wnetmacman wrote: ↑February 10th, 2020, 11:52 pm
They weren't really good at getting to every store pre-bankruptcy either. They never really got the full Marketplace decor to every store.
I know many of the Louisiana stores didn't get this decor. Only one west of the Mississippi did, and that's gone now.
There were only two new builds in Louisiana; Covington and New Orleans. No other stores got this level of attention here.
Those are the two I was thinking of, I don't think any of the Transformational stores were actually in AL like I had said. I think it was mostly just FL and LA. I think they really tried to push and make a big deal of these stores out to be more than they were. They really are nice stores, but it's like when JCP or Macy's tries to open a new flagship store, and act as if it will change people's perception of the entire chain - sure that store itself is nice, but it does nothing for the other 99% that haven't and won't ever be at that level of a store.
Most of the red remodels here have been to stores that were obtained from the Sweetbay buyout, and have been pretty simplistic. Although like I said these stores were already pretty modern when W-D got them. Still it's nice to see them try to push forward with them when so many other retailers gave up.
In my area, W-D did a pretty major expansion into central FL around 1973-77, and most of these stores were replaced in the early to mid 90s with Marketplace stores. I don't think many of the 70s stores ever got any updating, the one we shopped at in the early 90s as a kid had 70s looking decor from what I recall. I actually know of one of those 70s stores just south of me that got replaced very early on in 1985 with a new store in the same strip mall. Not sure why. In my town the original store from the 70s was kept and operated along with an early 80s store until around 2000 when the original one closed. In that case the 70s store actually did get a decor update in the 80s. The other store got a very simplistic redo in the early 2000s and then another more thorough one in 2008. Since the Sweetbay buyout once again there are two W-Ds here.
In many towns they have simply replaced the 90s era Marketplace store with the more up to date Sweetbay instead of keeping both. Some towns simply were not large enough to operate two stores, and there were also trade issues especially if the only other stores in town were Walmart and Save A Lot, since Publix typically didn't build in small towns, although that has actually been changing these last few years.
The Marketplace style stores stopped at the end of the 90s/very early 2000s. After that W-D was still opening stores right up to the bankruptcy in 2005, but it was very few and they had a totally different decor that was a bit fancier than the Marketplace one as well as a completely different layout.
Any remodels done in the early 2000s were mainly done to stores that were built prior to the Marketplace era, mostly early-mid 80s stores around here, since the 70s ones were all gone by then. These remodels were typically very simplistic, basically just a repaint and some new decor. There were a few instances where they did more and added new flooring, all new refrigeration, displays and checkout aisles, but it seemed to be pretty uncommon. I only know of one existing store to get the fancier decor they were using in the new builds of the time and it was a 90s Marketplace store that was damaged in a hurricane. Probably the very last store to reopen in 2005 until W-D started opening new stores again in the late 2000s.