White Front Stores

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javelin
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Postby javelin » 05 Jul 2006 02:22

TheQuestioner wrote:
Jeff wrote:Looking at 2222 S Harbor Bl, that's where the Toys R Us was located. I doubt this buildnig was White Front, but there is a large empty lot it looks behind it.


Somewhere near there, either on Harbor Blvd. or a parallel street, there was an abandoned supermarket, complete with a giant sign in the shape of a letter "T" I could not see any name or other identifying features. The sign was battered, and it looked like it had been closed for many years. It was one of the first "ghost" stores I had ever seen, and it fascinated me. I'm sure it had some influence on my continued interest in vintage and bygone stores.

Obviously, it was not still there rotting in 2004 (Anaheim isn't Harvey, Illinois after all)


I used to pass that store every morning on my way to school, maybe got me fascinated with old stores too. What is it now anyway?

Forgot to add, the Target on Orange Show in San Bernardino was once a White Front, and the former Target on Mountain in Ontario was also once a White Front. Both had also been Fedmarts.

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runchadrun
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Postby runchadrun » 05 Jul 2006 08:27

javelin wrote:Forgot to add, the Target on Orange Show in San Bernardino was once a White Front, and the former Target on Mountain in Ontario was also once a White Front. Both had also been Fedmarts.

I read in a Wikipedia entry that the Orange Show store still had the White Front arch. I used to go to that store a lot in college but I don't remember the arch but I wasn't paying attention to that kind of thing at the time. Is there still an arch there?

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Postby javelin » 05 Jul 2006 13:55

runchadrun wrote:
javelin wrote:Forgot to add, the Target on Orange Show in San Bernardino was once a White Front, and the former Target on Mountain in Ontario was also once a White Front. Both had also been Fedmarts.

I read in a Wikipedia entry that the Orange Show store still had the White Front arch. I used to go to that store a lot in college but I don't remember the arch but I wasn't paying attention to that kind of thing at the time. Is there still an arch there?


No, they did a major renovation a couple of years ago. Looks like a regular Target facade now.

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Postby TheStranger » 11 Nov 2006 05:21

I found this photo (originally in color) of the White Front arch in Pleasant Hill, CA, on page 6 of the April 1966 issue of Chain Store Age...from a DuPont ad.

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larger: http://dtcwrt.earlracing.com/stores/csa ... -phill.jpg
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Postby Paper or Plastic » 16 Nov 2006 20:21

There was a White Front on Hegenberger Blvd in Oakland. It was a Home Club / Home Base in the 90's then it closed when the chain went under. The building was HUGE. It was so big that there was a Free tradezone type wharehouse that used the back of the building. I worked at the Auto Parts Club that was sandwiched next door ( a tilt up building) . The "scar" of the White Front arch was very visible on the front of Home Base. The whole structure burned to the ground in Oct 2005 from the "homeless" living in it . Auto Parts Club was closed in Oct 1995.

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timbabcock
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White Fronts in the Seattle market

Postby timbabcock » 19 Mar 2007 01:05

We had White Fronts up here as well.

The Burien Washington store I think my Dad helped in the construction of that one. I remember going there when it was opened but I don't remember much about the inside of it. That archway was pretty impressive though.

After they shut the company down Valu Mart (a Seattle based discount store chain who liked to drop the "e" from their ) bought the store out, covered the arch up with vinyl siding in a 70s style of the day, and turned it into their flagship store. That store was very nice when they took it over and remodeled the whole inside of it. I wish I had photos to show it to you but they managed to make a mall in it for a funiture store, a Hallmark Shop, and an arcade as well. It had a bit of a department store look to it and they took very good care of that store. When the name changed to Leslie's though, it was all over and they sold the whole chain to Fred Meyer.

It seemed like in Tacoma, they built a few stores pretty close to each other. One was north of Tacoma Mall and became a Jafco (later Best), and one not too far from Heidelberg Park which is a Fred Meyer as well. It was originally designed the same way as the Burien store was.

I wonder if the Fred Meyer on 72nd and Pacific was a White Front. It looks pretty similar to the other store they own.

The one in Everett became The Bon. They used it for the start of Everett Mall.

The North Seattle location is a K-Mart (as far as I know). They did a similar arch covering like Valu Mart did.

On the Fred Meyer stores, when they remodeled them a few years ago, they tore the arches down and redesigned new fronts to them.

What a shame that they did that.

Someone once told me there were still building White Fronts up until they sold the company and didn't even leave time to let the paint dry on the parking lots.

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Re: White Fronts in the Seattle market

Postby marshd1000 » 20 Mar 2007 01:39

timbabcock wrote:.

I wonder if the Fred Meyer on 72nd and Pacific was a White Front. It looks pretty similar to the other store they own.


The Fred Meyer at 72nd and Pacific in Tacoma and the one at 19th and Stevens plus the one in Bellingham are all the same design. They were built around 1972-1974 and were originally built for Fred Meyer. The Burien and Bellevue White Front/Valu-Mart/Leslies became Fred Meyers around 1975. In fact before the acquisition of Valu-Mart/Leslies, the only Fred Meyer bannered stores in the Seattle area were the Tacoma, Lynnwood and Bellingham stores. However Fred Meyer did have a presence in the Seattle area through the ownership of Marketime Drug Stores. Eventually Marketime became known as Fred Meyer/Marketime until eventually becoming known as just Fred Meyer.

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Re: White Fronts in the Seattle market

Postby tkaye » 20 Mar 2007 03:00

marshd1000 wrote:The Fred Meyer at 72nd and Pacific in Tacoma and the one at 19th and Stevens plus the one in Bellingham are all the same design. They were built around 1972-1974 and were originally built for Fred Meyer.

You're right... the only White Front in Tacoma was the S. 38th & Pine location, near the Tacoma Mall. Valu-Mart had an oddly located store on S. 35th Street, just north of the Lincoln Heights housing project, that opened in 1960. They relocated to the White Front location in 1973, where they stayed until 1976... Jafco then moved in and the building was divided up. The old Valu-Mart location on 35th became Corcoran's Department Store (owned by Channel 13 movie host Bob Corcoran) for a few years and then was bought by the county and remodeled into offices in 1976.

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timbabcock
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Postby timbabcock » 20 Mar 2007 19:49

The Fred Meyer at 72nd and Pacific in Tacoma and the one at 19th and Stevens


I stand corrected on that one. I could have sworn they had gray covering like the Burien store had on the 19th and Stevens location.

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Postby tkaye » 25 Mar 2007 16:24

I did a little checking and found that the Fred Meyer locations in Tacoma are about 35,000 to 40,000 square feet larger than the old White Front store (which was about 105,000 square feet). I'd imagine a lot of that difference is the rental spaces at the entrance to the Fred Meyer stores.

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Thrifti-Mart on Harbor Blvd. in Garden Grove

Postby OCRedCub » 26 Mar 2007 01:24

I believe the large T sign you describe on Harbor Boulevard just south of Disneyland was on the northwest corner of Chapman and Harbor. It was an old Thrifti-Mart that was vacant for many years before the Hyatt Regency hotel was built on the property.

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Kenny
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Re: Thrifti-Mart on Harbor Blvd. in Garden Grove

Postby Kenny » 28 Mar 2007 02:40

OCRedCub wrote:I believe the large T sign you describe on Harbor Boulevard just south of Disneyland was on the northwest corner of Chapman and Harbor. It was an old Thrifti-Mart that was vacant for many years before the Hyatt Regency hotel was built on the property.


This was store #9 and it was in Anaheim on Harbor and "Orangewood" not Chapman :) many years ago there was a Union 76 gas station on the corner way out front of this store ... this T-mart set way back from Harbor, with a string of small shops on the north side ...

there was a T-mart in Garden Grove at Chapman and Brookhurst ... that one closed in the early 70's

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White Front Discount Supermarket-1971-Pleasant Hill, Calif.

Postby Jason B. » 11 Jun 2007 04:23

I was surprised to learn from a Contra Costa Times 1971 edition that the "White Front" retail chain had a grocery section in at least one of its locations. An ad in the March 10, 1971 edition for the Pleasant Hill store (560 Contra Costa Blvd.) mentioned separate "supermarket" hours and was devoted almost exclusively to grocery items.

The ad also mentioned quite prominently, "PICKETS DO NOT PERTAIN TO SUPERMARKET." Does anyone know what this means? Was White Front unionized? Does this refer to labor strife?

An ad in the March 24, 1971 edition refers to the "White Front Discount Supermarket" in Pleasant Hill.

The March 25, 1971 edition has an ad that refers to nine White Front locations in the San Francisco Bay Area (including Pleasant Hill and Fremont). That ad was devoted to non-grocery items.

Speaking of Pleasant Hill, if anyone wants to photograph a distinctive 1960s mini-mall, go to the Kohl's/CineArts center at I-680/Monument Blvd. soon. The "mall" appears as if it was open-air at one time, but later enclosed with glass walls. Most of the stores are now vacant. I was surprised that the "mall" interior was still open when I visited on June 9th. The anchor store was once Montgomery Ward -- it opened in 1962. The Kohl's is located on its site. The 1960s "mall" -- its days are numbered.

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Postby Groceteria » 11 Jun 2007 09:55

Jason B. wrote:he ad also mentioned quite prominently, "PICKETS DO NOT PERTAIN TO SUPERMARKET." Does anyone know what this means? Was White Front unionized? Does this refer to labor strife?

Sounds to me as it White Front, like Kmart, had some stores with leased grocery departments operated by other retailers or wholesalers. That would explain why a strike against the main store might not necessarily have also been a strike against the grocery department.

I know that many SF/Peninsula White Front stores had Brentwood Markets attached, as per this thread. I've wondered if the Brentwoods always operated under their own names or if they too were referred to as "White Front Supermarket" at some point. I know the buildings appear to have been designed to make the whole thing look like something of a seemless whole.

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Postby javelin » 12 Jun 2007 02:51

I know that many SF/Peninsula White Front stores had Brentwood Markets attached, as per this thread. I've wondered if the Brentwoods always operated under their own names or if they too were referred to as "White Front Supermarket" at some point. I know the buildings appear to have been designed to make the whole thing look like something of a seemless whole.


The White Front on Mountain in Ontario had been referred to as a combo retail store/supermarket, too big for a discount store alone even by today's standards. It's been long deserted and will be razed soon if it hasn't already.


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