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Was there a Wilson’s supermarket beside Kmart on South College Road?

Ben Steelman
StarNews

The questioner has a good memory. The family-owned Wilson’s chain opened a grocery in 1982 at 813 S. College Road, right next to Wilmington’s Kmart.The supermarket wasn’t opened that long; it disappears from the Wilmington City Directory after 1988, as Wilson’s moved into new locations with larger square footage. Kmart later expanded into the old space, but it was the site of seasonal holiday marts for a couple of summers. (I personally remember buying some marked-down books there.)

Boney Wilson opened the first Wilson’s in the Long Creek community of Pender County in 1919. It burned down in  1954, but was rebuilt as Wilson’s Food Town. The family gradually expanded into New Hanover and Brunswick counties. The business remained in the Wilson family until June 1994, when they sold their stores to Hannaford Bros. of Portland, Maine.

The old Wilson’s supermarket at Landfall, which closed in 1996, was bought by New Hanover County, and  renovated. The Northeast Regional Library opened in the former location in 2000.

Kmart at 815 S. College Road in Wilmington, N.C., in 2017. MATT BORN/STARNEWS

Kmart at 815 S. College Road in Wilmington, N.C., in 2017. MATT BORN/STARNEWS

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