Sunday, March 25, 2012

Northridge Plaza shopping center, in North Ridgeville, Ohio

Nicholas Eckhart

This shopping center opened in 1973 at 34700 center Ridge Road in North Ridgeville, Ohio with these retailers (from the left side to right side of the shopping center) Fisher's Big Wheel (53,000 square feet), Yum Yum Tree candy store, United States Postal Service, Revco Pharmacy (7,000 square feet), and Meyer Goldberg grocery store (24,750 square feet). There was also a Perkin's restaurant on an out-parcel out front. the only tenant to remain from when the shopping center first opened is the United States Postal Service (which now takes up the former Yum Yum Tree space as well). The Caldor regional offices refurbished the space of the former Fisher's Big Wheel in the mid 1990s. That stayed open until the Caldor chain was liquidated. Afterward's a Marc's store moved in that site. Revco moved to a nearby lot after it was aquired by CVS. The new pharmacy opened as CVS. The Perkin's has since been numerous other family restaurants. I will be back with more information and update this post soon.

Here is somewhat of a set-up plan I made of this shopping center using Bing Maps imagery.

The former Fisher's Big Wheel / Caldor regional offices. This is now a Marc's with one of the new leaf apostrophes, but is the only one I can think of that still has the "guy with a parrot on his shoulder" logo.

The former Revco pharmacy (now Family Dollar) to the left. The Former Meyer Goldberg grocery store (later Big Lots) to the right.

Former Big Lots.

The former Meyer Goldberg / Big Lots. The Big Lots label-scar is still visible.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Pat Catan's (former Tops) in North Ridgeville, Ohio

Nicholas Eckhart

     Well, I noticed recently that there are very posts on Tops Friendly Markets online. This is a post on the Pat Catan's craft store (a former Tops store) in North Ridgeville, Ohio at 33799 Center Ridge Road, North Ridgeville, Ohio. The store is 49,000 square feet.

     This store opened as a Tops Friendly Markets prototype store on September 25th, 2002. Some of the features this Tops had that others at the time did not are a Pharmacy with a consultation room and a Carry-out Cafe. Tops was a brand that was only in Ohio for a pretty short time.

     Finast (chain later re-branded Tops) was owned by Ahold (also then parent of Tops) since 1988. All of the Pick-N-Pay stores in Ohio were re-branded to the Finast name by 1994. Since Tops and Finast were owned by the same company their stores looked remarkably similar to each other. The notable differences were the in-store brands and the signage. Ahold then decided for multiple reasons to re-brand all their Finast stores to Tops (completed by 1998). This store in particular was originally opened under the Tops name; one of the only stores in Northeastern Ohio to originally be opened as Tops. Tops closed all Northeastern Ohio stores in late 2006. After the pull-out Morgan Stanley bought the Tops chain from Ahold.

     In May 2009 this store opened as one of the larger Pat Catan's craft stores (a regional chain of 22 stores). This Pat Catan's store creatively uses the space left over from the Tops Pull-out of Northeastern Ohio. The old specialty sections, such as the voids left by the Deli and Bakery, had the grocery equipment removed and aisles re-aligned to fill the space. Some of the old Tops fixtures remain intact (such as checkouts and shelves), but most Tops signage was removed. It is also clear in the back of the store that some walls were moved around to further expand the size of the sale-floor area.

The storefront of this Pat Catan's. the exterior makes it very evident this was once a Tops grocery store.

The Center Ridge Road sign for this store.

The front lobby of this store, where carts and specials are located.

A view of the checkout area; looking towards the former Bakery.

The Customer Service area and the space I think was previously occupied by the Tops Pharmacy.

This floral section was once the former Produce and Floral area for Tops.

The former wine sale area; looking towards the old Deli and carry-out Cafe.

The former Bakery is to the right. The checkouts are also along the right.

The former Bakery

The aisle along the side wall; looking towards the old Bakery

The old Deli and carry-out cafe

More of the old Deli and carry-out cafe 

A view of the old food preparation space, the equipment was removed.

Some of the still intact signage from Tops. The Catan's was added after the conversion of this store from a grocery store to a craft store.

  • Here are some photos I took of the shopping center this store is in.

A former Donato's Pizza restaurant (has since been converted to Senor Coyotes mexican restaurant)

More of the Donato's Pizza restaurant

A Blockbuster store that has since closed

Sears Grand to Kmart Conversion in Westlake, Ohio

Nicholas Eckhart

Closing April, 2014

     This Kmart was expanded in the early 1990s and was changed to the Big Kmart concept in the late 1990s. As a test trial, Sears Holdings changed this store to the Sears Grand concept in 2005.

     Unlike the few stores that were built from the ground up as Sears Grand, this store was a poorly converted Kmart. This Sears Grand store did not seem to have any sales or food and did have kind of a horrible smell. As Sears Grand, business picked up for a while because of the new name on the store, but then shrunk to be less than when the store was Kmart. It was soon evident that Sears Holdings Company (SHC) made a mistake when they converted this store to Sears Grand.

     In late 2011, SHC decided that the store would be changed back to Kmart. The Sears Grand started to clear out its merchandise in December of 2011.The sale went on through February 19th 2012 (when the store closed for the harder part of the remodel). My photos from when the store was still Sear Grand were taken in early February.

     On March 2nd, 2012 this store was reopened as Kmart (a day after Kmart's 50th anniversary). The store celebrated its Grand Opening on March 10th. This "new" Kmart offers and lacks some features that typical Kmart stores offer. This store has two fitting room areas instead of the traditional one (sorry, I did not get photos of this), but lacks a Pharmacy. This store features somewhat of a more upscale look than other Kmart stores. The store features a larger pantry section than most Kmart stores and has all new shelves. I have photos taken after the store was reopened as well (below).

      This store is located at 30010 Detroit Road in Westlake, Ohio. This store is located in the Bay Plaza shopping center (also home to Marc's and Pet Supplies Plus). The Kmart is located across the street from two large shopping centers and is very close to Interstate 90. The other shopping center are the Promenade (anchored by Giant Eagle) and Crocker Park (newer style higher class shopping center built to resemble the downtown area of a city).

Store as a Big Kmart from Bing Maps
The store as Sears Grand, Notice the decline in cars. Bing Maps
Here is a setup of the area that I made with Bing Maps imagery.

Here are the pictures I took of this store.

The Following Photos are from my 3-3-12 visit to this store.
The exterior of this store, it does not have a similar look on the exterior as other Kmart stores. This store was built to resemble the design of the shopping center it is in.

The Garden Center, an Interstate 90 off ramp is in the background.

The Milk for sale and some of the pantry section.

A blurry photo of the price scanner. It is clear that this was taken from a different store since it has the old Big Kmart and Super Kmart logos on it.

The Electronics Section of this Kmart. This electronics section is the best one I have found at a Kmart. At other Kmart stores I have been in the Electronics sections are very closed off, but here it actually seems like part of the store.

A look towards the back of the store

The sign above the pole says price scanner, but there was a  phone on this pole at the time of my visit.

Another view of the same pole.

A nicer shoe department than others found in Kmart stores.

A look towards the Layaway and the Restrooms.

The seasonal section

More of the seasonal section

An aisle that was partially stocked during my visit.

Notice the call for service sign. I looked around for a phone, but could not find one.

One of the Electrical / Fiber Optics boxes, is it just me or is this  a real eyesore.

An aisle looking towards the larger than average Kmart pantry (it still only had three refrigerators). The large vent in the ceiling and the exposed lighting kind of bring down the effect of the remodel.

Pantry section

Two of the store's three refrigerators.

The pantry section

The unfinished Garden Center

The full expanse of the seasonal section

The Home Improvement section

Sporting Goods and Exercise equipment. Notice the bikes blocking the aisle, that does not seem well thought out. 

A closer look at the aisle blocking bikes

An emergency exit. I cannot believe they did not removed the old sign before putting the new one up.

Sporting Goods

Back aisle of the store

Restrooms and Layaway

Part of the Home section

In the Clothing section; looking towards the back of the store.

In the clothing section; looking towards the front entrance of the store.

  • The following photos are from my 2-6-12 visit to the store (while it was still Sears Grand).
Where the shoes were located during the remodel (this is now Health and Beauty).

The Main Entrance

Nothing is for sell on the other side of this curtain

A view of some new aisles.

A Sears Grand cart

New shelves waiting to be assembled. The Garden Center entrance is in the background.

Unfinished Pantry section

Looking towards the closed of section of the store.