Thursday, December 28, 2017

Random Access Memories #1: Rack & Sack and Circuit City

I wrote this post over on my Tumblr last night and decided to repost it here. I might do more of these.

Back in the 90s, we used to shop at a grocery store called Rack & Sack. Their motto was “We Rack, you sack, you save”. The idea was that you would bag your own groceries and somehow save money from them not hiring baggers. I was talking to my parents about that store recently and they said that you also had to bring your own bags too, but I don’t recall ever seeing them bringing their own, so either they’re wrong or they just paid extra for the store’s.

Part of the reason why I remember Rack & Sack is because almost every Friday, me and my mom would go to the mall, hang out there for a while, then head on over to R&S and start shopping. My dad would head over after he got off work and meet up.

The shopping center it was in had a standalone Circuit City. This was back when they had like red entrances that stood out from the front. IIRC, the commercials at the time always depicted a big red power cord slamming down in front of the store and transforming into the entrance.

gif credit: Contac.
It’s weird how minutiae like that sticks with you. I can’t remember what I did two days ago, but by god, I can remember an old Circuit City commercial.

The shopping center was eventually bought out over a decade ago, torn down, and rebuilt as a smaller one. The space previously occupied by Rack & Sack is now a Kohl’s. The Circuit City was looooong gone by then. They built a Martin's grocery store in the shopping center when it was redeveloped and I think the gas pumps are where CC used to be.

The only thing about Rack & Sack I've ever been able to find online was a picture on Flickr and an article in a newspaper that mentions the grocery chain. Otherwise, it doesn't seem like Rack & Sack made much of an impact in its brief existence.

So it goes.


  1. Your Rack & Sack sounds like an Aldi grocery store.

    I think I went into a Circuit City in Portland, Oregon in 2008. I believe it was having a going out of business sale.

    1. I had the same thought about Rack & Sack and Aldi's too.

      I don't remember what happened to that Circuit City in the post, but another one opened in another shopping center after it was built. It went belly up with all the rest Circuit City stores.