FedMart Southern California?

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OCRedCub
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FedMart Southern California?

Post by OCRedCub » 07 Sep 2006 04:15

I remember a discounter in the 1970s called FedMart. Kind of an early warehouse store. There was one on Lincoln Ave in Anaheim (west of Euclid Ave.) now a Target and one on the northwest corner of Beach Blvd. and Imperial Highway in La Habra (entire shopping center now demolished and replaced with a circa 1990 Smiths now Vons)

mgrmk
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Post by mgrmk » 07 Sep 2006 12:15

FedMart was the super Wal-Mart of its day. Very similar to Target but with a full grocery store. Target purchased FedMart in the early 80's and that was there frist entry into SoCal.

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Post by jamcool » 07 Sep 2006 14:50

Actually FedMart was founded in the 50s by Sol Price, who sold it to the same German family that ran Aldi. Price then created Price Club (now Costco). Apparently FM couldn't keep up with the KMarts and Targets, and they went out of business in the early 80s. Target did pick up a number of FM sights.

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Post by OCRedCub » 07 Sep 2006 16:22

It's been at least 20 years, so I might be wrong here, but the FedMart I remember most clearly (in La Habra) was about 90% food items / sundries / liquor. Not at all like a Target or (my understanding of a ) Super WalMart.
No clothing section, jewelry, toys, furniture.
But I also vaguely recall a gas station, car repair, tire shop that was freestanding and possibly linked to the store. The Anaheim location had this feature as well.

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Post by Jeff » 07 Sep 2006 18:39

I remember the ones in East Los Angeles (today a Target) and Alhambra (today also a Target). I vaguely remember them inside.

J-Man
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FedMart

Post by J-Man » 07 Sep 2006 20:13

When I moved to LA County in 1987, there were no longer any FedMarts. I do remember Fedco, however, which was also a general retail/grocery combination, and which also had the majority of its stores and/or locations taken over by Target.

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Post by Jeff » 07 Sep 2006 22:39

Fedmart had shut down by 1982 I beleive. There buildings were pretty bland outside.

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Post by hypernick1980 » 09 Sep 2006 13:02

Wasn't Fedmart kind of like a Sam's Club or Costco in that you had to be a member, and diffrent from them because in order to be a member you had to be a Government Employee. Kind of like some Credit Unions

OCRedCub
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Post by OCRedCub » 09 Sep 2006 14:14

No, it was FedCo that was a membership store, kind of like a Costco. Pricier and more restricted than Gemco (what did they do with that dollar, anyway?).
FedMart was a warehouse-y, non-membership grocery store. Big red sign with white letters, as I recall.
I'm pretty sure FedMart and FedCo were not linked, though they were around at roughly the same time.

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Post by runchadrun » 09 Sep 2006 19:35

Fedco was a non-profit, owned by its members. The name was an acronym for Federal Employees Distribution Company. They had a nominal lifetime membership fee, which was something along the lines of $10. I was a member, joining when I was a college student which was an eligible group at the time.

They shut down in the late 90s, sold their property to Target for $120m, and used the money to pay off their outstanding debts. The remaining funds, $7m, were used to establish the FEDCO Charitable Foundation. It provides grants to public schools in school districts where their stores were.

Acquiring the La Cienega location alone probably made the entire sale price worth it to Target.

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Post by jamcool » 11 Sep 2006 00:24

I remember FedMart operated as far east as Texas..they picked up a bunch of former Globe stores (the Walgreens-owned discount chain in the SW states). In Phoenix we had a store that was originally a Globe, then became a FedMart, then finally a Target.

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Post by klkla » 11 Sep 2006 14:32

FedMart was started by Sol Price (also founder of the Price Club - now Costco) in 1954. The original concept was very close to FedCo's (geared towards Federal employees) but was later opened to everyone else.

He sold out to a German company to raise capital for expansion but they didn't get along and he got booted out and started Price Club, which later merged with Costco.

The Germans didn't understand the business and expanded too quickly and eventually went bankrupt. Target picked up many of the locations. Near my house we had a FedMart on Sports Arena Blvd. in San Diego that was 225,000 sq. ft. and was very similar to what a Wal-Mart SuperCenter is today. I remember going into that store on Saturdays and even with all 25 checkstands going it was a good thirty minutes in line.

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Post by runchadrun » 11 Sep 2006 17:52

Many of the FedMarts were other stores before that, such as Two Guys or White Front. I know the Culver City store on Jefferson was a Two Guys and the San Bernardino store on Inland Center and E Street was a White Front.

You can usually identify a former FedMart by the three-sided signs high above the parking lot. Nowadays those signs usually say Target. Their logo had an asterisk at the end, i.e. FedMart*. I always wondered where the fine print was that was attached to the asterisk :)

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Post by Jeff » 11 Sep 2006 18:34

The former Target on Mountain Ave has the three-sided sign. This location should be torn down by now.

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Three-sided Signs

Post by TheQuestioner » 12 Sep 2006 14:07

The comment about FedMarts having a tall three-sided sign caught my attention because the Target in San Leandro/San Lorenzo CA has a sign like this. I have read on this board and others that this location was a Gemco, at least at the point when Gemco went out of business. I always assumed it opened as such. Does anyone know for sure if this store opened as FedMart? If so, when did it open, and when did it become Target? There is also an outbuilding that I assume was a former auto center. Did Gemco and/or FedMart operate auto centers? I doubt Target ever used it, as I have never seen a Target Auto Center.

The Target I am referring to is by the junction of I-880 and I-238, on Hesperian Blvd. I wanted to clarify because there's another Target about a half-mile away in place of a former Mont. Wards, and a third one about to open about 2 miles down Hesperian. Why there need to be three Targets that close together is beyond me...

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