Phoenix - Remembering Smitty's

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J-Mac
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Post by J-Mac »

There's an article about redevelopment of the first Smittys Big Town site. See: http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepubli ... 06-ON.html

Interestingly, there is discussion about placing a diner in exactly the same spot of the resturant in Smittys.
jamcool
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Post by jamcool »

The original Food City is in the same general area - and still operating. Food City was bought by Bashas' in the 90s and is now the chains ethnic-discount operation.
wrallen99
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Re: Phoenix - Remembering Smitty's

Post by wrallen99 »

Here is what the abandoned original Smitty's looks like now (pictures are from summer 2007) Everything on that corner is abandoned: Smitty's (later Southwest Supermarkets), KFC, Walgreens, and some independent shops. Only the Burger King on the corner is open (out of view of the picture). One the sign to the left of the "no tresspassing" sign, you can see the Smitty's logo if you look closely.
smittys.jpg
Here are some pictures of that Food City near the original Smitty's. Now I can see why it had such a large backroom. The backroom area of the store seems to be larger than the sales floor, as you can see from the picture, it is to the right of the pylon. It was probably their first distribution center before they were bought by Basha's.
scan.jpg
boomvader

Re: Phoenix - Remembering Smitty's

Post by boomvader »

Does anybody have any pictures of the Smitty's logo or pictures of the old stores? I am trying to compile pictures and stories for a small tribute website to remember Smitty's of Arizona (and Missouri).

Thanks!

-boom
lugnut
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Re: Phoenix - Remembering Smitty's

Post by lugnut »

I know I'm late to this thread here, but if anyone was still looking for some images of Smitty's and the logo, I've got a few I grabbed from vidcaps of old VHS tapes I did a while back. These were aired in the Joplin MO area in 1995, but I'd assume (perhaps wrongly) that the store-styles carried over into the chain's other locations as well...

ImageImageImageImageImageImage
krogerclerk
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Re: Phoenix - Remembering Smitty's

Post by krogerclerk »

The Smitty's in SW Missouri was not part of the Phoenix Smitty's, but had licensed the name for a similar store and used a similar font to the Phoenix Smitty's. The Missouri Smitty's was acquired by Albertson's who used the name in the market, and many were sold to Ramey's upon Albertson's meltdown beginning in 2003. The Phoenix chain came under Yucaipa ownership along with Fred Meyer and Smith's(SLC, Utah), with the units becoming Fred Meyer Marketplace, and after the Kroger/Fred Meyer merger, Fry's Marketplace once the Arizona Fred Meyer and Smith's(excluding Mohave County which still is bannered Smith's) were consolidated into Fry's.
jamcool
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Re: Phoenix - Remembering Smitty's

Post by jamcool »

When Smith's entered the Phoenix market around 1990, Smitty's threatened the chain with legal action over the similarities in both names...yet both chain's operations were combined under Yucaipa's ownership in the mid 90s (Smith's rebranded the grocery-only Smitty's stores to Smith's, and Smitty's name remained on the superstores)
Bearhawke
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Re: Phoenix - Remembering Smitty's

Post by Bearhawke »

jamcool wrote:When Smith's entered the Phoenix market around 1990, Smitty's threatened the chain with legal action over the similarities in both names...yet both chain's operations were combined under Yucaipa's ownership in the mid 90s (Smith's rebranded the grocery-only Smitty's stores to Smith's, and Smitty's name remained on the superstores)
In fact: after Smittys becoming part of Smiths; even if there was one of each across the street from one another, if both stores were profitable-------------Smiths kept 'em both open.

I miss both chains (especially Smitty's) although Frys (Krogers) seems to be regaining the 'Smittys' mojo in the Market Place locations.
Bearhawke in Arizona
jamcool
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Re: Phoenix - Remembering Smitty's

Post by jamcool »

For those who are interested....

http://smittysstory.com/index.html

Smitty's began in Iowa with a handful of stores..the first to have in-store bakerys and restaraunts. With the same concept Clyde Smith opened his first Phx store in 1961..on 16th St just north of Food City. It was the largest in size supermarket in Phx at that time. The first dept store/grocery combo was built in 1963 in Scottsdale. By 1980 they had 20 stores in PHX - mostly the superstores - and the largest(35%) market share in the Phoenix area.
TonyG
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Re: Phoenix - Remembering Smitty's

Post by TonyG »

Bearhawke wrote:
In fact: after Smittys becoming part of Smiths; even if there was one of each across the street from one another, if both stores were profitable-------------Smiths kept 'em both open.
How many locations are still like this? I know that the former Smith's (now Fry's Signature) at 90th St. and Shea in Scottsdale and the former Smitty's (now Fry's Marketplace) at 90th St. and Via Linda (.5 miles from one another) are still open.

I also know that the former Smitty's (Fry's Marketplace) at Rural / Ray is open and is diagonal to a Fry's Food and Drug but I thought that the Fry's Food and Drug at that location was a legacy Fry's and not a Smith's.

The legacy Fry's at 17th Ave and Camelback has now closed, while the former Smith's .75 miles away at 7th Ave and Camelback is still open (as Fry's).

A trick I used to use to distinguish from a former Fry's, Smith's, or Smitty's was to use the in-store bank. If the in-store bank was a Wells Fargo, it was a former Smith's, if the in-store bank was a Chase, it was a former legacy Fry's, and if the in store bank was a Bank of America, it was a former Smitty's. However, some of the former Smitty's now have Chase locations in them now.
pseudo3d
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Re: Phoenix - Remembering Smitty's

Post by pseudo3d »

Created a mirror for the content of the Mitch Glaser pages. Not perfect, but it will do.
TonyG
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Re: Phoenix - Remembering Smitty's

Post by TonyG »

Which regular Smitty's (not superstores) were converted into Smith's?
pseudo3d
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Re:

Post by pseudo3d »

jamcool wrote:Dave Trottier, who ran Smitty's of Missouri licensed the name from Arizona and copied the stores fully, down to the restaurant and all. Up until 1998, he owned and operated the chain, which was up to 10 stores. He sold them to Albertsons, who almost immediately rebranded them.

Then in 2001, Albertsons bailed from Southern Missouri, and Ramey Price Cutter bought the stores (with some help from AWG, their supplier). Trottier was planning a re-entry into the market by buying a failed DIllon/Kroger location, so they put the Smitty's name back on a few stores they got (namely on two ex-smitty's/albertsons in Joplin, MO and Waynesville, MO, as well as an acquired store in Lebanon, MO) to keep Trottier from re-using the name.

I noticed the ABS-style font on the building on the home page!
If the stores were copied in format, then they obviously carried the hard goods that Smitty's AZ was known for. When Smitty's AZ was rebranded as Fred Meyer Marketplace, a SN article noted that Smitty's AZ had an average of 110,000 square feet, which is, of course, large for a supermarket but a decent size if it's carrying GM as well. Obviously, Albertsons would've cleared out the GM departments (or did they?) but did they keep the stores that huge? I don't think a single Albertsons-owned store in the last 20 years had stores that went over 95,000 square feet at the maximum.

Of course, that's assuming that the Smitty's format stuck, as even Smitty's AZ started dropping categories under its various owners, and even the Smitty's restaurant would be replaced by food courts in the 1990s. That also assumes that Smitty's MO was as big as Smitty's AZ was.
pseudo3d
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Re: Phoenix - Remembering Smitty's

Post by pseudo3d »

OK, I found an article that the Smitty's MO stores only averaged 70k square feet, which is admittedly on the larger end of the scale for Albertsons, though it seems that by the time Albertsons purchased them out, most of the GM was probably dropped.
TonyG
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Re: Phoenix - Remembering Smitty's

Post by TonyG »

Does anyone have a listing of the Smitty's stores at the time of their sale to Smith's?

I know that Smith's bought 28 stores but only 17 of them became Fred Meyer (and later Fry's) Marketplaces.
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