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White Front




White Front


All right folks, time to grab your BankAmericard, Master Charge or just good old-fashioned cash as we take a brief trip to a great discount store of the past.

In 1959 Interstate Department Stores, Inc., purchased the two-store White Front operation in Los Angeles. White Front was founded in 1929 and was known for many years as primarily a seller of electrical appliances. Interstate moved quickly to expand White Front’s retail offering to include clothing, sporting goods, automotive items, household décor and much more. By 1963, the chain had grown to 11 stores and by 1970 there were 30 stores, concentrated around the Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle market areas. The new store footprints ballooned to 150,000 square feet, and in many cases a supermarket department was added to the mix.

By far the most distinctive White Front store design featured a massive arched entrance-way with the 'White Front' lettering fanned out along the edge. They were spectacular looking stores, and Interstate went all out to make sure their Grand Opening festivities created a stir to match. A look through old newspaper articles on White Front grand openings shows that many stars were typically on hand - Jayne Mansfield, Troy Donahue, Bill Cosby (riding high on his early 'I Spy' fame, but long before he became a legend) and Sebastian Cabot (of 'Family Affair') all did their part.

In the early 70’s, Interstate Stores folded and the only remaining vestige of the company would ultimately be Toys R Us.



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