Three generations of Philadelphia's Strawbridge family took part in a ground-breaking ceremony for the first Clover Store, a new division of Strawbridge and Clothier, July 16, at the store site on Marlton Pike west of Route 73 in Cherry Hill Township.
Mrs. Francis R. Strawbridge, her son Stockton Strawbridge, chairman of the board of Strawbridge & Clothier, and grandson, Peter S. Strawbridge, vice president and general manager of the new Clover division, made brief addresses and pushed the ceremonial spade into clover-topped soil to officailly break ground for the first store. The convienience-oriented, self-service department store is expected to open in late Febuary, 1971.
Cherry Hill Mayor John C. Gilmore also spoke briefly and wielded the spade with the Strawbridges. Approximatley 50 people, representing local government, citizens groups, Strawbridge & Clothier and Clover store personnel attended the 4:30 p.m. ceremony, which was followed by a reception at Cherry Hill Lodge. A three-dimensional model of the building and a large artist's rendering were displayed at the reception.
A large green felt clover leaf served as a landing marker for a private helicopter which transported the Strawbridge family to and from the site.
Construction has begun on the 15 acre site of a one-story, 130,000 square foot building. general contractor is John J. Donnely, Inc., Audubon.
The store will be of contemporary design, using natural wood and brick on the external facade. Morganelli-Heumann & Associates of Los Angeles, and the Philadelphia architectural firm of Ewing, Cole, Erdman and Eubank designed the building. It is the first of some 20 to 25 Clover stores expected to be serving the Delaware Valley by 1980.
Clover will be a seperate and distinct division of Strawbridge and Clothier. The stores will reflect a new mass merchandising concept and are geared to satisfy the shopping needs of local community residents who wish to buy brand names, have the convenience of one-stop shopping and pay lower prices across the board.
Quality, value and convenience will be the merchandising motto of the new stores, and will guide their physical design, both inside and out.
Clover stores will offer a full line of quality merchandise which include full scale supermarkets, auto and garden centers. Internal design will be modern and spacious to facilitate self-service shopping.
Clover corporate offices are located at 227 South 4th Street in Philadelphia.