Andrew T.

Andrew T.

Posted on 12/10/2008

Photo taken on May  1, 2008


West Virginia
Minolta X-370

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Kroger proto-superstore, Bluefield, WV

Kroger proto-superstore, Bluefield, WV
The '50s barrel-roof store closed when this new Kroger location opened on Cumberland Road; coinciding with the opening of Bluefield's first shopping center, which also contained a W.T. Grant department store (later Kmart, currently subdivided). This store is surprisingly old as far as still-extant Krogers go; dating back to 1970. Although the exterior has obviously been renovated (and the interior might have gone through as many as five decor jobs in its operational life), numerous older details are visible closer up: Original aluminum-frame doors (!); thick-framed, incandescent "Exit" signs, and some cases that might well be original.

Although ostensibly predating the superstore era, this store has a very superstore-like interior layout; complete with mezzanine windows overlooking the deli. Floor tile is plain white, with a thin orange stripe running parallel to the back wall. The adjacent retail space (originally SupeRx) has been annexed for an in-store pharmacy, and the wall between is still largely intact.