Ward's new suburban shopping center stores featured a snack bar and carried lines of apparel, fashion accessories, shoes, home furnishings, large & small appliances, electronics, floor coverings, hardware & paint, building supplies, lawn & garden equipment and sporting goods. Stores also had a catalog order department and an attached -or freestanding- Wards Auto Center.
EARLY MONTGOMERY WARD SHOPPING MALL STORES:
*BLUE RIDGE MALL, Kansas City, MO (1958)
*BIG TOWN MALL, Mesquite, TX (1959)
*WONDERLAND CENTER, Livonia, MI (1959)
The Wards at San Diego's MISSION VALLEY CENTER was the chain's largest western store when it opened its doors, in February 1961. It encompassed 219,000 square feet.
During the mid-century push to build new suburban shopping center stores, Wards was still opening a freestanding location here and there. This is evidenced by the Middletown, Ohio Wards, which was dedicated in 1964. The single-level operation, which replaced a 1920s-vintage, downtown store, housed 80,000 square feet.
One of the first fully-enclosed malls in Southern California was anchored by Wards. Here we see the 169,000 square foot HUNTINGTON CENTER location, which opened, in Huntington Beach, in October 1966.