Sunday, November 8, 2015

Former Albertsons #4446 - Jupiter, FL


Albertsons #4446/Publix #1333
17400 N. Alternate A1A, Jupiter, FL
The Shoppes of Jonathan's Landing

    Albertsons had a strange run in this town. After closing up shop in Jupiter the first time in 1990 with a store that only lasted three years (#4365), you would think that Albertsons wouldn't come back after suffering such a painful defeat, right? Well, Albertsons is and has always been a company full of surprises. After a seven year hiatus, Albertsons decided to return to Jupiter with a brand new store, located only a half mile west of that original store. In November 1997, Jupiter's brand new Albertsons opened at the corner of Indiantown Road and Alternate A1A, indirectly replacing their original Jupiter store, and according to one article I read, this store also indirectly replaced the Stuart Albertsons (#4382) nearly 20 miles to the north of here, which had closed in the days prior to this store opening, but that's a story for another day. Albertsons' return to Jupiter was much more successful than their original run. This new Albertsons lasted 11 years before it became one of 49 Albertsons Florida stores that were sold to Publix in 2008, a sale that cut Albertsons presence in Florida by half. This was one of four South Florida Albertsons stores to be sold to Publix in that sale, and the only one in Palm Beach County. During that acquisition, Publix completely gutted and in some extreme cases, tore down some of the Albertsons stores they acquired. In other cases, they did practically nothing to the buildings except install their decor and restock the shelves. This store was one of the ones Publix did practically nothing to, as we'll be seeing shortly... 



     While this store looks like a typical Plaza model Albertsons, with an exterior almost reminiscent of the St. Lucie West Albertsons (#4466), this is actually a Pre-Plaza model Albertsons. This was one of the stores built during the era when the Pre-Plaza model stores began to slowly morph into the Plaza model stores. While the exterior looks like a typical Plaza store, the entryway and the entire interior layout of the store is Pre-Plaza.  


     One of the distinct exterior traits of a Pre-Plaza Albertsons was this windowed in area for shopping cart storage, located to one of the sides of the entrance, with it being on the left side at this particular store. In the very first photo of this post, you can see what this area looks like from the front. 


     Looking down the front of the store from the cart storage area. And look at what Publix left on the doors...the original 'Entrance' and 'Exit' decals from Albertsons!


     You can see the decals a little bit better in this photo. This is Albertsons original entryway setup, and the typical entryway set up for a Pre-Plaza Albertsons, with the four separate doors, two for entry and two for exiting. Normally Publix will replace these swing doors with sliding ones when they take over someone else's building. It's actually very unusual that they kept these here, especially complete with Albertsons' decals! 


     Heading inside for our first look at the interior. Turning to the left when you first walk in is the floral department. Honestly, the interior of this store is an Albertsons with Publix decor (3rd Generation Classy Market specifically). Publix left just about everything intact from Albertsons here except for the decor. The only slight modifications Publix had made to this building since they took over was adding the new Publix standard curved front Bakery (which we'll see in a moment), and they added that extra set of sliding doors to the entryway that Albertsons more than likely didn't have.


     Heading down the first aisle, and looking back to see the bakery department, located in the front left corner of the store. The way this store was designed, the entire outer perimeter of the store where all the service departments are located has a warehouse ceiling, and all the grocery aisles in the center of the store are under a drop ceiling. This design was used in the late 90's by Albertsons until the Plaza stores began to be rolled out in 1999, when Albertsons decided to begin using full warehouse ceilings in almost all of their newly built stores. 


     Looking under the bakery awning. The fancy tile work behind the counter was added by Publix when they upgraded the bakery during the remodel to the 3rd Generation Classy Market decor. 


     Looking into the back of the store from the bakery and wee see the produce department, which takes up aisle 1 along with some beach stuff and souvenirs over to the right (which didn't make it in the picture). In the far back left corner is the deli. 


     Looking down the front end. You can see the transition to the drop ceiling here. 


     Heading into the grocery aisles under the drop ceiling portion of the store. As for the decor when this store was Albertsons, this store had Blue and Green Awnings decor, which came out around 1996-1997ish and is what this store had for its entire life as Albertsons. Blue and Green Awnings was the decor that replaced Blue and Gray Market after its long 10 year run, and Blue and Green Awnings' rollout began an era when Albertsons was coming up with new interiors every 2-3 years, some of which began to overlap each other. Blue and Green Awnings lasted until 1999, when it was pretty much phased out for the Theme Park/Grocery Palace interior.   


     Looking down the back aisle. The milk, eggs, butter, and yogurt portion of dairy is located back here where the wall is painted yellow, with meats extending down the rest of the back wall where the wall is painted red, where it then transitions into seafood. 


     Heading back up front...


     I think I've mentioned before how I like these classic photos Publix used to put up in their stores, usually up at the front end, but sometimes elsewhere on the perimeter of the store. Speaking of classic Publix... 


     Somebody forgot to take these old signs down! There were actually quite a few of these signs throughout the store hanging on the sides of these end displays. There's a slight glare, but these signs show a bag of Publix brand groceries featuring Publix's old ribbon logo packaging. I'm surprised always-wanting-to-be-up-to-date Publix hasn't found something to replace these with yet. And what's even weirder: This store opened in 2008 as Publix, approximately 4 years after that packaging was phased out from Publix's shelves!   


     And heading into the frozen food department, located in the center of the store. I believe all of these coolers are original to Albertsons, because they don't look to be of the style of the ones Publix has been using for the last few years. 



     The remaining portion of dairy (cheeses) and the lunch meats were stuffed into the end of this frozen food aisle, along with the beer. 


     Getting closer to the right side of the store and the pharmacy. In front of the pharmacy were about 5 or 6 short aisles featuring health and beauty items and pharmaceuticals, one of which I am standing in. From this aisle, you can see how the drop ceiling looks over the grocery aisles.  


     And in the front right corner of the store is the pharmacy counter, again, same location as it was in this store's Albertsons days. 


     It's hard to tell in this photo, but that white painted portion of the wall is actually painted over wood paneling. Albertsons has always loved using wood paneling in their stores, and they used it in their stores well into the 2000's, long after many people classified it as outdated. 


     In this photo of Aisle 16, we get our best look at the transition from the drop ceiling to warehouse ceiling portion of the store. 


    Seafood in the back right corner. In Pre-Plaza stores, the seafood counter was always located on an angle in either the back right or back left corners of the store, depending on which was the layout was situated. 


     And the final aisle, Aisle 17, is home to wine and bottled water. Publix always puts those arched things over their wine aisles. 


     Looking across the front of the store from the pharmacy to the bakery. 


      Well, that was an interesting store, but now it is time for us to begin heading out...


     Now that we're back outside, let's take a few more quick looks at the exterior. This is looking down the front sidewalk toward the right side of the building from the front entrance. This view does look very similar this view along the front walkway at the St. Lucie West Albertsons.


     Looking back toward the entrance. 


     This is the walkway that leads to the few small storefronts located to the right of the former Albertsons building. 


     And back over on the left side of the building is the former Albertsons liquor store, now home to Publix liquors. 


     Publix even left the original Albertsons decals on the doors over here as well. 


And now for some Bird's Eye satellite images courtesy of Bing Maps:


Front


Right Side


Back


Left Side

And now historic aerials, courtesy of Google Earth:


Former Albertsons #4446 - 2014


Albertsons #4446 - 2005 - Not a bad crowd.


Albertsons #4446 - 1999 - Still relatively new at this point.


Future Albertsons #4446 - 1995


     So that wraps up our look at the former Albertsons stores of Jupiter. Two very different stores with two very different stories, both sharing a common fate: becoming a Publix. Publix seems to be doing fine at both locations, with each location offering different services that compliment each other and the part of town they are located in. 

So until the next time,

The Albertsons Florida Blogger

6 comments:

  1. If aerial photos are anything to go by, this store looks like it was more popular as an Albertsons than a Publix. Wonder if Publix could sell them back this one...

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    1. It sure looks like this Albertsons drew a decent crowd. Publix's problem is that they happen to have two stores within half a mile of each other here (and there's also another Publix three miles to the west). Publix chose to have two stores that do OK business on this side of town, rather than one doing really good business. From my experience going to these two Publix stores (which was back to back in the same evening), this one seemed to me to be busier than the one in the other former Albertsons to the east (but it could have just been that evening). However the other store had more specialty services, which would make me assume that one is the stronger store. I doubt Publix would ever sell anything back to Albertsons, no matter how much they wanted it back. Publix is rumored to be hoarding up real estate in case another large supermarket chain (namely Kroger, although a reborn Albertsons Florida could very well happen now) decided to expand in Florida.

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  2. If Albertsons wanted a backdoor into the Florida market, it would be at the expense of Winn-Dixie, which might happen (as W-D is investor owned too). Such a shame that it had to give up its nicer locations but there you go. Some of the recent drama about Haggen buybacks, the A&P acquisitions, and some existing post merger twins make me think that Albertsons, like Publix, is open to the "two locations" idea. And as appealing by bulking up in Florida by buying Winn Dixie and possibly letting the Florida division exist on its own again is, I'd like to see more in-fill in the Houston division and new-build stores.

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    1. After seeing some of the things that Albertsons has done in the past year, I could now see them as a serious potential candidate to buy Winn-Dixie if they wanted to. Winn-Dixie is still closing stores. One of the Winn-Dixies in my local area just started a going out of business sale yesterday, although a Florida newcomer, Lucky's Market (no relation to the Albertsons owned chain in California - this is one of those Fresh Market type places, based out of Colorado) has announced they would take over that location when Winn-Dixie leaves, and they plan to do $3 million in renovations to the building Winn-Dixie has barely touched since 1982. Albertsons would have to do a lot of work to some of Winn-Dixie's stores if they purchased them, or they could just take the easy way out and keep the nicer stores, and just close off the less well kept stores. Albertsons newest Florida store at the moment opened in 1992 (the Largo store), so all of their nicer late 90's and early 2000's stores have been taken by others or are sitting empty. I'd like to be seeing Albertsons build more new stores as well, but it seems like they'd like to expand more so by acquisitions rather than new construction.

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  3. I worked at the Jonathan's Landing Albertsons in 2003. The drop ceiling was added by Publix, as was the 2nd set of doors in the front. (There was a video rental space back when I worked there) in the front between the customer service desk and the pharmacy. I'm also pretty sure Publix replaced those freezers, I feel like they were black when it was an Albertsons.

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    1. That interesting to know about the ceiling. I've seen other Albertsons stores from this era that had the center drop ceilings back in the Albertsons days, which is what made me think this was one of that same style. I figured Publix was the one to add the second set of doors - that I haven't seen before. As for the freezers, they just looked like an older style and didn't match the typical Publix style ones. Thinking back now, the freezers at my old Albertsons were black, so maybe there were black ones here prior to Publix. Anyway, thanks for that info!

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