A&P stores, Princeton, WV

Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia.

Moderator: Groceteria

Post Reply
User avatar
Andrew T.
Senior Member
Posts: 521
Joined: 18 Oct 2007 14:26
Location: London
Contact:

A&P stores, Princeton, WV

Post by Andrew T. » 09 Apr 2009 00:06

Image

This building is located at 743 Mercer Street in Princeton, West Virginia. The last time I had driven past and spotted it, I simply knew that it was a vintage A&P...and a spot-check of an early 1960s directory confirmed the fact. Does anyone have an idea as to how old this store might be? I'm guessing the 1940s, but I could be off...

Image

This is the above store's 1960s centennial-era replacement, on 1117 Stafford Drive. It lasted as an A&P until the chain's exit from the area in the midst of its "meltdowns" of the '70s and early '80s, and remains open as a Save-a-Lot store today. The roadway sign in the parking lot is still in the shape of the 1976-and-later A&P logo.

Last week, I managed to get some (hasty) interior photographs in of this place: Here's a view of the first aisle towards the produce section, while this view is towards the opposite side of the store.

Much of the case and refrigeration equipment looks like it might well date back to the days of A&P. One additional feature of the interior I find interesting is the floor tile, which features color stripes "coded" to the section of the store it delineates: Produce is green, dairy is yellow, meat is red, frozen food is blue, and so on. Does anyone know if this might also be an A&P artifact?
"The pale pastels which have been featured in most food stores during the past 20 years are no longer in tune with the mood of the 1970s."
Andrew Turnbull

User avatar
Groceteria
Great Pumpkin
Posts: 1548
Joined: 04 Nov 2005 12:13
Location: NC Triad
Contact:

Re: A&P stores, Princeton, WV

Post by Groceteria » 09 Apr 2009 08:10

Andrew T. wrote:Does anyone have an idea as to how old this store might be? I'm guessing the 1940s, but I could be off...
I'd go late 1930s to early 1940s. Good catch. It may (or may not) have originally had some sort of porcelain panels or other veneer covering the street-facing brick façade. Or the brick might have been painted, although I suspect that was not the case with this store.

dooneyt63
Full Member
Posts: 93
Joined: 07 Nov 2005 20:16

Re: A&P stores, Princeton, WV

Post by dooneyt63 » 09 Apr 2009 14:18

I think this is a Save-A-Lot floor design. I have seen it in several stores that are not in former A&P's.

User avatar
Andrew T.
Senior Member
Posts: 521
Joined: 18 Oct 2007 14:26
Location: London
Contact:

Re: A&P stores, Princeton, WV

Post by Andrew T. » 09 Apr 2009 16:58

dooneyt63 wrote:I think this is a Save-A-Lot floor design. I have seen it in several stores that are not in former A&P's.
I'm sure that the well-worn, tile-mismatched floor predates Save-A-Lot moving in (which was in the mid '90s, by my recollection). The store operated as an independent market, then a Foodland franchise in the 1980s and early 1990s.
"The pale pastels which have been featured in most food stores during the past 20 years are no longer in tune with the mood of the 1970s."
Andrew Turnbull

jimbobga
Full Member
Posts: 68
Joined: 10 Feb 2007 01:31
Location: Senoia, Ga

Re: A&P stores, Princeton, WV

Post by jimbobga » 12 Apr 2009 00:18

The A&P on Mercer Street certainly pre-dates me [1951], and I would imagine early 40's is pretty much on the mark. This store - at least from 1956 - always had a brick front. I don't ever remember it being covered with anything, nor painted. The sign above the windows was not the gold-and-red "Food A&P Stores" as was on the A&P stores on Bluefield Avenue in Bluefield, or Main Street in Northwork, WV. Instead, all signage was black with yellow-gold lettering, as was the sign which hung over the street. There were also black and yellow "A&P parking" signs along the side of the building facing the parking lot.


The Centennial store was in the first shopping center built on Stafford Drive, and pre-dated the Kroger superstore [now BigLots] by a few years. The other "anchor" was an A.W. Cox Department Store. This A&P was the last remaining A&P in the southern West Virginia/Western Virginia area when it closed, and it more than likely lasted that long because it was the only A&P that was "new." The Bluefield, Northfork, and Matoaka, WV, were all street-front rental property operations and closed by the mid-sixties. It is possible that the Bluefield, VA, store lasted until 1970 and, although it was a newer store [1957] - with a parking lot, no less - it was small and was a block off the highway on a residential street with the store pretty much built right up against a row of four-square houses.

Sorry I don't have an answer on the floor tile question. Maybe I spend too much time looking at the food to notice the floors!

Great pics, by the way!

Post Reply