Sunday, May 12, 2019

Former Albertsons Express #4471 - Sanford, FL

*** All photos in this post are courtesy of Kurt V. ***
Albertsons Express #4471
360 W. Lake Mary Boulevard, Sanford, FL

     Unfortunately, I wasn't able to get this week's feature post done in time (an opportunity for a retail trip arose, and that trip was just enough to set me back on my blogging). So while that post will get pushed to next Sunday, I do have something else to feature today. Thanks to AFB contributor Kurt V., I now have some photos to share of the extremely well preserved Albertsons Express gas station in Sanford. This gas station is located on an outparcel of the former Sanford Albertsons (store #4471), a store which I featured in much detail here and here. Since those original posts, the Sanford Albertsons has found some new permanent tenants in LA Fitness and Fancy Fruit and Produce, which you can read more about in the update post here. I attempted to cover the former Sanford Albertsons Express location in my first post about this store, but that coverage turned into an exterior shot of the convenience store and a blurry photo of an old Albertsons sign on a soda machine. When I went inside the convenience store on that first trip, the man at the counter was watching every move I made, which caused the lack of photos. Kurt reports that the lady working the store on his visit was also keeping a watchful eye on him, but his attempt at photos turned out much better than mine way back when! So what did the interior of an Albertsons Express look like you ask? Well, here you go:

     As you can tell, this new owners of this gas station do so little to this place, that the Albertsons Express logo is still there in plain view on the convenience store's back wall! This is exactly what 2000's built Albertsons Express would have looked like. This was one of the fancier convenience stores Albertsons built, as I've seen some that were smaller and were more limited in selection. This particular Albertsons Express opened with the adjoining Albertsons store in 2000. It was fairly common for a gas station to accompany Albertsons stores built in the early 2000's, even here in Florida. This Albertsons Express location lasted until 2008, when the Florida Albertsons Express locations all went to independent owners. Since 2008 this place has operated as "Sanford Express", featuring Shell gasoline. Even though that's the case, this place is essentially an Albertsons Express in all but name today!

     Over here on the right side wall, a clock was used in a rather poor attempt to cover the Albertsons logo. The spotlights illuminating the trim with the category names was another distinctive Albertsons Express feature. Also on the trim were some neon signs, typically located under the Albertsons Express logo. The neon sign on this wall features "Beverage Blvd.", one of the classic department names from the Grocery Palace decor. The other neon signs in the convenience store were road themed as well. In the previous photo we saw "Snack Ave.", and in the next photo we'll see "Check Out Ln.".

     The cash register is located along the left side wall, near the front entrance. The restrooms can be seen beyond the register counter.

     To wrap up this post, here's an overview shot of this gas station as seen from Google Street View. Here we can see the gas canopy in addition to the convenience store in the background.

     While there isn't much from Albertsons left at the main store here in Sanford anymore, the old Albertsons Express clearly hasn't changed much since it opened in 2000! If you need gas in the Sanford area, this place is a great throwback to the days of Albertsons in Florida.

     Anyway, that's all I have for now. Thank you Kurt for sending in these photos, and come back next week for some more Albertsons!

Until next time,

The Albertsons Florida Blogger


  1. Sweet photos! It's so cool to be able to see the interior of this place so unchanged. Thanks, Kurt!

    Also, hope your retail trip went well, AFB!

    1. Yeah, this place is a real throwback to the good old days of Florida retail! I'm glad Kurt was able to get some documentation of this place to share with everyone.

      My trip went well too, thanks for asking. I'd say over 150 photos of a mall on death's doorstep was a successful day out (in addition to covering a few other things along the way).

  2. Even the stucco facade texturing on the front of Sanford Express matches the facade on what remains on the former 4471 main building. That logo on the inside wall may be one of last places in this state where Albertsons exists in appearance!

    1. They went through a lot of trouble to make sure everything matched here. And yes, the Albertsons logo in here is one of the last places I can think of in Florida where it's still visible to the public eye (even when it probably wasn't supposed to be). The only other Albertsons sign I know of still floating around in Florida is at that mini-Albertsons in Gainesville I hear someone is trying to get up and running :)

    2. Haha yep! That guy in Gainesville must have something against being loyal to Publix. He drives past sometimes 2 or 3 Publixes to shop at either Aldi, Luckys Market, Earth Fare, Trader Joe's and Winn-Dixie, but then the Pub subs always bring him back for a sandwich. Currently the mini Albertsons has accrued a large supply of roof sheathing for repairs in Lynn Haven, however once that is all removed (hopefully in June), work will continue on decor props such as a 'Beverage Boulevard' sign and 'Snack Central' basket!