Store #: 44
Opening date: Aug. 12, 1964
There now: Eastgate Village Holdings apartments
Big Bear Stores Co. founder Wayne Brown arrived at the grand opening in style.
Customers lined up to meet Downs, the host of “The Today Show.”
Downs and Brown posed for a photo in the midst of the crowd.
Shoppers crowded the isles during the event.
Big Bear was the first grocer in the country to use cashier-operated motorized conveyor belts.
Stores often featured decorative displays, such as a vines intertwined on a trellis above the grapes.
The History of Big Bear Stores
Former Big Bear Stores Co. president Stephen Breech and historian Doreen Uhas Sauer reminisce about the Columbus company, its growth to 65 grocery stores and numerous department stores across multiple states, the sale of the company and its eventual demise.