Friday, November 23, 2007

1983 Richway flyer and more

Here is a treat for what I found to be more than a few people sentimental about Richway. A contributor who chooses to be known only as "J" sent me scans of a flyer made in 1983 for Richway. The story is that he found this in an attic of his grandparents house along with a newspaper from that era. In all, they are very well preserved. Also, he included a low resolution scan of a postcard for the Atlanta Expo Center, which I have outside pics of. The Atlanta Expo Center, located on Jonesboro Road today fills what had been the Richway in addition to the Treasure Island/Home Depot locations mentioned in the previous "Treasure Island" post.

In these pics, I am largely including ones with the logo, but will include a couple others for amusement. You have to admit that times sure have changed since these pics.

I'm guessing Richway had a better selection of hardware than snob-appeal Target that took its place did. Nevertheless, I've heard both are very similar in many ways, though obviously Target is much less fun.

How about a $400 VCR? And this is in 1983 dollars, folks. Also take your pic at Urban Cowboy overkill for $6.99 on your choice of LP or cassette so you can go and replace them all with CD's ten years later just to download them illegally another 10 years later.

One thing you've got to admit: since the 80's the men's shorts have gotten longer and women's a lot shorter. Considering the big gay rights push since the late 80's, it is definitely no coincidence. It's a reaction that mirrored the disco backlash a couple years before this ad. Can you imagine most men being caught dead in most of this stuff today unless they were running on the cross country team?

Hey buddy, you want THAT much for a boom box that doesn't come with high speed dubbing? No way, man!

Nice moehair suit, fella. Imagine the days when you could be a hairy bastard and still be considered smoking hot? I wonder if that guy later joined the other silver hair dudes in a new Vette hoping to land a girl half his age.

Also provided here was this postcard of the Atlanta Expo Center featuring our most well-preserved Richway off of Jonesboro Road. Just don't go there at night.

Here is a close-up outside shot of the Richway on Jonesboro Road taken by yours truly. I understand this was the only Richway not to make it into a Target. That says a lot about that area, unfortunately.


  1. Unfortunately, the pictures aren't donwloading on my computer. Your comment about Target's hardware selection being downgraded from Richway's is correct. Target has room for improvement in hardware, automotive and sporting goods. Automotive was a Richway weak spot as well, though the Cobb/Windy Hill location offered a auto service center. The Windy Hill Target doesn't utilize all of Richway's old footprint either, but I believe this is the last original Richway still open as Target.

  2. I remember Richway well. When we made trips to Atlanta shopping when I was a kid, my favorite store was the Richway on Cobb Parkway because it had the largest toy department of any store I ever saw. I remember the store being huge and the trademark of the Richway buildings were the large wedge-shaped things on the roof. You can still tell an old Richway building to this day by those. You should include a list of all of the Richway locations. Also, your post seems to be referring to images that aren't present in your post. I'd like to see them.

  3. Ah, Richway... I remember it as having a fine book department - that is, I could get the latest BabySitters Club book there for slightly less than at the Cole's at Shannon Mall. I don't remember much else about it, except that it, like Zayre's, just went -poof- one day.

    Wasn't Richway at one time affiliated with Rich's? It's always at this time of year I get so nostalgic for the old downtown Rich's...

    But the Jonesboro Road one never was a Target? Hmm... I thought I did remember it as such, because I recall a very chilly fall in the early 90's and as we were leaving that store, we saw -flurries-. :D

    Oh, and I couldn't see the images. :(

    Sorry for rambling, but thanks for sharing, but I love retail history/memory sites.

  4. Very strange...the pics aren't showing up at all! I will have to go back and fix that for sure :-/

    On Richway questions:

    1) There are two original Richways still in operations as Targets - Windy Hill and Johnson Ferry/Sandy Springs.

    2) The wedge shaped things on the roof were skylights. When renovations were underway on the Windy Hill location, you could clearly see windows and that they were boarded up as well as the ceiling dropped to hide them. They are still visible at the old Jonesboro Road location.

    3) Richway was owned by Rich's and then by Federated Department Stores (now Macy's Group). The Richway stores were operated out of the downtown Atlanta store same as the Rich's stores prior to the sale to Target in 1988. Even if they had not been sold to Target, the plan was to convert them to Gold Circle, thus eliminating those management jobs anyway. Zayre sold out to now-defunct Ames that same year and all Georgia locations were closed.

    4) If the Jonesboro Road location did become Target, it clearly was never renovated. Do not forget the Riverdale/Hwy. 85 location as well.

  5. Highway 85/Riverdale... maybe I'm confused on that, it could have been there - both of those were shopping options when we lived in Fayetteville, which was still rather undeveloped during those days. It's funny how bad my personal geography is from before the days when I was driving.

    Looking at the Windy Hill Target, the Richway must have been HUGE, it was divided up and part of it was a CompUSA... which died right as Target finished renovating that location. Bad timing, I would have loved to have had a full SuperTarget.

    I don't remember Richway's toys or hardware/automotive, but I still have a handful of books with Richway stickers on them.

  6. The Jonesboro Richway lasted as Target until the mid-90's, relocating to the Mount Zion exit off I-75 at that time. It got the same treatment as the other Richway's, a drop ceiling to hide the skylights and slightly smaller floorplan.

    Oddly, I don't recall GA 85 in Riverdale, was it the site that FoodMax/Bruno's/Cub Foods used?
    Thanks for the reminder about Johnson Ferry in Sandy Springs.

    These are the locations I recall:
    1)Windy Hill/Cobb Parkway(Marietta/Smyrna)
    2)Canton Rd at Sandy Plains(Marietta)
    3)Austell Road(GA 5)(Marietta)
    4)Johhson Ferry Rd(Sandy Springs)
    5)Roswell Mall(Roswell)
    6)Covington Highway(Decatur)
    7)LaVista Road/North Druid Hills(DeKalb Co)
    8)Buford Hwy(Doraville) and old Woolco?
    9)Jimmy Carter Blvd at Lawrenceville Hwy(Tucker address Gwinnett location)
    10)US 78 East(Snellville)
    11)Tara Blvd(Jonesboro)
    12)Jonesboro Rd(Forest Park)
    13)Old National Hwy(College Park)
    14)GA Hwy 20(Conyers)
    Riverdale Hwy 85 would be the 15th Atlanta area location and
    Atlanta Hwy in Athens would be the only other Georgia location.
    I know the two Chattanooga Richway's well, the Lee Highway location is now located on Gunbarrel Rd near Hamilton Place Mall. Lee Highway was originally a Gibson's Discount Center similar to a modern day Wal*Mart SuperCenter.

    I've only been to the Decker Mall in Columbia and Kannapolis Mall locations in Kannapolis, NC after becoming Targets. I believe the Charlotte are Richway's made the conversion to Gold Circle shortly before selling to Target. The Columbia and Charlotte Richway's were built in malls co-anchored by Kroger Sav-on. The Georgia locations that included supermarkets were in tandem with a Colonial/Big Star which originally opened the stores as Richway Foods.

    1. I would like to respond to one of the locations. When I was young,my parents always have taken me to Old National pkwy(College Park,GA. Richway was humongous for its size. Does anybody remember getting the Icy drinks(logo of a polar bear wearing turtle neck sweater).serving assorted flavors:cherry,cola&strawberry.I enjoyed the pets dept.However,it took forever to walk around the whole was an very unique store in our day.I'd notice every time go the store... It's like being in a ghost town.Never -Ever any long lines.The pace of the environment was always slow.I know one thing...YOU DO NOT WANT TO GET LOST IN RICHWAY!! (I had nightmares wondering what if). Our family loved the store/it will be truly missed.

  7. Ah, now the pictures are showing up! "Pancho and Lefty" came out in February 1983, and "The Closer Your Get" in late March, 1983, and "It's Only Rock and Roll" in late April 1983, and "Snapshot" in June 1983, so that dates the pages quite well. It has to be an early summer ad at the earliest!

    Note that all the boom boxes and audio/video equipment was SILVER then and not black. The switch to all black happened in the mid to late 1980s. More expensive boom boxes then (the ones costing 150 or more) usually had chrome and metal tape capability and Dolby noise reduction, both of which are hard to find on any cassette boom box nowadays. Note the video tape part of the ad featured both a VHS and a Beta tape! Hi-Fi VHS had not yet been introduced (not until 1986) and $399 was fairly cheap for a VCR at that time, if I remember correctly. Note the tuning mechanism on the VCR, with buttons and a tuning dial for each channel. To get UHF, you had to turn a little tuning dial under the button you wanted to set to a channel. This VCR would probably not be able to get any of the cable channels that are sandwiched between 6 and 7, requiring an external cable box. Also, that VCR was top-loading. By the late 80s, all machines would be front-loading.

    Unfortunately, with this being a summer ad, there were no full-length fleeced sweatpants or jogging suits in the ad that were so popular then. It was a time when guys wore those things all the time. I'm wearing old-school blue fleeced sweatpants right now with a gray sweatshirt! I still love the things for comfort!

    $6.99 was a typical price for albums then in reasonably-priced stores, with $7.99 or $8.99 being the prices in more expensive record shops.

    Another thing that was very popular those days were early home-video systems, like the Atari 2600. Arcades were still popular, but on the decline. They seemed to peak in 1982.

    I have so many great memories of Richway, and remember those ads from the Atlanta paper many weeks. I wish those stores, or stores like them, were still around. All Wal-Marts and Targets are the same from city to city, and back then, it was nice to go in Richway and see something different.

    Note: forgot to do "Anonymous" the first time. Don't know if the comment was submitted the first time.

  8. My mistake on the southside location...I am not from that area so get it a little confused. It WAS on Tara Blvd, not Hwy. 85 and was a Value City last time I checked. Value City also operated in the former Roswell Mall location. The list of locations is accurate for Georgia...there were several in South Florida as some previous comments mentioned. I know of three in Columbia: Bush River Mall (yes I was there in 1986), Decker Mall and Woodhill Mall. Is Decker Mall still standing? It was a clone to Bush River I recall and the last one of the three "Richway Malls".

  9. Macon also had a location, but I don't know excatly where, and only a vague idea on the date. I'll see if I can find out a little more. Wherever it was, it wasn't converted into a Target, as Target didn't come into Macon until... the late 90's, maybe?

  10. Just a heads up I have found two commercials for Richway on youtube

    here is the first one

    and here is the 2nd


    P.S. J.T. Thank you for publishing those scans that I've send ya!

  11. Several people have stated that the Columbia, SC Richway's became Gold Circle, but I recall their being listed on the locations of a late 80's Richway ad, which also listed the Southeast Florida locations.

    Decker Mall survived as Target until fairly recently with a new Target opening on Two Notch Road north of I-20 as its replacement. Bush River Mall was already Burlington Coat Factory the first time I saw the mall and was later the most derelect mall I had ever seen before it was torn down for a Wal*Mart SuperCenter. I think Richway was the sole anchor to Woodhill Mall, no Kroger Sav-on as a neighbor. The Target later relocated nearby on Garners Ferry Road near the I-77 interchange.

    The first Targets in the Knoxville, TN area were former Gold Circle stores, built as Gold Circle and not Richway. These days Target seems to be concentrating on building Super Targets in the Knoxville area.

  12. J, thanks for the heads up on those commercials...I looked there for awhile...those are so cool!

  13. Hello
    I live in Macon and I know of no Richway stores having been opened there. There may be an outside chance that one opened in North Macon and closed suddenly (in all seriousness) but we only had Zayre's, Rose's, and K-Mart.

    We were the town Rich's forgot until the 1990's. Somehow with Macon Mall losing tenants it may have wished it did. BTW Dillard's is building in a lifestyle center in North Macon while it may keep its Macon Mall location going.

    Just love to know what they'll do with a half-empty Macon Mall.


  14. The Anonymous entry from 11/27/08 talked about the Kannapolis NC location. I grew up in Kannapolis, and we never had a Richway. The closest one was at North Park Mall in Charlotte, on North Tryon Street and Eastway Dr. The old Target in Kannapolis was constructed there sometime in the late 80's, I think. It was never anything but a Target.

  15. The former Richway along North Druid Hills Rd. was at the intersection with Briarcliff, not La Vista - the La Vista intersection is at Toco Hills.

    And isn't the Briarcliff/N. Druid location still a Target "Greatway" (or whatever the wanky name is), meaning that three of the original Richways are still operating as Targets?

    1. It is still a Target in the exact location. I live in that area still. I went there a lot when I was a kid and got a mini Pac-Man machine, Dukes of Hazzard toys, fish, and school supplies there. I loved it.

  16. AWESOME site! My mom used to haul my niece (3 yrs. older) and me to the old Jonesboro Rd. Richway back around 1976-79 whenever she probably felt like getting us out of the house so we could run around and go crazy someplace besides our own yard for a change. And we did in that Richway. Our "game" as kids was to chase each other from skylight to skylight down the HUGE aisles between the departments. We loved going to Richway for that reason and also because we knew we could get a bag of popcorn and cherry Icees to - you guessed it - shut us up for a while. My dad would even take us to the old Burger King that used to front the store. Then we'd hit Treasure Island and OUR fave shopping place -- Lionel Playworld (Toys 'R' Us who? Lionel Playworld was the kids' Southside toystore mecca in the '70s) -- for more shopping and beg to see a movie at the Thunderbird Theater drive-in. (Remember THAT, Forest Park folks?) We never did, though, because we didn't get that you had to wait around until dark for the drive-in to start showing movies and we shopped on Jonesboro Road during the day. ;-)

    I was at the Expo Center recently w/friends one weekend and those skylights are still as mesmerizing as ever, even though I'm 35 now. It was the first time I'd been in there since the place closed as Richway and all those old memories just came flooding back. And yes - the smell of popcorn and Icees is still in the air. It was like visiting an old friend.

  17. A friend of mine bought me a gift card from Target. Knowing how much I wished it was Richway instead, he printed out the Richway logo from the internet and taped it to one side of the gift card so I was getting a "Richway Gift Card". That was both hilarious and special. With that, I'm still fantasizing what it would be like to take those brand new retro-style Targets, replace those with the Richway sign and repaint all the red to orange.

  18. Those Richway flyers are a RARE find! Your comments are hilarious.

    I vaguely remember shopping at the Covington Hwy. location after church (that location is now a church, BTW) when my family moved to Atlanta.

  19. To Michael: That is not an original Richway in Druid Hills. There was one there, but it was demolished and rebuilt into the Target Greatland unfortunately.

    To Kat: I've found Macon an anomoly in Georgia in that no local department store chains seemed to be from the city nor did Rich's or Richway ever make it there. I guess they were lucky to get Davison's, which is why there is still a Macy's there today. Sorry to hear about Macon was too big for that city.

    To Enique: That Covington Highway store was enormous. I noticed it lately and how well-preserved it is now. It looks like that area is making a comeback now.

    To BlairB: I think there were only three Richways in NC, all close to Charlotte and all in low-end malls. I heard they were briefly converted to Gold Circle. One of those still standing I know is Freedom Mall, which is uniquely now a Peebles.

    To SSideGirl: Lionel Play World folded in 1989. There last location built was on Barrett Parkway in Kennesaw and is now a TJ Maxx. I hardly ever went into Toys 'R' Us, but I was always in Lionel Play World. I haven't posted on it yet because I did not yet acquire a logo to post, but I know where to get one.

  20. I recall the wedge skylights on the Richway at North Druid Hills and Briarcliff which was torn down to make way for the current Target Greatland. But for some reason, I recall a Richway at Northlake along Briarcliff, wedge skylights and all. I know for sure A&P was along Briarcliff, a centennial design. The Best Buy on LaVista is where the Big Star was.The Kroger on LaVista was built in the 1970's as a superstore and has been expanded and remodeled several times. Toys R Us seems to have been around about as long as well. Did the Publix build on the site of the old A&P or the Richway? Is the Richway just an error in my memory? It would have certainly fit in the area architecturally and demographically during the 1970's.

  21. The North Park Mall Richway location was in a low-end mall. It was built mainly for Richway and Kroger SavOn, which were the two anchors. There were two other locations in Charlotte - Independence Blvd and Freedom Mall. I think there was also a Richway location in Gastonia, NC, but I'm not 100% sure.

  22. There was also a richway on tyvola road in charlotte. It was torn down in 1998 to make way for a costco. Yes there was a richway in gastonia and it still operates as a target today.

  23. These flyers are priceless. It is interesting to note that electronics are now considerably cheaper than they were in 1983: maybe cause at that time a lot of the electronics were still US-made, but even that was changing. The clothing is only somewhat more because now practically all clothing now is made overseas. My mom bought me a larger-sized Sony radio / cassette "ghetto blaster" for around $139 at Sears in Cumberland Mall. I had that thing until 1996 until I gave it to a college roommate.

  24. I visited the Georgia Expo Center today on Jonesboro Rd. The old Richway store is practically unchanged. The skylights are still open, the floors are still the same tile, with a mixture of the "brick" look, and with the orange striping. The wall moldings and light fixtures are also unchanged. The blue and orange things hanging over the windows in front are still there as well. I took many pictures and can email them to anyone interested. -Brad

  25. Stephen StricklandJanuary 15, 2009 at 6:34 PM

    Actually there is an old Richway location in Morrow, in the old Arrowhead plaza which is a Value Citydiscount store. This is the one we used to go to when I was a kid(early 70's) from Fayetteville.

  26. Hi! Stumbled upon this site because I work for Target, and I was fascinated by my old building with the "triangles on top". I work at the Target in Gastonia that used to be a Richway/Gold Circle -- we're still kickin'!

    I went to the roof the other day (one of my perks of being a manager, I suppose) and sadly the skylights are definitely painted over. But its pretty cool to walk around a store with so much history. Our back stairways still have "Richway" stenciled on them :)

  27. hi laura,

    is there anyway for you to get a picture or pictures of those stencils or ANY richway markings? if you read this, please send me those photos at thanks dear. that goes for anyone else who reads this. if you find it in your heart to do so, please send any and all photos of richway(ANYTHING) to me. i am creating a website dedicated to the once great department store and i could certainly use the help. that would include all former locations(wether they stand or not)and whatever you decide is worth putting up. to me, nothing is too small or trivial. thanks y'all.

  28. Racerboi,

    Richway photos are very, very hard to find. Dave at Pleasant Family Shopping could not seem to find any, and I have been unsuccessful finding a contributor of any such photos. A guy posted in my other Richway thread that he had a framed photo, but he wouldn't respond when I asked him. My best advice is to take advantage of a convention at the Expo Center, which has a pretty untouched old Richway. I have been likewise trying to hunt down photos of dead malls like Cobb Center and Roswell Mall (had Richway) as well as original Cumberland Mall. Good luck to you and I look forward to seeing your site when you get it up!

  29. Only one comment about Woodhill Mall in Columbia. There was another anchor...a small Tapp's Department Store. Tapp's was a local Columbia department store with a great 6-floor art-deco flagship downtown, two other locations in Columbia, and a store in Sumter. Woodhill Mall wasn't much else other than Richway and Tapps, with a small enclosed mall connecting the two.

    Columbia seemed to have a lot of malls, but for a long time had nothing as large as other cities of the same size [and importantce in the state].

  30. Richway definitely played a large part of my childhood. Especially the one that was on Old National. I just remember going with my parents and trying to pick up every toy. I remember my dad told me that Rich's owned them. I couldn't believe that. I remember saying to him "why? Rich's is so much better!" lol Those wedges on the roof have always stuck out to me. I mean, if I see that wedge from a distance, I can tell you what's under it. lol

  31. I do have some sad news about the 2 Richways that were in Chattanooga, the one over at Northgate Mall has been remodeled for office space while the Lee Highway location is sadly being demolished to make way for a cargo warehouse for the Volkswagen plant that is under construction.

    I used to go to the Lee Highway location a lot and thought it was the coolest place to bee and I still remember when Brainerd was a nice part. All I will have now is the memories while I watch from the Pizza Ria across the street memories going down one wall at a time :(

  32. Hey J.T. I have another "find" from cyberspace. Here's a video of random shots that someone captured in a Richway store in NC circa 1979.

  33. As a kid I used to go the old Richway on Old National, from Palmetto. It was great becasue my parents could grocery shop while us kids could hang out in the electronics/music section. Of course our parents never bought us any of that stuff, only groceries. The skylights bring memories, also the orange decor and logo. We were always excited to go there.

  34. Women's shorts got a whole lot shorter? That being the case, they must be just a shoestring around their waist, as their shorts are STILL just as short today as they were in the 80's- picture Daisy Duke. ONLY the men's shorts have changed, and it wasn't the big gay push in the late-80's, it was the big gay push in the late-90's that changed it.

  35. LOL I just realized I wrote this five years ago. While I do agree with you, I think that dressing like that was viewed more trashy then than it is today for women. Sure, an attractive girl would do it but I think she was viewed as "easy". You wouldn't dare say that today to some girl you see sporting some short shorts.

    The topic of men and shorts these days is a VERY awkward topic. Most grown men of my generation look back at their childhood pics dressed like that and feel ashamed. Honestly, such skimpy fashion for men really only lasted about 25-30 years...starting in the early 70's and ending by the early 2000's dead and cold. Many guys in the 50's wouldn't even wear shorts in the heat of summer, but somehow it was completely fashionable to dress like that in the late 70's and early 80's.