Country Club Centre
This is a beautiful shot of the Country Club Centre (which I've blogged about before on Malls of America), including a view of not only a few of its stores (Rhodes, Leed's, Singer, and of course, Woolworth), but also the shopping center's super-groovy entrance sign touting their "easy parking"! This image comes courtesy of bayswater97's flickrset.
And speaking of the Rhodes store, I've taken the liberty of pasting below some great history on the retail chain that was originally posted by MOA reader, Hushpuppy, in the comments section of my last Country Club entry. I think the mini-essay will compliment this post nicely, and I thank Hushpuppy for taking the time to write it!:
"Prior to 1960, there were 3 chains that made up the Western Department Store Company: Kahn's (Oakland and Concord), Olds & King (Portland and Gateway Shopping Center) and Rhodes (Tacoma, Lakewood, Fresno, Country Club, and Florin Road in Sacramento). In September 1960, all stores were consolidated under the Rhodes name, and the parent company was changed to 'Rhodes Western'. During the period between 1960 and 1969, additional stores were opened in Phoenix (Camelback), Albuquerque, San Antonio, and Mountain View, CA.Mall history: 1952 - 2003 (dead/redeveloped?)
In 1969, the 13-store Rhodes chain was sold to Honolulu-based Amfac, owner of Liberty House department stores (and new owner of the Joseph Magnin specialty store chain). Under Amfac ownership, new stores were opened in Jantzen Beach, OR; Tacoma Mall; Dublin, CA (a conversion of the failed RhodesWAY discount chain); El Paso, and Phoenix (Metrocenter). I believe it was during this period that the downtown stores in Tacoma and Portland were closed.
In the early 1970's Amfac opened Liberty House stores in San Jose (Eastridge), Hayward (Southland) and Sacramento (Sunrise). Then in 1972 they bought the failed City of Paris department stores in downtown San Francisco and Stonestown and renamed them City of Paris by Liberty House. They tore down one of the City of Paris buildings and built a new Liberty House store in 1974. Stonestown was closed in 1973, less than a year after it opened.
Their mainland stores bleeding red ink, Amfac then decided to consoldate all their department store operations under the Liberty House banner. It didn't help much since the old Rhodes stores were smaller and hopelessly outdated while the new Liberty House stores were large and ultramodern. Unlike Hawaii where they had no competition and a rich history, mainland shoppers had no idea what Liberty House stood for and stayed away in droves.
In the late 1970's, the Pacific Northwest stores were sold to Frederick & Nelson and the Southwest stores were sold to various companies. The San Jose store was sold to The Emporium in 1977.
Liberty House tried bolstering their Northern California presence with new stores in Santa Rosa, downtown Sacramento, Reno, and San Mateo but the chain was almost never profitable. They sold the Hayward store to The Emporium (now named Emporium-Capwell) and closed the Dublin and Florin stores but Amfac threw in the towel in May 1984, selling the remaining stores to archrival Macy's and leaving the mainland altogether (having earlier sold off Joseph Magnin at a loss).
The only exception was the San Mateo store. Required by the lease to continue operating, it was treated as a branch of the Honolulu division and stayed open until 1987 when it was sold to Whole Earth Access. The entire shopping center was bulldozed a few years ago and replaced with a power center."
Current website: n/a
Current aerial view
Resource links: 1
Previous entries: 1