Mar 2007 14:06

Payless had some other monster locations- one source reports stores as large as 68,000 square feet in the mid-80s - some downtown, some in strips....I seem to recall these being branded as Payless SuperDrug....

Roseburg, OR comes to mind as one with a huge footprint in the downtown - I believe it had a mezzanine as well, for the fabric/notions department. It was on a parcel with a Safeway that just closed - I couldn't tell you if the Rite-Aid has survived.

Warrenton, OR also had a huge location - the space has been divided to turn the Garden Center into a separate unit. In my rotting mind, I could *swear* that this was a location that had a full-fledged major appliance department at one point.

Boise, ID had at least one location like that, too. . . it's the one that is/was at the corner of State and Glenwood.

Eric
Last edited by VibeGuy on 20 Mar 2007 14:19, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
TheStranger
Senior Member
Posts: 694
Joined: 18 Sep 2006 01:26
Location: California
Contact:

Post by TheStranger » 20 Mar 2007 14:17

VibeGuy wrote: Roseburg, OR comes to mind as one with a huge footprint in the downtown - I believe it had a mezzanine as well, for the fabric/notions department. It was on a parcel with a Safeway that just closed - I couldn't tell you if the Rite-Aid has survived.
I actually remember reading somewhere that the Rite Aid closed about a year before that Safeway, but don't quote me on that...
Chris Sampang

justin karimzad
Senior Member
Posts: 249
Joined: 14 Nov 2005 01:23
Location: California

Post by justin karimzad » 20 Mar 2007 16:39

TheStranger wrote:
VibeGuy wrote: Roseburg, OR comes to mind as one with a huge footprint in the downtown - I believe it had a mezzanine as well, for the fabric/notions department. It was on a parcel with a Safeway that just closed - I couldn't tell you if the Rite-Aid has survived.
I actually remember reading somewhere that the Rite Aid closed about a year before that Safeway, but don't quote me on that...
Yup, it closed 6 months before the Safeway, when it relocated. By that time, it was delapitated. There wasn't a mezzanine sales area, or at least not one that was accessible by the time I went. There was an office mezzanine in the left front corner of the store, near the pharmacy. The only other mezzanine-like structure was the platform at the top of the stairs that led to the downtown street entrance, which was higher than the level of the store. This store wasn't incredibly large, it was probably ~25,000 sq. ft., which I suppose is large for a downtown.
http://www.geocities.com/coolstorephotos/tpd.html
http://moneycentral.groups.msn.com/risi ... PhotoID=81
A really huge downtown Payless was in Salem, that was nearly double the size of this store. In 2002, Rite Aid donated the south half of the building to the landlord (where TJ Maxx is now) when they redecorated the store. Surprisingly, they kept the original ceiling and mechanicals in the Rite Aid portion, despite the downsizing. This Rite Aid is still alive and well.
http://photos.salemhistory.org/cdm4/ite ... =595&REC=8
http://photos.salemhistory.org/cdm4/ite ... =587&REC=3
The Roseburg Rite Aid had, and the Salem Rite Aid still has the popcorn machine that was apparently a feature of Payless Drug Northwest.
So that's Payless Drug Northwest. The Oakland Payless Drug had a store in San Mateo, CA (now Rite Aid) that originally had over 60,000 sq. ft. of sales area, but was downsized by the placement of its shelving in the early 2000s.

User avatar
timbabcock
Full Member
Posts: 34
Joined: 13 Mar 2007 18:52
Location: Federal Way, Washington

Gov Mart, House of Values, and Payless

Post by timbabcock » 20 Mar 2007 19:42

In 1973 Payless came into the area by acquiring both Gov Mart and House of Values at the same time. Payless was a division of K-Mart at the time. Bazzar Foods reamained until the late 1970s. The Gov Mart in Tacoma remained for a few more years until it was acquired by Fred Meyer. Then it became Costco's first Tacoma store in the 80s.

I was surprised that in obituaries in the paper that nothing was mentioned about Joe Diamond's association with him founding Gov Mart (when it was Gov't Mart a membership store for government employees).

I'm pretty sure that he sold it though in 1964 when they dropped the membership requirements since the home office moved from Wall Street in Seattle to Portland, Oregon.

marshd1000
Senior Member
Posts: 179
Joined: 07 Nov 2005 13:49
Location: Seattle, WA
Contact:

Re: Gov Mart, House of Values, and Payless

Post by marshd1000 » 21 Mar 2007 01:11

timbabcock wrote:In 1973 Payless came into the area by acquiring both Gov Mart and House of Values at the same time. Payless was a division of K-Mart at the time. Bazzar Foods reamained until the late 1970s. The Gov Mart in Tacoma remained for a few more years until it was acquired by Fred Meyer. Then it became Costco's first Tacoma store in the 80s.
I could be wrong about this, but this is how I remember some of the above information. House of Values was probably acquired by Payless before taking over Gov Mart. I am saying this as I remember the House of Values in Burien, WA. I distinctly remember seeing a sign on the lower part of the outside wall saying something like this, "House of Values is a Payless Drug Store". Since I was about 11 or 12, I thought it was related to Payless Drug Stores of Tacoma, the only Payless I had known. But Payless Northwest I do believe was independent and became part of KMart in the 1980's.

In the case of the Burien House of Values location, it closed down as the Gov Mart that became Payless was on an adjacent lot. But it was when Payless took over most of the Gov Marts that the Payless name was introduced to Seattle. For awhile the ads labeled all the stores as "Payless House of Values".

Incidentally, the Burien House of Values became the second location for Pay 'n Save's Sportswest bannered sporting goods stores (now Big 5).

Super S
Senior Member
Posts: 423
Joined: 07 Jan 2006 00:40

Post by Super S » 26 Mar 2007 01:08

VibeGuy wrote:Payless had some other monster locations- one source reports stores as large as 68,000 square feet in the mid-80s - some downtown, some in strips....I seem to recall these being branded as Payless SuperDrug....

Roseburg, OR comes to mind as one with a huge footprint in the downtown - I believe it had a mezzanine as well, for the fabric/notions department. It was on a parcel with a Safeway that just closed - I couldn't tell you if the Rite-Aid has survived.

Warrenton, OR also had a huge location - the space has been divided to turn the Garden Center into a separate unit. In my rotting mind, I could *swear* that this was a location that had a full-fledged major appliance department at one point.

Boise, ID had at least one location like that, too. . . it's the one that is/was at the corner of State and Glenwood.

Eric
Which store at State and Glenwood are you referring to? PayLess originally was located in the Plantation Shopping Center. Some time in the 1980s, a new Albertsons opened across State Street, and a new Skaggs Drug Store, which had a sign reading "Skaggs Drug and Home Center" Osco Drug took over the Boise Skaggs stores in the 1980s, and this location received a new sign reading "Osco Drug and Home Center" It was eventually sold to PayLess, at that point the Plantation store closed. I believe it is currently a Rite Aid, but have not been to boise in about 6 years.

Worth noting though is that I never saw another Osco, or Skaggs for that matter, with a "Home Center" sign on the front.

Super S
Senior Member
Posts: 423
Joined: 07 Jan 2006 00:40

Re: Thrifty Drugs

Post by Super S » 26 Mar 2007 01:15

timbabcock wrote:Giant T was Thrify Drugs. The name was used in Washington State up unitl 1984 just before they took over Pay & Save they dropped the Giant T name and switched them to Thrifty.

The reason why they didn't use the name was because Thrifty Drugs was being used by another drugstore chain (when Rexall was around).

It's the same reason why Payless in Pierce, Thurston, and Kitsap Counties in Washington State went by the names House of Values (acquired when they took over Gov Mart as well in 1973) and Value Giant. There was a Payless of Tacoma (seperate from the Oregon based chain) which went bankrupt in 1990 which Thrifty ended up with their stores in the end as well.
Kelso and Longview are two towns side by side...basically like one big town. An interesting note is that Pay'N Save had a store in Longview's Triangle Mall, since the 1960s, while in Kelso, a Giant T opened at some point in the 1970s. In the 1980s, the Kelso store was rebranded to a Thrifty, then Pay 'N Save, eventually Payless, currently Rite Aid. However, Pay'N Save in Longview did not change their name until PayLess took over. Which makes me ask: If Thrifty took over Pay'N Save, did they rebrand any Pay'N Save stores to Thrifty?
Last edited by Super S on 09 Apr 2007 01:02, edited 1 time in total.

VibeGuy
Full Member
Posts: 40
Joined: 02 Feb 2007 03:30

Post by VibeGuy » 26 Mar 2007 12:36

Super S wrote:
Which store at State and Glenwood are you referring to? PayLess originally was located in the Plantation Shopping Center. Some time in the 1980s, a new Albertsons opened across State Street, and a new Skaggs Drug Store, which had a sign reading "Skaggs Drug and Home Center" Osco Drug took over the Boise Skaggs stores in the 1980s, and this location received a new sign reading "Osco Drug and Home Center" It was eventually sold to PayLess, at that point the Plantation store closed. I believe it is currently a Rite Aid, but have not been to boise in about 6 years.

Worth noting though is that I never saw another Osco, or Skaggs for that matter, with a "Home Center" sign on the front.
This would have been on the NE corner of the intersection - with the old Albertson's and the Round Table Pizza on an outparcel.

Eric

Super S
Senior Member
Posts: 423
Joined: 07 Jan 2006 00:40

Post by Super S » 27 Mar 2007 01:19

VibeGuy wrote:
Super S wrote:
Which store at State and Glenwood are you referring to? PayLess originally was located in the Plantation Shopping Center. Some time in the 1980s, a new Albertsons opened across State Street, and a new Skaggs Drug Store, which had a sign reading "Skaggs Drug and Home Center" Osco Drug took over the Boise Skaggs stores in the 1980s, and this location received a new sign reading "Osco Drug and Home Center" It was eventually sold to PayLess, at that point the Plantation store closed. I believe it is currently a Rite Aid, but have not been to boise in about 6 years.

Worth noting though is that I never saw another Osco, or Skaggs for that matter, with a "Home Center" sign on the front.
This would have been on the NE corner of the intersection - with the old Albertson's and the Round Table Pizza on an outparcel.

Eric
The former Skaggs is the one on the NE corner. Plantation Shopping Center was on the SE corner.

justin karimzad
Senior Member
Posts: 249
Joined: 14 Nov 2005 01:23
Location: California

Post by justin karimzad » 07 Apr 2007 02:50

I found a document from April 13, 1976 containing an FTC decision concerning Thrifty drug stores. Most of the page is dedicated to a case involving Ford, but the Thrifty case is about 80% of the way toward the bottom. This affirms what a number of you had explained about Thrifty in Washington originally having gone under the name Giant T prior to 1984, as it states that "Thrifty currently operates over four hundred fifty (450) drug and discount stores under the trade names Thrifty Drug and Discount Stores, Giant T Stores, Discount Drug Stores and Thrifty Discount Stores and over thirty (30) sporting goods stores under the trade name Big 5". But don't get me wrong, I believed you! If you want to access the following link, you'll have to copy and paste, as this board will not allow the entire URL to be a link.
http://www.ftc.gov/os/decisions/docs/vo ... 56-811.pdf
Also, in keeping with what was mentioned about Thrifty's in Washington being converted to Pay 'N Save in 1990, this article says that there were 16 Thrifty outlets in Washington at the time;
http://72.14.253.104/search?q=cache:VpK ... cd=1&gl=us
I quoted in my first post that the 1974 newspaper article about the grand opening of Eugene's second Thrifty claimed that Thrifty Drug operated in nine western states, but Thrifty's profile in the FTC document only mentions seven states of operation (versus 6 in 1964, before Washington was added to the roster), those being California, Arizona, Nevada, Utah, Idaho, Washington, and Oregon. At the same time, these sources suggest that Thrifty operated in New Mexico at least as early as 1971;
http://72.14.253.104/search?q=cache:p_7 ... cd=5&gl=us
http://72.14.253.104/search?q=cache:rYs ... cd=6&gl=us
http://72.14.253.104/search?q=cache:MEw ... cd=3&gl=us
http://72.14.253.104/search?q=cache:JLg ... cd=6&gl=us
And this article points to a Wyoming coverage (and also states that there were 8 stores in Utah when Thrifty pulled out of that state);
http://72.14.253.104/search?q=cache:ZZR ... cd=3&gl=us
Hmm...that's another mystery, but at least the one for Thrifty in the Pacific Northwest was solved. Approximately 90% of Thrifty Drug and Discount Stores were in California as of 1976, leaving about 45 out-of-state stores, compared to 12 among the 5 other states in 1964.
And yes, Super S, some Pay 'N Save stores (those in northern California) were converted to the Thrifty banner in 1990.
Last edited by justin karimzad on 07 Apr 2007 23:55, edited 3 times in total.

VibeGuy
Full Member
Posts: 40
Joined: 02 Feb 2007 03:30

Post by VibeGuy » 07 Apr 2007 19:03

Funny, I was just wondering about this topic when I went for pizza last night.

There's a Big5 in Gig Harbor, WA, in a strip with a Safeway and what is now a Goodwill thrift store. The Big 5 backlit signage appears to be in the "Thrifty Oval", but there are a couple of...odd features...

First, it's got to be among the larger Big 5 locations....it's not just the high ceilings- the darned thing is spacious and you can walk around the racks (Big 5 customers will know that they are usually jammed full).

Second, the graphics package is circa 1986 or so (based on the vintages of the sneakers painted above the shoe wall) ...well before I remember Big 5 in the Northwest.

The windows (up high) and doors have the expanding metal gates on them at night that I seem to recall from Pay-and-Save in the pre-Thrifty era.

Anyone have any ideas about this location? It's just off Highway 16.

Eric

User avatar
steps
Senior Member
Posts: 174
Joined: 02 Jan 2006 21:06
Location: Hollywood
Contact:

Post by steps » 10 Apr 2007 22:31

justin karimzad wrote:
tkaye wrote:I believe that Thrifty Drugs was a name used by many Rexall-affiliated independent drugstores in the Puget Sound area during the '50s and '60s. It's my impression that these stores had no connection with the actual Thrifty chain based in California that later merged with PayLess -- correct me if I'm wrong.
I've done some research on Thrifty's coverage in the northwest. Regarding the Rexall Thrifty chain, yes that was the primary chain in Washington of the 1950s and 1960s with the Thrifty name, and one of them was right next to the University Place Safeway in Tacoma that opened in 1961, and was posted on the Safeways in Oregon and Washington thread here a while back. In fact, even in 1964, the only stores that the Los Angeles Thrifty Drug firm had outside of California were 12 stores spread between Idaho, Oregon, Nevada, Utah, and Arizona. However, as of September 15, 1972, The Los Angeles Thrifty Drug had at least one store in Washington. By 1974, two more states were added to that roster, which I believe were New Mexico and Wyoming, since those were states that Thrifty later pulled out of, along with all of the others ultimately. Also, a third Thrifty may have existed somewhere in Oregon and lasted until the early 1990s, though I haven't confirmed this or determined where it was or when it opened.
Do you know anything about tthe Rexall Drug that is on *i believe* Melrose and La Cieniga? I thought at one point when I was younger it used to say Thrify's (either in signage or something in the store gave it away) tho I could be wrong.
Pavilions, the new, the unusal, the BEST of everything!

Post Reply