Anyone remember Gemco?
Gemco was located where Target in Walnut Creek and Pleasant Hill are currently located.
Gemco was a chain of membership department stores that was owned by San Leandro-based Lucky Stores. They ended up closing in 1986.
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My Dad worked there. First at the Redwood city one then WC. and then Pleasant hill until Lucky stores inc. sold to Target along with Checker, Shucks and Kragen auto parts.
GEMCO was a great department store!
As a kid, Gemco was awesome. Mom could go grocery shopping in peace, while I went and drolled over the toy section. It was different than Target grocery is now. It was almost a whole, separate Lucky grocery inside, as I recall it. I would have been 9 when it got bought by Target, so I may remember wrong, though.
Remember to show your membership card!
My father still has his Gemco card, he showed me it me not that long ago. I am sure if I asked him to show it to me, he could pull it out in no time.
I loved Gemco. Purchased my very first computer there. Commadore 64. My wife and I use to like entering codes to make games. The good ole days.
I bought my first wife’s engagement/wedding rings there in the mid 70’s.
… was one of my favorite stores… where WC Target is now… they could come back and replace Target any day as far as I’m concerned
Loved Gemco! I was a student at Sac State and used to shop at the Walnut Creek store whenever I came home to visit. My mom bought me a little portable television there one night for my birthday. It was black and white, about a foot and a half square, with the long, pull out antenna that you had to adjust to get reception. I put it in the car and she went home while I drove back to Sacto. Finally I could get the news at night on KCRA in Sacto. At the time, KCRA was one of the few channels that broadcast in the Concord,/Clayton area. It sure beat opening the medicine cabinet in my apartment and singing and playing “La Bomba” with my guitar at the top of my lungs to the apartment on the other side. I think they appreciated it, too! Loved Gemco!
Music, sporting goods, automotive, photography just an all around great store. Plus Dr. Nakanishi in Optical. Great guy, and cooler still he parked his Pantera out front.
As kids we used to borrow a “mom” and walk right next to her to sneak in. Half the time security would throw us out. So we made our own Gemco cards and they worked every time. My mom was horrified to discover that not only had I manufactured a fraudulent membership card, but the name on the card was Jesus H. ******. Dad had a little talk with me that evening.
We sure pushed the envelope of good taste at times, but never even contemplated shoplifting. Gemco was terrific.
While I was attending DVC in ’65 and ’66, I knew lots of folks that would switch the price tags on LP records to get all the popular ones for peanuts. I honestly never did that, because my aunt worked at the big record distributer in SF; and she got me all records at the wholesale prices. You could walk to the PH Gemco from DVC.
I remember that store. My uncle bought me a candy apple kit to make candy apples for Christmas. I got to pick it out from the store.
We drove from Oakland out to WC to shop there when I was a kid. Great place. Great deals.
I loved Gemco Early 70’s my Mom and i would drive fro Brentwood to Gemco. Walnut Creek. We would shop for hours. Lost her one time had to have her paged over the intercom.
We’d meet friends in the GEMCO parking lot when cruising Main St. in the 70″s to find out who was going to race, where & when or where there was a party to go to.
Jones road…… or out to encina grande parking lot, they had a paint line marking the quarter mile on kirker pass
I won’t mention my car from those days as it may have seen some action. In the late seventies there were three very fast local cars to avoid racing: The Coupe, The Night Stalker, and the guy with the supercharged V8 Corvair. I remember seeing the “Hemi-roid” ’39 Chevy around once in a while, that was another one not to mess with. I’m sure there were more.
In the prior decade I understand they used to gather at Mel’s which was across the street from what would eventually become Gemco.
60’s and early 70’s guys would race on Moraga Road just past Miramonte HS. They even painted a white starting and ending line on the road. Different strokes for different folks, back then.
Gemco was great, mom could grocery shop & I go to all the other departments. Great memories
I remember going to the GEMCO store in Mountain View in the 70’s…bought all my ‘back to school’ clothes there. They had a huge grocery store and I recall (I was very young) that they had discounted items with a light blinking for a limited period of time, similar to Kmart blue light special. You could buy everything there…sports equipment, lots of fishing gear and if my memory is correct, even wedding dresses. I always felt special, like an exclusive member, when my father flashed his membership card to enter!
Before it was Walnut Creek GEMCO wasn’t it White Fro…..oh, nevermind.
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