Sunday, March 3, 2024

Former Albertsons #4383 - Delray Beach, FL

Albertsons #4383
4801 Linton Bouelvard, Delray Beach, FL - Delray Town Center

Today's post is a presentation of Palm Beach County retail

     Returning to South Florida for our next AFB adventure, today's post actually marks another small milestone for the blog - following this post, I will have written about all 12 of the Albertsons stores that once called Palm Beach County home. Another geographic region down for the blog, but still plenty more former South Florida Albertsons stores to see in Broward and Miami-Dade Counties in the future as we work our way through the rest of this region. For today's "store of honor", former Albertsons #4383 of Delray Beach is another one of the funky subdivision stores, which even after being carved up into thirds, still retains much of its original Albertsons exterior design and detailing. There's plenty to see here in Delray Beach from this building's past life, so let's get started and learn a little more about today's former Albertsons store:

     Albertsons #4383 opened to a massive turnout on April 17, 1991, with crowds of shoppers swarming the store and its parking lot to the point where Albertsons had to hire local police officers to direct traffic due to the massive crowd. The residents of Delray Beach certainly made it known they were happy to have Albertsons as a new grocery option in town! Albertsons #4383 was a standard late 1980's/early 1990's Superstore building, which opened with the Blue & Gray Market decor. I'm not sure if this store ever remodeled again at the turn of the 2000's, but there is a chance it may have kept its original decor in some form all the way until the end (although I'll talk more about that later in the post).

Recreation courtesy of YonWooRetail2

     Albertsons #4383 remained fairly unchanged throughout its 19 years in business, with YonWoo's recreation above capturing the essence of this store while it was still open.

     Albertsons #4383 survived until February 2010, when Albertsons closed all of its remaining stores in Palm Beach County. Following that closure round, store #4319 in Oakland Park was left as Albertsons' sole South Florida outpost, which soldiered on until 2018 when it was sold to Publix following its short-lived conversion to the Safeway banner.

     Following Albertsons' closure, it didn't take long for this building to come back to life, one piece at a time. The former Albertsons liquor store reopened as the independent Palm Beach Liquors shortly after Albertsons left, with Aldi slicing off the left side of the Albertsons building for their new Delray Beach store in 2011. Big Lots took over the middle slice in 2013 with their new store, replacing an older Big Lots location a mile and a half north of here at Delray Square (with Big Lots' old store, ironically, now an Ollie's). The right side of the former Albertsons became home to a contract bridge club around the same time that Big Lots opened.

     The building's new tenants creatively adapted the building's architecture into their new storefronts in a way that didn't look too haphazard, a nice balance of preservation and reuse.

     We're going to begin today's tour in the Aldi portion of the building and then work our way further to the right, before skipping back around to the liquor store at the very end. Why, you ask? Because by the end of one of my posts, I'm sure most of you are ready for a drink! 😁

     Making our way onto the front sidewalk, here's a look at Aldi's entryway, which is right next to the entrance into the liquor store (hence all the liquor displays spilling out onto the sidewalk). Albertsons' left side entryway would have been directly in front of me where the window wall for Aldi's cart corral begins, with the cart corral actually being housed in what was Albertsons's old left-side vestibule.

     Stepping inside, we enter into what would have been the pharmacy side of this Albertsons store, with Aldi's entrance taking shoppers into what would have been Albertsons' old pharmacy box.

     Like just about every other Aldi out there these days, this store has Aldi's current decor, however, unlike other Aldi stores, it still retains the older Aldi layout. When Aldi remodeled a store from the older look to the current one, in most cases produce was moved to the front of the store right inside the entrance from its long-time home in the back. I've seen a few remodeled stores, like this one, where that change never happened, with this store still taking shoppers directly into the snack food aisle like it has since it opened in 2011.

     Moving further down that first aisle, we find the produce department in the back left corner of the store, previously home to Albertsons's health and beauty department.

     Turning the corner from produce, here's a look across Aldi's back wall, which occupies Albertsons' old dairy department.

     I guess that's one way to skirt Aldi's 25-cent cart deposit - snatch a cart from Big Lots next door! I actually see people do that all the time at Aldi stores that happen to be in a shopping center with other retailers with "free" carts. However, if you ever go into an Aldi and don't have a quarter on you (either because you don't carry change or because you lost your special Aldi quarter-holder keychain - yes, that's a thing, and yes, I have a few different ones), the cashiers typically have a few courtesy carts at the front for people to use if you ask.

     Aldi's last aisle is home to frozen foods, with a stockroom on the other side of those freezer doors that serves as the buffer between the Aldi and Big Lots spaces.

     This map is a little outdated at this point, but when I took this photo 5 years ago, I thought it was a neat graphic showing Aldi's coverage across the United States. Since this map was printed, Aldi has entered Arizona, as well as filled in most of those gaps in the south along the Gulf Coast (like the Florida Panhandle, Louisiana, and the rest of Mississippi). Out west, Aldi is planning to enter Las Vegas soon as well. With the way Aldi is growing so rapidly I'm sure the rest of the white areas on that map will become filled-in eventually, either by organic expansion or by randomly announcing the buyout of another grocery chain (and as of March 2024, more details on what Aldi plans to do with Winn-Dixie are still pretty slim).

     Our final interior photo from Aldi looks across the front end toward the right side wall, behind which we'll find Big Lots, where we'll be heading off to next...

     Back outside, behind those windows to my left is Aldi's cart corral, which was built new in the space that formerly housed Albertsons' left side vestibule. The cart corral takes up the exact dimensions of the old vestibule, so even though it is new, the building still retains its symmetry from Albertsons' original design.

     Next up, we have Big Lots. Big Lots occupies the center portion of the former Delray Beach Albertsons, roughly occupying the space from the edge of Albertsons' grand aisle through Frozen Foods.

     Being in the center of the building, Big Lots carved a new entrance in the middle wall between the two vestibules, where Albertsons' service desk once was. When Albertsons was here, under those arches would have been a plain wall, however, the arches also look really good complimenting the new windows and doors installed by Big Lots. The people who subdivided this building did a good job of tastefully blending in the old Albertsons architecture for the new tenants.

     Stepping inside Big Lots, here's a look out the window from along the store's left side wall. Big Lots built a new vestibule that projects inward, leaving this windowed area as a little alcove at the start of the store's hardlines departments.

     Turning around, here's a look down the store's left side wall, home to toys, hardware, and seasonal products. The area I was standing in was a small catch-all area for special buys and other random overstock items, like that gazebo that lost its home when the Christmas items took over the seasonal department. These days, this part of this store is most likely home to "The Lot", Big Lots' new promotional/closeout corner that rotates out seasonally (and is the company's latest attempt to try to bring more closeout items back in store, after mostly abandoning closeouts in recent years). I took these photos just before "The Lot" made its national debut, with that department now a staple of Big Lots stores right as you walk in the doors.

     And speaking of how old these photos are, we also see another casualty of Big Lots' ever changing whims to see what merchandise sticks and what doesn't in the photo above - the frozen food coolers. Big Lots began removing the row of Frozen Food coolers from stores around 2020, condensing the store's selection of refrigerated goods from 12 doors worth of product to a small cooler on an endcap containing nothing more than milk and eggs. I'd have to say that move was probably for the best though, as Frozen Foods aren't something I think of when "Big Lots" pops into my mind. Following the removal of all the coolers, the former Frozen Food space usually became home to additional shelf space for more dry grocery products. Anyway, that aside, here we're looking down the store's left-side actionway, which is roughly in the location of where Albertsons' Frozen Foods aisles once were (this paragraph came full circle!).

     Moving further toward the back left corner of the store, we find the seasonal department, tucked into the corner to my left and overflowing with Christmas merchandise during the time of my visit. Big Lots is one of those stores where the first signs of the next season's Christmas products begin to appear at the end of July, so we're only 4 months away from seeing the first signs of this stuff appearing again!

     Turning the corner, we find a few aisles of pet products along the back wall, followed by Furniture in the store's back right corner.

     From the back of the pet aisles, here's a look down the store's back wall, showing off that orange stripe that runs across the top of the walls (a typical feature of a mid-2010's Big Lots store). Big Lots kept the signage and "decor" we see here until the rollout of the "Store of the Future" in 2017. The "Store of the Future" was supposed to be rolled out to all of Big Lots' stores in the years that followed, however, the chain has mostly given up on the remodeling kick of late. The most recent Big Lots remodels have been nothing more than installing the new "Bigionaire" signage package around the store - the push to install the new layout with furniture in the center and new flooring and wall paint has mostly come to a halt. New stores still use the "Store of the Future" layout, but have the current "Bigionaire" signage on the walls instead. I actually think the "Bigionaire" signage looks nicer than the old "Store of the Future" signage, as there's more to it visually.

     Moving along, we find ourselves in the back of the furniture department, which extends into this alcove in the very back right corner of the building. The wall to my left appears to be the back of the bridge club space, with this furniture alcove occupying the approximate location of Albertsons' former produce department.

     The corridor to the restrooms is located here in the furniture department, and with the way this building was chopped up, it doesn't appear to be a relic from Albertsons.

     Between the alcove and what space it took up on the main salesfloor, this store had a lot of furniture on display, but that is to be expected from Big Lots these days. With furniture being such a large component of Big Lots' sales, the company had a bit of a hurdle to navigate through in late 2022 when their largest furniture supplier, the United Furniture Company, suddenly went bankrupt and left many of Big Lots' stores without any furniture to sell. Big Lots had a rough 2023 financially, and the furniture supply problem is credited with being a large factor in that, among other issues that article goes into. Big Lots closed 50 stores over the last year too, a changing tide for a company that seemed to be turning its fortunes around as we entered the 2020s.

     Stemming from those woes of 2023, Big Lots has yet again pivoted its branding and image. Just in the last few weeks, Big Lots debuted an updated logo - the same logo they've used for the last 23 years, just sans the iconic exclamation point. A new tagline was introduced also - "America's Discount Home Store" - a fairly short and sweet way to show how closeouts are not the company's specialty anymore, and how they now want to be known as a home decor store instead. This new tagline also fits in with the new "Big Lots Home" prototype stores that debuted in fall 2023, which sell only furniture and home decor merchandise. For a while I've been saying that Big Lots wants to be Home Goods with a food department, but now it seems like Big Lots just wants to be Home Goods.

     2024 will be another year of seeing what Big Lots feels like selling and not selling, as the company's identity crisis continues and these stores continue to evolve. Hopefully Big Lots can turn around some of the misfortunes from last year to keep the company stable, and that the newest changes don't cause even more financial damage. I'll be keeping an eye on Big Lots from time to time to see what they're up to, but I should have everybody up to speed on what the company's been up to lately.

     Now that I have my traditional speech about Big Lots' operations out of the way (as I can't seem to have a Big Lots tour without one, as it's just fascinating how a retailer can't figure out what it wants to be), let me try to get this tour back on track! The photo above looks down the building's right side wall, looking from furniture toward the rest of the houseware aisles.

     The entire right side of the store is home to housewares - bedding, towels, vacuums, wall art, cookware, decorative froof - it's all here.

     Moving over to the right side actionway, here's a look from furniture toward the front of the store. The center aisles are home to the grocery, cleaning, and health and beauty products, an example of one of the grocery aisles here:

     Big Lots' grocery aisles line up with where Albertsons' grocery aisles used to be, although we would have been seeing more Blue and Gray tones on the wall instead of orange when Albertsons was here (this store was built after Albertsons' days of being heavy on the orange).

     A small aisle of electronics was housed at the very front of the store, from which we can see Big Lots' new entrance. Behind that wall to my left is Albertsons' original right side vestibule, which was closed off and converted into a break room and offices. The door into the old vestibule space is located behind that rack of sunglasses, and was propped open when I was here to give me time for a quick peek inside (and it was quick, because as soon as I tried to look inside an employee walked into that room and shut the door behind him). From that glance I had, I did see the old windows were drywalled over, and the room isn't very exciting or full of Albertsons remnants these days.

     Our final interior photo gives us an overview of Big Lots' front end, still featuring its original layout. Like most Big Lots stores recently, this store had its registers converted into a queue system, which you can see at that link.

     Back outside, we look across the front walkway from Big Lots toward the right side of the building. The windows to my left are original to Albertsons and line the length of the old right side vestibule, although they are now painted over in black.

     With two of the three tenants in this former Albertsons space down, let's work our way over to the right side of the building to check out our last tenant...

     Occupying a small sliver of what was once Albertsons grand aisle, we find Jourdan's Bridge Club:

     Being involved in this hobby of documenting old retail stores, I've seen my fair share of strange things occupying former supermarkets, but finding a Contract Bridge Club in a slice of a former Albertsons was one of the more unusual reuses I've come across. Until I saw this place, I didn't realize bridge was still a big enough thing to warrant a 10,000 square foot slice of a prominent retail center for the club headquarters - I'd have thought the rec room at the local Moose Lodge on Tuesday nights would have sufficed! However, I guess Delray Beach still had a pretty big bridge scene here in the late 2010's, keeping alive the game the Ricardos spent many an evenings playing with the Mertzes.

      The entrance into the bridge club was carved out of the wall Albertsons' deli would have once backed up to. It looks like there were some folks in the bridge club playing a rubber or two, as the lights inside were on and the door on the left looks a bit ajar. Much like we saw inside Aldi and Big Lots, the Bridge Club's interior didn't have much left from Albertsons to distract the players with, however, if we turn to our left, I did find an Albertsons relic that will trump your bid and make you think I had all 13 spades in my hand:

     No tricks here - that's Albertsons' old right side entry doors sealed off with the glass painted over in black. When Big Lots walled off the old vestibule to convert it into office space, they left all of Albertsons' old doors and windows in place, even though Big Lots had no plans to use them. I'm sure that method saved Big Lots some money on construction, but it left us a small reminder of store that first occupied this building. In addition to the doors, the can lights overhead are original to Albertsons too, and a common feature from their stores.

     The old Albertsons decals were scraped off and replaced with the lone "NO ENTRY" decal, but otherwise this side of the vestibule is frozen in time from the days gone by. Even the old seeing-eye sensors were left on the doors when they were closed off.

Please tell me I'm not the only one bothered by the alignment of the "g" in "Bridge" on the sign?

     Here's one final look at the exterior of the bridge club space and the remnants of Albertsons old vestibule. The bridge club remained in this space until the onset of the COVID pandemic, at which point the club gave up this space and relocated a few miles away to the hall at a nearby synagogue.

     Post-COVID, the bridge club space is now home to a medical clinic, which swapped out the sign and repainted the arch, but otherwise left the remainder of the exterior the same as it was before.

     A few years after my first visit to old #4383, I happened to drive by it again, realizing I needed to pick up a few things at Aldi. While on the road, why not correlate my Aldi pit-stop with a checkup on a former Albertsons store, right? After grabbing what I needed at Aldi, I ran around for a few photos of the new medical clinic, a slightly more mundane reuse for this space compared to the bridge club that used to be here.

     From this angle out in the parking lot, we have a better view of the old right side vestibule.

     Looking from one end of the building to the other, let's go back to the other side and take a look at the former Albertsons liquor store:

     While many Albertsons stores had a special canopy or archway to designate the location of the liquor store easily from the parking lot, this location just tucked it into the left side of the building, somewhat hidden with nothing more than a sign on the main store's roofline.

     Captain Morgan was standing guard outside the liquor store, making sure no one tried to turn the weekly deals on the sidewalk into a 5-finger special. Beyond the good captain we see the entrance into the liquor store, complete with Albertsons' original (and operable, unlike the ones by Big Lots) swinging doors.

     Typically I don't like photographing the interiors of the attached liquor stores unless they're abandoned (I just feel funny photographing a live liquor store, where I feel like the cashiers are always watching you), but for some reason when I saw the old Blue and Gray Market remnants on the wall in this one, I was pulled like a magnet inside.

     It's now painted yellow, covered by a bunch of banners, and partially blocked by bottles of liquor stacked high, but the old Albertsons decor is still here. While the presence of Blue and Gray Market remnants in here would lead me to believe the main store spent its entire life with Blue and Gray Market too, I have seen where Albertsons would remodel the main store but not the liquor store, especially during a cheap remodel in the 2002-2003 timeframe. So while the main store's decor upon closure may be a bit uncertain, we do know what decor the liquor store closed with!

     Looking in the reverse direction from the previous photo, we have ourselves another look across the liquor store's back wall, home to a wall of coolers that are probably original from the Albertsons days as well. Albertsons liquor stores would sometimes have a row of open-front coolers along the side wall as well, but if this store had those, Palm Beach Liquors removed it for more tall shelves of unchilled liquor.

     Maybe it's just me, but tall shelves in a liquor store seem like a bad idea, as I can see people trying to reach for a bottle on a high shelf and knocking things over (and thankfully Florida is not an earthquake prone place, or else I could see this being a big mess). However, this store seemed to cram as much alcohol per square inch as possible, as you can see by the large selection of wines in this the aisle.

     Off in the corner we have one last taste of the old Blue & Gray Market decor, under which was the store's cash register (the view of which was obstructed by all the cases of wine).

     Now that we've seen everything there is to see about former Albertsons #4383, here's one final overview of the building's facade, looking from the liquor store all the way over to the old bridge club/current medical clinic.

     Our final ground shot gives us a quick peek at a portion of the shopping center that extends out from the left side of the former Albertsons building. Over here we can see the sign from a former Payless ShoeSource store, the company's old logo still gracing the abandoned storefront. Payless had just finished their liquidation not long before I took this photo, capturing yet another one of the retail relics hiding in this shopping center at the time.

     Anyway, let's wrap up this post with some aerial imagery, beginning with the Bird's Eye aerial images courtesy of Bing Maps:


Right Side


Left Side

     And now for some historic aerials images, courtesy of Google Earth and

Former Albertsons #4383 - 2022

Former Albertsons #4383 - 2011 - Aldi had yet to move in at the time, so the entire space was still abandoned here.

Albertsons #4383 - 2009

Albertsons #4383 - 1995

Future Albertsons #4383 - 1985

     Our final photo of the day is a pulled back bird's eye aerial image of the Delray Town Center I took from a really old real estate listing. The image shows Albertsons while it was still open, although from a slight distance. I don't have much else to add about old #4383, as we've certainly seen a lot today. We'll let all that information sink in over the next two weeks, when I'll be back to share the story of another former Floridian Albertsons store with you all, so see everyone then!

Until the next post,

The Albertsons Florida Blogger


  1. Anonymous in HoustonMarch 3, 2024 at 1:03 AM

    Merry Christmas! Well, with Big Lots starting to celebrate Christmas in only four months, I suppose it is almost appropriate to wish everyone a Merry Christmas! I actually popped into one of our many local Big Lots stores (at least that was true around Christmas time, more on that later) in December and I noticed they had audio cassette boomboxes for sale. I thought that was an odd item to sell, but there it was!

    As you may have noticed on HHR a few months ago, my area saw two Big Lots close recently. One was only a decade old and was in an old Toys R Us as TRU had relocated to another location in that area. I'm not entirely sure why that store closed. The other closure was at the old North Oaks Mall. It looks like Big Lots might have been evicted there, or left under some kind of agreement with the landlord, as the landlord advertised only a year or two ago that Big Lots had signed a lease extension. It looks like the landlord signed a deal for a new Burlington and Five Below which will finally build over the last remnants of the mall corridor which is left. To make all of this fit, it looks like Big Lots had to go. That Big Lots dated back to the MacFrugal's and Pic-n-Save days so that is a sad loss. In fact, the Big Lots still had MacFrugal's signage up in the mall corridor as seen in this photo from Je! Link:

    I had recently seen Big Lots' new logo and the thought in the HHR community was that Big Lots was really trying hard to compete against Home Goods, At Home, and the Bealls Florida Home Goods knockoff...HomeCentric I think it is. Oh well, I guess the Big Lots closest to me (which is staying open, it is in an old Kroger Superstore II) is across the street from an Ollie's so closeouts shoppers still have something around there. There is also a Shoppers World next to the Ollie's. Shoppers World sure does their best to make Big Lots seem like Dillard's, lol.

    Oh well, with Big Lots, all we have to do is wait a few months and I'm sure they'll have some kind of new strategy, lol. Given previous Big Lots tours, I'm a bit disappointed that there aren't any weird cars in the parking lot. I figure South Florida might have some interesting cars, but the cars in the photos look very ordinary.

    Huh, Aldi coin keychains! I feel that probably nobody in Houston has one of those, lol. Those carts seem unusually large for Aldi anyway and I'm not talking about the rogue Big Lots cart! Maybe the Aldi carts here are that big, but I'm not sure why they would be given that I never see people buying that much from there. There really isn't a lot to buy there anyway! That said, this Aldibertsons seems quite spacious compared to our Aldis even if this is in a subdivided space. The wide aisles reminds me of a Publixsons!

    Ha, nothing says Florida like a bridge club! Then again, one of the local former Albertsons here (one next to the aforementioned Ollie's) is now a bingo hall! Given the fate of the bridge club, perhaps the Golden Girls have relocated to Houston...or maybe they just demand wellness to the max more now than bridge!

    1. Merry Christmas, and it's not even Easter yet! I've heard Costco is also pretty bad about bringing out Christmas stuff really early too (like Big Lots), but I've never been to a Costco before to verify that myself. With all the weird things Big Lots has been trying to sell lately, I guess cassette boomboxes isn't too off for them. Actually, Target had a bunch of those marked down on clearance about a year and a half ago to $5 (and I was surprised Target still sold them at that time, even more than Big Lots).

      I remember seeing that post about the Houston Big Lots stores that closed. Big Lots was pretty quiet about which stores closed in that last wave, with most not getting any coverage and no list ever being released (Florida lost at least 2 stores in that wave - the North Naples store, which was probably about 10 years old as well, and one in South Florida, which I was never able to track down). The MacFrugal's sign at the North Oaks Mall Big Lots was a really neat relic - I can't imagine many remnants from MacFrugal's still exist these days, so it's sad that store was closed (especially since that closure may not have been Big Lots choice).

      With Kmart being all but non-existent now, I actually thought Big Lots may have had a decent plan of being a "discount store for rural areas", which was their previous scheme before this new "America's Discount Home Store" thing made its debut. I feel like the market is saturated with discount housewares stores with Home Goods, At Home, HomeCentric, etc., and a full-line discount store alternative closer to Kmart (although smaller) could have been a good differentiation point for Big Lots. I guess houseware is the future for Big Lots though, until next year when they come up with something new again!

      Unfortunately there wasn't anything as exciting as a Nissan Figaro at this Big Lots, just a lot of Buicks, late-model luxury cars, and some Grand Marquis - about right for this area!

      Aldi's carts are pretty standardized across the chain, so I'd imagine the ones at the Houston stores aren't any different than the ones here. I've seen a lot of people fill those carts too, but then again, Aldi is really popular here. I just wonder if Aldi will be making matching Winn-Dixie versions of those coin keychains now! :)

      Unfortunately, we don't have a Albingo hall in Florida, so I guess the bridge club is what I'll have to settle for!

  2. Congratulations on crossing off another county! Covering all 12 Palm Beach County stores is a considerable milestone, especially since it is probably one of the denser former Albertsons hotspots. Given the similar exterior configurations, I have to wonder if Albertsons or Publix were influenced by each other with store designs from this era. It’s amazing how much this location looked like a 42N!

    I’m amazed at how clean Aldi’s concrete floors look; those must have been redone after Albertsons moved out. It’s also nice how Aldi managed to mold its traditional look to fit the existing shopping center space. The most intriguing part to me is the map which shows an awful lot of South Georgia covered in green. Up until this past year, Aldi didn’t have any locations south of the US 80 corridor in the state, but that map looks like it includes Albany and possibly Tifton. It should cut off right where the Alabama state line notches toward the East (roughly in line with Columbus). Regardless, it looks like the company has opened a store in Albany, Valdosta, and Dublin since 2022, and plans to open one in Tifton and Thomasville later this year.

    As usual, it sounds like Big Lots is going through a big crisis leading to a lot of changes in store. Despite this, I’m still shocked at how a few locations have remained well preserved windows into a past life, like LaGrange, while others just look so starched. I also feel like the company is making a mistake by dropping the exclamation mark!

    The next thing you taught me is that the card game “bridge” is formally called “contract bridge” – I never knew that! What isn’t very surprising, however, is that Palm Beach County has its own bridge club. Bridge still seems to be a popular card game amongst retirees, and a Florida town like this seems like the perfect place to have a club! I’d agree that I’ve mostly only heard of bridge meetings in a non-dedicated space like a community center or somebody’s house. That’s neat how the old exterior doors survived, and I’m also very bothered by the “g” alignment!

    Yay! I’m glad you finally went inside to photograph a liquor store! This year is full of photography milestones for you: first the old Albertsons express, and now an active liquor store. That’s neat to see the old remnants survive, despite the cluster of everything else going on in that space. At least that made it harder for you to be spotted taking photos.

    1. Thanks! Broward and Pinellas Counties have more former Albertsons stores than Palm Beach (15 a piece), so it will be nice once I get around to crossing one of those off too. But still, Palm Beach was no small feat!

      The Albertsons Superstores debuted around 1985-ish, which wasn't too long before (or pretty close to) when the 42Ns started popping up. Supermarket chains did like to copy each other, so you never know!

      Aldi must redo the floors in the spaces they take over, as I've never seen one of their concrete floors look like something out of a Kroger remodel during one of their conversions. While Aldi was being a bit generous with their footprint in South Georgia at the time that map was printed, it's also interesting to note that it shows Jacksonville has no Aldi stores, even though Aldi has been in Jax since 2015! It seems like Aldi's push into South Georgia must be tied with their entrance into the rest of the FL Panhandle and the Gulf Coast.

      With the "Store of the Future" remodels having been killed off, that spared a number of Big Lots stores from having their old floors ripped out and walls redone (like LaGrange, however they did remodel a few that I had been hoping to see here in FL before I got to them). I'm not a fan of Big Lots dropping the exclamation mark either, but I guess it matches the current aesthetic of the stores now.

      Yeah, I'd seen the name "contract bridge" printed out before, but I couldn't tell you anymore about how to play the game though (outside of the one article I read to make the bridge puns in that one paragraph). It's not surprising that bridge is popular in Palm Beach County, but I was surprised the bridge player's clubhouse had such a prominent dedicated location (which I'm sure cost a lot more in rent than a local rec room)!

      While I have a few more Albertsons Express stores to feature, that was my only trip into an active liquor store that I had!

  3. These Superstore Albertsons buildings are among some of my favorites in the state. This one and 4371 are my two personal favorites. My how times were different back in 1991! I don't think a new Winn Dixie in 1991 drew that much excitement, to point of needing police to guide traffic in the parking lot!

    I agree with Sing Oil, it's neat that the right side swinging doors were preserved albeit inoperable.
    Big Lot's really is screwing up these days. I rarely shop with them anymore. I have no real reason. Anything they sell there, I can get at Walmart, Home Depot, Dollar Tree, or Dollar General. Nothing much makes them stand out anymore, except affordable new furniture. That's a nice looking Aldi too! Glad they used Albertsons' old left side vestibule for their cart corral. Aldo has a 3rd Alachua County store planned at the 122nd Block of West Newberry Rd (corner of Parker and Newberry Rds) next to a large O2BKids location, and many new homes. They are certainly making some inroads across the Southeast!

    1. I'm a big fan of these Superstore buildings as well. #4412's arched design has always been one of my favorites. I don't even think modern Publix openings need police patrol, so Albertsons coming to town was a much bigger deal back then!

      I guess if Big Lots ever moved out, it would just be a matter of a new tenant ripping out that interior wall to reuse those doors again, so it wouldn't take much to bring them back to life. However, it was strange just seeing them preserved like they were here.

      I only go to Big Lots every once and a while these days (maybe 3-4 times a year, if that), as they don't really sell much of anything interesting anymore. Most of my Big Lots visits are really just to see what the heck the company is up to anymore rather than to look for anything to buy, unless I happen to get sent a decent coupon from them.

      Aldi did a good job of incorporating their design to match that of the old Albertsons, as I've seen a number of times where they'll force their standard design onto a recycled building. With Aldi now the official owner of Winn-Dixie, they certainly have high hopes for being the dominant grocer in the Southeast. Aldi is popping up in lots of the newer areas in Florida (like Publix), so that 3rd Alachua County location sounds like a good spot for them. Hopefully the two Gainesville WDs won't be Aldi's 4th and 5th stores in the county though.

  4. The Big Lots at Britton Plaza closed about 3 months ago. It was on the site of Frank's Nursery and Craft. It was a smaller store, so I guess it was either to crowded or not busy.

    1. Thanks for that info - it sounds like the Britton Plaza store was one of the 50 locations closed in that recent wave. Big Lots hasn't been too keen on smaller stores lately, and they seem to be trying to purge locations that don't sell a full selection of furniture especially (so if the store lacked sofas and mattresses, that was a big strike against it). I have an exterior photo of the Britton Plaza Big Lots for when we talk about that Albertsons store, but I didn't go inside it the day I visited the plaza.

  5. I agree with you that the subdivision was done quite nicely here, with the existing facade accommodating multiple new retailers really well without also sacrificing its original design. I'm also in agreement that a contract bridge club is definitely not a conversion you see every day, haha! Cool find with those old right-side doors too, as well as the décor inside the liquor store (I'm surprised you went in!).

    I hadn't heard about Big Lots' new logo, slogan, or store concept -- wow, that's interesting stuff. I hope it works out for them, but as you've said, they've definitely been quite wishy-washy in recent years. I know I can always count on your posts for a recap on Big Lots' current status!

    1. I've seen some really funky subdivisions before, but thankfully this wasn't one of them. This one was thought out really well architecturally. I'm still just as surprised I went into that liquor store for photos too, but I guess I can surprise myself sometimes too!

      Of all of Big Lots' recent ideas and concepts, I really thought the rural discount store one was the best, as there is room for such a store to fill the void that Kmart left behind. Big Lots isn't as full-line of a discount store as Kmart, but still a decent option in addition to Walmart and the farm store chains in those areas. I'm not crazy about the new push into off-price home decor (as that seems like a saturated market as it is), but I guess we'll have to see what happens, or if this idea fizzles out in another year or two as the company moves onto other ideas.