Montgomery Ward Locations-Southern California-1960s & '70s

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Jason B.
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Montgomery Ward Locations-Southern California-1960s & '70s

Post by Jason B. » 13 Apr 2008 03:37

The following is information that I gleaned about Montgomery Ward locations in southern California in the 1960s and '70s from the archive of the Los Angeles Times:
(1) In Feb. 1961, the 9th Ward's store in California was under construction in Panorama City.
(2) August 1961 - Ward's now open in Mission Valley, San Diego.
(3) Feb. 1964 - Ward's now open at Topanga Plaza in Canoga Park - 139,000 square feet (a May department store in the center was 240,000 square feet).
(4) Nov. 1965 - Ward's now open in Covina.
(5) May 1966 - Ward's in Fullerton - then the largest Ward's in U.S. - 229,000 square feet.
(6) March 1967 - Ward's open in Rosemead.
(7) November 1970 - Ward's opening at 1833 La Cienega.
(8) Feb. 1972 - Ward's to build largest industrial park in Nevada (apparently to serve as distribution center for California locations). Primary motivation for location is Nevada's "Freeport Law;" absence of franchise, corporate income, personal income, inheritance, estate and gift taxes.
(9) October 1972 - Ward's to open 5 stores in California in 1973.
(10) Sept. 1973 - Ward's open at Eagle Rock Plaza near Pasadena (near future Glendale Freeway); Ward's in greater Los Angeles - from 3 stores in 1964 to 13 stores in 1973.

mike t. whittier ca
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Re: Montgomery Ward Locations-Southern California-1960s & '70s

Post by mike t. whittier ca » 13 Apr 2008 19:09

There was a wards store in santa Ana. 17th st. & Bristol. across from Santa Ana JR. College. I remember as kid going there. my parents used to shop there often. That area has sure changed.

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Re: Montgomery Ward Locations-Southern California-1960s & '70s

Post by Jeff » 14 Apr 2008 21:29

I know the Huntington Beach store opened in the 60's.

Pico Rivera's store was 1980.

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Re: Montgomery Ward Locations-Southern California-1960s & '70s

Post by ieguy441 » 17 Apr 2008 15:05

When did Wards enter the Riverside Plaza? I know that the WT Grants opened after 1957 and it became Wards thereafter.

But when?

The location was torn down (with the rest of Riverside Plaza minus Harris') when the Plaza was redeveloped a few years ago into a small "lifestyle" center.

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Re: Montgomery Ward Locations-Southern California-1960s & '70s

Post by Dean » 17 Apr 2008 16:01

San Bernardino would fall into this time frame.

It was an anchor of the Central City Mall (which became the Carousel Mall).

Wards is now vacant...as are the former JCPenney and Harris buildings.

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Re: Montgomery Ward Locations-Southern California-1960s & '70s

Post by luckysaver » 20 Apr 2008 12:57

I visited Covina when they had their liquidation sale (under the more simpler/modern Wards name) and the store was old fashioned (exterior and interior stuck in the 1960's) and the only modern thing was the Auto Center. The place was a mess - mostly bare walls, very little merchandise left, customers were buying not just the traditional Wards merchandise but also shelves, lighting, and other store fixtures (as with most department store liquidation sales). Then the whole lot was demolished and now IKEA and the 800 Barranca office building sits on the lot.

The LATimes archives has articles where the company wanted to move the store (circa 1972) across the street to West Covina's Eastland Mall after just 5-7 years on Barranca but they decided to stay (possibly due to political pressure from the City of Covina). There was talk on turning the Barranca site into a second Eastland Mall with Wards as the anchor as a possible solution, but the Covina Mall never happened and the lot just had Wards, the Auto Center, 2 large parking lots, and vacant land for future expansion.

Rosemead is now a Target, which recently had a complete exterior renovation.

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Re: Montgomery Ward Locations-Southern California-1960s & '70s

Post by Groceteria » 20 Apr 2008 13:26

luckysaver wrote:I visited Covina when they had their liquidation sale (under the more simpler/modern Wards name) and the store was old fashioned (exterior and interior stuck in the 1960's) and the only modern thing was the Auto Center.
Evidently, this was quite common at Montgomery Ward. Their store in my hometown operated into the 1990s, and may have even closed with its original garish 1976 orange and lime green shag carpet. The exterior was similarly dated, with orange and brown tile, although I think it was painted "concrete color" by the end.

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Re: Montgomery Ward Locations-Southern California-1960s & '70s

Post by Jeff » 20 Apr 2008 18:08

luckysaver wrote: Rosemead is now a Target, which recently had a complete exterior renovation.

luckysaver
But it still bears the MONTGOMERY WARDS labelscars. The only thing remodeled was they sealed off all the Wards Entrys and made a new corner entry for Target. Otherwise the building looks like it did as a Wards.

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Daniel
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Re: Montgomery Ward Locations-Southern California-1960s & '70s

Post by Daniel » 21 Apr 2008 23:12

Interesting, that, because the former Wards in Fresno (on North Blackstone) also became a Target, and they completely gutted the building and ripped off the whole facade to make it completely unrecognizeable as a former Wards. Oddly enough, the store had just been totally remodeled a year or three before the Wards chain folded and was really, really nice on the inside. They had also redone the exterior, and replaced the 1980's "Montgomery Ward" signage with the new "Wards" logo.

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Re: Montgomery Ward Locations-Southern California-1960s & '70s

Post by runchadrun » 27 Apr 2008 12:38

luckysaver wrote:the only modern thing was the Auto Center.
Was the Auto Center actually operated by Wards or did they franchise it out to a company like Penske, which is what Kmart did? If so that might explain why it was in better shape than the department store.

As for the Fresno store, I posted something about it a while back about a Thiftimart that opened in the Wards store, which is now a Smart & Final attached to Target. http://www.groceteria.com/board/viewtop ... =27&t=2213

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Re: Montgomery Ward Locations-Southern California-1960s & '70s

Post by luckysaver » 27 Apr 2008 13:24

I don't know if Wards Covina contracted their Auto Service Garage. Years ago, Kmart sold their Auto Centers to Penske. Later on, several Penske shops were sold to Purrfect Auto Centers (e.g Diamond Bar, Covina). Sears stores own their Auto Service Garages (West Covina, Industry).

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Re: Montgomery Ward Locations-Southern California-1960s & '70s

Post by Jeff » 27 Apr 2008 20:29

And the odd Covina Sears Auto Center. It's Still there even though the Department store was torn down over 10 years ago when the Covina Sears was moved to the West Covina Plaza, even though the original was torn down and it was moved to a back building (the original is a parking lot and taco bell - which had moved from down the street). I got off subject. I'm sorry....

The Montgomery Wards auto in Rosemead was torn down and is parking.

The Montgomery Wards auto in Pico Rivera was torn down for parking. It was torn down before the department store.

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Re: MONTGOMERY WARDS STILL ALIVE

Post by Dean » 15 Sep 2009 14:17

Still have my WARDS charge cards. NEVER used them.

The San Bernardino CA store is still sitting vacant.

The West Covina CA site was demolished/transformed into IKEA, which had moved from the City of Industry.

The City of Industry IKEA was demolished.

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Re: MONTGOMERY WARDS STILL ALIVE

Post by Jeff » 15 Sep 2009 19:03

Montgomery Wards Huntington Beach, still sitting empty.

Former Wards turned into Target:
Eagle Rock
Rosemead
Fullerton
Lakewood

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RandallFlagg
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Re: MONTGOMERY WARDS STILL ALIVE

Post by RandallFlagg » 15 Sep 2009 22:33

Jeff wrote:Montgomery Wards Huntington Beach, still sitting empty.

Former Wards turned into Target:
Eagle Rock
Rosemead
Fullerton
Lakewood
Also Montclair

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