The Andrew Turnbull Network

presents

Supermartifacts / The Artifacts of Kroger

[Kroger logo]

Part 1 - Part 2 - Part 3

Unless noted otherwise, all photos on these pages were taken by Andrew Turnbull over a period of more than 10 years.


Superstores

[Kroger store]

In 1972, Kroger introduced a new store design. Dubbed "superstores" in advertising and press, these supermarkets were larger than previous stores and featured amenities such as in-store delicatessens and cheese shops. The superstores also had elaborately-detailed exteriors and interiors with a wide range of consistent, distinctive, and recognizable features:

[Kroger article]

Charleston (WV) Gazette, 27 Apr. 1972.

Kroger aggressively "rolled out" the superstore throughout its trade area with a rash of store construction, and new stores of this design were built until 1979. Some older 1950s and 1960s stores were also updated into the superstore style, sometimes even with arches added to the entrance.

These structures perfectly capture the 1970s aesthetic at its most intense...and, dare I say, at its most tasteful. Unfortunately even though many buildings of this era survive, it's tough to find one that hasn't been severely remodeled and shorn of its disco-era features by now...particularly if they still house Kroger stores.


[Kroger store] [Kroger store]

3013 N. Sterling Ave., Peoria, IL
2016

This superstore originally featured an adjacent drugstore (now CVS), and a second set of arches is visible at the opposite end of the shopping centre. Several original decor elements are visible inside, including the wood slat pattern on the back wall. It's also likely to be an early superstore, with taller windows and a shorter parapet over the arches than most.

[Kroger store] [Kroger store]

Putnam Village Shopping Center, Scott Depot, WV
1974 (Sunday Gazette-Mail), 2009

Opened 8 April 1973 in defiance of a Sunday closing law; replaced in the 1980s. The canopy with arches has since been removed from the building.

[Kroger store] [Kroger store]

4522 Robert C. Byrd Dr., Beckley, WV
2008, 2013

Opened 2 July 1974, in advance of the (now-demolished) Raleigh Mall. Originally featured an adjacent SupeRx store. The building was remodeled by 2013 to obscure its supermarket origins.

[Kroger store]

5771 Godfrey Rd., Godfrey, IL
2016

Still in operation as a Ruler Foods store under Kroger ownership.

[Kroger store] [Kroger store]

3021 E. Jackson Ave., Jackson, MI
2016

At the time I photographed it, this sight in Michigan was quite possibly the last 1970s Kroger store with a perfect, original exterior left in operation anywhere. Unfortunately, the store ultimately closed for good on 7 April 2018.

[Kroger store]

36111 E. Michigan Ave., Wayne, MI
2016

Closed in 2015. The canopy arches have been covered by siding.

[Kroger store]

605 W. 4th St., Rolla, MO
2015

This modestly-remodeled superstore remains in operation, and is another rare Missouri sighting.

[Kroger store]

9 Lincoln Center, Troy, MO
2016

 

[Kroger store]

7779 Tylersville Rd., West Chester Twp., OH
2009

 

[Kroger store] [Kroger store] [Kroger store]

2908 State St., Gassaway, WV
2009

Opened with an adjacent SupeRx store. This superstore still remains in operation with a (more or less) original exterior, although the "Prescriptions" and "Delicatessen" signs have since been removed.

[Kroger store]

308 Stokes Dr., Hinton, WV
2008

Still in operation, although the brickwork has since been painted over.

[Kroger store] [Kroger store]

1332 Stafford Dr., Princeton, WV
2008

Opened 14 Jan. 1977; replaced in 1985. Much of the original superstore decor remained in place for decades afterward, though it's probably gone now.

[Kroger store] [Kroger store]

3328 Georgia St., Louisiana, MO
2015

Remodeled and now operating as County Market. A "turret" with the characteristic superstore arches is still visible at the opposite end of the shopping centre.

[Kroger store]

53 Donnermeyer Dr., Bellevue, KY
2013

This was a superstore at one time. Unfortunately, the building was cloaked in a new facade and renovated beyond recognition shortly before I drove past it in 2013...

[Kroger store] [Kroger store]

821 Lincoln Highway W., New Haven, IN
2016

Another operational superstore that's been remodeled to oblivion. The original brick colour was matched for the updated facade, however, and the shopping centre walkway retains its original appearance.

[Kroger store]

1405 W. Garfield Ave., Bartonville, IL
2016

And yet another! Fortunately, a portion of the original facade on this store is still visible.


Kroger Sav-On stores

In the late 1970s, Kroger began introducing combined food-drug stores into some markets. Initially, these stores had unique branding (as "Kroger Sav-On") and featured unique exteriors of fluted block with rounded corners, contrasting markedly with the superstores.

[Kroger store]

3110 N. National Rd., Columbus, IN
2011

Sav-On stores had enormous footprints...evident here, since less than two-thirds of the frontage fit in the photo! The entrance area here has been added onto to be more elaborate; originally, these stores would have had a flat facade with no decoration other than a slit of unprotected windows and doors. Big though it was, this store was replaced in 2016.

Continued...







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Last update 4 June 2018.