Valu Mart in the Seattle, Tacoma, Everett area

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timbabcock
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Valu Mart in the Seattle, Tacoma, Everett area

Post by timbabcock » 21 Mar 2007 10:04

I know this name gets used quite a bit for grocery stores in different parts of the country but this one covers the Seattle based discount store chain that carried groceries and variety goods from the 50s, 60s and 70s. They started as a membership store like Gov't Mart did and eliminated that requirement back in the mid 60s at the the same time the competition (Gov Mart) did.

In the 70s they got out of the grocery business and leased the grocery sections to other companies such as Associated Grocers (most turned into Mark It Foods). They even switched their name to Leslies in 1974 before selling the company to Fred Meyer.

In the Midway neighborhood of Kent, Washington was a Fred Meyer that started as a Valu Mart back in 1967 or 1968. It was a very nice store in its day and better looking than the Tacoma and Georgetown locations (but not as nice as the Burien store when they took over the White Front and made it their flagship store). I shopped at this particular store for almost 40 years. Another one of the same design was built in Everett which Fluke would later move into to but they vacated that site several years ago.

The original store was torn down in Midway a few months ago. Fred Meyer is going to build a new store on the property from the ground up. It will also include a gas station where the Denny's used to be. This should be a big improvement to the neighborhood when it's completed.

I was curious if anyone knew why the chain fell apart in the 70s so fast. This company was everywhere. They even had sponsored a hydroplane that had an unusual design to it.

I don't know this if is true or not but didn't Valu Mart have an association with Weisfields at one time?

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Re: Valu Mart in the Seattle, Tacoma, Everett area

Post by tkaye » 25 Mar 2007 16:09

timbabcock wrote:I don't know this if is true or not but didn't Valu Mart have an association with Weisfields at one time?
Weisfield's owned Valu-Mart. It's possible that a discount chain was seen as a diversion (unprofitable, maybe?) from the company's core jewelry business and it was time to cut it loose.

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timbabcock
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Valu Mart

Post by timbabcock » 04 Apr 2007 19:15

One thing that is interesting is even though Valu Mart/Leslies hasn't been around for over thirty years they have owned most of the properties of their former locations until within the last few years.

It was becomming a problem for Fred Meyer because they wanted to demolish the former stores and build new ones but the owners wouldn't let them.

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Post by marshd1000 » 05 Apr 2007 15:33

A interesting fact about the former White Front/Valu-Mart/Leslies in Burien is that for many years after becoming Fred Meyer, it served as the Northern Region Offices for Fred Meyer. So it was kind of the "second" main office for the chain. Back in the day, the Northern Region had oversight over all Fred Meyer Stores in Washington from Lewis County on north and Eastern Washington, Northern Idaho, Montana and Alaska. Prior to that, the Northern Region Offices were located at the Empire Way Fred Meyer/Marketime store.

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timbabcock
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Post by timbabcock » 12 Apr 2007 15:29

A interesting fact about the former White Front/Valu-Mart/Leslies in Burien is that for many years after becoming Fred Meyer, it served as the Northern Region Offices for Fred Meyer
After it left the Burien location it was moved to the Midway Store Fomerly Valu-Mart/Leslies. Once the store was torn down though last October it appears it has relocated once again to another location (unless Kroger's eliminated it).

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Re: Valu Mart

Post by tkaye » 13 Apr 2007 12:41

timbabcock wrote:One thing that is interesting is even though Valu Mart/Leslies hasn't been around for over thirty years they have owned most of the properties of their former locations until within the last few years.

It was becomming a problem for Fred Meyer because they wanted to demolish the former stores and build new ones but the owners wouldn't let them.
As I mentioned in the gas stations thread, the Gov-Mart location in Lakewood/Tacoma is the same way... it's still owned by the estate of Joe Diamond. Obviously there was more of a profit to be made in leasing the properties than operating an entire chain of stores.

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timbabcock
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Post by timbabcock » 13 Apr 2007 19:36

Yeah that would surprise me that they still own that location. Joe Diamond was big into real estate.

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Re: Valu Mart in the Seattle, Tacoma, Everett area

Post by StoreLiker2013 » 31 Mar 2017 02:39

I wonder: wasn't the defunct Kent-Kangley Fred Meyer, at 12922 SE Kent-Kangley Road, one of the seven ex-Valu-Marts in this region (Sea-Tac)? Fred Meyer sold this store to Albertson's in 2001, and is currently a 24 Hour Fitness store.

Also, has anyone heard of the "Crossroads" Freddy's in this area? Where was that one?

~Ben

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