Thrifty Payless
Thrifty Drug Stores begain in Los Angeles in 1929. The company had its ups and downs through the years, and during its later years, performed poorly due to too many older, outdated, lower volume stores in questionable locations. One of Thrifty's best features was its house brand ice cream, manufactured by a plant they owned in El Monte, CA. The ice cream, sold cheaply in prepackged half gallon and family size packages, or by the infamous cylindrical scoop, was and still is a favorite for many in California. The Thrifty chain was owned by California's largest energy concern, Pacific, for a number of years. This led to little investement in the stores. In the late 1980's, Thrifty had other store divisions including Pay 'N Save (drugstores), Bi-Mart (membership variety), and Big Five Sporting Goods. 

Payless Drug Stores began in the northwest in 1939. At one point there were actually two different Payless Drug Groups, out out of the northwest and the other one out of Oakland. These two ultimately merged to create one Payless chain. Throughout the 1980's and early 1990's, Payless grew rapidly through both store acquisiton and organic expansion. During the mid 1980's K-Mart purchased Payless, selling it to an investors group (Leonard Green)  in 1994. Payless acquisitions include the purchase of California Valu Giant Stores in the early 1980's, Washington Osco Stores in the late 1980's, Colorado/Utah/Idaho Osco Stores in the early 1990's, and Alaska/Hawaii/Washington Pay 'N Save Stores (which were owned by Thrifty at that time) around 1993..

In 1993, Leonard Green Group bought Thrifty. At that point, Big Five was spun off to a separate arm of Green's group. Then in 1994, Green purchased Payless from K-Mart. The Payless management team was selected to run the combined Thrifty/Payless operation, and headquarters were moved to the then-Payless headquarters in Wilsonville, OR. Then in 1996, Rite Aid announced they would purchase Thrifty/Payless. In early 1998, store banners changed to Rite Aid. The only thing that didn't change, was the Thrifty Ice Cream. It is interesting to note that Thrifty Ice Cream is the only thing Rite Aid has ever bought, and not changed the name of to their own.
Former Payless Store in downtown Roseburg, OR. Adjacent to a very old Safeway. In person, it looks as though the old Payless sign really had to be ripped from the front of this building.
06/2003. A blast from the past at the corner of Highway 50 and Al Tahoe Blvd. in South Lake Tahoe. This parking sign has since been replaced. I'm glad I got the picture when I did.
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