Serving up this steaming pile of
Celebrity Gossip
Gay Politics
Gay News
and Pointless Bitchery
Since 1995

Woolworths or Woolco? Where did your mother prefer to shop?

This is way before Wal-Mart

But which store did your mother prefer to do her shopping? Which store did she take you to as a kid?

by Anonymousreply 22304/06/2017

Nieman Marcus

by Anonymousreply 112/28/2012


by Anonymousreply 212/28/2012

I am almost in tears from genuine nostalgia here...

by Anonymousreply 312/28/2012

Goldblat's - they employed the disabled and you could see clerks with hooks for hands.

by Anonymousreply 412/28/2012

I'm a regulah Macy customah!

by Anonymousreply 512/28/2012


by Anonymousreply 612/28/2012

Either Oleson's Mercantile in Walnut Grove or Ike Godsey's General Store near Walton's Mountain.

by Anonymousreply 712/28/2012

Mother shopped at either The Broadway or Orbach's.

by Anonymousreply 812/28/2012

I'll never forget my mother buying fabric at Goldblat's. The clerk had one stacked shoe so you'd hear her clomp clomp clomp from the bolt display to the cutting table. You weren't allowed to change your mind because she'd have to clomp clomp clomp back to the bolt display.

by Anonymousreply 912/28/2012

Well, in the little town that I grew up in on Long Island in the 1960s we only had a Woolworth store. When we went to real department stores, it was either in New York City or Roosevelt Field.

by Anonymousreply 1012/28/2012

My first job was at Woolco. Memories.

by Anonymousreply 1112/28/2012


by Anonymousreply 1212/28/2012

Neiman-Marcus darling

by Anonymousreply 1312/28/2012

There were some Woolco's in my area, but they were in far flung areas. We didn't go there often.

So, given the two choices provided, we went to Woolworth.

But as a general rule, my mother did most of her department store shopping at Belk.

by Anonymousreply 1412/28/2012

Neither. Sears.

by Anonymousreply 1512/28/2012

I remember the name Woolco, but I don't remember being in one. I looked up their logo and it does look familiar. Were there any in California?

I got my first parakeet at Woolworth when I was 7.

by Anonymousreply 1612/28/2012

We mostly went to Ben Franklin when I was growing up in Rockford, Illinois. It was close to the house. The Goldblatts was the strangest store. It was a moderately priced department store, but had a pet department in the basement. Mom would get us our cub scout uniforms, and maybe a parakeet or two.

by Anonymousreply 1712/28/2012

SOLOServe; hated that place!

by Anonymousreply 1812/28/2012

We had no Woolco. Weren't they owned by the same family?

by Anonymousreply 1912/28/2012

We didn't have either of those. However we had a ton of smaller ones that don't exist anymore. Grants, Caldors, Bradlees, D&L, Steiger's, Sage & Allen, and G. Fox all gone now.

by Anonymousreply 2012/28/2012

My first part time job was at Woolworth's.

during May sales events...the manager would hold an employee breakfast on Saturday to kick off the month. He would wear a cowboy hat and shoot off a toy pistol...this was NJ so go figure. The two male managers, mostly older women full time employees, and part timer students. His big tag line was "If you don't need Woolworth's,then Woolworth's doesn't need you." In retrospect he had all the charm and bluster of Donald Trump.

We had "secret shoppers" who posed as customers, and then reported back to management on service received. I got low marks in demeanor, since I neglected to say "thank you for shopping Woolworth's, the fun place to shop".

by Anonymousreply 2112/28/2012

I live in New York and I remember my mom shopping at Gimbels and Alexander's. Anyone here from New York remember these two department stores?

by Anonymousreply 2212/28/2012

WalMart bought all the Woolco stores in 1994 in Canada. The old Woolco stores were dying a slow death anyway and most people welcomed the change.

The process was repeated almost two decades later when Target bought the Zellers chain.

by Anonymousreply 2312/28/2012

R22 When I was in high school a huge Alexander's opened in my area. The building was decorated with a huge modern art work. The first such thing many people had seen, they would take a ride just to look at the building.

by Anonymousreply 2412/28/2012

Woolworth's had those awful parakeets and hamsters, and all that waxy candy that no one ever bought. They also had those paper conces for soda drinks at their luncheonettes. They were a good store for inexpensive stationary and all the junk you need for a birthday party. Before the heyday of discount stores, they also were one of the few places to have a decent toy selection year round. Still we never really "shopped" there. There were other chains with similar stores like Kresge's, Murphy's, Grant's and Newberry's. Grant's tried to be more clothing oriented like Penney's.

by Anonymousreply 2512/28/2012

I remember going with my single, childless aunt to the woolworth's that was just around the corner from the Wiltern, a movie theater on Western and Wilshire, that is now, I believe, a theater where bands play (left L.A. many years ago). This was in the late '50s, early '60s. My mother hated to shop so I only went with her to Sears, I think around Crenshaw?, to buy Kenmore appliances. Remember Kenmore? But I did like going to Woolworths with my aunt Dixie.

by Anonymousreply 2612/28/2012

When I was really little, it was Weiboldt's on 1 N State, Chicago. Sandwiched between Marshall Fields and Carson's (which were too fancy for us).

by Anonymousreply 2712/28/2012

Bergdorf Goodman, plebes.

by Anonymousreply 2812/28/2012

In our small town/rural area the local and regional businesses were successful, and we did not have a Woolworths. There was a Ben Franklin and a Sterlings, and a couple of local five & dime variety type stores. For Department stores, there was a Beals, now called Stage, and a regional chain called West Brothers Department Stores. The Wests also had a discount chain called Gibsons Discount Stores. The rise of Walmart put them all out of business.

by Anonymousreply 2912/28/2012

For notions and other cheap goods, we did S.H. Kress.

For cheap clothing, etc., we went to S. Klein (on the Square) on Union Square.

Sometimes Woolworth. But their lunch counter was nothing compared to the quick lunch at Chock Full o'Nuts....

by Anonymousreply 3012/28/2012

LH Martin!! R22 And yes, Alexanders at Green Acres had that same awful modern art shit on it.

by Anonymousreply 3112/28/2012

Seriously, I never heard of Woolco. We had Woolworth's and Grant's

by Anonymousreply 3212/28/2012

The five and ten in our town was Murphy's but I didn't need my mother to shop there if I wanted something. Otherwise we went to an early 60s box store or a downtown department store in the nearby larger city.

by Anonymousreply 3312/28/2012

Good grief, Woolco was part of Woolworth.

The same way SS Kresge was the small dime store and they went on to found K-Mart. Woolworth was the small dime store and they went on to make Woolco.

If you had a big box Woolco you really had no need to have a Woolworth and vice versa. The same way Kresge and K-Mart weren't found together.

The big box stores of the 60s included: K-Mart, Walmart, Woolco, Target, WT Grant. Then expanded to Zayer and Venture and more local ones such as Shopper's World and such.

by Anonymousreply 3412/28/2012

OMG Zayre's and Venture.

by Anonymousreply 3512/28/2012

[quote] When I was in high school a huge Alexander's opened in my area. The building was decorated with a huge modern art work.

I remember that Alexander's. I moved to NYC in 1985 and called the Garden State Plaza "the Route 17 mall." We would go to the Riverside Square mall (Bloomingdales, Pottery Barn --- when it actually sold all kitchen stuff. Cutlery, glasses, dishes, bowls ---- Houlihan's, and I'm pretty sure a Conran's), then we'd go to "the Route 17 mall." I liked it because it was a fairly small, contained mall with lots of independent stores of all kinds. It had a main floor and a lower floor and was oval shaped and easy to navigate. I can't believe what it is like now. It has metastasized into a huge malignancy and I haven't gone near it in years.

We used to go to the Wayne mall too, past the Fountains of Wayne. I remember when Bamberger's turned into the Macy's electronics store. A friend chatted with a salesman there, told him that his uncle worked his whole career in Macy's electronics department and the guy gave us incredible deals on TVs and stereos after that. His name was Jim and I still have a Sony trinitron and a Panasonic "picture in picture" TV hooked up to cable boxes and working fine.

I liked Fortunoff's too, and miss it. And Herman's. And Caldor, Waldenbooks, B Dalton and Wordsworth books. A&S became Steinbach's and Stern's. Alexander's was where Ikea is now, I think.

by Anonymousreply 3612/28/2012

R30 Is Kress the same as Kress-key (sp?). I remember hearing of that "dime store" from my great-grandmother. I had the idea it became K-Mart.

by Anonymousreply 3712/28/2012

My partner says that a big insult in his neighborhood growing up was, "Did your mother buy that for you at John's Bargain Store?"

Remember TSS (Times Square Stores), Billy Blake, Floyd Bennett's, Great Eastern and Modell's before it was a sporting goods store when it was more like TSS or Caldor.

We had Service Merchandise where you could buy anything from cuckoo clocks to jewelry to furniture out of a book.

by Anonymousreply 3812/28/2012

My mother went to Woolworths to buy small items: thread, tape, dress patterns. We would eat at their lunch counter. I always liked to watch the grapeade machine. It was a clear, plastic machine that sloshed the grapeade around. The grapeade was served with chipped ice.

On the menu, they had a patty melt. I thought that was a funny name because I knew a girl named Patty. I would always call her Patty melt.

The waitresses always seemed ancient to me. Like 100 years old. I guess thinking back, they were probably only in their fifties or early sixties, but they always seemed ancient.

by Anonymousreply 3912/28/2012

[quote]Then expanded to Zayer and Venture

Oh dear

by Anonymousreply 4012/28/2012

Wow, Bullochs and Orbachs brought back memories.

Never heard of Woolco. We did shop at Fedco.

And I BEGGED my mother to take me to Woolworths so we could eat at the counter and one day she finally agreed. I loved sitting at the counter but when all was said and done, I would have preferred eating at Carnations.

by Anonymousreply 4112/28/2012

r22: New Yorker here - and I remember Gimbel's, Alexander's, A & S (Abraham & Strauss), Orbach's and Korvette's! Shop the other Korvette's, at Korvette's!

by Anonymousreply 4212/28/2012

R37, Kress and Kresge were two different stores.

by Anonymousreply 4312/28/2012

I remember buying things and getting a receipt from the cash register that had the cost if what I bought and the sales tax on it. That was all. Just a few numbers and it was maybe 3 inches long.

Now you buy one thing at Bed Bath and Beyond and you get a two foot long receipt.

And if something was 30% off, the receipt just had the 30% off price on it. Not the full price, the the number that is the 30% deduction cost, but not the full price minus 30% number.

It's done deliberately to confuse you.

by Anonymousreply 4412/28/2012

Neither... but then again, we weren't poor.

by Anonymousreply 4512/28/2012


If having the full price with the 30% Discount amount listed confuses you...

You're an idiot.

by Anonymousreply 4612/28/2012

I remember when there were chain stores and local stores -- both did well -- and lots of people working in them. things were slower, but nicer. I remember Macy's was the first store to program inventory into their cash registers so that the cash register did inventory while you stood there waiting for your receipt. Stores used to close down a few times a year while they did inventory. That was a group of people right there who lost their jobs.

I remember the handwritten receipts from Lord and Taylor. And people who asked if they could help you. Now you have to search high and low just to find a cash register with a person working at it in department stores.

by Anonymousreply 4712/28/2012

JC Penney, Montgomery Wards, Goldblatt's, and all appliances from Sears. I still purchase Sears appliances.

For a special occassion it was Carson Pirie Scott's.

We couldn't afford Marshall Field's or Edward C Minas.

by Anonymousreply 4812/28/2012

Did you have pet names for stores?

Monkey Wards Zhay C'est Pen-NAY Tar-ZHAY Wally-World

by Anonymousreply 4912/28/2012

[quote] If having the full price with the 30% Discount amount listed confuses you...

Nope. The receipt DOESN'T HAVE the full price with the 30% deduction on it. You buy 20 things and 10 are on sale. Your receipt will have the full price on it. Then -$13.5. Then another full price.Then a full price, then -$5.05. The full prices of 20 items is printed, the random -$ for the sale items scattered on the receipt, then a final price. You have to go over the receipt to make sure you got the full discount for each sale item -- and many times, you didn't. You got -$13.8 when you were supposed to get -$20.7 (20% vs 30%).

But the receipt doesn't say $69, then -30%, then $48.30. The 48.30 is not on the receipt. When you've bought a lot of stuff, you have to check through a 32 inch receipt, to make sure the numbers with the minus signs are the correct percentage, and check what your total should be.

If the receipt said $69, then 48.30 under it, that would be easy to check in your head. So 10 sale items with the actual sale price among 20 items would be fine. They don't do that, however.

by Anonymousreply 5012/28/2012


by Anonymousreply 5112/28/2012

Not dime stores, but does anyone remember Brendles and Service Merchandise stores?

by Anonymousreply 5212/28/2012

[quote]We couldn't afford Marshall Field's

Really? Oh god, then you probably wouldn't even be allowed into Saks.

by Anonymousreply 5312/28/2012

Carson Pirie Scott refused to sell Valley of the Dolls openly. It was kept under the counter, available only upon request.

It must have been quite conservative. Jacqueline Susann sued successively and the department store declined to display it, so they quit selling it at all.

That was before my time, but I do remember nice department stores having books.

by Anonymousreply 5412/28/2012

I remember Macy's book section on Manhattan. It was the first place where I ever heard The Nutcracker. They played the whole thing at Christmas time for a few years. I shopped for a lot if books and went there quite often to buy books as gifts because I lived on 34th Street. The poor salespeople were so sick of The Nutcracker, but is only ever heard a few bits of it before shopping there.

I later went to see the Nutcracker at Lincoln Center and Jackie O sat two rows in front of me.

by Anonymousreply 5512/28/2012

I felt really swank buying books at Brentano's.

by Anonymousreply 5612/28/2012

Sorry for typos.

by Anonymousreply 5712/28/2012

The very first Woolco opened in Columbus, Ohio in 1962

We also had...

Buckeye Mart

Hart's Family Center

Heck's Department Store

Fisher's Big Wheel

Rink's Bargain City

by Anonymousreply 5812/29/2012

I am happy for you R45. On the other hand, my parents brought up 7 children on my fathers pay as a blue collar factory worker, and they took us once a year to buy our school clothes at a giant discount store called Atlantic Mills Thrift Center. They did not buy 2nd hand clothes, but we often got furniture, lamps, and such at The Goodwill Store.

by Anonymousreply 5912/29/2012

[quote]The same way Kresge and K-Mart weren't found together.

We had both. Our big department stores were H. C. Pranges, Penney's, and Monkey Wards. We also had an Oscos., kind of like Walgreens now.

by Anonymousreply 6012/29/2012

I remember FEDCO and GEMCO from growing up in SoCal. Unlike a Walmart Supercenter or Super Target, FEDCO had their grocery store section separate from the general retail section with its own checkout lines and security barrier area. It was a pain in the ass to buy things from one side of the store and having to checkout even more items.

Montgomery Ward always felt like a cheap-ass, bootleg Sears to me, and that's saying a lot considering what Sears has become in the last 2-3 decades.

I remember going to Price Club with my parents to buy bulk items. They started in the 1970's and expanded throughout the West Coast before eventually merged with Costco.

I remember my mother buying perfume from May Company long before it became Robinsons-May and then Macy's. Bullock's, May Company and The Broadway were the major rival department stores in Southern California and built tons of malls throughout LA, Orange County, and San Diego. Many of them were either torn down or rebuilt since the 90's and all the consolidation.

Buffum's was a luxury department store in Southern California. It seemed old and stale to me even in the 1980's...Definitely a place for the "ladies who lunch" crowd, and you could even smell their dining area some days.

Anyone remember TG&Y? Or Auchuan Hypermarket in Texas? Sam Walton supposedly studied Auchuan's hypermarkets in Houston before he streamlined the concept and created Walmart Supercenters. Auchuan closed their operations in the states, but still exist in Europe.

I remember when Super Kmarts were all over the country, but most eventually closed. I'm surprised Kmart has still survived in many parts of the country.

Most kids nowadays will only remember Walmart, Target, and Macy's as the go-to department stores.

by Anonymousreply 6112/29/2012

May's Department Store? Anyone?

by Anonymousreply 6212/29/2012

[quote]Montgomery Ward always felt like a cheap-ass, bootleg Sears to me

At one time the CEOs were brothers. Edward A. Brennan was CEO of Sears, his younger brother Bernard Brennan, was head of Wards.

I know this b/c I worked for Dean Witter in the 90s.

by Anonymousreply 6312/29/2012

Grew up in Houston & we had something called Weiner's. I'm sure the correct pronunciation was "winers" but that's what everyone said. I was too embarassed to ever say my family went there.

by Anonymousreply 6412/29/2012

We had a Woolco and a Kresge. I don't remember Kresge that much because it was downtown, and we never went there. Woolco was two blocks away, so that was the go-to store. I remember the lunch counter was right at the front of the store, so as soon as you walked in, you got a whiff of corn dog. It was a little sad when the closed it.

by Anonymousreply 6512/29/2012

Our main department store was Macy's 34th street. My mom would take me to the Woolworth's across the street for lunch. For God knows what reason I liked the tuna sandwiches they served there. We had two Woolworth's within 10 block of each other in my Brooklyn neighborhood. We also shopped at A&S, Martins and I think Mays on Fulton street in downtown Brooklyn. All gone now.

by Anonymousreply 6612/29/2012

We went to Barneys and when my mom felt like "slumming" we went to Sak's Fifth Avenue.

I remember once our school went on a Field Trip to Lord And Taylors, it was like a third world country.

I'm glad my parents had money.

by Anonymousreply 6712/29/2012

Top of the line

Top of the line

Barneys, Bergdorf

2nd rate

Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue

3rd rate:

Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdales

4th Rate

Macy's, Lord & Taylors, Nordstrom, Dillards

5Th Rate:

Carsons, Sears, JC Penny, Kohls

6th Rate:

Target, Walmart, Kmart

7Th rate:

Everything else.

by Anonymousreply 6812/29/2012

My mother would go to Woolworths for a counter lunch because they wouldn't serve blacks. And my mom was a bigot. She'd sleep with all these black fellas. I had more black "uncles" than you could shake a stick at.

But then she explained to me there was a difference between SERVING black and SERVICING blacks.

My momma had a lot of abortions.

by Anonymousreply 6912/29/2012

My great-grandmother didn't shop primarily in dime stores but she missed them. Back then there were lingerie stores, cosmetic places, and whatever. Discount stores--what we'd call dollar stores, I suppose--but also department stores of every variety and budget.

I suppose Sears and JCPenney were part of what she meant, along with Lazarus and Shillitos (sp? again) but much more variety. Now you can see the same things in Macy's kitchen stuff as in Kohl or Penney.

by Anonymousreply 7012/29/2012


by Anonymousreply 7112/29/2012

We kids got our school clothes at Robert Hall each year. And Mom shopped at Marshall's when it was only partially awful (the 70s) where she could find her Jones New York separates. Woolworth (what is Woolco?) is where the kids went to buy toys and cheap birthday presents.

by Anonymousreply 7212/29/2012

By the mid 1970s there were over 300 Woolco stores opened up across North America .

by Anonymousreply 7312/29/2012

We had woolco and woolworths until the Walmart buyout. We also had TG&Y for a small shop and Sanger Harris for a department store.

by Anonymousreply 7412/29/2012

For those google chalkenged....

Woolco was an American-based discount retail chain. It was founded in 1962 in the city of Columbus, Ohio, by the F.W. Woolworth Company. It was a full-line discount department store unlike the five-and-dime Woolworth stores which operated at the time. At its peak, Woolco had hundreds of stores in the US, as well as in Canada and the United Kingdom.

by Anonymousreply 7512/29/2012

How old ARE you people?

This thread gave my screen liver spots.

by Anonymousreply 7612/29/2012

I'm 41, R76, and from Canada. The only U.S. chain store my city had was Woolco. We didn't have any of the other U.S. dept. stores (except Sears), particularly the high end ones. All we had for high end were The Bay and Eatons. Our Sears is and always has been different than the U.S. one. Personally, I don't know how they survive, but I guess that's not the point of this thread. Anyway, Woolco is what we had, and it's only about 20 years since it's been gone.

by Anonymousreply 7712/29/2012

The same question about where grandmothes shopped would be about Woolworths or Murphys or Grants or Ben Franklin. Frank W. Woolworth's five and dime stores were around for more than half a century before Woolco opened.

by Anonymousreply 7812/29/2012

For whatever reason, the small town that I lived in had two Woolworth stores but only one had a lunch counter. Woolco came along much later. The other local stores were Bradlee's and King's, which later became Ames. Kresge, H. L. Green, Alexander's and W. T. Grant were further away. There were infrequent trips to Howland's and Read's. G. Fox was the top of the line but was considered to be too expensive and too far a drive.

by Anonymousreply 7912/29/2012

Up in Buffalo, we had Kmart, Twin Fair (always had a bad smell) and then Two Guys; but Grant's and Sears were the family stalwarts.

by Anonymousreply 8012/29/2012

My aunt worked at W.T. Grant's in the pet department. Those were some sad looking guppies and goldfish in those tanks.

by Anonymousreply 8112/29/2012

yes R52, I remember Service Merchandise. Used to buy crystal gifts there since they were cheaper by virtue of it basically being a warehouse type of reatil. Low staff expense.

Also remember Shoppers World and Topps discount stores in my area growing up.

by Anonymousreply 8212/29/2012

I got some great stuff at Service Merchandise. Two sets of Cuisinart bistro dinnerware with the cobalt blue band, made in Poland, for $30 each. I still kick myself for not picking up a few extra boxes.

I don't remember any Woolco stores around Detroit. I lived a few blocks from a strip mall that had a Woolworth's and a Federal store. Both still had soda fountains in the mid-70s. Woolworth was depressing, like only a dying chain from another era staffed by mean old ladies can be. I engaged in my only store theft there, a bottle of nail polish, after hearing some girls at school talk about how easy it was to steal from them. I sweated and shook the entire way home, and never stole again.

Federal's had toys in the basement and one of those candy counters that filled the store with the wonderful aroma of popcorn and roasting cashews.

My family's go-to department store was Korvette's. (For some reason Michiganders use the possessive form of business names, like Ford's.) Back then prole stores had better quality merchandise, much of it was still made in America. I loved their record department, where I bought all my records until college introduced me to independent record stores.

by Anonymousreply 8312/29/2012

Goldblat's '90 days same as cash' prior to credit cards MADE the middle class in our area.

I miss their Dollar Days and the actual uniformed elevator man with gloves, cane and floor announcements.

As a kid I would get the Service Merchandise catalog, circle all the stuff I wanted for Christmas and leave it under my pillow.

It worked:)

by Anonymousreply 8412/29/2012

I used to shop at the 86th Street Woolworth's when I moved uptown in 1988. I was told I was moving to "no man's land" because my apt was north of 86th. It was just Yorkville, nothing awful.

I just had to retire a set of Christmas lights I bought there in 88. They were bright white and had a dial. Every third one blinked in sequence and the dial could make it blink fast, slow or steady. I used steady at first. It was the only 150 light string and I didn't want to put more than one string on my tree. Later, I would blink them slowly after I added colored lights. I put light covers on the white lights (peppermint candy, snowmen, rocking horses).

You can't find lights that bright nowadays. The white ones are "clear" and just have a sickly looking yellow dot in the middle.

by Anonymousreply 8512/29/2012

I have to laugh at some of the Barney's queens. Up until the 1970s, Barney's was a bargain basement type store - 3 shirts for $10 ($10 then is about $40 today).

by Anonymousreply 8612/29/2012

Neither. We weren't white trash.

by Anonymousreply 8712/29/2012

We had a place in Canada called Consumer Somethingorother where you'd call up and order what you wanted from the catalogue, then went and picked it up at the desk - is that how it was with Service Merchandise? Used to love that concept - you knew if they had it in stock, and all you had to do was go in, pay and take it home. No wandering around a store or waiting for someone to help you.

by Anonymousreply 8812/29/2012

Gemco and Zody's (Southern California precursors to Target).

Gemco was a membership store, but anyone could join and membership was only $1.

Zody's was tacky as shit. My mom got me cheap jeans and stuff there, and I got her costume jewelry at Zody's for Christmas.

by Anonymousreply 8912/29/2012

I think with Service Merchandise they had each item on the sales floor for you to look at. If you wanted something, you filled out a form and took it to the counter and they went in the back and got it for you.

With Sears and JC Penney and stores like them, you could order out of a catalog that was delivered to your home and it would either be delivered to you or to a store that you designated.

Growing up, everybody I knew had a JC Penney catalog at Christmas and all the kids knew what pages their stuff was on. You could go over to a friend's house, get the catalog and turn right to the page.

by Anonymousreply 9012/29/2012

R25, I recall all of the things you mentioned. When I got a bit older, I used to check out their record collection, which consisted of K-Tel albums. I still cringe at the memory of my mother wanting to buy jeans from that store. She insisted that they were al the samel anyways and that only the labels differed. Anna Wintour has nothing on the scornful glances of grade school girls.

by Anonymousreply 9112/29/2012

[R20] -- don't forget W. T. Grant, Kress and Kresge.

As for womyns' clothes, my mom sometimes waxes nostalgic over stores called Peck & Peck and Best & Co. though I'm not sure they were chains? We never went into NYC, just B. Altman in Short Hills. Macy's then meant 34th Street; for us, it was still Bamberger's.

We had no Woolco's, but I remember the Woolworth birds quite clearly!

by Anonymousreply 9212/29/2012

In the 70s, my struggling single mother (à la Alice or Ann Romano) shopped at Montgomery Ward. She bought all my clothes there when I was a kid, and I suffered the middle school social humiliation such ugly cheap ghetto clothes were bound to engender.

In my teenage years I was to discover that that Montgomery Ward had the hottest tearoom action in town.

by Anonymousreply 9312/29/2012

Two Guys. They had everything.

Woolco was on the opposite side of the highway.

by Anonymousreply 9412/29/2012

I used to love A&S on Fulton St. in Brooklyn. When I was a kid they still had elevator operators wearing white gloves. I got my first job in that A&S book department. The food was wonderful in their fancy restaurant. Then they had a cheaper cafeteria style restaurant in the basement and a stand with hot dogs and the best chocolate or strawberry soft serve ice cream. Across the street was Korvette's and a few blocks away Mays. A&S had a separate building for electronics and major appliances and an indoor parking garage.

by Anonymousreply 9512/29/2012

[R93] -- my "good" clothes came from an off-the-rack chain called Robert Hall. Brooks Brothers it WASN'T!

by Anonymousreply 9612/29/2012

r96, I also had to wear Robert Hall. Their clothes were so cheap, a young man couldn't even pull himself up by his bootstraps because the straps would break. I nearly cried for joy when our town got a Chess King.

by Anonymousreply 9712/29/2012

My mom had to use the layaway at Robert Hall. We were poor.

We did go to nice stores like Jacobson's in Dearborn after Christmas, though. They had a really nice house label with great deals on cashmere sweaters and such from time to time.

by Anonymousreply 9812/29/2012

R96 here - it wasn't that we were poor, but that my mom was cheap! We got clothes through the Sears catalogue also.

by Anonymousreply 9912/29/2012

There was a dime store chain in Chicago called JUPITER that was similar to the old smaller neighborhood F.W. Woolworth's only cheaper and sadder that catered to old ladies. My main memory of these stores were the lumber smell of the creaky hardwood floors that permeated throughout. It was also an easy store to shoplift items like socks, undies, and make-up.

by Anonymousreply 10012/29/2012

We had a chain similar to Service Merchandise, but I think it had a different name. A bit like going to a Green Stamp redemption center (in our area there were also Plaid Stamps and Blue Stamps), but you paid cash instead of forking over books of stamps.

by Anonymousreply 10112/29/2012

As a young chubby gayling, I was so humiliated to have to go to JC Penney's to buy husky size pants.

by Anonymousreply 10212/29/2012

We didn't have a Woolworths in my small Vermont town, but we did have a J.J. Newbury's.

I remember visiting my aunt in Brooklyn when I was a kid and she took me to an elegant department store across from A&S. I think it might have been Martin's. It had an elevator with an elevator operator who wore white gloves. It seemed so posh.

I also remember the first time I rode an escalator. It was in Wilson's in Greenfield, MA.

by Anonymousreply 10312/29/2012

You sound a lot like Wade Rouse, [R102] - have you read his memoir "America's Boy"?

by Anonymousreply 10412/29/2012

Good Grief, R100, were you raised by Ma Barker?

I remember one time, when I was 5 years old, my mother would not give me a nickel to buy candy at the A&P store, which she usually did. I thought I was smarter than the average bear, and that I figured out all by myself something that nobody else had ever thought of, and I sneaked a roll of lifesavers in my pocket without anyone seeing me. While my mother was loading the groceries in the car, I opened my lifesavers and started to suck on one. She said, "Where did you get that candy, I didn't give you a nickel this time?" I told her what I had done, thinking that she would be proud of me for being so smart. She got a nickel out of her purse and put it in my hand, grabbed me by the collar and shoved me back into that store, marched me to the manager, told me to give him the nickel and tell him what I had done and apologize for it. The man tried to tell her that it is alright, we had come back and made it right, children just have to learn, etc. but it did not assauage her righteous indignation. She told me, "I'm not going to whoop you, because I would hurt you. We'll just see what your Daddy does when he gets home." Well, it was a long day waiting for Daddy to get home, then he gave me the best whooping that I'd experienced up to that point. But I never stole anything again.

by Anonymousreply 10512/29/2012

This thread has really jogged some old memories. I already posted upthread about going to Woolworth. I kept reading Kress for a while before I realized there was one in town, but it closed when I was six or seven. I remember my mother chose a birthday present for a girl in my first grade class there: a metal dog with a spiral body that was supposed to hold stationary and a pen with a poofy pink top for a tail. Kress was across the street from Woolworth either on the same block or a block away.

My parents were frequent Gemco shoppers because the stores also had groceries. I remember being fascinated by 8 track tapes when I was 9 and 10, but my parents would refuse to buy them. By the time I was 12 and 13, the Tiger Beat magazines near the exit captured my attention, but I was too embarrassed to buy them. Later, my 16th birthday present, a Seiko, came from Gemco. They were closed on Mondays, so my dad took me to their parking lot after he got off work for my first driving lessons. It's a Target now.

by Anonymousreply 10612/29/2012

[R106] -- my female cousin who was two years younger than I, and knew more gay guys by then than I would meet in the next several years, bought those mags for me!

by Anonymousreply 10712/29/2012

[quote]Zody's was tacky as shit.

Excuse me?

by Anonymousreply 10812/29/2012

[quote[Later, my 16th birthday present, a Seiko, came from Gemco. They were closed on Mondays, so my dad took me to their parking lot after he got off work for my first driving lessons

DRIVING lessons? Is that homosexual slang for he took you to a deserted parking lot and indoctrinated you into the world of homosex?

by Anonymousreply 10912/29/2012


Oh dear

by Anonymousreply 11012/29/2012

Jeez, you take such an innocent thing, R109. The day I turned 15 I got my learner's permit and was *dying* to get behind the wheel of a car. The Gemco parking lot was HUGE and abandoned, the perfect spot to learn the fundamentals. You could drive up to 25-30 mph and the worst thing that could have happened was scrapping a light pole.

This [italic]was[/italic] written with perfectly innocent intent, but upon re-reading I realize it won't be taken that way. Sigh.

by Anonymousreply 11112/29/2012

Memories as a little girl in the 60's:

A&P for groceries. Both my Mom & Grandma collected S&H green stamps. Half of our apartment was filled with items purchased from books with those green stamps.

Also shopped at Woolworth's, Kresge's & Weiboldt's

by Anonymousreply 11212/29/2012

In the 60s, for "odds and ends" we shopped at Woolworths and SS Kresges, sometimes shopped at Ben Franklin. I also recall Zayre's but that was later in the 60s I think. We also had Clark stores which I think later became Gold Circle stores which later became...etc.etc.

by Anonymousreply 11312/29/2012

Sears Surplus King's Korvette's Pomeroy's Two Guys (Naturally)

by Anonymousreply 11412/29/2012

Abraham and Straus, on Fulton St.

by Anonymousreply 11512/29/2012


Finally someone uglier than that girl who played Blossom.

by Anonymousreply 11612/29/2012

[quote]Good Grief, [R100], were you raised by Ma Barker?

Ha, far from it r105. I experienced a similar scenario and consequences as you at age 5 only substitute the Lifesavers with a one cent Kraft Carmel and a tiny red balloon that were laying on the bread shelf under the store counter of the local corner grocer. Since we lived across the street from the store and were regular customers my mom sent me back to shamefully confess and apologize for my thievery.

Fast forward to 1975-76 though and yeah we kids were the teenybop bandits of Lincoln and Belmont. Lucky for us we never got busted though. Then again we kept our sights low. The most expensive thing I ever five fingered was a pair of Levi's from Wiebolts. 45 records, school supplies, or small articles of clothing like tube socks were usually more my speed. FWIW, Woolworth's was probably the most difficult (but not impossible) store shoplift from because there was always a high concentration of employees in every corner it seemed.

At one point my mom got wind of either my sister or our friend Mary had stolen a large compact of eye shadows and raised holy hell. Good thing she didn't find out about the rest of our cache we'd acquired from that shopping expedition or any of our other 2-3 times a week outings during our summer vacations.

We stopped our "shopping" excursions when we were no longer as "sweet and innocent" and had "better" things to do, (ie, become burnouts) plus the fact that stores were implementing better systems to deter loss prevention.

by Anonymousreply 11712/29/2012

[quote]. It had an elevator with an elevator operator who wore white gloves. It seemed so posh.

Good GOD there haven't been elevator operators since the 40s. This is a lie or the poster is like 100

by Anonymousreply 11812/29/2012

T118 not true. I am 62 and I remember elevator operators in a local Meyer Brothers department store. The lady would announce each floor and the items sold there. We kids would have to stifle giggles when she got to the third floor.

third floor, pajamas, infants wear, and ladies undergarments

Yep that was hot stuff then.

by Anonymousreply 11912/29/2012

I remember elevator operators as late as the 70s.

by Anonymousreply 12012/29/2012

R118 I started working in a government office building in DC in 1982 and there were still elevator operators then.

by Anonymousreply 12112/29/2012

TG&Y, C.R. Anthonys, Vandevers, OTASCO (Oklahoma Tire and Supply Company), Duckwall's....then if we traveled to Tulsa, we had John A. Brown, Miss Jackson's of Utica Square, Brown-Dunkin, Oertles, Shoppers Fair, and Clarkes Good Clothes

by Anonymousreply 12212/29/2012

Me too, although the elevators were usually of the antique variety and were located in old office buildings.

by Anonymousreply 12312/29/2012

The Smith Tower in Seattle still has elevator operators.

by Anonymousreply 12412/29/2012

Mom shopped at Frieman's, Murphy-Gamble and Caplan's for herself. Dad bought Groceries at Steinberg's.

by Anonymousreply 12512/29/2012

Montreal R125? or Ottawa?

by Anonymousreply 12612/29/2012

R122 My business partner is the son of the man that owned Oertles. Small world.

by Anonymousreply 12712/29/2012

Mom used to drag me to Woolworth's after she was done at Alexander's. They were right across the street from each other.

Fortunately, Woolworth's dining counter offered refuge from the otherwise crappy fare one can find in Manhattan restaurants.

by Anonymousreply 12812/29/2012

R49 - my whole family called it Monkey Wards! Love it!

by Anonymousreply 12912/29/2012

AM&A's in Buffalo.

by Anonymousreply 13012/29/2012

R30 & R37: Kress was a completely different store from Kresge. Mostly in the South but randomly elsewhere with a big store in Manhattan. Mr. Kress was an art collector (gave most of it to the National Gallery) and an architecture patron (Kress stores were more imaginative than Kresge, Woolworth, et al.) and never married. I'm guessing he was family.

Jupiter was a name Kresge used for stores that didn't make money, mostly in big city downtowns. They sold a limited selection of merchandise at lower prices than a typical Kresge.

by Anonymousreply 13112/29/2012

I forgot Railroad Salvage. That monstrosity deserves its own dam thread.

by Anonymousreply 13212/29/2012

Sears, for everything.

One of the most humilating experiences of my life -- I was 14 years old and getting my second or third bra. I was huge. Back then they had butchy women who would fit you with the bra, girdle, whatever.

I was embarrassed to be in a dressing room, with this woman fitting me with bra after bra, all too small. Somehow it was OK for the sales lady to see me topless. And tell me to bend down so each breast would go into the cup, to see if the cup could hold and support it. (My problem was that my breasts were too big for how tiny I was - I was like a 30 D.)

Finally, the fitter calls my mother aside and tells her that the only bras that would fit, would have to be ordered from the Sears Catalogue.

Then we went to the catalog store where my mother explained the situation to the man taking the orders. I wanted to die.

Sears - where you could be fitted for lingerie and buy a lawn mower in the same store.

by Anonymousreply 13312/29/2012

Fortnum & Mason and Selfridges. We would go to Woolworths (the one in Pimlico) for notions and candy when using Victoria Station. I understood Americans' fascination with Harrods, but with its ownership changing and a tendency to try to cover everything but in a shallow way, my family have preferred going elsewhere for department store, one-stop shopping. Nor for better clothing, of course, but for an easy stop.

by Anonymousreply 13412/29/2012

When I went to London, I picked up a souvenir at Harrod's for a relative who wanted something from there. The store seemed to be filled with foreign tourits rather than Brits and seemed filled with often trashy but expensive merchandise.

by Anonymousreply 13512/29/2012

W. T. Grant


by Anonymousreply 13612/29/2012

I grew up near Detroit. My mother liked Hudsons and Jacobson's, the latter in particular. The Dearborn Jacobson's had a magnificent curving staircase at the entrance. It led to a lobby with a marble floor and chandeliers. On one side of the lobby was the department store restaurant, where models dressed in the latest fashions would circulate among the diners, holding cards with the designer's name written discreetly in calligraphy. On the other side of the lobby was the salon. It always had a sign detailing the day's offering's balanced elegantly on an easel at its entrance, but I never got to see inside. It fascinated me! I'm 39, so this must've been in the early/mid-'70s. The sales ladies didn't use cash registers, they had little leather booklets with sales slips inside, and they'd write out your bill by hand and give it to you.

Kresges and K-Mart were my grandma's stores of choice. K-mart used to have its own restaurant (called Eatery IIRC) where we'd go to have macaroni and cheese, lemonade, and finger jello for dessert. All the K-Marts I've been in over the last several years now have other franchises, like Little Caesar or Subway, for in-store restaurants. I would love to find one with the old style eatery these days.

My family still vacations in northern Michigan, and one the towns we stay near still has a Ben Franklin. It's packed to the rafters with crap, about half craft supplies and half random stuff. If you are looking for crystal dolphin windchimes, seashell magnets a beach muumuu, you'd be hard pressed to find a better source.

by Anonymousreply 13712/29/2012

I love you r134. Every time I go to London, I buy something from Selfridges and F&M. I love both stores.

by Anonymousreply 13812/29/2012

Anyone here who grew up down south and remember:

Gayfer's (Alabama/Mississippi/Florida)

McRae's (Mississippi/Alabama)

DH Holmes (Louisiana)

Pizitz (Alabama)

Maison Blanche (New Orleans Area)

Godcheaux's (New Orleans Area)

by Anonymousreply 13912/29/2012

R137 [quote]If you are looking for crystal dolphin windchimes, seashell magnets a beach muumuu, you'd be hard pressed to find a better source.

But do they carry caftans?

by Anonymousreply 14012/29/2012

This has really been quite the trip down memory lane for someone born before 1970.

Obviously there are no Y'ats from the NO posting here or the answer would be: Woolsworth! Ye, That's what it was called by all.

by Anonymousreply 14112/29/2012

When I was little, I loved going to The Treasury. I can remember my family spending hours there. Dad could drop the car off to get serviced, then we would eat in the restaurant, do some clothes shopping, visit the awesome toy department, buy groceries and put them on a conveyor belt that would deliver them outside to our waiting car. I loved it!

I'm sure the clothes were a little cheap, but I didn't care...I loved the whole experience, even the design of the place. I would always run my hands down the sides of stone covered building and then demand to go in the small "kid's door"...which I later realized was just a door for returning shopping carts!

There are still a few abandoned stores around here...makes me nostalgic!

by Anonymousreply 14212/29/2012

I can't believe you all have memories of stores. That's so pathetic. I'm glad I didn't grow up in that time. It reminds me of the Tree in Brooklyn story where the poor girl has no money and has to stand behind the kids getting candy and pretend she's getting it.

God, what an awful life that was.

And what the fuck is "finger jello"? Jello with fruit made by a cook who chopped the fruit too fast?

by Anonymousreply 14312/29/2012

I'd browse at Bloomingdales, meandering through Macy's, but I'd buy at Alexander's, I'd buy at Alexander's!

by Anonymousreply 14412/29/2012

[quote]I can't believe you all have memories of stores. That's so pathetic. I'm glad I didn't grow up in that time.

Before or after stores?

by Anonymousreply 14512/29/2012

r145 his generation will sit around their insulin pumps reminiscing about Fast food restaurants

by Anonymousreply 14612/29/2012

R143 owns a Star Trek replicator.

by Anonymousreply 14712/29/2012

Our big regional mall (Sunvalley in Concord, CA) opened in 1968 and featured the first S.H. Kress store I'd seen. It had a "Whirly-Q Lunchette."

Our department stores were Capwell's (later Emporium-Capwell, and now Macy-ated), The Emporium, Macy's, City of Paris, Liberty House, Rhodes, and The White House (all but Capwell's and Rhodes were in San Francisco.) And Penney's, Sears, Wards.

Five-and-dimes? In addition to Woolworth's and Kress, we had Sprouse-Reitz and TG&Y. I don't remember ever seeing a Kresge in the Bay Area. There were some Grant City stores, but I don't remember any smaller W.T. Grant's.

I grew up in the East Bay, but also lived in San Jose and Sacramento (Weinstock's was the Carter-Hawley-Hale department store there.)

Discount stores: White Front was the first I remember. Later we had Gemco, The Treasury, Gold Circle.

Several people mentioned Service Merchandise, but no one's written about Best Products, which had a similar operation. When I lived in the DC area, there were a lot of places like that: W. Bell, Evans, and one other whose name escapes me.

DC department stores were Woodward & Lothrop and Hechts. We also had Bloomingdale's and Lord & Taylor.

by Anonymousreply 14812/29/2012

What *was* Service Merchandise. I never understood the model.

by Anonymousreply 14912/29/2012

I grew up in small midwestern town. We had Sears, Monkey Wards, Penney's, Grahams Department Stores and Wolff's Department Stores. In Omaha, there was Brandeis and Des Moines had Younkers.

by Anonymousreply 15012/30/2012

r149, it was an early warehouse model based on the showroom. Costco and Sam's replaced the model by removing the showroom concept and moving people directly to the warehouse. It offered more merchandise in the print catalog but this was replaced by internet ordering.

Service Merch. warehouse - catalog - showroom + internet = Costco/Sam's.

by Anonymousreply 15112/30/2012

OP must be 100 years old.

by Anonymousreply 15212/30/2012

R141, was that Woolsworth the one up by Shreeesport?

by Anonymousreply 15312/30/2012

Does caldor's still exist?

by Anonymousreply 15412/30/2012

R143, in a sea of pointless bitchery, your bitchery may be the MOST pointless.

by Anonymousreply 15512/30/2012

My mother worked at "Woolworths" We called it the dime store

by Anonymousreply 15612/30/2012

We had an actual five-and-dime in the town where I grew up. On the two-block-long main street, owned by an old woman. There was a TG&Y in the next town over, closer to the city. It seemed gigantic, the biggest store I'd ever seen. Today, it would be considered the size of a rather small supermarket. I think there was a Woolworth's in downtown Kansas City, though I'm not sure. I never saw it.

Wal-Mart popped up in the next town over sometime around '79 or '80. Within a year every other store of that ilk in our area was out of business. It was the Wal-Mart way or the highway. The 'feed and seeds,' the pharmacies, the gasoline and feed co-ops, and the independent hardware stores held out for a while longer. There are still (relatively) quite a few semi-independent hardware and lumber stores, but everything else is a full-on chain, either national or regional. All those stores with wood floors are gone. I really resent that.

The good news is that even though my home town's population (and that of the outside-city-limits county residents) has grown by more than 700% since I graduated from high school, it has managed to keep out Wal-Mart. Local merchants rule the city council and they have twice scuttled plans for the monster's invasion. I wish them the best of luck in the coming years.

by Anonymousreply 15712/30/2012

When I was growing up in Dallas, there was a Woolco not too far away and a couple of other cheapo discount places like Treasure City and Spartan's, none of which my mother would enter. She refused to shop places where people pushed shopping carts around, unless it was the grocery store. She also complained they smelled like popcorn and were full of white trash roaming around munching while they shopped, something she couldn't tolerate. My dad would go occasionally to buy stuff like motor oil but that was it. We also had Ben Franklin but it was mostly trinkets, art supplies, etc. Our school clothes came better department stores.

by Anonymousreply 15812/30/2012

Caldor disappeared long ago [R149].

Who knew that when we went to Two Guys when I was a kid, all those other boys were fags, too! Seems that way from this thread - ha ha!

by Anonymousreply 15912/30/2012

r155 Doesn't even have memories of store....

What did you do shoplift, get caught and thrown out.

The guy does have a point. I too, am young and have memories of playing in parks, using video games, listening to CDs and going to my friends. Not stores for God's sake.

by Anonymousreply 16012/30/2012

My cousin is a schoolteacher and talks about how many of her students aren't even allowed to play in the yard, because their helicopter parents are afraid the boogeyman is going to get them. This is in a solidly middle class suburb with little crime. They all stay in the house and play video games or watch TV.

When I grew up in the 70s we played outside all day and often walked to the store for candy or pop or just to look around. Drug stores carried a wider variety of stuff, like records. There was no internet or DVDs obviously and aside from Sesame Street morning TV was just old movies and game shows. Cartoons didn't come on until 3:00.

Going to the stores was just something to do, and they were more interesting back then. I now spend as little time in them as possible, and haven't walked through a mall in several years.

by Anonymousreply 16112/30/2012

When we were in St. Louis, it was Stix, Baer & Fuller, Famous Barr, and Scruggs, Vandervoorts & Barney's.

And people in the suburbs would pride themselves on having memberships in E.J. Korvettes.

by Anonymousreply 16212/30/2012

Thinking again, there were cartoons on around 7:00 for the kids before school, and a few shows like Zoom on around Sesame Street. In Detroit we also watched CBC shows like Mr. Dressup and The Friendly Giant around 9 or 10 am, but after Sesame Street, it was just soap operas until 3 pm or so.

by Anonymousreply 16312/30/2012

Your childhood sounds a lot like mine [R161] -- we neighborhood kids managed just fine without video games back in the 60s. I used to go to the paperback rack at the pharmacy waaaaaaaaay down at the end of the street to see if there were any new Dark Shadows books out, etc.

by Anonymousreply 16412/30/2012


We young gays grew up in the REAL world with REAL threats like actual terrorist bombing. Not like the remote wars in some god awful place in Asia and fake Soviet threats that would never happen.

And we DO something when someone molest us. We just didn't take it, then bitch about it 50 years later on a website.

by Anonymousreply 16512/30/2012

Aw lawd, ain't nobody had any problems in the USA until 9/11. Don't get your panties in a bunch, R165. Different generations face different struggles. In any event I blamed the parents, not the kids, not even shitheads like you who don't understand that the Vietnam war was hardly remote for the soldiers who went and their families. Shit, my father lost his dad in World War II, and that had a direct effect on MY life.

Regarding your "real world" hysteria, growing up in a blue collar family in Detroit in the 70s and early 80s was challenging enough. Perhaps you've heard of this guy named Reagan, who destroyed American industry for good? If I'd graduated from high school before 1980 my life would have been much easier, if somewhat predictable.

by Anonymousreply 16612/30/2012

Does anyone remember McCrory's?

by Anonymousreply 16712/31/2012

I remember how good drugstores smelled in the 60s. They smelled so clean, like shampoo and soap. They always had some kind of fancy soap you could buy as a gift. French milled lavender, etc. It's what we used to buy for the nuns at school during Christmastime because they weren't allowed to accept any gifts except soap or stationery.

There was a drugstore on my corner and it was miniscule compared to today's drugstores, but it had whatever we needed. Books, stationery, shampoo, Epsom salt, coke syrup, comics, magazines, first aid, gentian violet, tincture of iodine, perfume, wrapping paper, bubble bath, a rack of greeting cards. Almost everything that is crammed in these giant CVS stores was available in a tiny shop. Except junk food.

by Anonymousreply 16812/31/2012

Leasks , in Santa Cruz

by Anonymousreply 16912/31/2012

White Front & Aakron

by Anonymousreply 17012/31/2012

Spartan-Atlantic ,I recall the comic book vending machines in the entrance.

by Anonymousreply 17101/07/2013

When did they stop selling Coke syrup to the general public? I would have though it was before the '60s.

by Anonymousreply 17201/07/2013

I remember seeing Coke syrup in drugstores to be used in conjunction with a glucose tolerance test.

by Anonymousreply 17301/07/2013

Younkers in Sioux City, Brandeis in Omaha, Shrivers in Sioux Falls and Wolffs and Grahams in Sheldon

by Anonymousreply 17401/07/2013

What was so wonderful about 'that time' was that there were no malls. This was L.A. before Century City. I bought my school uniforms at I.Magnin because that was the only place to get them and they were so badly made, essentially every seam had been re-sewn by the end of the school year in June. May Company was on the Miracle Mile along with the Broadway and Ohrbachs - which I can no longer spell apparently. Pre-mall America was a much more interesting place, in every way.

by Anonymousreply 17501/07/2013

I grew up in the suburbs of Vancouver, Canada and we had a Woolco and a Woodwsrds, but I don't remember a Woolworths. My mother preferred just to order from the Sears catalog, then pick up the stuff, and we had a lot of Kenmore appliances as others have said. Our Kenmore vacuum wouldn't die and it was my first one when I moved out to my first apartment at 18. Oh we also had a Fields and later a K-Mart, but she seldom shopped there for some reason. I remember only liking The Bay out of all the stores though and would always try and was always unsuccessful about getting Mom to go there. My dad, on the other hand, liked the Bay as his go to store since he never forgot that they gave him his first job right out of electronics school. (He fixed TVs back in the day -- 60s and 70s then started his own computer biz in the 80s)

by Anonymousreply 17601/07/2013

Those stores were fun to walk into because many of them had those original photo booths taking hour black and white photo strips. Pull the curtain closed...

by Anonymousreply 17701/07/2013

oops, that's Woodwards department store, I meant. It was recognized by it's large, red 'W' high on the roof and one of the scuzzy downtown area's oldest landmarks. The best thing is that rather than demolishing it, it was recently turned into mixed housing for low and high income alike.

by Anonymousreply 17801/07/2013

My mother and I would be driven to Neiman's.

Along the way, she would make the driver go through one of those new malls that had popped up off I-95 on the way to NYC, and she'd make the driver drive very, very slowly past Sears and Woolworths and make me look through those store windows to see what the customer's looked like inside.

And my mother would always whisper to me, "Look sharp. THIS is where you are going to have to shop, with THESE people, if you don't get into Princeton."

by Anonymousreply 17901/07/2013

{159}, you must be from Connecticut.

by Anonymousreply 18001/07/2013

R179 I'll be you weren't allowed to use wire hangers, either.

by Anonymousreply 18101/07/2013

[quote] Woolco and a Woodwsrds

Oh dear

by Anonymousreply 18201/07/2013

Well I did correct it already at R178, Miss "Oh dear."

by Anonymousreply 18301/07/2013

[quote]And my mother would always whisper to me, "Look sharp. THIS is where you are going to have to shop, with THESE people, if you don't get into Princeton."

My mother used to take me to gay bars and says, "Look sharp, THESE are the kind of people you will spend the rest of your life with, if you watch 'Hello Kitty'."

by Anonymousreply 18401/08/2013

Korvette's and Alexander's. for upscale, went to Altmans.

by Anonymousreply 18501/08/2013

[When did they stop selling Coke syrup to the general public? I would have though it was before the '60s.]

R172, in the 1970s, the Sears & Roebuck catalogue had home soda pop machines which you buy, along with the syrup for Coke, Pepsi, Fanta, Dr. Pepper, etc. This was sold in milk-carton type containers. I am not aware that you can't still buy these products. I know that Bed, Bath, and Beyond sells a soda making machine which makes carbonated water which you can then mix with your choice of syrups or flavors.

by Anonymousreply 18601/08/2013

You can buy little bottle of cola syrup at any drugstore.

by Anonymousreply 18701/08/2013

T&D Feed in downtown Redmond

by Anonymousreply 18801/08/2013

We used to shop at a place called Two Guys. I think they were just a NY NJ thing. Their slogan was "Two Guys - Naturally!" Kind of funny when you think about it now.

by Anonymousreply 18901/08/2013

[quote]And every Goldblatts had the same weird smell.

Jews do that to things

by Anonymousreply 19002/26/2015

Ben Franklins

by Anonymousreply 19102/26/2015

I've been to Buffums, Bitch

by Anonymousreply 19202/26/2015

When I was a little kid I bought an iguana at Woolworths in Flushing, Queens. I named her Louise. Unfortunately, and not surprisingly, she was in really bad shape and died a week later. Poor Louise.

by Anonymousreply 19302/26/2015

Woolco and Woolworths are the same.

by Anonymousreply 19402/26/2015

Soloserve. I hated it too. Having to go through all the crap to find crap that wasn't as bad as the rest of the crap.

by Anonymousreply 19502/26/2015


The Surprise Store

Great Eastern


by Anonymousreply 19602/26/2015

I knew I was gay when I got let go from my first job a Woolco in Homewood Illinois.

They said I wasn't Woolco material.


by Anonymousreply 19702/26/2015

The Bay, Eaton's, and Simpsons for clothing and furniture. My parents usually bought their appliances at Sears because of the quality of the products.

The only time we went to Woolworth's was for lunches and snacks. The food was always fresh and sometimes the waitresses were too.

by Anonymousreply 19802/26/2015

See what Woolco can do for you today

Along the Woothworth way

Oooh oooh Woolco

by Anonymousreply 19902/26/2015

Shopped at both because there were both in town, and each was the same distance from our house.

We usually shopped at Ben Franklin, Venture or K Mart, however.

by Anonymousreply 20002/26/2015

As long as we were at Woolworth, we would also hit J.J. Newberry, because they were in the same mall.

by Anonymousreply 20102/26/2015

Burdines. I don't think my mother ever step foot into a Woolworths.

by Anonymousreply 20202/26/2015

Woolworths, although she always went to McCrory's to buy her lipstick.

by Anonymousreply 20302/26/2015

My divorced parents met while working at Woolworths - perhaps it would have worked out better for them had it been Woolco.

by Anonymousreply 20402/26/2015

[quote]We usually shopped at Ben Franklin, Venture or K Mart

I can't believe anyone would admit to that, I mean without being at gun point.

by Anonymousreply 20502/26/2015

Oh god, by the 1990's Woolworths was like a post apocalyptic ghost town. I think they maybe had like one or two employees in the entire store. The shelves were all barren and what was still on them was covered in dust. I don't know how they lasted well into the mid 90's where I lived - nobody, and I mean nobody shopped there.

But yes, I do recall shopping there in the 70's and 80's when it was much more active. They had a fun concession area up front that sold pop corn, hot dogs and slurpees. I also loved their pet section. It was one of the flagship stores in our local mall during it's heyday.

by Anonymousreply 20602/26/2015

R190 Megulgl zol er vern in a henglaykhter: bay tog zol er hengen un bay nakht zol er brenen.

by Anonymousreply 20702/26/2015

R205, I remember K-Mart as being much more fun back in the late 70's/early 80's. A lot more people shopped there back then. They even had a full size arcade, a sit down restaurant, and a deli and ice cream counter in the front. It seemed like they really started going downhill from the mid to late 80's though.

Ben Franklin was cool too because we lived close to it so my friends and I could ride our bikes there, and get a bunch of their toys from the toy bins near the checkout counters.

by Anonymousreply 20802/26/2015

Mostly thrift stores and rummages.

Trust me it wasn't chic then...we were just very poor.

Lived near wealthy towns so got fantastic classic clothes.

by Anonymousreply 20902/26/2015

My father was the store manager for a GC Murphy store. Back then nothing was open on Sundays he would often go in on Sundays do to paperwork and we could tag along. Raiding the candy counter was awesome, playing with the toys second best, then everything wasn't locked in plastic. Just running around a completely empty store with the lights off was a blast.

by Anonymousreply 21002/26/2015

In the Philly/Bucks Co. area, we had 3 Woolworths and 1 Woolco that we frequently went to. 2 of those were within a 5 min. drive of the other. Not sure if we necessarily had a "favorite", but I remember liking Woolworths alot because of the restaurant they used to have.

by Anonymousreply 21102/26/2015


by Anonymousreply 21201/17/2017

[quote]Good GOD there haven't been elevator operators since the 40s.

I was in a old downtown department store in the 80s that had elevator operators. They were necessary because the elevator didn't stop automatically at the desired floor. The operator had to raise and lower the elevator little by little to get the elevator car close to being even with the floor.

by Anonymousreply 21301/17/2017


We have an elevator operator where I work in Chicago.

by Anonymousreply 21401/17/2017

When I was young, we had Woolco, Topps, and Kmart as the big discount stores in town. We moved to another city where it was just J.M. Fields, which later became Jefferson Ward. My favorite of the defunct discount stores is Zayre's. It was horrible what Ames did to them.

When I was in college, my first credit card was for Montgomery Ward. The small college town had a Ward catalog only store, which was like only as big as a walk-in closet with a counter that had the catalogs on it and a person behind it to take your order.

by Anonymousreply 21501/17/2017

I still miss the big old Woolworth's on Powell and Market in San Francisco - it had EVERYTHING.

[quote]Discount stores: White Front was the first I remember. Later we had Gemco, The Treasury,

Ah, I remember going to all of those stores. We'd always head for Gemco after shopping at Serramonte or The Treasury after visiting Tanforan.

by Anonymousreply 21601/17/2017

I remember shopping in Kmart when I was a kid in the late 70s. The smell of fresh popcorn was in the air. We always try to get a bag of them while shopping.

by Anonymousreply 21701/17/2017

Well, darlings, growing up in Baltimore all I can say is ... HUTZLER'S! Old line family department store and if you shopped anywhere else you were quite déclassé.

But I was a rebel and in high school often went to the other side of the tracks (Parkville!) to buy records at Korvette's, which really did have a great record department.

by Anonymousreply 21801/17/2017

Woolco ($1.44 day), Woolworth's which was downtown and harder to find parking. Kmart, essentially like Woolco. Where I lived Sears was considered posh when it opened. Dad used to leave us in the car on a regular basis to roast and or freeze to death. All we have now are Walmart and Sears (Sears is still the poshest store in town).

by Anonymousreply 21901/17/2017

I never heard of Woolco. It sounds British.

by Anonymousreply 22001/17/2017

We had a Woolco, a Zellers and a tiny Eaton's store (that had formerly been one of their discount stores, Horizon's). I don't recall ever seeing a Woolworth store in Toronto, but we did have Kresge. Mom wouldn't set foot in any store as 'fancy' as Eaton's, but my sister took me with her.

Another time, she took me to Eaton's flagship downtown. I recall being disappointed at what was essentially a plain box, but our trip to Simpson's, across the mall, redeemed our trip. It was a very old, very grand department with marble, chandeliers and names like Chanel and Christian Dior everywhere. I watched her try on jeans and skirts in Simpson's Labels for Less department, and vividly recall the annoyed glares from other, portlier shoppers as my sister complained the smallest size was always too big.

by Anonymousreply 22101/17/2017

I can remember when the Lincoln Mall opened up in the late 1970s not far from where I grew up, farm country south of Chicago. The mall was downright glamorous compared to what I was used to, and made our hometown shopping center and downtown look primitive by comparison.

The shopping center, which I think was built in the late 1950s or 1960s, had Sears, JC Penney, and Woolworth's, among other small stores. Sears was the most modern of the three. Woolworth's was a dump.

Downtown we had Alden's, Carson Pirie Scott, and Kresge's. By the 1970s, the downtown department stores were all pretty shabby.

by Anonymousreply 22201/17/2017


by Anonymousreply 22304/06/2017
Need more help? Click Here.

Follow theDL catch up on what you missed

recent threads by topic delivered to your email

follow popular threads on twitter

follow us on facebook

Become a contributor - post when you want with no ads!