New Jersey's Grand Union supermarket chain was one of -if not- the first American retail chains to spin off a discount mart division. Known as Grand-Way (or Grand Way), it premiered in June 1956 in Keansburg, New Jersey.

For the first Grand-Way store, an existing Grand Union supermarket was doubled in size, from 20,000 to 40,000 square feet. Lines of general merchandise were stocked. After the debut of the store, major home appliances -such as refrigerators, ranges, washers and dryers- were added to the inventory. Moreover, a layaway department was created and time payment credit plan instituted.

The second Grand-Way "super general store" opened in Albany, New York in October 1957. This was followed by locations in East Brunswick, New Jersey and Poughkeepsie and Courtland, New York. All of these operations were created out of expanded -pre-existing- Grand Union supermarkets. The first newly-built Grand-Way, in Danbury, Connecticut, held its grand opening in July 1958.

By the completion of the eighth Grand-Way, which opened in Paramus, New Jersey in October 1958, the standard store size had been increased to 85,000 square feet. The first Florida location, in Miami, came inline in May 1960. In August of the same year, two 100,000 square foot operations were dedicated in St. Petersburg, Florida. By this time, the Grand-Way prototype included a beauty salon, pharmacy, Bargain Balcony and children's fun center.

By 1962, the Grand Union chain had opened twenty-one Grand-Way stores. The original, newly-built operations incorporated grocery and general merchandise into a single store structure. This open plan was altered in the mid-1960s, with a wall being built in each location to separate the two divisions. As a response to Grand-Way's success, Philadelphia's Food Fair established its "me-too" brand discount chain with the acquisition of Salem, Massachusetts' J.M Fields, in August 1961.

By 1966, there were thirty Grand-Way stores. The 1971 store count still listed thirty stores, but by 1972, this number had dropped to twenty-six. In December 1973, the Grand Union company was acquired by a British concern, who had shuttered all remaining Grand-Way locations by 1975.


*BRISTOL CENTRE MALL. Bristol, CT (1969)


Founded by David, Robert and Stanley Kritznik, under the auspices of the General Merchandise Corporation, the chain was bought by J.C. Penney in 1962, a year after its first store had opened. The first locations were built in Wisconsin and encompassed 75,000 to 120,000 square feet.

The chain was headquartered -along with J.C. Penney- in New York City. Eventually, there were thirty-four stores. These were branded as Treasure Island in Atlanta and Appleton, Madison and Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The Treasury nameplate was used in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Miami, Chicagoland, Dallas and Memphis.

A typical Treasure Island / The Treasury would include departments devoted to shoes, apparel, toys, hobbies, furniture and small appliances, as well as an optical store, dry cleaner, beauty salon, snack bar and auto service center. Supermarkets were a facet of the Treasure Island / The Treasury concept until 1977.

The jettison of the grocery division was indicative of the profitability problems that the chain had been experiencing since the mid-1970s. In February 1981, the Penney's home office announced the closing of all thirty-four stores, which was to conclude April of the year.