List of Detroit area Kroger stores in 1984

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Andrew T.
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List of Detroit area Kroger stores in 1984

Post by Andrew T. »

Our minds on the board seem to be a lot on Michigan these days, so what could be more illuminating than a complete list of Detroit-area locations in 1984? "Kroger will rehire 3,500 for 45 stores".

It's well known that Kroger in Michigan went through a spat of trouble in 1983-84 with a protracted labour strike and massive store closures. Earlier, I stated that the company shuttered two-thirds of its Detroit area stores. It turns out I had misread the numbers: Kroger permanently closed 25 stores out of 70, or 36% of the whole. Regardless of the exact percentage, the closures were a major disruption, and they marked the company's exit from Detroit proper; barring a brief early-2000s single-store reprieve.

I don't have a Newspapers.com account, but I was able to pull the store list out of the OCR source. They're a fascinating snapshot of what the chain's physical store base was at the time:

Reopening 23 Aug 1984:

1. 1140 Broadway, Ann Arbor
Demolished. Which is a shame, because it looked like this once upon a time.

2. 2603 Jackson Road, Ann Arbor
A 1960s shopping centre location that got a 1970s Frankenstein Superstore makeover. Now appears to be subdivided between Staples and Rite Aid, and renovated beyond recognition.

3. 2502 Packard Road, Ann Arbor
A superstore that closed in 2009 and was subsequently demolished. Subject of a past Groceteria thread.

4. 2020 Green St., Ann Arbor
A superstore that was replaced in the early 1990s, given a modest renovation, and reoccupied by Busch's Valu Land...er, Busch's Fresh Food Market. I've snagged a photo of this one.

5. 1919 Industrial Highway, Ann Arbor
A Frankensteined ex-A&P Centennial that was transferred to Kroger in the early 1980s, and remained in Kroger's hands for the next three decades. Currently home to Lucky's Market, an independent store. I have a photo of this one, too.

6. 5720 N. Sheldon, Canton
Demolished.

7. 13661 Colson, Dearborn
Now the site of the Dearborn Fresh Supermarket, which renovated the building beyond recognition.

8. 16919 Kercheval, Grosse Pointe
A downtown store? Demolished for new development, in any case.

9. 15265 Dixie Highway, Monroe
Renovated to oblivion...and now housing a church! Reportedly, this was a Superstore that retained ALL of its original decor to the end of the 1990s. If only I could go back in time 20 years...

10. 41941 Garfield, Mt. Clemens
This site is still a Kroger. The building appears to have been modified severely or even rebuilt entirely, but a cube sign still stands out front. (The only Kroger cube left in the metro?)

11. 1215 24th St., Port Huron
A remodelled ex-superstore that's still a Kroger! The original brick facing with vertical channels is still visible, albeit painted over. Photographed by yours truly.

12. 2907 Krafft, Port Huron
/Another/ remodelled ex-superstore that's still a Kroger! On this one, the original pillars and the lower portion of original brick facing are still visible. (Hmm, I'll have to get a picture of this the next time I'm in the US.)

13. 65 S. Livernois, Rochester
A superstore that's still open (albeit heavily modified) as a Kroger. The original brick facing with vertical channels is still visible on the side of the building, although even this has been painted over.

14. 2855 Union Lake Road, Union Lake
Demolished. A greenhouse store and adjacent Kmart formerly stood on this site; both were demolished for a new Kroger several years ago.

15. 4745 Washtenaw Ave., Ypsilanti (Pittsfield Township, actually)
A possible ex-greenhouse that now stands subdivided between Citi Trends and two other tenants. Nothing much to look at anymore, though.

16. 1771 Michigan, Ypsilanti
An early 1980s greenhouse that, alas, was de-greenhoused in the 2000s...and still houses a Kroger store today. Photographed by yours truly. Even though the outside has been ruined, some of the original interior elements (such as the curved soffit walls) remain intact.

Reopening 29 Aug 1984:

17. 3200 S. Boulevard East, Auburn Hts.
Demolished circa 2013 after standing vacant for years. This had been a well-preserved Superstore before it met its doom.

18. 601 Euclid, Bay City
Frankenstein! A 1950s barrel-roof store that was expanded in the 1970s into a Superstore. It still stands in well-preserved (albeit whitewashed) condition housing a Salvation Army thrift store. Maybe this was Madonna's childhood grocery store?

19. 3675 W. Maple, Birmingham
A 1960s store that's been remodelled beyond recognition. A Plum Market now occupies the site.

20. 1005 E. Grand River, Brighton
A 1960s store that was expanded by nearly 100%, and probably given an (off-model) Superstore renovation...that's been remodelled even further by subsequent tenants, making this store a strange thing to behold. Now Planet Fitness.

21. 23001 Michigan Ave., Dearborn
This store has been immortalized on Groceteria before, and it's one of my all-time favourite Frankensteins; an early 1950s store that got a 1970s Superstore facelift and expansion. Now Marshalls (who also reused the cube in the parking lot.) I've snagged a photo of this one, too.

22. 2986 Center, Essexvllle
Superstore, now vacant. The original lower facade with windows and vertical channels is still intact, but the upper facade has been covered over and the canopy has been completely removed (leaving stumps in the sidewalk where the pillars used to be!). A modern Kroger has been built at the other end of the shopping centre.

23. 37025 Grand River, Farmlngton
An ex-superstore that's undergone a complete facadectomy, and now houses the Tile Shop. Very unusually for superstores, this store was finished in fluted block rather than brick in order to match the (now-demolished) Kmart that used to be next door.

24. 8999 Macomb, Grosse Ile
A 1960s store that's gone through several rounds of facelifts, but still retains its original 3-tier windows and fieldstone accents on the front wall. And it remains open as a Kroger Fresh Fare! Photographed by yours truly.

25. 18870 Mack Ave., Grosse Pointe
A very old store that was demolished in 2012, as noted on the site.

26. 1135 E. Grand River, Howell
A 1960s shopping centre store expanded rearward (!) and given a 1970s Frankenstein Superstore makeover. Now Planet Fitness.

27. 27301 Cherry Hill Road, Inkster
Site of a 1950s shopping centre. A Food Max Super Market (bearing the Foodland logo?) now occupies Kroger's portion of the structure.

28. 401 W. Genesee, Lapeer
This appears to have been a '50s/'60s store with a corrugated upper facade that's been remodelled slightly since. Currently subdivided.

29. 2808 Ashman, Midland
Superstore that's still a Kroger! It's been renovated and expanded (unsurprisingly), but the original canopy pillars are still intact under a new upper facade.

30. 670 Highland Road, Milford
Possibly an ex-Superstore? This location remains a Kroger today, with severe renovations and expansions on all of its visible sides.

31. 33195 23 Mile Road, New Baltimore
Superstore that still stands in (partially) original condition. Now houses the Salvation Army.

32. 43525 W. Oaks Drive, Novi
I /want/ to say this was an 1980s greenhouse at one time. It closed by 1997, and the building has long been re-facaded to oblivion and subdivided into the Container Store and Rally House.

33. 4395 Orchard Lake Rd., Orchard Lk.
Still a Kroger! But expanded on all four sides (!) and remodelled beyond utter recognition. If this was a Superstore once, there is no trace of it now.

34. 67500 Gratiot, Richmond
I'm unclear where to place this one. A newer Kroger now stands at 66900 Gratiot.

35. 26150 Gratiot, Rosevllle
I'm also a little unclear on this one. The address is now the site of Family Dollar/Save-a-Lot...but I'm unclear if this was actually the Kroger building. A newer Kroger now stands next door...but I doubt this building existed in 1984. I suspect...but can't confirm...that the original Kroger was actually an inline store in the shopping centre next door.

36. 3389 N. Woodward, Royal Oak
Still a (severely remodelled) Kroger in 2015, but Very recently demolished.

37. 23191 Marter, St. Clair Shores
Still a Kroger, although I'm unclear of the era of the building. They may have demolished in the 1990s and rebuilt on the site.

38. 43680 (40680?) Earle Memorial, Sterling Hts.
1960s store that's probably been remodelled to oblivion. Now a Paul Mitchell beauty school.

39. 31 E. Long Lake Road, Troy
A superstore that's still open as a Kroger...although expanded and severely remodeled. Some of the original columns (and unpainted vertical-channel brickwork) are still visible, though.

40. 26233 Hoover Road, Warren
A superstore that's still open as a Kroger...although expanded and remodeled even more severely than the last! Not all is lost, though: If you look closely at the facade, you'll notice that some of the original windows (and some of the original vertical-channel brickwork) are still visible.

41. 26800 Dequindre, Warren
Superstore that's been severely remuddled (though the original columns, windows, and vertical brickwork channels are still visible); now Big Lots! It's a shame Big Lots now has a budget to remodel the buildings it reoccupies; gone are the days when they'd leave half the supermarket decor in place, throw up orange paint, and open a store.

42. 5640 Dixie Highway, Waterford
Superstore that's been slightly remuddled (though still easily recognizable as such); now Big Lots!

43. 36111 Michigan Way, Wayne
Superstore that remained open until 2015; now used for industrial storage and surrounded by a chain link fence. Photographed by yours truly in 2016.

44. 35700 Warren, Westland
Severely remodelled; now David's Bridal.

45. 19001 West Road, Woodhaven
This is the famous "time capsule" 1970s superstore that remained open with 1979-era decor until 2010, and once attracted a thread here of its own. Unfortunately this store did eventually come to an end; although the building itself at least survives as Planet Fitness. I have a photograph of this store.

Permanent closures. The article notes that these stores "are in the process of being sold" and that most were expected to reopen as food stores under different owners. You might have expected these stores to comprise Kroger's oldest and most obsolete locations, but surprisingly there were a couple of greenhouses in the list.

46. 1410 W. Maumee, Adrian
Evidently demolished.

47. 1392 S. Adrian Highway, Adrian
Evidently demolished for new development.

48. 755 State Street, Caro
'50s store with barrel roof and side buttresses given a '70s Superstore Frankenstein makeover. Untouched since, and now housing a Dollar General store.

49. 10335 W. Warren, Dearborn
Demolished for a new CVS?

50. 4901 Conner, Detroit
Location of a shopping centre that has been facelifted since 1984. I'm a little unclear where Kroger was located within the structure.

51. 25451 Grand River, Detroit
Another shopping centre that's been facelifted since 1984. I assume Dollar General is in Kroger's position.

52. 10620 W. McNichols, Detroit
1960s(?) store with an odd window configuration and some frontal remodeling; now Liberty Food Center.

53. 18551 Grand River, Detroit
Remodelled to oblivion; now Royal Fresh Market.

54. 1940 E. Eight Mile Road, Detroit
Another shopping centre that's been facelifted since 1984. Building unrecognizable as a Kroger; now houses Imperial Your Neighborhood Market (sic).

55. 5685 W. Fort St., Detroit
Appears to have been demolished for new development.

56. 600 W. Nine Mile, Ferndale
An early curved-wall greenhouse store that was subsequently de-greenhoused (yuck). Now Ferndale Foods.

57. 27335 Telegraph, Flat Rock
1970s Superstore; stands vacant in completely original condition. Photographed by yours truly.

58. 2625 Dix-Toledo, Lincoln Park
Address may be in error; Google can't find it.

59. 37300 Five Mile Road, Livonia
Demolished for new development.

60. 33151 Plymouth Road, Livonia
Yet another shopping centre location; now Foodland. The centre was in the midst of being facelifted when the Google Car last drove by, briefly exposing old brickwork and labelscar.

61. 1599 W. 14 Mile Rd., Madison Heights
Likely demolished for new development.

62. 2575 S. Van Dyke, Marlette
/Possibly/ a 1960s store expanded and renovated beyond recognition by post-Kroger tenants. Currently subdivided.

63. 240 N. Main, Plymouth
This was the site of the famous 1983 meat robbery. Generic 1960s store, now subdivided.

64. 3745 (3645?) Highland, Pontlac
1970s Superstore; likely a Kroger-SuperX pairing. Although the building has been remodeled and is something of a mess to look at, a portion of it still retains its original canopy and brick facing and houses a Habitat for Humanity ReStore.

65. 22555 Greenfield, Southfield
Demolished for new development.

66. 14155 Eureka Road, Southgate
A then-current 3-bay greenhouse store, still standing in original condition as Big Lots!

67. 201 N. Riverside, St. Clair
Home of the St. Clair Mall, which survives. Where Kroger fit into this development is anyone's guess. (Imagine that: A Kroger store in a real mall!)

68. 22175 Eureka Road, Taylor
I'm unclear where to place this in the surrounding sea of retail (none of whose surviving elements share the same address).

69. 1007 W. Chicago, Tecumseh
Demolished. This appears to have been a Frankensteined 1970s retrofit of a 1950s building; it was still standing when the Google Car drove by in 2009.

70. 13700 14 Mile Road, Warren
Through a bizarre twist of fate (possibly Great Scott?), this store was returned to the Kroger Company and continues to operate to this day. It's been renovated beyond recognition to oblivion, of course.

What's the score? Out of the 70 stores that existed in 1984, about 34% still house supermarkets of some sort or another, and 20% still house Kroger stores. That's a higher survival rate than either Chatham or A&P; though it probably helps that the company is still in business. Unfortunately for us retail geeks, the company made good on its early-2000s promise to renovate, replace, and renew its Michigan store locations...and the closure of Wayne, Woodhaven, Grosse Pointe Farms, and Ann Arbor's Packard Road store over the last decade means that traces of the old Kroger around Detroit have gotten decidedly hard to find.

Still, in between this and the 1983 A&P list, my work is cut out for the next time I have a chance to tear around Wayne and Oakland counties with a camera!
"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
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Andrew T.
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Re: List of Detroit area Kroger stores in 1984

Post by Andrew T. »

I plotted out these store locations on a map to see if any interesting spatial patterns emerged. A picture is worth a thousand words:
kro84.png
Not only did Kroger withdraw from Detroit in 1984, but the few stores they were operating from at the time were all older stores...no Superstores. It's difficult to avoid the conclusion that the company deliberately ceased all investment in Detroit after the rebellion of 1967, and spent the next 17 years flying to the suburbs in tandem with the city's white population.

Looking closely, the company had largely withdrawn from the dense centre of Detroit even before 1984. 5685 W Fort St was the closest to downtown that they came.

A couple of other observations...

* Another area that Kroger completely withdrew from in 1984 was Adrian-Tecumseh, the clump of red in the southwest corner of the map. Even today, there are no Kroger stores in Michigan between the U.S. 23 (Dundee-Milan-Ann Arbor) and U.S. 127 (Hudson-Jackson) corridors.

* Kroger must have done multiple rounds of divestitures and closures in the early 1980s, since there are documented store locations that aren't on this list and aren't on the map. Two cases in point: 3815 15 Mile Rd in Sterling Heights, and 1135 N Belsay Rd in Burton. Both of these are 1970s Superstores listed on Rob Dude's website.
"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
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Re: List of Detroit area Kroger stores in 1984

Post by mburb1981 »

Andrew T. wrote: 02 Jun 2019 12:4758. 2625 Dix-Toledo, Lincoln Park
Address may be in error; Google can't find it.
This is indeed a partial misprint, as Dix-Toledo proper changes to simply Dix in Lincoln Park and Melvindale. A Google search of 2625 Dix in Lincoln Park does yield a 3-bay greenhouse store that has been subdivided between a Salvation Army and CSL Plasma.
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Re: List of Detroit area Kroger stores in 1984

Post by Andrew T. »

mburb1981 wrote: 20 Jul 2019 11:54 This is indeed a partial misprint, as Dix-Toledo proper changes to simply Dix in Lincoln Park and Melvindale. A Google search of 2625 Dix in Lincoln Park does yield a 3-bay greenhouse store that has been subdivided between a Salvation Army and CSL Plasma.
Yep...I figured that out shortly after making the original post. I drove by this site earlier this month, and snagged a picture for my collection:

Image

The 1984 closure of this store (and 14155 Eureka in Southgate, too) may have been beneficial for preservation, since the company would have almost certainly given the building a hideous renovation at some point if it had remained in operation as a Kroger store! There are no untouched "greenhouses" left in operation in Michigan; Riverland may have been the last one.
"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."
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Re: List of Detroit area Kroger stores in 1984

Post by mburb1981 »

Andrew T. wrote: 02 Jun 2019 12:47 68. 22175 Eureka Road, Taylor
I'm unclear where to place this in the surrounding sea of retail (none of whose surviving elements share the same address).
This is because the strip mall that this store anchored was torn down in the late 1980's to make room for an Art Van store and the Burlington Square Plaza strip complex.

This store was a relocation from a short-lived store in the nearby Southland Center mall, where it opened as an original tenant in 1970. Below is a 1981 DTE aerial photo with the two locations highlighted in red boxes:
Image

(apologies for not doing this reply earlier)
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Re: List of Detroit area Kroger stores in 1984

Post by jleyerle »

Regarding 16919 Kercheval in Grosse Pointe--yes, this is a downtown store, parking in back, demolished and rebuilt as a Fresh Fare within the last 5 years. Kroger has retained a real lock on the Grosse Pointes, and they've gradually consolidated their stores in the Pointes, Harper Woods and southern St. Clair Shores, expanded their square footage and position as they acquired a Food Emporium when Farmer Jack imploded in 2007, closing their nearby Mack Avenue store (weird small-footprint store) in 2010 or so. There's a Trader Joes (only one on the East side, and Village Food Market (recently heavily remodeled and expanded) and that's about it---Meijer isn't terribly convenient, though they're opening on Mack within the Detroit limits near what was a Farmer Jack and Walmart is so deficient in metro Detroit as to be scarcely worthy of mention. Kroger turned their back on the city of Detroit and has built along the borders (hence their expansion in the Pointes). Meijer has built two stores in the city of Detroit (to good success and much acclaim) and Whole Foods has one location in the city.
Last edited by jleyerle on 21 Dec 2020 23:09, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: List of Detroit area Kroger stores in 1984

Post by jleyerle »

22555 Greenfield in Southfield was superseded by a store at 227xx Greenfield, which was further just closed a couple months ago and replaced by 26200 Greenfield, a demolish and rebuild of a KMart. I've not driven by to see if it's a Marketplace or not. This is a heavily Jewish area, so may well have a Kosher deli/Kosher meat.
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Re: List of Detroit area Kroger stores in 1984

Post by pseudo3d »

Kroger does have a Detroit division located in Novi today, with 70 stores removed from the division (in the early 1980s), what other stores did the Kroger division support? Did they just run a division with extremely low numbers like Albertsons' Florida operation before they reopened the stores?
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Re: List of Detroit area Kroger stores in 1984

Post by mburb1981 »

Apparently, according to one article mentioning the then-upcoming 70-store closure in July 1984, it mentioned that certain central Michigan stores would remain open since they were under a separate contract. These stores were presumably in the Lansing area, which is still in the Michigan Division today.
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Re: List of Detroit area Kroger stores in 1984

Post by pseudo3d »

I remember that Packard Road Kroger, by summer 2010 it had removed its signage, was fenced off, and looked like it hadn't served as anything in years.

By 1990, Kroger had 12% of the market in Detroit (compared to 33% independents and 30% of the combined A&P/Farmer Jack stores) which is very low for Kroger to stick around in the market. I'm reading up on the acquisition itself (second part), it appears that Great Scott was absorbed by Kroger smoother than even Farmer Jack was acquired, with (presumably) without the common "close and reset" maneuver done by grocers these days. Even with Great Scott, they only bumped up to 21%, which put it ahead of Meijer's 16% but still behind Farmer Jack/A&P.

In 2007, when Farmer Jack collapsed, Farmer Jack had 17.8% with Kroger having 21% pre-acquisition and leading the market (presumably because of a fragmented market, source). The Farmer Jack Wikipedia article says that it was 2002 when Kroger finally surpassed Farmer Jack.
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Re: List of Detroit area Kroger stores in 1984

Post by jleyerle »

I saw in one of Kroger's media guides in the last few years where they cited their competitive position in each MSA in which they operate, and recall seeing that only in Detroit and LA (of places of any significance and where they had a significant presence) were they not 1 or 2, specifically citing they were #3 in Detroit (undoubtedly behind Meijer and either Spartan-supplied stores or WalMart). I doubt that they were citing sales in Detroit City specifically, but was not clear whether they were including the state as a whole or just their areas of operation (Midland/Saginaw/Bay City/Lansing/Jackson along with metro Detroit). Don't think they include Toledo/Sandusky/Norwalk in the division (think those belong to Columbus).
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