By 1960, Winston-Salem was still North Carolina’s third largest city, and it was still a growing city with a relatively strong economy. R. J. Reynolds Tobacco opened its new Whitaker Park production facility in 1961. The North Carolina School of the Arts was established in 1965. And the Wachovia Building, tallest in the Carolinas for a time, was constructed in 1966.
A&P entered the 1960s with four locations in Winston-Salem. Two new locations opened over the course of the decade: one in the new Sherwood Plaza Shopping Center at Robinhood Road and Peace Haven Drive (late 1963), and the other in the West Salem Shopping Center at Peters Creek Parkway and Academy Street (1965) The Sherwood center was developed by G. B. Nalley, who had worked closely all over the southeast and was cited in the Twin City Sentinel in 1963 as “perhaps the largest builder of A&P stores in the southeast.”
Interestingly, Winston-Salem apparently never received one of the cupola-clad “Centennial” stores so prevalent elsewhere in the region.
None of Big Bear’s three stores open in 1960 would remain so in 1970. The First Street (former A&P) and the North Liberty Street locations both closed prior to 1965. The City Market store survived after 1965, and newspaper story suggested that it was slated for enlargement and renovation as of 1963, but this branch did not make it to 1970.
A new store adjacent to a new King’s discount department store opened in the summer of 1963 on Corporation Parkway (now Silas Creek Parkway). In 1965, Big Bear broke ground on a new shopping center housing one of its own stores on North Cherry-Marshall Expressway (now University Parkway). The store opened in 1966. A nearly identical center was constructed in Big Bear’s hometown of High Point at about the same time.
Stop & Shop followed its 1959 Reynolda Road store with a new location on High Point Road, near its intersection with Waughtown Street, in 1960. Another new location, this one operating under the name Market Basket, opened on Country Club Road in April 1964, in a new center called Country Club Loggia.
In May 1966, Stop & Shop owner J. R. Gilley agreed to sell his two stores to George Hutchens’ National Food Stores, parent company of Big Bear. Gilley had previously sold the Reynolda Road store to someone else, so it was not part of the deal.
By 1970, Big Bear had four Winston-Salem locations: its two new builds from the 1960s plus two former Stop and Shop properties.
There were five Colonial stores in Winston-Salem in 1960. Like many other retailers, Colonial Stores abandoned the North Liberty Street corridor in the early 1960s. On 28 February 1963, the chain opened a new store in the Reynolda Manor Shopping Center at Reynolda Road and Fairlawn Drive. This new center, developed by Jack L. Covington, also featured Winn-Dixie, Eckerd Drugs, Spainhour’s Department Store, and W. T. Grant.
The Waughtown Street store closed in the late 1960s, bring Colonial’s store count to four by 1970.
From 1960 to 1970, Food Fair’s store count increased from six to seven. The Avalon Road (one of the chain’s first) and South Main Street stores were the first casualties of the decade, closing prior to 1965.
The replacements for these units were modern, high profile shopping center locations. On 27 September 1960, Parkway Plaza, at the corner of Peters Creek and Corporation Parkways, opened for business with Food Fair among its tenants, along with Kroger, Eckerd, Woolworth’s, Grant’s, and Thalhimer’s Department Store. And late in 1963, a Food Fair store was among the original tenants of Sherwood Plaza, mentioned above, along with A&P.
New additions to the chain in the late 1960s included a relocation of the North Patterson Avenue store into space adjacent to a King’s Department store a mile or two north, and a new store on the far fringes of Reynolda Road.
Kroger’s store count remained steady at three through the 1960s, although the actual locations changed. First to go was the South Main Street store, adjacent to the Old Salem restoration. This unit was replaced in 1960 by a new store in Parkway Plaza to the southwest. Next to go was the First Street location, replaced by a modern store in a new Zayre-anchored shopping center at Cloverdale Road and Miller Street in 1968. By 1970, the Patterson Avenue store was the only remnant of the chain’s pre-1960 presence.
Winn-Dixie expanded aggressively in the 1960s, expanding its store count from one to five. Waughtown Street was joined by the new Reynolda Village location on 28 February 1963. A new location across from Thruway Shopping Center on Stratford Road opened in the late 1960s, and the decade closed with yet another new store, this one in 1969, part of the Club Haven Shopping Center at Country Club and Peace Haven Roads.
The 1960s were also the era of the discount store in Winston-Salem and nationwide. Many of these early discounters combined general merchandise and groceries under one roof, much like today’s supercenters.
First to enter the Triad market, both in Greensboro and Winston-Salem, was the large Clark’s store at the intersection of Silas Creek and Peters Creek Parkways in November 1962. The massive store featured a grocery department and brought a new definition of “one-stop shopping,” extended hours, and even Sunday shopping to the region.
Clark’s was soon joined by King’s Department store a few blocks away. King’s did not sell groceries, but the adjacent Big Bear supermarket did.
By 1964, Charles Stores had set up shop in a new building in the 3700 block of North Patterson Avenue. This store also featured a grocery department, but it was apparently not a big success; by 1966, it had become a King’s Department Store, with the grocery space subdivided and operated by Food Fair.
Another food and general merchandise retailer, Kmart, would not arrive in Winston-Salem until the 1970s.