Saturday, July 1, 2006

Richway: The Discount Division of Rich's

Richway is a store that has remained strong on many peoples memories. It was a store with a very broad market, loyal customer base and a very distinctive logo and store architecture that was as cutting age as modern Target stores that bought them. I have previously posted information about Richway in other areas of the web such as when I created the first post about it on Wikipedia and contributed a photoshopped Richway logo made from old advertisements (the same logo posted here). Essentially, what I've accumulated in bits and pieces was what at the time I was able to find online, which was not much.

Richway existed 1968-1988 and was the Rich family's shot at discount retailing. When founded, it's parent company Rich's had just had its 100 year anniversary when it joined other department stores nationwide in creating a discount division. For Rich's, it was called Richway and featured a glorious looking sunrise (originally in blue tones). The logo was apparently updated in the late 70's, because I only saw this original logo on a credit card specimen. It's 20 years of existance featured rapid expansion with the store moving beyond its original base in Georgia along then newly-opened I-285 to South Carolina (three stores in Columbia), North Carolina (three stores in Charlotte), Tennessee (two stores in Chattanooga) and South Florida (three stores in West Palm Beach).

Much like its parent, Richway was wildly successful when its first units opened around Atlanta. The stores were by far the most distinct looking discount stores ever built featuring a sleek futuristic design with huge wedge-shaped skylights all over the roof that were nearly the same height as the building itself. These skylights were painted different colors with the glass also multicolored creating a surreal effect in the stores. The Richway stores themselves were much more upscale than all the other discounters in the area at the time and were also far larger than most discount stores at the time. Richway also had an orange theme throughout with orange decor, carts, uniforms and trim.

Its original stores were located in Marietta/Smyrna, College Park, Sandy Springs and Forest Park. Stores were soon added in North Druid Hills, Belvedere Park (Covington Hwy) Doraville (in an old Grant's), Riverdale, North Cobb County (Canton Rd) and Roswell (Roswell Mall, 1974). 1980 saw additional stores in Conyers, Mableton (Austell Rd) and Athens. It is also suspected the current Target in Gainesville is on the site of a demolished Richway.

Richway continued after Rich's changed hands from the family to Federated Department Stores, and the stores continued be successful. However, Federated became a troubled company in the 1980's with the Campeau scandal and the subsequent restructuring of their mainline department stores. This was unfortunately the beginning of the first major wave of consolidations as well as the decline of department store companies as a whole. Discounters were also consolidated en masse and Zayre departed Georgia the same year. Richway was first merged in 1986 with the discount division of Lazarus Department Store, Gold Circle. Both stores retained their names, but only two years later Richway and Gold Circle were liquidated and stripped down bare prior to being reopened in 1989 as Target. The plan was apparently to convert all Richway stores over to Gold Circle, and the stores located in Charlotte and Columbia became Gold Circle briefly. Target, originally the discount division of Dayton's of Minneapolis in similar fashion to Richway but older, had begun expanding nationwide and gained much in the purchase of Richway in making Target a national brand. Target's logo is unmistakably similar to Richway in that it has the same font and a similar themed logo.


According to a poster here, Richway had grand plans to absorb the southeast. Stores were planned between Atlanta and Palm Beach, and they had a firm foothold on their Carolinas stores. Mysteriously, however, Richway skipped over Birmingham despite three Rich's stores there. No matter what happened, the sale of the stores in 1988 put those plans to an end. After a long period of complete closure, the stores were renovated, rebranded and reopened as Target stores. The stores themselves basically got a fresh coat of paint, the skylights were boarded up and the ceilings dropped. Even though the logo and all over redesign was eerily similar to Richway, the stores were dumbed down to where the whole Richway ambience was gone.

Today, only one former Richways still operate as Target in Atlanta in Smyrna. The Sandy Springs location continued to operate until 2008 before moving to a new Super Target south of I-285. That store operated fully 30 years, and the Goodwill store next to it was once Richway Foods and later Big Star. All former South Carolina locations, which anchored small malls, have been closed and abandoned with only one still standing at Decker Mall, which is now a storage place. The other two were demolished: one for a new Target and the other for Wal-Mart. The Decker Mall location today retains its skylights and the mall is still oddly open.

The above photo is the Smyrna location of Richway near Cumberland Mall, which was recently renovated and actually looks better now than the photo (due for a retake). The above shows a renovation of the main entrance that dates to around 1995. Note the huge wedge skylights.

64 comments:

  1. Remember: "Richway looks like a department store, but our price tags give us away."

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  2. Richway was never in Birmingham. My guess would be the city was already properly served by discounter (Kmart, Zayre, Kuhn's Big-K, Kress, Woolworth ....... [wistful sigh] Newberry's ...)

    I have a Richway commercial from ca. 1974, recorded off WSB radio. If I didn't already send that to you, say the word and I'll send.

    -TG

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  3. That's so weird that Richway would skip over the 'Ham when they had three Rich's while they were in cities like Chattanooga and Charlotte that never had a Rich's. I keep trying to get people to confirm the Richway locations in South Florida.

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  4. Except for two years in Atlanta, I spent my childhood in Tampa. We had a distinctive discount store chain called Gold Triangle. It had the wedge roof, the strange architecture, etc. I remember my dad bought our first microwave oven from there in 1980. Was there also a Gold Circle?

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  5. Incidentally, the Gold Triangle store became a discount grocery store, then became an eyesore, and is now located next to two of Tampa's premiere nude dance clubs (nude dancers on stage - not nude patrons:). What's funny is that this Gold Triangle joint closed in say, 1982, and the street sign indicating the entrance said "Gold Triangle" well into the late 1990s. Also, this Gold Triangle was located next door to Tampa's first K-Mart (at Columbus Drive and Dale Mabry), and down the stree from a Ward's that stood vacant for 25 years before being replaced by a Wal-Mart (at I-275 and Dale Mabry). Sorry for the rambling... I just don't get a change to think about old retail establishments in Atlanta and Tampa..... This is a here today, gone today world we live in.

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  6. Wow, this is fascinating about "Gold Triangle". I'd heard about Richway being in Florida, but I did think that sounded strange so it sounds like Gold Triangle was basically Richway without the Rich. All I've ever heard of was Richway and Gold Circle, and I don't know if they were related to Gold Triangle, but from what I can tell Gold Triangle left a lot earlier. Were these bought out by Gold Circle? Does anybody have any pictures of those? Also, did the Richways in Charlotte and Columbia start out as Gold Triangles? Since I can find very little about that store, I'd love some feedback on that.

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  7. Wow, this is interesting and a little odd to find postings on Richway, but then I did search for it...I worked for Richway from 1979 until the end of Gold Cirlce at Christmas 1988, starting in Charlotte as PT, then becoming a College Mgt trainee, eventually a shortage reduction specialists and then a trainer. I still have a large color photo of Store#1 on Covington Hwy in Decatur I took when the main office in downtown Rich's closed. Some answers to the posted questions: Richway had 31 stores, was never in Birmingham, had 6 stores in S.Florida, all in Palm Beach and Broward Counties, the jingle was "Richway doesn't look like a discount store, but our pricetags give us away", the former Store #4 on Jonesboro Rd is now the Atlanta Expo (flea market) and is virtually unchanged on the outside; Gold Triangle was an appiance store owned by Federated, probably supported by Gold Circle that closed in 82 when Richway opened in Broward/Plm Bch, and Richway planned to open in Tampa market in 1986 but plans got squashed when Federated merged it with sister division Gold Circle in Jan 1986. Remember John Weitenour (sp?) and Jack Halpern? I'm Hank Mc if anyone from Richway is looking at this.

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  8. I've never worked for Richway or Federated, but this is all very interesting. Thanks for the info. Also, would you mind sharing that photo with me? I won't post it on here w/o your permission. I've been dying to see any photos of Richway...especially of the roadside sign.

    And yes, I'm familiar with the location in the photo you're mentioning. That is now a church and the red Target (orange?) stripe is now a purple stripe and the building looks nice. I saw it this spring exploring the Memorial Drive tragedy and trying to figure out where the Rich's was in Belvedere Plaza.

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  9. JT, I am really enjoying reading your blog, just stumbled across it yesterday when I Googled 'Richway'. For years my back-to-school shopping was done at the Richway on Buford Highway in Doraville just outside of I-285 (not far from where the first Home Depot set up shop in 1979, next to the old 'Treasure Island' and also across the street from a 'Service Merchandise').

    Another thing I also remember about 'Richway' is that it had it's own music section of the store (not far from the toy section) and my mother would usually allow me to purchase a 45 single when we shopped (still have every one of them by the way).

    If I recall, and I would have been 7-8 years old during this time, but before that location became a 'Richway' I believe it was a 'Grant's', if you have ever heard of that long-gone chain.

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  10. Funny you wonder if I've ever heard of Grant's. I've been researching this for years, so yeah actually I find that enthralling to think of a Richway in an old Grant's (Grant City?).

    I actually took some pics recently of the old Home Depot and Treasure Island/Zayre off of Buford Highway. Another existed off of U.S. 41 in Marietta, and I believe yet another somewhere near Avondale Mall. I remember going to that one HD with my dad back in the 1980's, and it was FAR different from the stores today. I was inside the Value City that took its place earlier this year and was entralled at the outlandish concrete ceiling and noted HD orange in the stockroom.

    I was 8 years old when Richway disappeared and wish that I could have experienced it more than I did. There was definitely something about it. Everybody I know who remembers it got really excited when I brought it up. I can only suppose it must have been superior to any other discount store, and Target failed to retain what made it special (boarding up the wedge skylights didn't help).

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  11. Part of "shopping" for our family in the '70's would always include a trip down 41 to Treasure Island and then on down to Richway. I seem to recall Richway having a grocery store on one end when I was little......had this really long metal conveyor to send your bagged goods to you. So "Futuristic" LOL.

    I loved Richway, does anyone recall the Model T type cars (rather large), that hung from the ceiling in the 41 store?

    Several times I remember watching loose carts travel all the way down the steep parking lot and crash spectacularly against the curbing at the end, or into someones car!

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  12. There is in fact one former Richway in South Florida Operating as a Target. It is the last of the original six Target Stores in Florida that were originally Richway. I used to work at the the one Tamarac, Florida which is right outside of Fort Lauderdale. The old Tamarac richway building still stands today as a furniture store moved in when Target moved out. There is one more vacant Richway in Palm Springs, Florida. These stores were all identical in design but had a much smaller format than the Richways of Georgia. They did not have skylights and only averaged 80,000 square feet. The rest of the original six have been long since demolished to make way for new development. Some of my earliest memories as a child were shopping at Richway and Zayres, all the great ones are gone, what happened?

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  13. Wow...Richway...Zayre's...it's been a long time!

    Yes, I remember the Richways in Charlotte. Growing up in Metrolina I think I have seen (not necessarily visited) all the Charlotte stores.

    I remember the skylights. They were quite the eye-catcher.

    I recognize the Zayre's name, but I'm drawing a blank on details.

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  14. Wow! This brings back memories! The target on North Druid Hills near Briarcliff was also a former Richway, and today is a Target. I remember Richway well, it was better than Zayre's and Kmart!

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  15. I worked at the one in Tucker on Jimmy Carter Blvd. Later occupied by Target and now Home Depot.

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  16. Gold Triangle was part of Federated, part of the same unit as Gold Circle. They were more hard goods oriented stores, than Gold Cirlde. Neither chain was part of Lazarus.

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  17. Cool blog. I worked at the Target in Athens, and on North Druid Hills RD before they tore down the old one and built the new one. I loved the character of those buildings. Occassionally, you'd find Richway price stickers on the underside of shelves or on stockroom walls. At N Druid, the electronics stockroom had the painted lines on the floor for the old automotive dept. It also had a tile wall that appeared to be an old restroom wall. We kept TVs in that section. There was one room that orignally had been salesfloor, and all the old graphics (orange strips and polka dots) were still in place along with the 70's yellow pegboard along the wall. Once I had to go up in the ceiling while installing some signing and the skylights with hanging light fixtures were still visible up above the drop ceiling. The store on Covington HWY was soooo cool too. A very large portion of that building wasn't used by Target and it had all the skylights visible as you walked into that section as well as weird 70's light fixtures, graphics on the perimeter walls, odd elaborate tiles in section of the floor that would have seperated depts. It was a massive section of the store (on the left hand side of the building). Target wound up using the space for other stores to bring excess fixtures for storage. I wish I had taken pictures of it. The movie "Career Opportunities" was filmed there. In the credits it lists Target T378. T377 N druid hills' exterior is featured in "Road Trip", but the interior shots were done at the T1758 SuperTarget in Stone Mountain which was built in 1999. I think Athens was built in 1980 or 1981, N Druid seems to have been built in 1971, and I think Covington Hwy was built in 1968. If anyone has any interior or exterior pictures of Richway stores, I would LOVE to see them, esp the stores mentioned above. ATL6101973@yahoo.com

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  18. I worked at the Richway at Roswell Village in the Spring and Summer of 1977, just before my Freshman year in college. It was in a funky strip mall that had elevators that lead to a lower level which was almost completely vacant—I think a year later they added a movie theatre.

    The Richway store itself was a great place. I remember it had square skylights on the roof that made the place bright and cheery. And when it rained the store was filled with the roar of pinging raindrops hitting against the plastic skylight covers.

    There was a food court, and a music department. After Star Wars came out that summer, the toy department was overflowing with Star War toys. And the ‘electronics’ department was little more than a kiosk selling big LED watches and bulky Texas Calculators.

    —What I remember though were the people. Most of the employees were high school or college age. I dated one of the register girls. After work we’d meet en mass in the parking lot and go to Crowley’s tavern near the River, or go dancing all night at Flannigan’s at Power’s Ferry Landing.

    My first job at Richway was as a car mechanic—I had no clue what I was doing. I let a truck slide off the forks because I forgot to engage the parking break. The HR lady was so nice. Instead of firing me, she made me all-night security guard---until I was fooled by two thieves who came by about 1:00 AM posing as Richway employees who were there to pickup pine straw for delivery to another store—they threw up a fake work order and I let them have all pine straw they wanted. I even helped them load the truck for which they tipped me $2o. . I don’t know why they didn’t fire me but they didn’t. For the rest of the summer I spent as a door guard, checking packages coming in and out of the store.

    The only other thing I remember were all the toothless, country ladies in receiving balling their eyes out the day Elvis died.

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  19. Hi,

    I was also doing research on the richway dept stores after finding an old flyer (in pretty good condition) from 1983,

    I'm from the Gwunnett area and was wondering if there was any old richways with in the Gwinnett county area and if so where was it located and whom is currently operating in it's place

    Thanks

    J~

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  20. I really get a thrill out of all the comments here about Richway. I love hearing the stories about it. I was a child when it existed, and I realized that everybody I talk to that does remember it seems to get very excited about it. I don't think anybody native to Atlanta has been happy about the demise of our hometown stores, because they were hands down some of the best and most interesting in the country and had some of the coolest things about them that are now lost in the mediocrity of Stupidcenter mania.

    Much like I do with Rich's, I still call Target Richway out of a mixture of protest and nostalgia even though I know that it would have become Gold Circle if it had stayed Federated-owned.

    I really like hearing the details of the interior, too. I did get a chance to see the skylights once when they were renovating the Smyrna store. I hoped in vain that Target was going to get rid of that dropped ceiling to restore the grandeur of that store since they were going for a 1970's retro look in the renovation.

    I do not quite understand why Target did not use all the floor space of those old Richways. Why not Target Greatland or a Super Target in those stores? I do know for a fact that the Covington Highway location is now a church (and still has the wedge skylights).

    The location to really check out is the former location on Jonesboro Road in Forest Park...it has been modified almost none and is the Atlanta Expo Center. I am dying to go there and get pics one day when they have something going on.

    On the Gwinnett question. Yes, there were two, but one was not an original wedge skylight store. One was on Jimmy Carter Blvd. at I-85 and is now a Home Depot. The other was at the intersection of Old Norcross Road and Pleasant Hill Road and is actually pretty hard to tell at first glance. It has been modified to the point that it is little recognizable and was a Richway less than five years.

    On other Atlanta-area locations:
    -Buford Highway (former Grants, now closed)
    -LaVista/Northlake (torn down and rebuilt as regular Target)
    -Sandy Springs (still operational)
    -East Cobb/Sandy Plains (closed, converted to Wellstar Offices and skylights torn off)
    -Conyers (closed 2006)
    -Riverdale/Tara Blvd (now a Value City)
    -Roswell Mall (now a Value City, no more skylights)
    -South Cobb/Austell Road (relocated 1998 and abandoned, skylights removed)
    -College Park/Old National (closed 1998)
    -Roswell Mall (relocated 1998, now Value City, skylights removed)

    Please feel free to fill me in on any I've missed. I will repost these in a new post at a later date.

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  21. (On the Gwinnett question. Yes, there were two, but one was not an original wedge skylight store. One was on Jimmy Carter Blvd. at I-85 and is now a Home Depot)

    Is that the Home Depot that is behind best buy?

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  22. Athens, 3505 Atlanta Hwy just reopened as a Academy sports, no skylights, HWY 78 in Snellville(right side of the hwy heading towards Atlanta), still vacant as far as I know, looks like Target with the Red Strip around the building, but no skylights, Old National HWY at 285 still vacant and Target owned, huge store with skylights just like the covington hwy store(4000 covington hwy), Buford Hwy at 285 now a Value City (I think its still there. You can google earth a bunch of these places (key in the address if you can find all of them) and see the skylights, including the jonesboro atl expo location. Tucker location on Jimmy carter is torn down and rebuilt as a home depot. Does anyone know if they tore off the skylights of the one on Cobb Parkway last year when they remodeled? Anyone have any pix?? I'd love to see them. There is also one (a huge one with skylights)in Charlotte NC right off 85 on Freedom Drive, still sitting vacant. You can sorta see the roof from the interstate, when heading north looking to the right.

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  23. On other Atlanta-area locations:
    -Buford Highway (former Grants, now closed)

    I really need to take a drive down Buford Highway (with camera in towe) and check out the area around where Richway and Service Merchandise was (where the Buford Highway Twin Theatre still stands down in the hole), and on down towards 285 a bit where Treasure Island, Lionel Leisure City (later Lionel Playworld, used to love going in there as a kid) and Home Depot, as well as an old K-Mart existed.

    Haven't been down that haunt in a very long time, last time I did head in that direction I suffered culture shock.

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  24. Well, I haven't made the drive down Buford Highway yet (it's only been about 16 hrs. since I posted that anyway) but I did do something fairly interesting.

    I Google-earthed the stretch of Buford Highway all the way from my old high school (Norcross) to 285. I was able to locate where everything was from an old building standpoint; Buford Hwy. Twin Theatre (still open), Richway, Service Merchandise, Lionel Playworld, Treasure Island, Home Depot, K-Mart, etc... (can't find the old Grandma's Bicuits though ...man those were the best, biscuits with honey.

    I zoomed in tight onto the roof of the old Richway building, don't see the raised-wedge but I think I can make out two 'scars' where they once were. Well, guess that's the next best thing to driving out there ...pretty cool.

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  25. I know this is a long shot but does anybody have any good photos of any richway's when they were still open or any pictures of any of the Gwinnett locations?

    Thanks!

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  26. Hi,

    You all may remember my post in regards to finding an old flyer from Richway dating back to 1983 (featuring a blue and red sunrise logos) I was able to scan the flyer and was wondering if it was worth my time to create a website and upload/host all the pages for you guys here.

    thanks and I hope to hear your thoughts

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  27. (I'm not sure if my previous post went threw)

    You guys may recall that earlier this year (2/07/2007) I was able to recover an old richway flyer from 1983 in very good condition!

    Recently I had a chance to scan the whole flyer on to my HD and I was wondering if I should create a web site so that you all here can view the flyer?

    Please let me know here so that I know weather or not to take time out to create a web-site for this old Richway flyer.

    Thank you all for your time.

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  28. I'd love to see the flyer. If you like, you can send me the scans direct e-mail and I could post them here if you wanted. I'd be very appreciative if you were willing to do that. If not, I'll link to your site. As you can clearly see here there are lots of people besides your webmaster here that are sentimental about that store.

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  29. I grew up in ATL and now live in DC. This is a great site.

    I am writing to confirm that the Target on Briarcliff, across from Briarcliff HS, was a Richway. Not sure if it is the same exact building but there was definitely a Richway at that location when I was a kid (mid-late 70s). I'm trying to remember whether it was Richway where you bought groceries and they were whisked away on a conveyer belt to the back of the store and you drove around to pick them up? Or was that Treasure Island?

    When we lived in Decatur in the 60s I remember going to Belvedere Plaza and Columbia Mall. Boy, I am old.

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  30. J.T.,

    is there an e-mail address I can contact you by so that I can send you the scans from the Richway flyer?

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  31. The changeover of Blogger to Google apparently resulted in the removal of my e-mail on my profile. Go to "View my complete profile" and I have a link to my e-mail listed there now.

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  32. J.T.,

    I shot you an e-mail on how to receive the flyer hope you and everybody else here enjoys the scan(s)

    J~

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  33. I was over there about 2 years ago and teh buildiong that was Grandma's Biscuits was still there, but I don't remember what it was being used as.

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  34. Grandma's Biscuits ...now there's a memory from the '70s and the days of treking to Buford Highway in Doraville for shopping and eating out.

    Grandman's buttered biscuit with honey ...mmmm I'm hungry!

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    1. I frequented a Grandma's Biscuits east of Decatur on Ponce, I think. Delicious! I don't understand how they failed ....

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  35. I might be able to provide a little additional information on Richway and related stores.

    The earliest logos for the chain, as featured on the credit cards, ads, price labels, etc., incorporated the wedge/triangular skylight emblem...the colors were lime green and electric blue, or along those lines. In later years they went to the first version of their sunrise logo.

    Richway (and Franklin Music) were the first stores I remember to use barcode price stickers/labels on their products. This was before the advent of UPC systems by a bit. The early labels featured a two color (black and green) scheme that was affixed to each product individually. A light pen/stylus was drawn across the barcode to enter the price information into the (NCR?) sales terminal. I was fascinated by this system. We later used the same thing at a catalogue chain I worked for, Key Catalogue Showroom (based in Augusta, Georgia). In later years, the green and black barcodes were replaced by an optical character reader (OCR) system that still used tags attached to each individual product; the input device was more of a gun. If one had a Richway charge account like me, the resulting monthly statement gave an itemized breakdown by date, store location, AND item or department for each item purchased; the statement was often several pages long.

    At least for the Covington Highway location, under one of the skylight areas, Richway operated a snack bar dubbed "The Strawberry Room."

    The Athens, Georgia location was one of the later builds and was a bit smaller than most of the Atlanta locations. It did not have an inhouse grocery store (the Richway Foods in Atlanta later were rebadged as Big Star Foods) although there was a new Piggly Wiggly next door (later Big Lots). I think the Athens store came along after the chain had ceased to incorporate the triangular skylights into their architecture.

    Gold Triangle operated many stores in Florida. They did indeed focus on hard goods and to a lesser degree sporting goods, gift items, etc. There was rumor that the Orlando store on East Colonial Drive was going to be rebranded as a Richway, but that never happened; location closed and the inventory was liquidated. It sat vacant for quite some time, but I think it may have reopened as Target in the late 80's.

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  36. I love reading all these stories about Richway, Grants,Treasure Island, Lionel Leisure City, etc. I went to all of those stores as a kid in the late 60s and early 70s, and worked at the Richway on Buford Hwy. from 1981 to 1983.There was also a store over there called G.E.X.,I think it was an electronics store. Boy,has it changed over there!

    By the way, does anyone remember Soda Pop City? It was a warehouse type place that sold it's own brand of soda.I think it was on the access road near what is now Jimmy Carter Blvd,which used to be Rockbridge Rd.That was a while back,huh? And of course,the Drive-Ins that used to be over there!I miss those!Ahh, to have a time machine...

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  37. I worked in the Atlanta and Fort Lauderdale markets of Richway from 1985 through fall 1988. I managed the shoe department of the Snellville store in 1985 then transfered to Conyers. My company leased space for the shoe departments in the Richway account so I was an outsider looking in from the inside.

    In 1988 I transfered to Ft Lauderdale and ran the shoe departments of the Deerfield Beach, Tamarac, and Plantation. The thing I most fondly remember about Richway wasn't the skylights (which leaked with every storm and faded the clothing and signwork if not rotated regularly) but the people and the telephone system. We had some really motivated and quite gifted people running the chain. In Florida, I most vividly recall Diane Mauricio and Kathy Chippey. Both were among the strongest and wisest retail managers I encountered in my 23 years within the industry. In Georgia, I fondly recall my supervisors and co-workers in all the stores. We had a great team and could readily depend upon each other in a time of crisis.

    Working in Richway was a bigger challenge for me than the seven years I spent in our Wal~Mart account. The volume was so much greater and the demands for setting up Richway's weekly sales was quite a chore, often taking a full day to change the prices on the tickets to start and a full day to end. Inventory levels were higher back then and UPC ticketing had not been implemented for the shoe department. We physically marked everything down, then back up, often remarking the same pairs four times a month.

    I mentioned earlier the telephone system in Richway... For some reason and somehow, we could call toll free any other Richway store. I could chat with managers in Florida, Atlanta, Athens, Charlotte, and Columbia. This changed with the conversion to Gold Circle in 1988 and the calls were no longer free.

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  38. The Target @ Northlake (285 & Lavista)...there was never a Richway there. That spot used to be a car dealership. McNamara Pontiac-GMC to be exact. I remember the dealership's old white house building. You must be thinking of N. Druid Hills.

    Oh, and interesting fact about the Road Trip Target scenes. I remember those scenes, but I forgot that the movie was filmed in Atlanta and my alma mater, UGA.

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  39. This is so funny to read this. I was talking to my boys about where I worked as a teen and decided to type in Richway. I worked at the Buford Highway Richway for almost 3 years in the mid to late 70's---I used to go to Grandma's biscuits and the Yellow Submarine had the best subs! I still keep in touch with a couple of people that worked with me during that time at Richway! It was so much fun working there!

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  40. Grandma's Biscuits is still there!!
    I should know. Grandma is my mom's best bud. I even work there on Sundays to help. Did you know this is the first Grandma's built and the last one (out of 14)standing? Yep, same people in the kitchen going on it's 40th year.

    Come by and visit. Everything's the same. A blast from the past.

    And yes, there is a grandma.
    Corner of oak and Buford Hwy.
    ph# 770-458-4553

    See Ya there,
    Carol

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  41. The Target @ Northlake (285 & Lavista)...there was never a Richway there. That spot used to be a car dealership. McNamara Pontiac-GMC to be exact. I remember the dealership's old white house building. You must be thinking of N. Druid Hills.

    Well, there was a Richway/Target near Northlake Mall, but it died something like 10 years ago or more - I can only presume as a last-ditch attempt to keep the store at J.C and Lawrenceville Hwy. (NOT I-85) open.

    The previous Northlake store was in the shopping center where Publix, Office Depot and Marshall's is, but I don't remember whether it's Publix or Office Depot that is sitting where Richway used to be. I think the Publix is occupying the space, but I couldn't swear to it.

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  42. Oh, and as to Richway in the Columbia, SC, area (where my partner and I now live), AFAIK there were three - one on Garner's Ferry Rd., and the "twins" in Bush River Mall and Decker Mall.

    The Garner's Ferry location was torn down several years ago, and new Target was built as the anchor for a lifestyle center.

    The Decker location still has the skylights and all the external trappings of Richway, but (like the one on Covington Hwy.) is now partially-occupied by a church. The rest of the store is gutted for a self-storage unit vendor.

    The Bush River location was torn down a couple of years ago, and a SuperBorgMart just opened a couple of months ago at that site.

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  43. I lived in Columbia S.C. and I remember richway/goldcirle very well. The thing I remember the most were the skylights and the colorful clothes. If anyone has pics or flyers I would love to see them. I think I am having a moment(flashbacks about life when I was younger) back then things and life were simple.

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  44. I went to the Riverdale and college park richways all the time as a kid, in tow with my parents. Just the name Richway makes me smell popcorn ebcause of the snackshop. Richway's, at least the 2 large colleg park and forest park anchors, did sale groceries that would come out to your car via conveyor belt but that must have eneded in the 1970's because I was born in 73 and by the time I was going to Richway the grocery store was a big star or big apple, i can't remember which..then in the smaller Riverdale/arrowhead store the big star became a circus playhouse! (like chuck e cheese but better) The other main thing i remember about Richway was it had a huge fish and Bird department you could hear the birds all over the store sometimes.

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  45. I wish I had some pictures, but I have many fond memories of working at the Richway on BushRiver Road in Columbia, SC. As best as I can remember, it was the original occupant of Bush River Mall when it opened, anchored by Kroger at the other end of the mall. Those we're fun times we had in shipping and receiving. I recall that we had an automotive repair shop and a snack bar in the front. I worked there from 1984-1986? and remember when we became Gold Circle. I did not care for the new look, etc. Too bad they demolished the building last year for a super Wal-Mart. Target was the last occupant that moved out several years ago leaving the mall empty. I'll always have fond memories when I drive into that Super Wal-Mart.

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  46. the old richway in gastonia, NC is still operating as a target. I went in there and it still has some of that richway-ness. still has the wedge skylights too! :)

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  47. wow...the Richway days!....there were a LOT of fine people working for Richway, it was probably one of my best loved jobs.

    I was one of "Andy's handies"....worked in maintenance, so I traveled to a number of the stores (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 9, 18, 19, 20)...those would be Covington Hwy, Cobb Pkwy, Old National, Jonesboro Rd., N. Druid Hills, Roswell, Tara Blvd, Tucker, Austell, and Marietta....wow, can't belive I remember those store numbers!

    stayed on for a while with Target after they took over, but it wasn't the same...the spirit was gone I guess.....Target was just difficult to work for....maybe they are better now....I guess they had a lot riding on their entrance into the Atlanta market...management was always so nervous....made it difficult to do one's job.

    I saw a mention of Grandma's Biscuits in one of the posts here....I worked there when I was in high school, at the one on Rainbow Dr....I made a mean batch of biscuits!

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  48. wow sure is a lot about Richway. Did about 5 years starting at store#1 Covington Highway,ending up as a asst. buyer downtown. Worked with alot of Richs folks and people out at the new warehouse on Stone Mountain Parkway. Remeberwhen the store Manager at store #2 $1 Hwy was arrested for breaking the Sunday Blue law. So much more.

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  49. There was a Richway in Snellville on Hwy. 78. I believe the shopping center was called "Fountain Square" and there was a Sears Outlet, too.

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  50. Boy this brings back memories, I worked at Richway for almost 10 yrs, starting out at the store on Tara Blvd. as a cashier, then went to head cashier, then went to accts payable, which was out of the old Richs building downtown. Then moved on to the distribution center which was at first off of Fulton Ind. then we moved over to Morrow, near where the Sams club is now. I had many great times at Richway, and everytime i go into Value City in Jonesboro it brings back memories of working there. So many great firends were made, would love to find some of those.

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  51. I bought my first Led Zeppelin record at the Richway in Roswell in 1977. I used to walk there and talk to the guy that ran the sporting goods department. They always had a bunch of deer rifles that I coveted.

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  52. Just stumbled upon this site and have been in a nostalgia daze for nearly half an hour. My parents and I were frequent shoppers of the Richway on Old National Highway. I bought my first Six Million Dollar Man and Bionic Woman action figures there! I must have been about six or seven at the time, bit I get misty-eyed remembering walking down that toy aisle at Richway and seeing an entire row almost filled with Six Million Dollar Man toys. I wanted everything on the shelves.

    We also went to the old Grant's Department store in Forest Park just about every Sunday to eat at the restauant, The Bradford Room. Best turkey and dressing...EVER. Also in Forest Park...Treasure Island, Zayre and Lionel Playworld, which was Star Wars toy heaven.

    Damn, I miss those stores.

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  53. I was the manager of construction for Richway from 1981 till the chain was merged with Gold Circle.
    There were 31 stores; I was part of the store planing team and opened Richway 22 and 23 in Chattanooga; Richway 24 Conyors; Richway 25 Snellville; Richway 26 Plantation FL; Richway 27 Deerfield Beach Fl; Richway 28 Tamarac Fl; Richway 29 Palm Beach Fl; Richway 30 West Palm Beach Fl and Ricway 31 Oakland Park Fl. One blooger is correct - we never opened a store in Birmingham - Actually the plan was to open stores from south Florida and move north and build stores from Atlanta south. We had plans on the books to open three in Macon (which of course never materialized. One other interesting point; Richway built (at the time) the world most automated distribution Center in Morrow Ga. The last time I was down there is now is a Mopar Distribution center.

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  54. Wow! Just Googled "Richway Dept. Stores" and found this...I worked for Richway from 1975 until 1984(Roswell).
    Started at the Gas Island, to Cart Boy, to Cashier, to Head Cashier, to Advertising (Downtown-Central- Atl.) I consider myself very fortunate to go through that phase of my life working and learning with such a well run organization. I could write a book about all of the drama that went on on a daily basis. Wonder what happened to all of my fellow Richwayers?...
    Eric H.

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    1. Hey, Eric I also worked at Roswell left in 83How many of the old ones do you remember?Just started looking for some of them the other day Should have a web page for RICHWAY 8 former employees

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  55. I'm sure they've all gone on to bigger and better things....Richway folks were that way, highly motivated.

    I'll still keep in touch with several that I worked with at Richway.

    and by the way....HEY Carol Ann!...you probably won't remember me but we went to school together (CGHS)

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  56. Eric H. I'm Mark and I worked at the Roswell Richway from around March to
    August 1977, just before I started college. I was the skinny dude door checker--sat in a cubicle out front checking return packages and outgoing bags. In the rain the cube flooded, in the heat it sweltered. I had nothing in there but a fan and a fly swatter. (on boring days I'd kill flies and glue them to the drawer in the desk).
    When you walked into the store, the first thing you saw was the poster of Farrah Faucet in that red bathing suit.
    And can you remember the onslaught of Star War toys that overtook the toy department?
    And the electronics store that sold CB radios long after the fad died--and those LED watches?
    Do you remember the country ladies in receiving having to go home when they heard that Elvis died?
    I had a good friend in the Music Department, David E., he and I and two cash register girls, Vicky and Renata met after work and went out to dance, eat and have fun. After that summer, we all went our seperate ways and I never saw any of them again. But I'll always remember meeting in the parking lot and heading out for some adventure. How good it was to be young and healthy and have all yoru choices yet to me made. FYI 31 years later, I still have my Richway badge.

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  57. #24 in Conyers is a LA Fitness now....(and there is a Popeye's Chicken in the parking lot!)

    Target moved further south on Hwy.20

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  58. The last Target that was in an original, "slanted-roof" Richway around here (South Florida) was torn down in 2008. Construction of a two-story Target continues in its place. Other originals are still around, but they are no longer Targets.

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  59. I wasn't aware that the Richway Stores in south Fla. had the skylights.....I thought the hurricane zone precluded them.

    I remember when Hugo went thru NC..the skylights didn't hold up well at all...lol

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  60. Came across your site after googling "Richway" and you have done a fantastic job! This really brings me back. I loved Richway! Remembering my brother and I pooling our allowance to by 45's, staring at the tarantulas in the pet department, buying halloween costumes, parachute pants...the list goes on and on. Thank you for this post and your website. Keep doing what you're doing!!!

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  61. Great blog post - thanks for the memories. I lived in South Florida, and remember very well both the Richway stores (Used to shop the one in Plantation next to Broward Mall that converted to a Target, then was torn down recently and re-built as a 2-story Target with parking garage adjacent.) I also remember Gold Triangle - they had stores scattered across South Florida in the 1970's, and I remember the one in N Miami and in the older part of Plantation the most. (Broward Blvd and State Road 7 area). My folks used to take us there to buy sporting goods mostly - fishing rods, etc.) I am not sure when they closed exactly but they were mostly located in shopping areas that were bypassed with suburbs to the west and newer malls (except for the one by Dadeland in Miami, as it was probably the most visible of the stores near a major mall that stayed vibrant in the 80's+). I have found very little about them online, and would love to see more about them sometime.

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  62. Some people on facebook were discussing discount stores in the 60's and 70's around Atlanta and mentioned Sunshine. I don't remember them nor can I find anything about them Maybe they were before the 60's. Does anyone know?

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