Remember when, Chattanooga? Kroger has anchored a mall on Brainerd Road

Chattanoogans who remember the 1960s might recognize this mall at the intersection of Brainerd and Germantown roads.

The property sits a very busy doorway to the densely populated suburbs of Brainerd and East Ridge.

With three retail stores, the mall featured well-known brands: Kroger, FW Woolworth Co., and Eckerd Drugs. All three subsequently exited the market or were purchased by other companies.

According to property records, the mall in the attached photo was developed in the early 1950s and occupies 3.26 acres with 31,000 square feet of retail space. On this block today is an automotive area, a Dollar Tree store and an Advance Financial location.

The primary retailer in 1965 was then one of five Kroger supermarkets in the Chattanooga area. Kroger’s other mid-1960s locations were at 125 N. Market St., 3801 Ringgold Road, 3961 Hixson Pike, and 5796 Brainerd Road.

Newspaper advertisements of the time reflect mid-century prices. At Kroger in 1965, a box of 75 Glad sandwich bags cost 29 cents and a dozen corn on the cob sold for 67 cents. Meanwhile, a 3-ounce can of potted meat cost 10 cents and a pound of Fleetwood coffee was only 69 cents.

Top Value stamps, which customers stuck in books redeemable for household items and gifts, also featured prominently in Kroger advertisements in the 1960s. A contest that year featured a giveaway of “1 000 pounds full of Top Value stamps”, which the advertisements said was a “nest egg”.

Seven Kroger stores in the Chattanooga area were sold to local supermarket chain Red Food in 1989.

The FW Woolworth Co. store in this photo remained until 1969 when it was sold to the locally operated Redford 5 & 10 variety store chain, according to newspaper files.

By 1965, Eckerd Pharmacies in the Chattanooga area included this location along with others on Market Street, Highway 58, and Eastgate. There were also Eckerd Drugs sites in Dalton, Cleveland and Fort Oglethorpe.

In 1965, Eckerd was selling Ultra Brite toothpaste at 47 cents a tube, Jergens body lotion at 87 cents a bottle, and Vitalis hair tonic at $1.19 a bottle.

The Eckerd’s chain, owned by JC Penney, was sold to CVS in 2004.

To see more vintage Chattanooga photography, visit ChattanoogaHistory.com. Follow the “Do you remember when, Chattanooga?” user group on Facebook.

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The “Remember When, Chattanooga?” series publishes on Saturdays. Contact Mark Kennedy at [email protected] or 423-757-6645. Follow him on Twitter @TFPcolumnist.

Edwin S. Wolfe