Was this a Safeway?

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Ephrata1966
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Was this a Safeway?

Post by Ephrata1966 » 04 Sep 2013 17:33

The former Save-A-Lot at 2317 West Erwin Street in Tyler, Texas (which closed as Save-A-Lot in late 2011) has a street sign pole in front of it that looks like an upside-down letter U, with the "curve" in the U being square. Certain Safeway stores from the 60's in the South had a frame like this to hold the Safeway "diamond" sign, not on top of the signpost but just below the top beam. The tiny Safeway in King George, Virginia (a very small town not far east of Fredericksburg) closed in the 80's to become a furniture store, which fairly recently became a True Value Hardware, who uses the sign to this day.
Last edited by Ephrata1966 on 06 Sep 2013 04:03, edited 1 time in total.

wnetmacman
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Re: Was this a Safeway?

Post by wnetmacman » 05 Sep 2013 08:02

I'd say it's possible. That looks like a Safeway tuning fork sign, and those aren't hard to find in East Texas.

Tyler was definitely Safeway territory. The final two stores there closed in 1987. The store on Vine St. isn't far from here, and is still standing:
https://maps.google.com/maps?q=2317+Wes ... 7uIAZYmlUw
It was the only store in Tyler that continued as a supermarket after the 1987 closure, though not for long. It's been abandoned for some time now.

The other final store on South Broadway was a Super Store, with full general merchandise and pharmacy:
https://maps.google.com/maps?q=2317+Wes ... wLtZ6mouXw
This store, as you can see, is now half Michaels, half Big Lots, and the Big Lots was originally Pic N Save, then MacFrugals.
Scott Greer

Ephrata1966
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Re: Was this a Safeway?

Post by Ephrata1966 » 16 Sep 2013 09:16

Is or was H-E-B in Tyler? Could this have been one after Safeway? Many Houston-area Safeway AppleTree stores were H-E-B Pantry Foods before being reincarnated as more upscale H-E-Bs, which often meant relocation, or demolition and reconstruction for these stores, erasing any Safeway characteristics, except for the street signs.

wnetmacman
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Re: Was this a Safeway?

Post by wnetmacman » 16 Sep 2013 13:50

Ephrata1966 wrote:Is or was H-E-B in Tyler? Could this have been one after Safeway? Many Houston-area Safeway AppleTree stores were H-E-B Pantry Foods before being reincarnated as more upscale H-E-Bs, which often meant relocation, or demolition and reconstruction for these stores, erasing any Safeway characteristics, except for the street signs.
HEB Pantry stores were only in Houston, Austin and San Antonio area former Safeway stores. Tyler was part of the Dallas division. HEB has never been in Tyler, in part owed to the fact that Brookshire Grocery Company is headquartered here. Even Kroger only had a couple of short lived stores, both of which became a BCG-owned store.
Scott Greer

Ephrata1966
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Re: Was this a Safeway?

Post by Ephrata1966 » 17 Sep 2013 23:58

Would all Safeway signs as seen in Tyler have had the logo frame in a diamond shape? There's a Safeway/AppleTree in Houston that became a Food Town, and still uses what was clearly the original Safeway signpost from 1974, but the logo frame is a plain rectangle. Maybe that was a replacement for the original Safeway diamond, but knowing how Food Town is very careful with money, they would only perform such a replacement if the original fixture were broken somehow.

Also odd about the Cypress store is that H-E-B Pantry Foods once had a store across the street, now a True Value Hardware, as is the former Safeway in King George VA. I wonder if this store could have been built from the ground up as H-E-B Pantry Foods, but that would be strange because the company missed the opportunity to buy the former Safeway/AppleTree. It seems like H-E-B bought several former Safeway/AppleTree stores in 1992, a year before AppleTree was completely dissolved, but bought none of the stores that went up for bankruptcy auction in 1993. Perhaps the Pantry Foods in Cypress was originally a Weingarten's that closed because Safeway bought Weingarten's in 1984, as this store would have overlapped with the perhaps newer Safeway across the street?

Ironically the former Safeway/AppleTree at 249 and Louetta in Houston, which opened as a new construction in 1984 as one of Safeway's last new stores in Texas, became a Randalls in 1993, but that closed sometime before Safeway bought Randalls in 2000. Even stranger is that it became an H-E-B Pantry Foods around 2000, but that also closed in 2002 even though a bigger, more modern and upscale H-E-B waited many years to open across the street in a brand new shopping center. The old store became a Stein Mart around the same time the new store opened. An identical Safeway was built in Chester, Maryland in 1985, which moved across the parking lot in 2002. From what I gather, the old store still sits empty. It isn't terribly far from the Virginia border and King George, but I doubt it would become a True Value or anything similar, even if True Value were looking to open a new store in the area. The center is just a little bit too upscale for a hardware store.

There also is what looks like it was a Weingarten's (now a Food Town) in Spring, across from a store built as Safeway in 1976, which was then AppleTree, then H-E-B Pantry Foods, then was bulldozed for a new H-E-B in 2005. This is also how the former Safeways in Tomball and The Woodlands ended up.

Both a Safeway and a Randalls have closed at the intersection of 1960 and Kuykendahl. What's weird is that a former Woolco there became a Fiesta, then a Randalls that opened less than a year before Safeway bought the chain, but closed less than a year later. It still is sitting empty, and since the former Albertsons down the street at Kuykendahl and Spring Cypress in Spring became a driver's license center, has sat empty longer than any of the former Albertsons in Houston.

And in 2002, Safeway chose to build a new Randalls from scratch in Cypress across from a former Albertsons that was sitting empty, but then the Randalls also closed in 2005. The Randalls was later split between Ace Hardware and Planet Fitness, and the Albertsons is several different offices. Kroger would have probably bought the Albertsons had one of their Signature stores not have already been close by.

The former Safeway/AppleTree on 249 a few miles east of Willowbrook Mall (in a run down industrial area) looked just like this: http://www.flickr.com/photos/16441604@N07/4120633523/

Yet it was the ONLY AppleTree to close in 1993 and sit empty, and it sat empty for over 15 years, even though the Safeway/AppleTree in Tomball was down the street, and has been a very successful H-E-B for many years. H-E-B still uses the Safeway diamond in Tomball today, yet the diamond was erased from this store east on 249, which became a "Family Thrift Center" not too long ago, as did an identical former Safeway/AppleTree on Highway 6 in Copperfield, next to a former Kmart which now is split between Sears Outlet and Forman Mills.

Considering Randalls bought the AppleTree at 249 and Louetta, along with a former Safeway/AppleTree in Pearland identical to the one that was empty so long, it's a shame neither Randalls nor Fiesta nor Food Town nor H-E-B opened at the site. Unfortunately, Kroger was planning to buy this one, but backed out. Big Lots takes up the whole of the former Safeway in Farmers Branch, and Office Depot takes up the whole of the former Safeway at Edgebrook and I-45 in southeastern Houston, so it's odd the two companies split the former Safeway/AppleTree/Randalls in Pearland. Perhaps this store closed as Randalls as soon as Safeway bought the chain?
Last edited by Ephrata1966 on 18 Sep 2013 14:30, edited 1 time in total.

wnetmacman
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Re: Was this a Safeway?

Post by wnetmacman » 18 Sep 2013 03:10

Would all Safeway signs as seen in Tyler have had the logo frame in a diamond shape? There's a Safeway/AppleTree in Houston that became a Food Town, and still uses what was clearly the original Safeway signpost from 1974, but the logo frame is a plain rectangle. Maybe that was a replacement for the original Safeway diamond, but knowing how Food Town is very careful with money, they would only perform such a replacement if the original fixture were broken somehow.
There were several stores (including ones in Tyler, Longview and Henderson) that used the simple rectangle sign. It isn't a mistake. The diamond sign was a later design for Safeway. It's possible that even though it had the proper signpost, it may not have been a diamond.

As to the questions related to stores, I can say this: when the Dallas division closed down in 1987, Safeway had a hard time selling off all the stores. At that point, only a small handful (including a store in South Tyler and downtown Longview) were larger than 40,000 sq.ft.. The vast majority were 35,000 or less. Most of the other operators in the area (mainly Kroger and Albertsons) were operating 50,000 sf. and larger stores, and these smaller stores were a very hard sell for them. Only a very small handful of stores were bought by other operators, and of those, only a few are still supermarkets owing to the small size. These bigger operators just didn't want the dinky old Safeways. Some examples of still-operating stores:

Henderson, Highway 79 South. Purchased by Kroger and remains largely looking as the day it opened: Link
Greenville, South Wesley Street. Purchased by Brookshire, and opened as a Super 1 Foods store: Link
Gilmer, North US 271. Purchased by Brookshire: Link
Carthage, Loop 436. Originally purchased by a group of former Safeway Managers, it was initially known as U-Save Foods, but now is HEB. Store is only 28,000sf. No deli, bakery or other peripheral service departments: Link
Marshall, East End Blvd. Purchased by Brookshire, and was Brookshires for about 10 years before being converted to Super 1 Foods. This store was the very last Safeway opened in Texas: Link
Shreveport, Kings Highway. Purchased by Brookshire: Link

Brookshire bought what seemed like at the time the lion's share of the stores with about 20. All but 2 reopened within 3 days. They purchased one Longview store on Gilmer Road immediately, but spent three months overhauling it to a Super 1 Foods store, which closed in 1992 after being replaced. The other store downtown was purchased by another operator who did the same thing, only to sell to BGC in 1990. It was a Super 1 Foods for 2 more years before being abandoned itself for a new replacement. Both of these stores were in the 40-45,000sf range. Their replacements were 65,000sf. The downtown store's sign was the rectangular one, and was simply refaced for each operator. Neither store stands today; both were demolished for other purposes.
Scott Greer

Ephrata1966
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Re: Was this a Safeway?

Post by Ephrata1966 » 18 Sep 2013 22:24

Could the Safeway/AppleTree in Humble (now a Gold's Gym as of fairly recently) have been nothing in between the closing of AppleTree and the opening of Gold's Gym? Here's a real estate flyer about the property: http://www.loopnet.com/Attachments/8/D/ ... 55F0EA.pdf

Food Fair has a store in New Caney at a former Albertsons. Perhaps that was somehow a "replacement" for a Food Town owned by the same company at this Safeway site?

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