Thrifty Drug in the Northwest

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tkaye
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Post by tkaye »

VibeGuy wrote:There's a Big5 in Gig Harbor, WA, in a strip with a Safeway and what is now a Goodwill thrift store. The Big 5 backlit signage appears to be in the "Thrifty Oval", but there are a couple of...odd features...

Anyone have any ideas about this location? It's just off Highway 16.
Good observation -- I've gone by there many times myself, but never picked up on that. That shopping center (Point Fosdick Square) was built in 1974. It does look like some Pay 'n Save locations built in that era (not all had the high windows and the gate, though) and they were often adjacent to Safeway stores.

I do know that Pay 'n Save had a location across the street in Harbor Plaza (built 1982), where Rite Aid is now. It had the late '80s Pay 'n Save decor inside until a few years ago. Ernst (now Ace Hardware) and Schuck's Auto Supply (still there) were two other Pay 'n Save Corp. subsidiaries in Harbor Plaza. Big 5 was a Thrifty Corp. subsidiary at the time, but Pay 'n Save and it's co-owned chains were not until bought out by Thrifty's parent company until 1988. So, it very well could have been a coincidence that Big 5 went into an ex-Pay 'n Save site. As for the 20-year-old wall graphics, that's not really surprising. Big 5 opened its Silverdale location around 1985, so they were in the area.
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timbabcock
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Post by timbabcock »

So, the House of Values stores were originally opened by Gov-Mart? (By the way, I just heard on the radio the other day that founder and parking magnate Joe Diamond died at the age of 99.) I don't know of any House of Values stores that were in Pierce County, but there was one in Federal Way
House of Values was originally a discount store that was based out of Seattle. I remember their warehouse was off of Spokane St and 1st Ave So. Burien had two stores. One was an appliance store on 1st Ave So. and then the other location accross the street from Burien Plaza that still stands today. I don't recall if they were in the drug store business but I do remember they did carry a lot of variety items as well as a garden section.

Back in 1973 K-Mart acquired Gov-Mart and House of Values at the same time and called them Payless. At the same time the food divsion was spun off into Bazar Foods. Some K-Marts changed their food stores to Bazar Foods including the Tacoma location a few blocks away from Pearl St. The Gov-Mart store in Lakewood wasn't affected in the transition and remained in business until around 1976 when it was converted into a Fred Meyer.

The reason why they never used the Payless name in Pierce, Thurston, and Kitsap counties was because there was another Payless company called Payless of Tacoma which was had no affiliation to the K-Mart division. They kept the House of Values name in those markets and then they switched the store names to Value Giant. Around 1990 Payless of Tacoma filed for bankruptcy and the K-Mart division took over the stores and closed most of the former House of Values/Value Giant locations. Once that acquistion was completed, Thrifty took over Payless from K-Mart. Then the Pay n Save name would disappear as well.

Pretty confusing isn't it? I think most of these transactions went down due to the economy in the area. In 1973 the Seattle area was still recovering from the Boeing bust of 1969 and the 1990 recession wasn't very kind to Pierce County with layoffs from Weyerhaeuser, military cutbacks, and the transition from Puget Sound Bank to Key Bank.
justin karimzad
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Post by justin karimzad »

justin karimzad wrote:as of September 15, 1972, The Los Angeles Thrifty Drug had at least one store in Washington.
Apparently, Thrifty Drug/Giant T had operated in Washington at least as early as December 11, 1968.
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Post by marshd1000 »

Back in 1973 K-Mart acquired Gov-Mart and House of Values at the same time and called them Payless. At the same time the food divsion was spun off into Bazar Foods. Some K-Marts changed their food stores to Bazar Foods including the Tacoma location a few blocks away from Pearl St. The Gov-Mart store in Lakewood wasn't affected in the transition and remained in business until around 1976 when it was converted into a Fred Meyer.

I am afraid that I need to disagree with some of what was said above. While I don't have documentation, I believe that K-Mart acquired Payless in the 1980's. It is true that Bazar Foods did take over the K-Mart food locations in Western Washington however. Also the Gov-Mart store in Lakwood did indeed become a Fred Meyer. But I believe that K-Mart acquired Payless NW in the 1980's when they were on a buying spree of expansion. During that time, K-Mart also acquired Price Savers (which became Pace then Sam's Club), Walden Books and Borders, and Builder's Square. Eventually all were sold off and then K-Mart went into bankruptucy and eventually acquired Sears.
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Post by storewanderer »

1989
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justin karimzad
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Post by justin karimzad »

Nice find. Thanks.
justin karimzad
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Post by justin karimzad »

justin karimzad wrote: Apparently, Thrifty Drug/Giant T had operated in Washington at least as early as December 11, 1968.
I think I've narrowed Thrifty/Giant T's entry into Washington to sometime between June 2, 1966 and March 30, 1967.
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submariner
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Post by submariner »

tkaye wrote:...Big 5 opened its Silverdale location around 1985, so they were in the area.
Speaking of Silverdale, the Rite Aid on Silverdale Way in the Safeway shopping center, Was that a Thrifty as well, and/or what is the history into that location? The strip seems to be a couple decades old at least, judging by the floor tiles that don't match the store's layout...
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Post by VibeGuy »

Next to JoAnn? Totally built as a Payless store, in 1979/1980. That center was part of the Silverdale growth from the opening of Subase Bangor.

The Safeway there is a newbuild as of about 2000ish - the original layout had Payless where Rite Aid is now and the Hallmark store where the road is between the Safeway/Hallmark building and the "other" building. Ernst had a 40K ft^2 building there somewhere, too, which would have closed in 1996 or so. I think that accounts for all the space in that site - Safeway, Ernst/Malmo and Payless, with a couple of minor tenants.

One mystery to me is where the Best Products showroom would have been in Silverdale. My Spidey-Senses don't get the characteristic 1980's Best ping off anything there.

Incidentally, RiteAid is not long for that space. They're taking the old Firestone building and some of the office building on the corner of Bucklin Hill and Silverdale way, and building a new store with a drive-up.

E
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submariner
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Post by submariner »

VibeGuy wrote: One mystery to me is where the Best Products showroom would have been in Silverdale. My Spidey-Senses don't get the characteristic 1980's Best ping off anything there.
The only thing I might suggest is possibly the vacant front next to PetSmart? I thought it might have been a ervice Merchandise, but I could be wrong. I know Best Buy and Old Navy used to be Freddy's, and there used to be a US location of Future Shop that is now home to Castle Adult Novelty and another tenant called Mattress Ranch (The jokes never end about that combination of stores) Thoughts?
tkaye
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Silverdale

Post by tkaye »

Without getting too far off-topic, I just wanted to add some to the discussion of various stores in Silverdale...

The Rite Aid store was originally a Pay 'n Save and still had the late '80s blue-and-green interior until a few years ago. It became a PayLess in '92 when they bought P'n'S... PayLess rarely did much remodeling and many of the Pay 'n Save stores went untouched until Rite Aid took over. This one was no exception. From what you describe, they still have the original light brown linoleum outlining the camera department. (The Bremerton store in Wheaton Mall was a few years older and had a darker brown tile floor in the camera and cosmetics departments.) Ernst was on the north part of the Silverdale Plaza property and sat perpendicular to the Safeway (which was originally built as a superstore) and Pay 'n Save.

Besides Bremerton and Silverdale, P'n'S had a store in the Poulsbo Village Shopping Center and in Port Orchard at the South Kitsap Mall.

Best Products came to Silverdale in 1995 and was on Mickelberry Road N.W. in the location now occupied by Linens 'n Things. Nothing spectacular about the building, really. It obviously didn't last very long, as the chain went bankrupt a couple of years later.

The vacant building next to PetSmart was The Good Guys and has sat empty since they left. By the way, the Sportsman's Warehouse was a Home Base store -- it sat vacant a long time as well. That block has had some bad luck -- I suppose it was due to the lack of direct access from Ridgetop Boulevard.

Future Shop was never in Silverdale. The building with the adult novelties and mattress shops used to be a Silo electronics store.
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submariner
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Post by submariner »

Thanks for the clarification. With more ships now in Bangor and the Narrows bridge now tolled, I have a feeling Silverdale will be growing. I surprised the former Good Guys location isn't occupied yet, it's been my observation vacancies in the area usually don't last very long.
VibeGuy
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Post by VibeGuy »

tkaye:

So aside from the downtown Bremerton HoV, did PayLess NW (K-Mart subsidiary) have any presence in Bremerton/Silverdale prior to the the P'n'S buyout?

My only guess would be that the Wheaton RiteAid location with the now-abandoned Lowes/Eagle and Albertsons could have been PayLess NW at one point.

Additionally, what the heck was in the strip and building just to the south of the strip as seen below, where the Goodwill/Petco is now? I'd figured that for Best/Jafco for some reason.

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&g ... &z=18&om=1
tkaye
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Post by tkaye »

PayLess NW could not operate stores using the PayLess name in Kitsap (or Pierce) County because there was another PayLess, based in Tacoma and using a similar logo, operating there. PayLess NW acquired the Tacoma PayLess stores around 1989. At that point, they were free to convert the stores operating as Value Giant (which included ex-House of Values locations) to PayLess.

So... at their peak, PayLess NW operated four stores in Bremerton:
-624 Fourth St., ex-House of Values/Value Giant operating in a building that was built as a Tradewell supermarket in 1954
-4205 Kitsap Way (Oyster Bay Shopping Center, built around 1974) was the PayLess Tacoma store; it replaced a store located on the southwest corner of Fifth & Pacific in front of the old Elks Club
-3441 Wheaton Way (Wheaton Mall, built 1975) was a Pay 'n' Save until 1992
-4220 Wheaton Way (built 1966) was originally a huge "one-stop shopping" store with leased departments called Merit Mart, which I believe was owned by the Merit Construction Co. of Tacoma -- they still hold title to the building. In the mid-'70s, Merit Mart was sold to Value Giant (which was owned by Castle & Cooke, parent company of the Dole pineapple folks); the Merit Mart supermarket became a Mark-It Foods warehouse for a few years before Albertsons moved in from its old location at Sixth & Montgomery. Value Giant then occupied the area basically where Eagle/Lowe's was and a portion of the current Rite Aid area.

Value Giant opened up into a small mall concourse which took up the rest of what's now Rite Aid; Albertsons was separated by a wall with automatic doors. In between, there was a J.K. Gill stationers, a snack bar, a florist, insurance company, and a small video arcade. A branch of the National Bank of Bremerton was located in Value Giant, basically in the midst of the apparel department. There was also an optometrist, furniture store, and an auto repair that leased space at Value Giant. There was a Gull service station where Shari's is now and the Taco Bell started life as a Herfy's. In later years, I recall that the layout of the store changed, but there was an interesting hodge-podge of wall graphics (some which probably dated back to Merit Mart) that didn't always match the merchandise underneath.

After PayLess NW purchased the Tacoma/Bremerton stores, they were free to change Value Giant to a PayLess Drug. They obviously did not require as much floor space and the building was remodeled to its current configuration in 1991. Albertsons' roof collapsed in the big storm of December 1996; Rite Aid took over in 1997. Rite Aid closed the Wheaton Mall store months after the handover, which was one of two boneheaded moves. They hold the master lease to their current location, which probably motivated them to stay there. They were also able to block Lowe's from demolishing the building and building a new store there -- that's why they moved down the street. So... Rite Aid's own poor business decisions are responsible for the current condition of that center, which is really quite sad, considering what it once was.

The Petco/Goodwill location was a grocer called Bag and Save Foods, which also had a location in Harbor Plaza in Gig Harbor (where QFC is now). The large vacant building at the south end of that property was a Pay 'n Pak hardware store (later split up for a United Furniture Warehouse and Treasure House arts and crafts store; Treasure House became Michaels and later relocated to Silverdale) and the Dollar Store was a House of Fabrics, then a "Factory 2 U" close-out apparel store.
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Re: Thrifty Drug in the Northwest

Post by justin karimzad »

A Giant T Drug at 2606 W. Nob Hill Blvd. in Yakima, WA opened around October 1969. A directory search lists that address as Cake Decorator's Shoppe and Nob Hill Plaza now.
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