The post-war era in America brought the advent of the suburban shopping mall as we came to know it. The first true mall-type complex, Seattle, Washington's NORTHGATE CENTER, held its official grand opening April 21, 1950 and included an A & P supermarket as one of its charter tenants. The store was noteworthy for its so-called "magic eye doors", which opened and closed automatically. This was big news at the time.

America's second retail mall, Greater Boston's SHOPPERS' WORLD, opened for business October 4, 1951. The center did not include a supermarket in its original retail mix. However a 23,900 square foot Stop & Shop was added, which came inline October 4, 1961...on the 10th anniversary of the shopping hub.

The third mall in the United States, Southern California's LAKEWOOD CENTER, was officially dedicated October 3, 1952. Its Hiram's supermarket had opened for business in late 1951, followed by a second food retailer, Boys Market, which had logged its first sale in early 1952. Supermarkets would serve as junior anchors of nearly every open-air shopping mall built in the United States between 1949 and 1965.


*STONESTOWN CENTER, San Francisco, CA (July 1952)
Stonestown Market (November 1952)
*LEVITTOWN CENTER (SHOP-A-RAMA), Bucks County, PA (October 1953)
Penn Fruit supermarket (1953) and Food Fair supermarket (1955)
*SUNRISE CENTER, Fort Lauderdale, FL (January 1954)
Food Fair supermarket

The nation's first regional-class, fully-enclosed mall, Edina ["uh-diy-nuh"], Minnesota's SOUTHDALE CENTER, held its grand opening October 8, 1956. It featured a 30,000 square foot Red Owl supermarket, reputed to be the largest in the Upper Midwest at the time. America's early interior malls almost always included a supermarket as a customer drawing point.


*BIG TOWN MALL, Mesquite, TX (February 1959)
Wrigley's supermarket
*CHARLOTTETOWN MALL, Charlotte, NC (October 1959)
Colonial Stores supermarket
*NORTH STAR MALL, San Antonio, TX (September 1960)
H-E-B supermarket

Before long, large supermarket chains and major shopping center developers had formed partnerships. Cincinnati's Kroger Company and Cleveland's Jacobs, Visconsi, Jacobs Group co-built Fairview Park, Ohio's WESTGATE CENTER (1954). Kroger and Youngstown, Ohio's Edward J. DeBartolo Corporation developed centers such as Indianapolis' LAFAYETTE SQUARE (1968) and Greater Youngstown's SOUTHERN PARK MALL (1970).

Philadelphia's Food Fair chain formed its own development subsidiary, Food Fair Properties, which built Miami, Florida's 163rd STREET CENTER (1956) and Baltimore's REISTERSTOWN ROAD PLAZA (1962). New Jersey's Grand Union grocery conglomerate also delved into shopping center development.