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Big Bear: 650 Ashland Road, Mansfield

TV personality Hugh Downs attended the grand opening of the Ashland Road store in Mansfield.

Store #: 44
Opening date: Aug. 12, 1964
There now: Eastgate Village Holdings apartments

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Big Bear Stores Co. founder Wayne Brown arrived at the grand opening in style.

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Customers lined up to meet Downs, the host of “The Today Show.”

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Downs and Brown posed for a photo in the midst of the crowd.

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Shoppers crowded the isles during the event.

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Big Bear was the first grocer in the country to use cashier-operated motorized conveyor belts.

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Stores often featured decorative displays, such as a vines intertwined on a trellis above the grapes.

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Related Video

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.