Woolco

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J-Man
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Woolco

Post by J-Man » 07 Jul 2006 01:11

Anyone remember them? They were Woolworths' attempt to compete with Kmart. The only one I can remember was at Point West Shopping Center on Arden Way in Sacramento. I believe it was later a Weinstocks Furniture Gallery and/or Clearance Center. I'm not sure what's there now, although there's a Circuit City in at least part of that space.

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Post by todd » 07 Jul 2006 05:27

In SC, there were at least 2.... Bell Tower Mall in Greenville (now entire mall is county office building) and Dutch Square in Columbia (a dead mall??). We never went there much, usually the K was predominate. Bell Tower seemed to be an out-of-the-way location.

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Post by Groceteria » 07 Jul 2006 10:31

Woolco was common all over the country, and often was connected with the construction of small, second-tier enclosed malls. Two such mallls were constructed in Charlotte NC and another location opened in an existing center, as has already been documented on this site. Woolwoth gave up on the Woolco concept about 1982.

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Post by danielh_512 » 07 Jul 2006 15:41

Woolco lasted much longer in Canada until about 1993, when the stores were sold to Wal-Mart, their first entry into Canada.

As for Woolcos in the Mid-Atlantic, there weren't too many. Only one off the top of my head was in Carlisle, PA at the old MJ Mall (now a TJ Maxx/Sears Outlet), it was a Hills, then Ames after Woolco.

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Post by TheQuestioner » 07 Jul 2006 16:02

The only Woolcos I can recall from the DC area were in New Carrolton attached to the Carrolton Mall (Best was the other "anchor" of this rather small mall) and a location on Rockville Pike, in the center that housed the famous "Gourmet Giant" There's still a Giant there, but it's much smaller than it originally was and not as unique in it's food offerings. Back in the 80's they were the place to go for stuff that is now easily found at Whole Foods or other boutique grocers. I think Woolco took up what was part of Giant's original space, when that location opened it was a Super Giant.

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Dave
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Post by Dave » 07 Jul 2006 17:27

There were two in Richmond. One opened in 1962 as an anchor in the first enclosed mall in Richmond, Azalea Mall. Interestingly, it's garden center, having gone from Woolco to Woolworth, still exists at the mall site under "independent" ownership, though the rest of the mall has been demolished.

The second Woolco opened on Midlothian Turnpike in the early-mid '70's, in a strip shopping center called Midlothian Mall. It was vacant for a while, served a short stint as a Food Carnival (Farm Fresh early entry into waehouse store format) and is now part of a warehouse complex. That place drives me crazy because of an addition to the property and security fencing that makes it impossible to take pictures of the original center, which is still pretty intact, down to what was a Trans-Lux twin theatre.

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Post by Super S » 08 Jul 2006 01:28

I seem to remember a few locations in Ohio in the early 80s that were branded "Woolworth-Woolco" and had that signage on the buildings, but the stores were MUCH smaller than a typical Kmart.

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Post by Edric Floyd » 09 Jul 2006 12:43

The only WOOLCO that my family actually shopped was in Delray Beach, Florida. I think it was built in the early 1970's at the Delray Beach mall located at Linton Blvd between US-1 "Federal Hwy" and Dixie Hwy. This also had an adjacent shopping center that had a Publix and Eckard Drug store.

The Delray Woolco also had an automotive service center.

I know there were other Woolco stores in South Florida but I cannot recall where they were. We only shopped at the one in Delray Beach.

Also when traveling I do remember seeing several Woolco stores throughout the South New Jersey and Suburban Philadelphia area.

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Woolco in Louisiana

Post by wnetmacman » 09 Jul 2006 16:32

There were about a dozen or so Woolco stores in Louisiana. I wasn't here to shop at them, but I can give you a list of locations and what became of them. As a note: most of the stores bought by Wal-Mart were gutted beyond recognition. Kmart stores were not remodeled much, but are all closed. Others are as listed. I might be wrong on some of these, and it might not be a complete list either.

Shreveport (2 stores):
W. 70th Street at Mansfield Rd.: First became Shreveport's original Home Depot (after being gutted); now houses Sutherland's Home Improvement.
Shreve City: Gutted to become Shreveport's original Sam's Club, then housed Burlington Coat Factory for several years. Recently torn down to facilitate construction of a new Wal-Mart Supercenter.

Alexandria:
S. MacArthur Drive at the circle: Sold to Wal-Mart, after which became Power Center with several smaller box (like Office Depot)

Opelousas:
Heather Lane at I-49: Sold to Wal-Mart. Later torn down for newer WMT in same center which has since been abandoned for a supercenter down the street.

Lafayette (2 locations):
NW Evangeline Thruway: Sold to Wal-Mart; converted to Bud's. Later became smaller box center when WMT moved out.
Johnston St.: Sold to Wal-Mart. Later became Academy Sports, who is currently constructing their new store.

New Iberia:
Lewis St.: Sold to Wal-Mart. Subleased to Super 1 Foods after move.

Bayou Vista (Morgan City):
US 90: Sold to Wal-Mart. Later became smaller box center when WMT moved out.

Houma:
W. Park: Sold to Wal-Mart; converted to Bud's. Now a self storage facility.

Thibodaux:
St. Mary St.: Sold to Kmart. Now vacant.

Cut Off:
LA 1: Sold to Kmart. Broken into smaller box center, but partially vacant.

Baton Rouge (3 locations):
Plank Rd. at Airline: Vacant since closure.
Perkins Rd.: Became WMT; currently awaiting redevelopment
Florida Blvd.: Housing several local businesses.

Gonzales:
US61: Sold to Wal-Mart. Currently housing a manufacturing facility.

LaPlace:
US 61: Vacant after closure for many years. Status unknown.

Hammond:
US 190, W. Thomas: Sold to Kmart. Currently vacant.

Slidell:
W. Gause: Sold originally to Wal-Mart. Subleased to several smaller boxes.

Greater New Orleans area:

Kenner/Metairie Line:
Veterans Memorial: Vacant, became Oshman's during brief stint outside TX.

Marrero:
Lapalco at Belle Promenade/Barataira Blvd.: Became Delchamps, then Albertsons. Now vacant.

New Orleans:
Chef Menteur: Was originally Sears. Converted to Woolco before closure. Now self storage.
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Post by dcgrocery » 09 Jul 2006 19:59

There were several other locations in the DC area, not previously mentioned - 1) Alexandria, VA (Beacon Mall anchor) 2) Forestville, MD (shopping center, anchor with A&P / Dart Home 3) Clinton, MD (freestanding building).

I was at the grand opening of the Clinton, MD Woolco. It was around Fall 1981. They had a DJ in the parking lot giving out records and the pet dept. gave out goldfish in clear plastic bags. This store was nothing like the 1970's ones that most are familiar with. It might have been one of the last in the chain to open since the whole operation shut down a year later. The store had no floor or ceiling tiles and was like a dark warehouse with minimal shelving and signage. The floor was concrete painted brown and it had gym-style halogen lights. This store had no snack-bar or restaurant. The building is now used by a Shoppers Food Warehouse and has some small stores carved into one side.

One thing I noticed about Woolco - they never seemed to shutter stores, even the lemon locations and poor performers. They all hung on and closed at once when the concept was phased out. Can anyone think of a Woolco that closed before 1982? This was similar to Zayre. Most locations hung on until the very end with Ames.

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Post by danielh_512 » 09 Jul 2006 23:42

What's scary is that 1981 Woolco sounds like a brand new Wal-Mart Supercenter.

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Post by jamcool » 10 Jul 2006 13:35

All of the Woolcos in Phoenix were located in shopping centers called "Hayden Plazas" They were co-named by the part of the city,or the town they were in...Hayden Plaza West, Hayden Plaza North, Hayden Plaza Tempe, Hayden Plaza Mesa. They all had similar design and the same tenant mix-Woolco, Woolworth's, Fry's Food Store, SuperX, and a smattering of other shops.

wnetmacman
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Post by wnetmacman » 10 Jul 2006 17:48

Most of the Woolcos here were in shopping centers as such too, mostly paired with Delchamps food stores. The centers were usually geographically named; for instance the New Iberia, LA store was in what was known as Iberia Plaza, Bayou Vista was in St. Mary Plaza (for the civil parish it resided in) and so on. I only know of a few stores that weren't paired as such; Shreveport's 70th st. store was paired with Kroger.

Most of the shopping center pairings were with the newer, large entrance Woolco, as opposed to the stores with an overhang.
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Post by turbocsx » 08 Aug 2006 23:12

in NY most of the woolco stores were scooped up by the mighty Caldor chain (sister chain was venture stores in california) Caldor operated the stores approximately 15-18 years before going bankrupt. now, the majority of those locations are occupied by Kohl's.

wnetmacman
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Venture...

Post by wnetmacman » 08 Aug 2006 23:16

Venture stores were primarily in the Midwest, with stores reaching as far south as Dallas and Houston, but never in California. They went out of business not long after Caldor. The majority of their stores went to Kmart, who has since closed most of them.
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