Gemco/Memco

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dth1971
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Gemco/Memco

Post by dth1971 » 24 Jan 2007 17:05

How did Lucky choose the name for Memco for the East Coast and Midwest which is similar to Gemco on the West Coast?

rich
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Post by rich » 24 Jan 2007 17:31

There already was a "GEM" chain in various Eastern markets, which operated as a membership discount store.

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Post by surfingdude » 24 Jan 2007 19:52

rich wrote:There already was a "GEM" chain in various Eastern markets, which operated as a membership discount store.
True. And the "Mem" in Memco tied into the membership department store concept.

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Groceteria
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Post by Groceteria » 28 Mar 2007 13:07

Gemco has been well covered in other topics here, but I'm looking for more info now on the history and geographic scope of Memco, its east coast cousin. I know for sure that most of the stores were in the DC area, and that there were stores in the Triad area of North Carolina, and that the whole operation pretty much died out by 1982-1983. I'm thinking they made their first appearance here in the early to mid 1970s, but I'm not sure.

Where else could Memco stores be found? Did all east coast stores have grocery departments? Did they carry Lucky branded products even on the east coast?

I'm looking for general geography and info here, but if anyone wants to get into specific locations, please feel free to start a thread in that forum as well. It might be interesting, particularly if there are any somewhat well-preserved locations.

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Post by runchadrun » 28 Mar 2007 20:27

For a chain whose owners were based in Socal, I was surprised that I could only find a handful of references in the LA Times database. Unfortunately the OCR software they used to index the archive confused the words "Memco" and "Mexico" so it's hard to do a search.

I found a reference to only one specific location, in Rockville, MD, but with no address information.

A 1971 NYT article talks about a system for grading the fat content of beef at supermarkets and the stores experimenting were Safeway, Giant, and Memco. So I guess they did sell food.

In 1982 Stop & Shop bought 13 Memcos located in the DC and Baltimore area which were to be renovated and converted into Bradlees stores.

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Dave
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Post by Dave » 29 Mar 2007 07:27

As suggested, I posted on the "Specific Locations" forum information on the two Memco locations in Richmond - both of which had grocery departments operated by Farm Fresh.

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J-Mac
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Post by J-Mac » 19 Apr 2007 17:02

TheQuestioner wrote: Until about ten years ago, it still had Memco's distinctive "overhanging fingernail" canopies coming out of the arched spaces in the front of the building. Does anyone know if Lucky used this architecture on any of their Gemco stores out west? I have only seen a couple of former Memco's like this, and they were in in the DC area.
This does not sound like any Gemco unit I've seen. Most here had some kind of awning or "porch" until the 80s corner-entry units, where the entry covering became less of a highlight (the entry point on the corner itself being the highlight.) For reference:

60s "High Box" on a tilt-up building: http://www.flickr.com/photos/7591905@N07/465429521/

60s "Sloped Awning" on a tilt-up building: http://www.flickr.com/photos/7591905@N07/465435964/

70s "Sloped Awning" on a block building (it appears as though Gemco switched to block construction in the early 70s): http://www.flickr.com/photos/7591905@N0 ... 039445811/

There is one other 60s style I wasn't able to photograph. It was a later 60s style, with a "floating" roof over the entry. You can see it in some of the views on local.live.com of the Woodland Hills store: 20801 Ventura at De Soto, Woodland Hills, CA.

There is also an early 80s "Big Box" on block building, that's seen on the Fullerton Yorba Linda store and also on the Torrance store.

(If anyone has better nomenclature for these entry styles, please fill me in.)

Anyway, those styles (Floating Porch, High Box, Sloped Awning, Big Box and Corner Entry) pretty much cover the Southern California locations.

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Groceteria
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Post by Groceteria » 24 Apr 2007 16:24

Hi all. If we could keep the specific Memco locations posts in that thread and reserve this one for general info, as mentioned earlier, that would be great. Thanks.

Here's the link to the locations thread:

http://www.groceteria.com/board/viewtopic.php?t=1215

I'm moving some of the locations posts that crept into this thread over there now. It's good stuff.

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Post by Groceteria » 25 Sep 2007 13:08

From The Washington Post archives:

Memco entered the DC area with its first two stores in July 1970 and closed its last stores in January 1983. The first two stores, BTW, were Annandale VA and Campsprings MD.

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Post by Bearhawke » 24 Sep 2010 21:48

runchadrun wrote:For a chain whose owners were based in Socal, I was surprised that I could only find a handful of references in the LA Times database. Unfortunately the OCR software they used to index the archive confused the words "Memco" and "Mexico" so it's hard to do a search.

I found a reference to only one specific location, in Rockville, MD, but with no address information.

A 1971 NYT article talks about a system for grading the fat content of beef at supermarkets and the stores experimenting were Safeway, Giant, and Memco. So I guess they did sell food.

In 1982 Stop & Shop bought 13 Memcos located in the DC and Baltimore area which were to be renovated and converted into Bradlees stores.
There was a Memco in the Alexandria/Springfield area in the 1970's...........
Bearhawke in Arizona

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