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Grocers in "real" malls - not strip malls

Posted: 07 Nov 2005 16:28
by Groceteria
This was one of the more active and interesting threads on the old message board and I've reposted it here so we can continue with it:

Posted by luvgrocerystores on 11/3/2005, 1:40 am

Way back when it seems like some "real" indoor malls had grocery stores. I guess the idea was that you could do all your shopping without moving your car. And maybe mall rents were relatively cheaper then?

A couple examples I recall:

ValueMarket in Bashford Manor Mall here in Louisville, closed around 2001, Bashford Manor torn down and replaced by SuperWalmart about a year ago.

Sentry in Hilldale Mall, Madison, WI. There might still be some sort of grocer in that mall altho I think the Sentry chain is defunct. Last time I was there, about a year ago, we didn't go to that end of the mall.

Rainbow in Terrace Mall, Minneapolis, MN. Other anchor was a Monkey Ward. This mall changed over to a strip mall around 1995.

Posted by Neel on 11/3/2005, 2:28 am

There is a Pavillions (safeway) supermarket in the Westside Pavillion mall in West Los Angeles. I always thought it was cool to have a grocery store alongside Foot Locker, Macy's, and Bath and Body Works.

In Australia, it is very common for an indoor mall to have Big W (wal-mart ripoff), K-mart, Woolworths grocery store, Post Office and Public Library.

Posted by jamcool on 11/3/2005, 1:20 pm

In Phoenix we had Maryvale Shopping City. It not only had a Wards, a Sears catalog store, and a Kresges, but it had 2 Supermarkets and 2 Drugstores. on one side was an El Rancho and a Revco, while on the other side was a Fry's and an old-fashioned Walgreens (with fountain!), of which both stores shared the same entrance - it was an air-cooled walkway with Fry's on one side and Wag's on the other.

Posted by TheQuestioner on 11/3/2005, 4:15 pm

I recall seeing grocery stores attached to malls in the DC area. In Wheaton MD there was a Giant built onto Wheaton Plaza, which was an outdoor-type 50's mall and made indoor in the late 70's. The Giant did not have mall access but it's entrance was right next to a mall entrance.

I saw on one of these message boards that Parole Plaza mall in Bowie Md. had a Food Fair, so the practice seems to be rather common for 1950's-1960's era malls. Malls from that time also seemed to have at least one drug store and one 5-10. Wheaton Plaza had a People's Drug and I believe a Kresge as well. Many malls had Woolworths.

I think the mall was a pretty new concept at that point, and they were still figuring out what types of businesses complemented each other. By the 1970's, it seems like they decided that grocery stores being attached to malls made little sense. 70's and 80's malls seemed to be more about having 3 or 4 strong anchors with a mix of food, clothes and amusements such as music stores, theaters, and arcades. Most of these businesses were more "upscale" and were all about discretionary spending, not errand-based shopping for necessities.

Now we have stores that try to do it all like Wal-Mart and Target. Frankly, I preferred having stores that had core strengths they focused on, rather then a big box that is average at everything and masterful of nothing. I miss places like Woolworths and Kresge for the "I just need to pick up a..." type of errand. In the transition from malls to freestanding big boxes, the grocery stores may stage a comeback. With so many disparate elements clustered together, there might as well be groceries (that is if a Wal-Mart isn't already there) The Wheaton Plaza Giant store was torn down (along with an entire wing of the mall which it was the endpiece of) to make way for Macys, and they built a new freestanding Giant in the area that was once their own parking lot. I wouldn't be surprised to see it still there in 15 years, by which time Wheaton Plaza will have probably be de-malled and semi-reverted to what it once was, an outdoor shopping center with an odd mix of stores. Sunrise, sunset...

Posted by tesg on 11/3/2005, 8:40 pm

The Beaverton Mall in my hometown of Beaverton, OR, had a supermarket as an anchor. In the seventies, the flow as you walked north up the corridor took you past Scamp's pet store, then Payless Drug, then Troy's fish market, then you were in the supermarket. It was just sort of like...there you were. No official entrance, really.

As the mall expanded, Cub Foods, now known in the Northwest as WinCo Foods, took over the space and built a new monster of a store sometime in the mid 80's, I think.

WinCo has no mall access. Actually, the whole north corridor of the mall has long since disappeared in favor of big box operations, including Best Buy. It's not even called "Beaverton Mall" anymore. It's now known as "Cedar Hills Crossing".

The Dixie Square Mall in Harvey, Illinois, one of the most famous "dead malls" out there (closed in 1979...was the mall in the "Blues Brothers"), had a Jewell store as an anchor.

We have a Fareway with mall access anchoring a small, older local mall. It's really not much of a mall anymore...the DMV takes up a significant amount of the retail space anymore...but it's still operating as a mall.

Posted by Toby Radloff on 11/3/2005, 10:57 pm

Back in the 1960's/early 1970's Richmond Mall (Richmond Heights, OH), Chapel Hill Mall (Akron), Westgate Mall (Fairview Park), and Great Lakes Mall (Mentor) all had Krogers. Fisher Foods (aka Fazio's) had a store at Severance Center (Cleveland Heights) the mid-1980's the Fazio's was demolished and replaced with a Finast (now Tops). Westgate and Parmatown malls had Pick-N-Pay's, and there used to be an A&P in the Parmatown strip next door to the mall. I think Great Lakes Mall also had a Fazio's, but don't remember offhand. But back in the early 1960's, both Great Lakes and Westgate malls were open-air malls that were later enclosed.

Posted by David on 11/3/2005, 11:42 pm

I remember one in Billings, MT (at least in 2000) there was a Smith's (former Albertsons) on the old mall on Grand Ave. Of course this might be going bye bye if Kroger and Albertsons merge.

Posted by storewanderer on 11/4/2005, 12:17 am

Both Smiths in Billings have closed.

Posted by JamesSF on 11/4/2005, 12:59 am

Hilltop Mall on top of a hill overlooking San Francisco in Richmond had an Albertsons in its complex that has since closed. Also The Macys moved to the old Emporium laying vacant for years with talks if it becoming a Target (Target is a trend in Bay area malls now) Also besides the now defunct Albertsons on the south side there was another grocery store next door to the closed down drug store on the west side of mall. I'm not sure when this mall complex was built(67??) but there are banks and old furniture shops adjacent that are churches and also alot of closed things around it, but they are now going through a renewal

Posted by Spike on 11/5/2005, 1:36 pm

At Northgate Mall in Seattle, there was a QFC. You had to go down a hallway to get into the store, it was sort of turned sideways. It has since moved a mile away, and the space is now the food court.

In Denver, the old Wards store at Lakeside Mall is now an Avanza grocery store. There is no mall access, but you can look through some windows in the bakery area into the mall. I wonder why they did that.

In the 80s, there seemed to be a trend of putting store-like operations in department stores, to copy an operation at Macy's. Frederick & Nelson in Seattle redid their basement to include a food store, along with the book area, greeting cards, and various other operations. IT was called The Arcade. In theory, you could do quite a bit of your grocery shopping down there. It was quite the rage when it first opened, but it lost its luster quickly, and the food offerings were shrunk sooner than other stuff down there. That chain went bankrupt in the 80s or 90s, and the main store in downtown Seattle is now the Nordstrom flagship store.

Posted by Marshall on 11/5/2005, 3:54 pm

Southcenter Mall in Tukwila, WA and Tacoma Mall both had Lucky Stores. Southcenter had a Pay 'n Save across from Lucky and Tacoma Mall had PayLess Drug of Tacoma (not Payless NW) across from Lucky.

Talking about department stores with food, Woodward's department stores in Western Canada had full supermarkets as part of their stores. They were called, "Woodward's Famous Food Floors". This chain is now defunct. Before they went under, many of the food floors were leased to Safeway.[/b]

Milwaukee downtown Gimbels had some groceries

Posted: 08 Nov 2005 01:37
by rrr
in the basement if I recall correctly, along with for sure wine and possibly other tasty beverages.

Posted: 12 Nov 2005 18:20
by Lenny
Weis markets had a few mall stores. Store #54 in Whithall was entirely enclosed inside the mall, with a pair of outside doors that were only used when the store was open, but not the mall. The area behind the front-end was where the entrance to the mall was (similar to most mall stores). In 1998, the mall was converted to a strip mall, and in turn the store was converted into an "outside" store.
I know of two others that they had. Store 85 was attached to a mall as an anchor, but it didn't have an inside entrance like the other store had. Store 186 in bethlehem is also an inside mall store. The front end was also open to the mall like the whitehall store. It is weird to see the shopping carts lined up in the mall walkway.

Posted: 13 Nov 2005 21:56
by parkave231
Two that come to mind offhand are:

Cub Foods at Greenbriar Mall in Atlanta. Unfortunately, this store is no longer with us, as Cub pulled out of Atlanta. I think this store was originally a JCPenney....but I honestly have no clue. Maybe it was a Woolworth's. Either way, the point I'm trying to make is that it was not an original anchor of the mall, which was built in the 1960s. The Cub was around in the mid-to-late 1990s.

Kroger at Parkaire Mall in (north metro) Atlanta. This was a tiny, but fully enclosed, mall, complete with a skating rink. We used to shop here all the time. In the mid-1980s, they made the mall into a strip mall, and a Kroger is still there -- but it's not the original store. I have hazy memories of the store having a mall entrance...but that's about it.

Actually, I think many of the older Atlanta malls had grocery stores included in them. Lenox and Cobb Centre both had Big Stars, I believe; Ansley Mall (which I believe is now more of a strip) still has a Publix (I don't know what it was before); and it wouldn't surprise me to find out others had grocery stores at one point. However, I can't think of any mall-based grocery stores remaining in Atlanta, unless you count Ansley.


Posted: 14 Nov 2005 21:22
by parkave231
Oh, and I forgot about Charlotte, where I live now.

(Dislaimer: I wasn't here when the following was...I can't guarantee 100% accuracy. :wink: )

It seems that in the beginning of the Charlotte mall landscape, the format was to have a smallish enclosed mall, the anchors of which were a Woolco-type store and a grocery store. Most of the grocers were, I believe, Kroger, which sold their stores to Bi-Lo a while ago and haven't been back since. If I recall correctly, there were 4 or 5 small malls built this way.

Nowadays, these malls are mostly dead. One exception is the Tryon Mall, which has been revitalized as an Asian-oriented marketplace, including -- ta da -- 2 Asian grocery stores.


Posted: 14 Nov 2005 23:49
by Groceteria
parkave231 wrote:Oh, and I forgot about Charlotte, where I live now.

(Dislaimer: I wasn't here when the following was...I can't guarantee 100% accuracy. :wink: )

It seems that in the beginning of the Charlotte mall landscape, the format was to have a smallish enclosed mall, the anchors of which were a Woolco-type store and a grocery store. Most of the grocers were, I believe, Kroger, which sold their stores to Bi-Lo a while ago and haven't been back since. If I recall correctly, there were 4 or 5 small malls built this way.

Nowadays, these malls are mostly dead. One exception is the Tryon Mall, which has been revitalized as an Asian-oriented marketplace, including -- ta da -- 2 Asian grocery stores.

Actually, Kroger was in two of these "smaller malls" in Charlotte (one whose name I forget on Tyvola Road, and Northpark at Eastway and Tryon) along with Richway, a discount store which later became Gold Circle and then Target. These date from the late 1970s. The Northpark Kroger became a Bi-Lo for a while. The mall on Tyvola was torn down for a Costco store.

Tryon Mall, another "small mall", originally opened with a Woolco discount store in the mall and a Park & Shop in the parking lot. The Woolco store became one of the first Winn-Dixie Marketplace stores in Charlotte in about 1987 (and closed a few years later).

Yet another small one, Freedom Mall, opened in the early 1970s with an attached Harris-Teeter and another Richway.

And, way back in 1959, Charlottetown Mall (later Outlet Square, then Midtown Square, and soon a vacant lot awaiting a new big box development) opened with an attached Colonial store, which later became a Big Star and then a Harris-Teeter. It closed in 1988.

I honestly can't remember which of the "connected" stores had mall entrances, although I'm pretty sure Charlottetown did. In addition, Eastland and Southpark, the two regional malls in Charlotte, had peripheral (unattached) stores. Eastland's Harris-Teeter is still (barely) open, while Southpark's Colonial/Big Star/Harris-Teeter closed almost ten years ago.

Having now exhausted the subject of supermarkets in Charlotte malls, I'm going to bed...

Posted: 15 Nov 2005 00:55
by krogerclerk
The Ansley Mall Publix is a reconstruct of the previous store, originally Kroger then Big Star and A&P. Big Star, under Grand Union, did a thorouhg remodel of the Kroger into Grand Union decor and layout and its origins as Kroger were visually obscured. A&P did little cosmetic change other than the name and replacing the ICL registers with IBM 4680. Publix has also opened in Cobb Center, though no longer a mall.

Supermarkets in Malls

Posted: 15 Nov 2005 21:12
by rich
Supermarkets quit being located in malls around the mid-60s. Occasionally they turned up on outparcels near later malls, like Euclid Square Mall in Cleveland (a Fazio) or South DeKalb Mall near Atlanta (Winn-Dixie). Sometimes they survived malling, like the super markets at Westgate in Cleveland (although one moved to an outparcel) or the Grand Union that was at Prince George's Plaza.

The Great Lakes Mall Fazio's was on an outparcel and replaced a Fisher Foods that was original to the mall (in an unenclosed wing) and which was demolished for the Sears store. The Severance Fisher's was always outside the mall in a "convenience wing", a type of unenclosed mall section with service businesses that was common in early enclosed malls. Fisher's was near the long running Pekoc Hardware and Shaker Square Liquors.

Other random examples of supermarkets at: Jewel was at Randhurst, NW of Chicago. Giant at 7 Corners outside of DC. National (Standard) at College Mall in Bloomington, IN.

Posted: 15 Nov 2005 21:24
by parkave231
Groceteria wrote:[...(one whose name I forget on Tyvola Road...
It wasn't called "WestPark," was it? That sticks in my mind somehow.

Either way, thanks for filling me in! I didn't even notice that you're in Charlotte, too.... :lol:

And Krogerclerk, thanks for filling me in on Ansley.


Posted: 15 Nov 2005 23:49
by Groceteria
Groceteria wrote:Either way, thanks for filling me in! I didn't even notice that you're in Charlotte, too.... :lol:
It's a fairly recent return for me, but I was also here 1986-1990...

Posted: 16 Nov 2005 02:17
by rrr
Today I stopped by one of the bigger at least in square footage retail fiascos in Louisville - one where the grocery store built the mall.

Middletown Station was built as a Bigg's Hypermarket in a small indoor mall around the early 90's. As far as I know, the only other stores were a Lerner (today's NY & Co.), a Claire's, a local shoe repair place, a tiny food court, and maybe a chain jeweler. There were some spaces that were never rented. The Bigg's flopped around 2001 and everything else closed shortly thereafter. As seems common with defunct malls, a Burlington Coat Factory soon moved in after it was displaced when its previous location was torn down to make way for a Wild Oats anchored strip mall. Ironically enough, the BCF will soon be kicked out again when the whole place is turned into a SuperWally and I'll bet it winds up across the street from its original location in a soon-defunct Rhodes Furniture.

Anyhow, when it was going good the Biggs was a fairly nice supercenter very much like the remaining ones in Cincy and the Lerner was pretty cool with a sort of split level design inside the store and doors both to the mall and to the outside. Lerner signs and even some of the fixtures are still up, if there is such a thing as a collector of Lerner memorabilia they'd be in tall cotton.

Posted: 21 Nov 2005 21:50
by Jeff
There are three malls here with anchors currently.

The afforementioned Westside Pavillion is one.....

The other two are:

Westfield Century City - has a Gelsons located between an Bloomingdales and Macys, now uncer an AMC Theatre.

Paseo Colorado - this mall also has a Gelsons anchoring it. Its in what was a JCPenney store. However this mall is a new center with apartments on top of the mall.

Eastland Mall (Now Eastland Center) has an Albertsons (former Lucky) on the outskirts that has been there since the center opened. The mall however died and was big boxed, but the market is there.

Indian Hill Mall in Pomona, CA had a Giant (later Ralphs) anchor one end. Oddly enough after the market closed, it became an elementary school. The mall is closed, but its anchors (A swap meet and a school) are still there.

"real malls" 1960

Posted: 01 Dec 2005 02:38
by jimcrowl
Back in 1960 the two major malls in the Western United States were Hillsdale (san mateo, Calif), and the newly opened Lloyd Center(portland, Or). Both were around 100 stores, and at the time were NOT enclosed. Hillsdale Mall had two supermarkets (Mayfair, and Lloyds Groceteria) and Lloyd Center had a Safeway (still there, but has been remodeled throughout the years). For a number of years afterward this seemed to be no less common than major dept stores. Typically the supermarkets located at an end of the malls so as to offer easy access to lots of parking. Both the Lloyd CenterSafeway and Hillsdale Mayfair were modern supermarkets in their day. As I recall the novel thing about the Mayfair was that the liquor dept was located by itself across from the checkout lanes so that it could be roped off and closed on Sundays. The store had a giant square bin which was filled with cardboard boxes. The question was not "paper or plastic" but "boxes or bags", as the clerks would gladly grab a box for your groceries. Meat was all cut at the store- one could see beef hanging on hooks and meat cutters at work in the background, yet it offered a large modern "self service" meat dept with several buttons in case you needed a special cut from one of the butchers.

Richmond, VA Grocery Anchors

Posted: 12 Dec 2005 03:20
by kg4peq
I have seen grocery stores in malls only twice here in Richmond, VA. Willow Lawn, Richmond's first mall, opened in the 1950's in a (now) bizarre drive-thru format. Later expanded and enclosed, it was anchored by a movie theater, grocery store, and two local department store chains-- Thalhimer's and Miller & Roads. It also had a large G.C. Murphy store which could be entered through either the front or back, as there was parking on either side of that "wing" of the mall. I forget whether Peoples Drug or Standard Drug was in the mall and what the original grocery anchor was (thinking Safeway) but today the mall is still clinging on and anchored by a Dillard's and a Kroger, formerly Hannaford.

The other grocery-anchored mall was Azalea Mall, which was bulldozed a few years ago. In its heyday it was anchored by a large G.C. Murphy and Pantry Pride at the south end, both a Peoples Drug (Eckerd) and Standard Drug (CVS) along with either Thalhimers or Miller & Roads in the middle, and Woolco at the north end. In addition to the G.C. Murphy and Woolco, there was also a Woolworth in the mall. Eventually the Woolco became an Ames, Pantry Pride spent a brief period sporting some of the A&P banners, and then closed completely. The local anchor closed, Ames had its financial problems, crime rose in the mall, and it was eventually leveled.

Outside of those two malls, I've never personally seen a grocery store in a shopping mall, and can definitely see where that concept wouldn't be as appealing today as it was in the 50's and 60's.

Richmond, VA

Posted: 12 Dec 2005 08:55
by Dave
Technically, before they renovated it, Willow Lawn wasn't a mall, but a large shopping center in a strip configuration. Originally, Giant Food was an anchor at one end, with JC Penney at the other. There was also a Safeway added later in a strange location at the rear of the center. The Giant is now Tower Records and the Safeway was torn down when they "malled" the center in the 1980's.

Azalea Mall was Richmond's first true mall. I can't remember if the grocery at Azalea opened into the mall or not (I don't think so).

Excuse me for being a curmudgeon, but I think of a "mall" as being an enclosed shoppping center. A "strip mall" is a condradiction in terms to me. Back in the late 1970's there seemed to have been a lot of shopping centers that used the mall name that weren't malls at all (Chippenham Mall and Beaufont Mall in Richmond immediately come to mind). I suppose that was to cash in on the trend of the times.

Now, of course, using the word "mall" in your name seems to be the kiss of death!