Did some digging:BatteryMill wrote: ↑August 30th, 2021, 10:54 amCorrect, considering the town would have likely been large enough for a standard grocery then. Just an FYI, Safeway's last building in Purcellville was constructed in 1968. It is likely that the chain had a smaller store closer to the town center. I'm surprised the Leesburg store is running the way it is considering there's larger competition out there.
According to THE WASHINGTON POST article the Purcellville Safeway had been open for almost 50 years in February 1992, which would make its opening around 1943-44. It seems odd that a store like that would open during WWII with all the wartime rationing going on so I'm guessing late 1945 (post-war) is a more likely opening date. My father (who was nine at this time) lived in NE Pennsylvania and told me of shortages of things like flour and sugar continuing until 1946. at least in his neck of the woods.
You are right about locations. The ex-Town Hall in the center of town was built in 1957 as a Safeway. And according to an 2011 LOUDOUN TIMES MIRROR article I found Safeway moved to the Loudoun Valley Shopping Center when it was built in 1966 and where it remained until it closed and became an IGA. So I wonder where the store was located between 1945 when it was built until 1957.
The Leesburg Safeway apparently was once located further inside town @ South King and Loudoun (it's now at South
King and Catoctin Circle SW). And it does have a lot of competition now. When I moved to Leesburg in 1990 it was just Safeway and one Giant. Now there's two Giant's, a Food Lion (a second closed years ago as did Shoppers Food Warehouse), a new Aldi and a Wegman's. Both Wal-Mart and Target have large grocery sections. Plus there's a Harris-Teeter in nearby Landsdowne as well as a second Aldi and two Lidl's in nearby Ashburn.
ETA: Forgot there's both a Trader Joe's and a Whole Foods in Landsdowne as well...
As an aside I found a January 2021 article on THE ANNANDALE BLOG that says the Safeway in Crossroads Center (Route
7 and Columbia Pike) at Bailey's Crossroads is to be torn down so that the Shopping Center can get a makeover. An
Amazon Fresh will take its place. Demolition was scheduled to start in May.
Also Herndon VA had a Safeway back in the 1950's, a very small building on Spring Street between Elden and Locust.
It later became a carpet store which left and as of a few years ago the building was empty. A new shopping center
(Herndon Marketplace) was built back in 2004 a few blocks to the east and is anchored around a new, much larger Safeway.