Smith's Store architecture in the 80's

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Dan488

Smith's Store architecture in the 80's

Post by Dan488 » 19 Sep 2006 16:10

Smith's seemed to have a unique store design back in the 80's. Most of them found in Utah, Nevada, and Arizona, (now Fry's). In the old days, the stores used to have open enterances where the doors are invisible. There was actually manual sliding pocket doors. However they had powerful air blowers blowing air down as a barrier to keep the store climatized. I have noticed that many Smith's stores and some Fry's stores, retrofitted the enterance into the standard automatic sliding doors. The Fry's in my town still has the original enterance with the air blowers and manual sliding pocket doors that become completely invisible when slid completely open. The former Smith's building was built in 1987. Aside from signage change, new floor tile, most of the building is pretty original.

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Post by Super S » 19 Sep 2006 21:53

In the late 80s, Fred Meyer split up their Longview, Washington store into two buildings, and moved sporting goods, home improvement, and garden into a seperate building in front of the main store and they had an open entrance like that. I have not seen that used at any other Fred Meyer. That particular building, which at one point I believe was a Safeway, was demolished a couple years ago when Fred Meyer added on to their main store and put a gas station where this building used to stand.

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Post by Dan488 » 23 Sep 2006 18:54

I forgot to mention that Haggen's in Bellingham Washington had one of those enterances. Possibly it might have been a former Fred Meyer building.

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Post by Super S » 09 Jul 2007 00:42

I just recalled another store that used this type of entrance. In Vancouver, WA, the Safeway at 136th & Mill Plain, had this setup as recently as summer 2005. Worth noting is that this building was built from the ground up as Food World, which I believe was owned by Zupan's and was their attempt at a warehouse type supermarket. I don't think it even lasted a year before it closed. Anyway, they installed that entrance originally, and Safeway retained it when they bought the store.

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Post by theloosh » 27 Jul 2007 19:51

The Smith's in Las Cruces, NM had that invisible door entrance when I lived there around 2000. However, I think that store has closed since the new Wal-Mart Supercenter opened across the street.

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Post by J-Mac » 11 Dec 2007 02:07

This has me wondering... anyone know if the Frys located at 3616 East Ray Road, Phoenix, AZ is a former Smiths? (This is in the Ahwatukee area of Phoenix.) This store has the "open-door" construction in place, which I find quite notable given the temperatures this store endures.

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Re: Smith's Store architecture in the 80's

Post by bigbubby » 12 Dec 2007 04:04

Dan488 wrote:Smith's seemed to have a unique store design back in the 80's. Most of them found in Utah, Nevada, and Arizona, (now Fry's). In the old days, the stores used to have open enterances where the doors are invisible. There was actually manual sliding pocket doors. However they had powerful air blowers blowing air down as a barrier to keep the store climatized. I have noticed that many Smith's stores and some Fry's stores, retrofitted the enterance into the standard automatic sliding doors. The Fry's in my town still has the original enterance with the air blowers and manual sliding pocket doors that become completely invisible when slid completely open. The former Smith's building was built in 1987. Aside from signage change, new floor tile, most of the building is pretty original.
There is a Smith's in Las Vegas on the west side, don't remember the street, which has that entrance. It feels like you're walking into Home Depot, until you get inside, and it's a supermarket.

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Post by TonyG » 23 Dec 2012 21:31

J-Mac wrote:This has me wondering... anyone know if the Frys located at 3616 East Ray Road, Phoenix, AZ is a former Smiths? (This is in the Ahwatukee area of Phoenix.) This store has the "open-door" construction in place, which I find quite notable given the temperatures this store endures.
That architecture looks just a little different from most Smith's (which have a smaller area above the entrance so that on almost every Fry's that was a former Smith's, there is only the room for the word Fry's (with the Food & Drug in smaller letters beneath).

If you want the most authentic example of Smith's store architecture from that era, check this store out:

4036 North 1st Avenue, Tucson, AZ 85719

or

2480 North Swan Road, Tucson, AZ 85712

Both are about as authentic Smith's as possible. If your store looks like one of those two, it was probably a Smith's.

In the Phoenix area, the 7th Ave / Camelback store and the 90th St / Shea Store are 2 I know off the top of my head that are former Smith's.

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Re: Smith's Store architecture in the 80's

Post by storewanderer » 27 Dec 2012 04:04

3616 looks like a former Smiths to me with an irregular front sign area (the rest of the front looks right). The building shape and even parking lot layout are Smiths looking. as is the placement of the loading dock.

It is possible it is a copycat, though, of Smiths. Many King Soopers stores have the doorless entryway and are a similar size and shape to a Smiths.
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Re: Smith's Store architecture in the 80's

Post by kr.abs.swy » 28 Dec 2012 12:45

We moved to Vancouver in summer 2011 and shopped at the 136th and Mill Plain Safeway frequently until we moved again this year. Before we arrived, it received a lifestyle remodel and the open air front door is gone.

I had wondered about that store's heritage. It just seemed slightly different from a Safeway from the outside. Now I know why.

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Re: Smith's Store architecture in the 80's

Post by Super S » 29 Dec 2012 00:21

kr.abs.swy wrote:We moved to Vancouver in summer 2011 and shopped at the 136th and Mill Plain Safeway frequently until we moved again this year. Before we arrived, it received a lifestyle remodel and the open air front door is gone.

I had wondered about that store's heritage. It just seemed slightly different from a Safeway from the outside. Now I know why.
Safeway previously operated across 136th Ave. in the building that currently is divided into Walgreens, Craft Warehouse, and Baxter Auto Parts. When Food World closed, Safeway jumped at the chance to move into a much larger, and almost brand new, building. As I recall, Safeway did minimal remodeling other than a repaint at first. I have not been inside that location in years and am curious how the latest remodel has changed the layout. I believe one more location opened at the same time in Oregon, perhaps Roseburg, but have never been there and have no idea if that store even exists today.

Moving back to Smith's, I do not remember any of their Idaho stores having this setup at all. One has to wonder how many times animals wander into stores with this type of entrance attempting to find food. Perhaps this is a reason they are not widely used.

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Re: Smith's Store architecture in the 80's

Post by storewanderer » 29 Dec 2012 02:24

The Burley and Idaho Falls Smiths would have had this door (or lack thereof) set up. Installing "standard" doors was something that happened almost immediately under Kroger ownership on the 4 Smiths of this model (at the time) up here in Northern Nevada; those stores all previously had the "open air" doors.

And, the Roseburg Food World is now a Sherm's Thunderbird. That was very much of a warehouse style store, industrial/Costco looking freezers in the back and all.
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Re: Smith's Store architecture in the 80's

Post by kr.abs.swy » 29 Dec 2012 20:01

RE Smith's in Idaho, the Idaho Falls store definitely had the open-air front door. The Pocatello one probably also did. That store closed when Fred Meyer opened a supercenter across the street (the new Fred Meyer replaced the former Grand Central, which didn't have a grocery department).

RE Safeway on Mill Plain in Vancouver, the interior layout seems like that of a standard Safeway since the remodel. Facing the interior from the front doors, the produce section is on the right, the pharmacy and magazine rack are in the back, the new wine section is on the left side, the Starbucks is near the left entrance, customer service is at the front, and the deli counter is at the front left. The store had self-checkouts. They have the Lifestyle floor tiles, but there is no drop ceiling.

The covered area in the front of the store remained.

Also, when Safeway remodeled, they added the "World's Finest" sign on the left side of the store to accommodate the wine section, even though supermarkets in Washington weren't allowed to sell wine at that point. Until wine sales were allowed, the bread section sat under the "World's Finest" sign.

That store seemed to do fine despite a lot of local competition (two Fred Meyers, Chuck's Produce, Trader Joe's, New Seasons, Whole Foods, Winco and a WalMart Supercenter all were located within a couple miles).

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