Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Kroger Bauhaus and Acquired Décor

As promised, here I am with the final Kroger décor post! (About time, right?!) To this point, I've covered - in non-chronological order - Kroger's packages spanning nearly 30 years. Today, I've got the cream of the crop - the look that did stand, amazingly, for 30 years at a Kroger store right here in the Mid-South Retail Blog coverage area. That store would be the Kroger on Stateline Road in Southaven, MS, and appropriately dubbed by my flickr predecessors the "Beloved Greenhouse Kroger;" that look would be Kroger's awesome Bauhaus design. The photos for this décor all come from the Stateline store, mostly because it's the only store around here that ever had it (yes, sadly we now have to use past tense :( ) that wasn't remodeled before kingskip1, Bradley_Memphis, and l_dawg2000 started taking and posting photos to flickr. Now, they believe it to be the most photographed Kroger store on the entire photo-sharing website!

Let's start with a look at the exterior of the store. Most, if not all, Krogers with this décor were in stores of this build, with natural-light-welcoming greenhouses prominent on the front. Many of these stores still exist, and I'd posit that the majority of those have since been remodeled. Sometimes, the remodel carries over to the outside; here, you can see it did not. Don't think that that means Stateline didn't get any love though - the remodel inside is anything but lousy. l_dawg2000 has a remodel album (kinda painful to look at, at times!) that I encourage you to visit here.

Looking up through an awning at an exterior sign, only a hint of what's to come inside...

...Bauhaus décor at its finest! Kroger had many variations on this look it seems, with the colors seemingly store-specific (see here, scrolling to the left, for a different type). Stateline, as you can see, got the pink and purple version, which is reportedly extra-elusive on top of the overall look's current elusiveness!

Many stores had bread and rolls in the area where nutrition and floral is here, just beyond the produce department. Perhaps the odd layout has something to do with the fact that this store relocated across the street from an old Superstore Kroger (unfortunately, no photos of that era will be going up on the blog - there's few to find. See this link for the most readily available ones.). That certainly might explain some of the cool, if now somewhat nonsensical, flooring throughout the store:

The brick semi-circle is the best floor oddity of all; during the remodel, the new 2012 "fresh meat" basket sign was centered directly above it. I don't think anyone's been back to check, but hopefully that means it stayed... if not, I'm not sure we could handle it - we're still mourning the loss of the so-called Bauhaus Word Train (pictured below) above it!

Beyond the mouthful taking up nearly the whole back wall, dairy and eggs manages to fit its words in edgewise, with ice cream and [more] dairy around the corner.

Speaking of edges and corners, a distinctive component of greenhouse/Bauhaus stores is the curved walls (seen from a very cool vantage point in the bottom pic above). Even if the décor has changed through the years, it is still very obvious the previous design if those walls are present. And as an exclusive reveal here first on the blog, I can tell you that coming later this year to my flickr photostream is one such store.

Just beyond the combined deli-bakery here is the pharmacy, actually not here from the first day (explaining the afterthought millennium décor signage). I'm not sure if it was just a Stateline thing, or if all early greenhouse stores didn't have a pharmacy. The aforementioned store I went in was a later build (you can tell by the walls on the side of the greenhouse; if they go all the way up like they do in the first picture of this post, it's early, and if they're "shaved off" and follow the lines of the greenhouse, it's later), and it did have a dedicated pharmacy space from opening, it looks like.

Closing out the interior shots, a look down the checkouts at the second of two Bauhaus produce signs, and a view under the magnificent greenhouse. Just beside it is the pharmacy (for perspective), and beyond that, a little alcove for the café seating...

...then it's headed back outside for another exterior shot (of Barney's Café's stained-glass window), and the ubiquitous Kroger cube. (Okay, so they're not really found at every store ever, but they should be!!)

That's it for Bauhaus décor in the Mid-South, but there are some other places you can find some shots of it online. For example, this topic on the Groceteria forum has lots of image links; this Facebook page has some photos proving that Bauhaus still lives on at a Kroger in Covington, KY, (a small community apparently unsupportable of another grocery) possibly for a while as a result, though given its proximity to Kroger's headquarters and just plain knowing Kroger, it could be gone in a flash. If this is the décor in your local Kroger, we at the Mid-South Retail Blog and on flickr encourage you to let us know, and maybe even go and discreetly take some pictures yourself that you can share on social media, add to websites like Yelp or Foursquare, or even upload to flickr or send it here, to the blog, at (even if it's not in the Mid-South, for Bauhaus we'll make an exception!!).

Of course, if you want more of the Stateline store, this post barely scratched the surface! Feel free to view pictures in each of our dedicated Kroger albums (kingskip's, Bradley's, l_dawg's, and my own) and, if you're on flickr, fave or comment.

For the rest of today's post, I wanted to include some very quick glimpses of various décor packages Kroger has just happened to acquire here in the Mid-South (well, immediate Memphis metro area, anyway) and in some cases, as with Stateline, waited some time (or hasn't yet bothered) to remodel. That requires a little backstory first, though...

Back in the "good ol' days" of grocery shopping in the Memphis metro, there was a bakery-turned-supermarket owned by and operating under the name of Seessel's. Seessel's, facing troubles, eventually sold to Bruno's, but upon actually facing worse problems, withdrew the chain from that arrangement and subsequently granted it to Albertsons, which ran existing stores and opened new ones under the name of Seessel's by Albertsons. At this time, Albertsons also expanded into select territories outside of the Seessel's circle with new stores simply under the name of Albertsons, but soon found that the new region wasn't exactly what they were expecting, and sold off all Albertsons-branded stores to Kroger and all Seessel's-branded stores to another Mid-South newcomer, Schnucks. Much to Seessel's fans' chagrin, however, Schnucks stripped the stores of their name, their décor, and practically everything that shoppers had come to love about the local success story. As a result, Schnucks gained a negative connotation among Mid-South shoppers, and wound up having to leave the market themselves as well, selling out to Kroger (meaning it's basically a grocery monopoly around here anymore).

What does this mean to you? Well, if you can follow my story (apologies for making it so winded!), you should hopefully be able to deduce that 1) Kroger has had stores with Albertsons and Schnucks décor packages, and 2) Schnucks probably could've avoided this whole mess if they had just kept what made Seessel's, Seessel's. Just sayin'.

This is the only Schnucks décor picture worth sharing, haha! Many of the so-called "Schnucks Kroger" stores have since had the good fortune to remodel, though I think some may still be around. All of us Mid-South flickr folks have some Schnucks "corrugated crap" pictures in our photostreams, but if you want the full experience, I'd encourage you to visit my album here, of a grocer other than Kroger that came in and set up shop in a former Schnucks (also coincidentally in Southaven). For the record, the décor used by Schnucks during their tenure here isn't my favorite, but nowadays I find it a welcome change to the over-abundant 2012 décor in practically all Krogers.

A much better example of Kroger acquiring décor is this former Albertsons in Tupelo, MS, which had the good fortune to remain unremodeled up until this year. l_dawg2000 has a pretty extensive tour of this store here, and I have some pics of it under remodel that I'll be posting to flickr once school starts back.

Last but not least, not only for this post but for the whole Kroger décor series (!), is this sneaky little package!! This is an example of a décor package used by Albertsons in a Seessel's store, surprisingly untouched by Schnucks (perhaps the corrugated metal pleased them?), and remarkably also untouched by Kroger, at least as of earlier this year. Pics from this store can be seen in my album here.


Thanks once more to my flickr friends for allowing me to use their photos in these posts, and thanks to all of you for sticking around for this series! As mentioned in the previous post, this is going to be the last major one from me for a while, though I'll still try to get something posted once a month. Again, though, feel free to submit a post yourself, and in any case to sign up for email alerts via the desktop version's sidebar link so you don't have to keep on clicking back here everyday and finding disappointment (though we do appreciate your dedication, if you do check by everyday!). (Edit - at least, I think you can sign up for email alerts. I'm signed up, but I haven't gotten a message yet for this new post. Wouldn't surprise me if it didn't work after all... :/ ) (Double edit - well it did finally alert me, nearly a full day later, but oh well! The timing can be forgiven, because the alert is a lot nicer than I expected: it sends you the whole post, you don't even have to visit the blog!! Although, of course, I don't want to deter you from doing that... we appreciate your patronage!)

That's pretty much a comprehensive look at Kroger's looks around the Mid-South, but at the risk of saying "look" too many times in this sentence, I'd suggest if you're in the northeast to look out for Kroger possibly moving into your area, what with A&P's bankruptcy. (Though, if you're in the northeast, I'm not quite sure why you'd be reading the Mid-South Retail Blog, haha! Try my pal Random Retail's Twin Tiers Retail instead.)

Until next time... enjoy exploring the retail world wherever you are!

Retail Retell


  1. Bauhaus for the win! Ironically, this post being about acquired decor reminds of one former Kroger in Grove City, PA. Despite not being a Kroger and unless they have gotten new signage, the bauhaus signage is still being used to this day at this County Market location:,-80.112657,151m/data=!3m1!1e3

    Also, thanks for the mention! I'm going to keep trying to post a few posts every now and then!

    1. Sadly, it looks like it's been remodeled, per its Facebook page:
      Cool to know it kept Bauhaus all those years after Kroger left though!

      You're welcome! :) Looking forward to 'em!

    2. I meant the pharmacy and deli/bakery exterior signs were still being used. I didn't know about the interior. Here's a picture on Flickr:

      Upon searching, I realize that the signage isn't exactly the same and that they do not have the deli/bakery sign, but you can still see where the bauhaus was for the pharmacy.

    3. Ah, okay. I misunderstood. That is neat that they still have some traces of their past!

  2. Thanks again for the links to all my photos and sets, and for going to the trouble to post my favorites! I just signed up for the email alerts myself, so next time I'll know about a new post (almost) when it happens, as opposed to when someone comments on it!

    Looking forward (I think!, LoL) to those downtown Kroger remodel pics, which I imagine will be painful to look at as well.

  3. I should probably clarify and say downtown *Tupelo* Kroger pics!

    1. You're welcome for the links! And it's funny, you mention getting comments in your emails, but I don't check my gmail regularly :P At least I'm not too far off in replying!

      I knew what you meant, in fact I just posted them today! It is sad to look at :(

  4. From what I've heard, Kroger kept much of the Albertsons decor packages when they bought many of the Houston stores in 2002.

    One such store I visited had unfortunately since been remodeled, but distinct elements, like the "Beverage Boulevard" flooring, still existed.

    1. Cool! They did the same around here in that Tupelo store I mentioned in the post until they remodeled it this year (you can see photos of it in my album, if you'd like: Unfortunately, with the remodel (actually, I think it was a couple years prior to it...), the tile was ripped out in favor of the ever-popular concrete floors, so no Albertsons remnants remain on the ground, either :(

  5. I almost got a little emotional looking at this, because I remember those long, forgotten days of old neighborhood Krogers . . . those days are looong gone. Walking into a Kroger nowadays is like walking into a warehouse.

    1. Glad to hear the post brought back memories for you. I agree, Kroger stores today are very different than they were in those "good old days" of the chain!

  6. Let's go Krogering! I remember when I was a little kid and this commercial would come on the TV. I always loved going to Kroger with my mom and getting a sandwich from the deli with a pickle or a cookie from the deli! The day they decided to move the Bauhaus Kroger into what was supposed to be a Great Scott originally absolutely broke my heart!! I fell in love with Kroger because of the Bauhaus design!! I hate the new warehouse Kroger's!

    1. I love that jingle! Glad this post could bring back some memories for you :)

  7. Here's something for you and your readers. I came across a Texas history database of various media clips from several decades tonight. Included in there are some TV news clips from several decades ago from the Dallas-Ft. Worth Metroplex. There are many great retail video clips on there and I shared some of them in a comment in the latest AFB post:

    However, there are some Kroger-specific videos which I think are worth sharing here. Specifically, here are a couple of news clips showing Bauhaus decor as it existed in the 1980s. This was Bauhaus before it was retro, lol! There are other clips besides these two, but I think these are the two best. Anyone wanting more can certainly search for Kroger on the Texas History website.

    Clip 1 from 1983 (probably the better of the two):

    Clip 2 from 1986:

    1. Great stuff, thanks for sharing! It is awesome indeed to get to see Bauhaus décor in video format like that. I especially like the clock on the wall alongside the décor in the first video, and the presence of the original yellow refrigerated cases as well as the "Service at No Extra Cost" sign in the second video. Very neat!

    2. Here are a few more short Bauhaus Kroger videos I found on that Texas History database which might be of interest to you and anyone else reading this interested in the history of Bauhaus-era Krogers.

      The first is I suppose the most relevant to the store design. It's a video from 1984 about how Kroger designed their stores to encourage impulse buys. Discussion of the racetrack layout of the store is there as well. There are several images from various parts of the Bauhaus store in the video. I highly recommend checking out this one:

      The next is a real piece of history. It's from 1985 and it discusses the introduction of Kroger accepting debit cards at the checkouts. Customers are asked if they're willing to use debit cards instead of paying by check or cash and some are very reluctant about the 'new' technology. Predictions are made that most people will continue to pay by cash or check. Well, at least by modern standards, that prediction seems pretty laughable now, doesn't it?! Link:

      And here is the most hilarious video. It seems that Kroger had the idea in 1986 to have a singles night at one of their Bauhaus stores. Single people could come and meet at the store. It seems that Kroger had the singles play games like blindfolding people and then having them guess what vegetables they are holding, lol. It seems like a lot of people were at the singles night. I wonder why Kroger doesn't do this anymore. It's kind of a fun thing for a supermarket to do and be part of the community.

      Anyway, there are some interesting images of decor in the singles video. I remember those decorated cakes signs and coolers! Link:

      I hope you enjoy these videos of Kroger during the crazy 1980s!

    3. More great videos, thanks for sharing! Lots of great décor stuff in there -- in the first video I think I even caught some glimpses of some Bauhaus-font aisle markers, which appear different from the ones shown in the other two videos (can't recall ever seeing the true aisle marker design that went with that package, actually). But even beyond the décor, the content is fun also -- I can't decide which is more hilarious, the singles night at Kroger or the idea that the debit card wouldn't take off! I guess you could draw a comparison to today's Apple Pay and whatnot, which I don't put much stock in myself... not that it won't take off, mind you, but just that I wouldn't use it personally. (Or so I say now -- check in with me in 30 years or so, I guess, lol!)

    4. Regarding the Bauhaus aisle markers, it is interesting that the Impulse Buys video shows some aisle markers that I can't say that I remember. The ones that I remember are shown in the Debit Card video. Those are the horizontal/landscape rectangular ones that have a bit of a Spanish mission architecture design to them similar to a 1980s Taco Bell where the aisle number would go in the round, 'bell' part of the sign. Hopefully that description makes sense, lol. I'm not sure if people outside of Texas are familiar with The Alamo in San Antonio, but those aisle markers always reminded me of The Alamo!

      I must say that it's entirely possible that a lot of Bauhaus Krogers had the aisle markers like were in that Impulse Buys video, but I just don't remember that. In that regard, watching these old videos is really helping me remember a lot of small details about these stores that I totally forgot about over the years. Something like that decorated cakes Bauhaus sign is something I never would have thought of again without seeing it in the video!

      I don't know if you noticed it at about the 35 second mark in the Impulse Buys video, but in the back there you can see the little trellis-like thing Kroger used for their gourmet cheeses at the time. I think that was a holdover design element from the Superstore decor, but unfortunately, Kroger started removing those from Bauhaus stores in around the 1990s around here. Although the video does not really focus in on it, it's neat seeing at least a little of those old cheese departments that were out in front of the deli/bakery area. The surviving Greenhouse Kroger nearest to me recently put a sushi stand in the spot the cheese trellis used to be. It's interesting that gourmet foods has finally returned to that spot, but the trellis was more interesting looking of course.

      That's a good point about Apple Pay and technology like that. We might laugh at it now and say "why would someone want to pay like that," but perhaps we'll all be paying that way 30 years from now. It's hard to say, but maybe we'll all be buying groceries online by then! I do think debit cards took off faster than Apple Pay type things have done, but paying by card is so easy that there might not be the motivation for people to change their habits as there was back then when you had to carry around cash or your checkbook. Like you, that Apple Pay stuff does not appeal to me.

      Anyway, I'm glad you're enjoying these videos. I think they're absolutely awesome. I hope more TV stations donate their old tapes to libraries to digitize and put on the Internet like what was done in North Texas. It's amazing to get these glimpses of real life back decades ago and the quality of the video is surprisingly very good.

    5. Ha, yes, the description makes sense -- those are the ones I'm used to seeing in classic Kroger pictures as well. Perhaps those also originated with this package, although I feel like I remember seeing them in images of stores with wannabe neon also. Not sure, though.

      I think I missed the trellis, I'll have to go back and look for it. Definitely sounds like it would be a superstore holdover element though! I know l_dawg2000 has mentioned that several elements at the Bauhaus Kroger in Southaven were carried over from the old superstore across the street, including brick inlays in the floor in places and the Welcome decals on the doors. So that's not surprising to hear of other elements like that overlapping as well.

      Ugh, even if Apple Pay is the future, surely in-person grocery shopping will never go away... right? Scary thought, haha! Anyway, yeah, the videos are nice. It would be cool for old news clips like that to go online, as well as the ability to more freely have access to and search old newspapers for that matter.

    6. Part 2 of my series of posts about retail videos from the Texas History Portal database at the Houston Historic Retail blog will contain a list of videos that we can call "the best of the rest." These are videos/other resources which are not featured in the blog post, but are worth watching, IMO. The list will be lengthy, but I wanted to give you a preview here as it relates to Kroger Bauhaus design.

      We were discussing earlier the Kroger Bauhaus aisle markers before the 'Alamo' shaped ones. Well, here is a video that shows those early Bauhaus aisle markers very clearly:

      I suppose this isn't quite Bauhaus related, but here is a video showing what appears to be Superstore decor in a Greenhouse Kroger in a shopping center with Superstore architecture. I can't really explain this oddball store, but maybe you know what might be going on here:

      And, finally, this has nothing to do with Kroger at all...or does it? Here is a video about experimental large size Safeway stores that, in the case of the store in the video, replaced a Marina store. Towards the end of the video, at about the 1:30 mark, is what appears to be a Greenhouse Safeway. A Greenhouse Safeway?! I can't tell what the story is there. Is that an old Kroger Greenhouse store that Kroger already abandoned by 1983? I suppose it could be, we had a short-lived Kroger Greenhouse store around here that closed around that time and was replaced with an even bigger Greenhouse store down the road. Still, this is strange. You'll love seeing the big Safeway though. It kind of reminds me of those Welcome stores you did a post about at MFR. Link:

      Well, anyway, I hope these videos are just increasing your appetite for part 2 and the best of the rest list!

    7. Thanks for these additional links! It's nice to see those aisle markers in greater detail. And wow, that Safeway greenhouse is super interesting! That does look very much like an early Kroger greenhouse, with the way the walls curve inward to the windows. There is a newspaper clipping out there somewhere which shows an early rendering of the greenhouse design and introduces it by its real name, "Superstore 2." I'm pretty certain this looks a lot like that rendering, but unfortunately I'm not able to locate that ad again now that I want to link to it, lol. In any case, I would be very surprised if that store wasn't a Kroger beforehand. But on the flip side, I agree, very strange circumstances must have been at play if indeed Kroger already relocated out of that building so soon after opening.

      As for the superstore/greenhouse shopping center combo, my best guess is that the Kroger originally opened as a superstore and the exterior was remodeled to the new greenhouse look a little later on. Retrofits like that happened at several locations. That said, it's strange that the interior wouldn't have been remodeled at the same time...

    8. Yes! Victory! I've found video footage of the Kroger Bauhaus gourmet cheese trellis! Woohoo! Lol, well, I'm sure you can understand my excitement about this, but perhaps you and l_dawg2000 are the only other ones who understand how exciting this is!

      At the very opening of this 1986 video, you can see the gourmet cheeses display that would be in front of the soft drinks aisle and between it and the deli. Unfortunately, the actual trellis itself isn't all that visible because of that coolers display, but at least you can see the gourmet cheeses setup. There is another supermarket visible beyond halfway in the video, but I don't think that's a Kroger. Link:

      Here is a video from a Bauhaus Kroger in 1982 which does show a trellis, but it's actually at the back end of the soft drinks aisle and it seems the trellis is for the wines display. In this case, it could really be a leftover Superstore element, but actually that trellis design works well with the wines. Maybe the general theme here is that the trellises were used with gourmet foods. I honestly don't remember the back trellis in Bauhaus designs, but at least some stores must have had it:

      Here is a third trellis video and this might be the oddest of the bunch. In the aisle to the right of the soft drinks aisle, there appears to be a full aisle with a trellis! What?! I really don't remember that. I wonder what was in that aisle. Sometimes Kroger put their video rental displays in that part of the store. Maybe it was that, but I really don't remember that being there. Odd, but interesting! Also, the video contains some interesting and funny discussion about New Coke! Link:

      All of the three videos above might be interesting to Kroger enthusiasts, but the interesting bits are so narrow in focus that I don't even know if they are appropriate for my 'Best of the Rest' list. That said, I figured you would enjoy them so I wanted to post them here. Also, since people researching Bauhaus decor might stumble upon this page, maybe this will be helpful for them.

      One video that will make the 'Best of the Rest' list is this video showing Bauhaus decor from 1979. The Bauhaus decor doesn't look quite right as I remember it though. It looks about 80% right to me, but some aspects of this store look a bit odd. I wonder if this is a transitional design or maybe if this was a converted Superstore design store that kept some Superstore aspects like the meat department wall which looks a bit different than what I'm used to with Bauhaus designs. Also, the double doors to the back room aren't full height doors which is a bit strange. Maybe you have some thoughts about this:

      Oh, and since all these previous videos needed a fine-tooth Kroger comb to see the interesting bits, here's a video from my post that I'm leaking to you where everything is interesting! It's a video from inside a 1977 Burger King, but there is also some vintage Taco Bell and Whataburger footage:

      Anyway, I hope you enjoyed all of this and I hope you understand my excitement about the cheese trellis, lol. If l_dawg2000 and the other Mid-South Bauhaus Kroger fans don't know about these videos, you might want to share them with them. I'm sure they will be interested!

    9. Thanks again for all these links! And sorry it's taken me so long to get around to replying. Congrats on finding footage of all the trellises! From what I've seen of superstore décor in old pictures and video like you've shared, it seems like trellises were a very common design element with that package, so it makes sense that it would have continued into the Bauhaus era, at least for a little bit. Definitely makes sense to have them affiliated with the more upscale or gourmet offerings, too.

      Ha, that New Coke one was funny! And as for the weird-looking Bauhaus décor, yeah, something does seem a little bit off about that... I think it may just be that the ceiling seems a tad lower than normal, though. Or maybe there are more lights than usual, or it's a smaller store. The layout definitely is on the stranger side. It looks more like a superstore build where the reporter is standing at the end, with the checkouts right next to what I assume is the guest services wall (as opposed to the curved wall with the pharmacy, deli, and bakery normally in that area). I also see in that shot what appears to be a Frozen Foods department sign on the rear wall, which is a first for Bauhaus décor for me!

      Yes, I agree, hopefully people finding this page enjoy these videos. As for l_dawg, I'm about 80% sure he also gets comment notifications for the blog, but I can try to let him know when I get a chance, just in case he hasn't seen these yet. Cool vintage fast food footage, too!

  8. Here's another video from inside a Bauhaus Kroger from 1986 in Snellville, GA, but this is completely different. I suppose the employees of the store decided to make an amateur promotional video for the store by having them dance and perform a 20 minute music video in various parts of the store including the Barney's and all of that. In a way, this is really bad, but it's totally awesome in another way. You'll want to see this if you have not before!

    1. Yep, I've seen that video before, but never made it past the first couple of minutes with the apple crew dancing their way onto the salesfloor. This time I sat through all 20 minutes. That was awesome! Cringeworthy, but awesome XD I like how it turned from a Kroger promotional video at first, to a Weird Al music video in the middle, and by the end I imagine all the smiles were probably forced from all the effort put into this very long production, haha! I'll concur with this comment I found below the video, too: "This is my favorite video on the entire internet. I want this played at my wedding and funeral, and I will single handedly invent the time machine so that I can travel back in time to ensure that this video is played at the moment of my birth. Excellent content."


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