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Old 07-20-2004, 08:05 AM
ralph124c ralph124c is offline
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"Five and Dime" Stores..Are There Any Left?

I was walking down Main Street in my town, and happened to look up at the top of a building..there, in weathered bronze letters was the name "S.S. Kresge"..they were one of the competitors of Woolworth's..that great five and dime store. I know that Kresge morphed itself into "KMart"..but what about the others? In my youth, I remember seeing stores like W.T. Grant., Neisners's, Woolworths, etc. They were all similar-they mostly soldinexpensive items like string, thread, envelopes, pencils, etc. And Woolworths had a pet dept. that sold parakeets and little silver-dollar-sized turtles, plus goldfish and hampsters. These stores seemed to be everywhere..why did they fold up?
Woolworth's wasin business(I believe) over 100 years when they folded up! Perhapsit's nostalgia, but I liked those old store chains!
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  #2  
Old 07-20-2004, 09:12 AM
Mr. Moto Mr. Moto is offline
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My great uncle worked for the G.C. Murphy headquarters in McKeesport, PA for about fifty years. They ran a large chain of five-and-dimes and later expanded to department stores.

Sadly, they're gone now. They sold out to McGrory's, which folded as well.

http://www.geocities.com/zayre88/R_murphy.html
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Old 07-20-2004, 09:30 AM
CalMeacham CalMeacham is offline
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In my home town the "5 and 10" store (it literally said that on the outside) was part of the chain Ben Franklin. My home town branch just closed. I know I've seen others, but not lately, so I don't know if it's still open.

We had an S.S. Kresge nearby, but they closed years ago. My understanding is that "Kresge" was the "K" of "K-Mart". If so, they're still around, and have just emerged from Chapter 11.


The W.T. Grant's around my hometown closed years ago. Woolworth spawned Woolco. All the Woolworth and Woolco stores I know of closed down, some within the past ten years.
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Old 07-20-2004, 09:30 AM
El_Kabong El_Kabong is offline
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As I see it, the 5 & 10's (btw, in addition to the other chains, anybody remember Ben Franklin stores?) were driven out of business from two directions: beaten on range of selection by discount superstores such as K-Mart and later Wal-Mart, and undercut on price by so-called dollar stores. Twenty years ago, my hometown in PA had a Woolworth's, a Kresge, a G. C. Murphy and the aformentioned Ben Franklin; now its got a Wally World and a bunch of little shops with 'Dollar' in the name but representing at least four different small chains.

I've gotta admit, neither of these types of shop have that je ne said quoi of my hometown Woolworth's.
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Old 07-20-2004, 09:32 AM
El_Kabong El_Kabong is offline
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Well, I guess CalMeacham remembers.
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Old 07-20-2004, 10:07 AM
Von_Erich Von_Erich is offline
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What's with the (initial). (initial). (last name) format of the five and dime store names? We had an M. E. Moses five and dime near my church about fifteen years ago.
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Old 07-20-2004, 10:32 AM
Sunspace Sunspace is offline
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Kresge's was in Ontario as well--I remember them from childhood before they changed to K-mart.

I understand that Kresge's started just after the first world war, selling things for around 10c. If you take 70 or 80 years of inflation into account, the equivalent prices are around a dollar.

Dollar stores are common and thriving. So I maintain that the five-and-dime never died, just that the players are different.
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Old 07-20-2004, 10:53 AM
stpauler stpauler is offline
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Just thought I'd throw this in:
Nanci Griffith's website is called 5 & Dime based on her song "Love at the Five and Dime"
Quote:
Rita was sixteen years... hazel eyes and chestnut hair
she made the Woolworth counter shine
Eddie was a sweet romancer, and a darn good dancer
they'd waltz the aisles of the five and dime

Chorus:
They'd sing, "Dance a little closer to me... dance a little closer now
Dance a little closer tonight
Dance a little closer to me... it's closing time
And love's on sale tonight at this five and dime
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  #9  
Old 07-20-2004, 10:54 AM
calm kiwi calm kiwi is offline
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Well Woolworths the name lives on (and it did come from the original). Woolworths is one of the biggest supermarket chains in New Zealand.

Department store wise they disapeared about 10 years ago though.

Two dollar shops are good though .
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  #10  
Old 07-20-2004, 10:58 AM
Otto Otto is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stpauler
Just thought I'd throw this in:
Nanci Griffith's website is called 5 & Dime based on her song "Love at the Five and Dime"
And of course there's the play and movie Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean.
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  #11  
Old 07-20-2004, 12:51 PM
BurnMeUp BurnMeUp is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CalMeacham
In my home town the "5 and 10" store (it literally said that on the outside) was part of the chain Ben Franklin. My home town branch just closed. I know I've seen others, but not lately, so I don't know if it's still open.
I remember Ben Franklin as a five and dime. I don't know about the tesr of the Ben Franklins, but some here on the west coast are now strictly craft stores.
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  #12  
Old 07-20-2004, 12:53 PM
voguevixen voguevixen is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TexasPlayboy
What's with the (initial). (initial). (last name) format of the five and dime store names? We had an M. E. Moses five and dime near my church about fifteen years ago.
We had a G.L. Perry. I remember it used to have an entire aisle full of bins of weird toys. Rubber spiders, yo-yos, superballs, plastic snakes, SuperElastic BubblePlastic, mini squirtguns, armymen, etc etc. Good stuff!
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  #13  
Old 07-20-2004, 01:00 PM
racinchikki racinchikki is offline
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There was a Newberry's in Hudson, NY when I was a little kid (say 10-15 years ago). I remember they had clothes on the ground floor, housewares on the second story, and toys, tools and sporting goods in the basement.
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  #14  
Old 07-20-2004, 01:10 PM
Big G Big G is offline
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The National 5 & 10 on Main St. in Newark, DE is still around. I'm sure it owes it's survival to the cheapness of University of Delaware students. I know I got my share of blue books and cheap Delaware t-shirts there.

G
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Old 07-20-2004, 03:27 PM
Ludovic Ludovic is online now
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I grew up about a mile/3 houses from Deering's Dime and Dollar (late 70s, you had to factor in inflation ) It was more of a General Store, though: now it is no longer, replaced by an exurban yuppie new age art dealer

However, in one tiny one-intersection town in Tennessee, just off the Appalachian Trail, there are not one but TWO general stores! Both of them had a convenience store, deli/restaurant, video store, and hardware selection, all in around the space of a dollar store or large convenience store. Probably the closest I've been to a Five and Dime in a decade.

(Almost exactly, too. The last time I remember eating in one was in 1990, at a Woolworth's somewhere in the mid-atlantic seaboard.) I remember Five and Dimes having worse food than your average restaurant but much better food than your average non-fastfood-franchise discount department store.
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  #16  
Old 07-20-2004, 03:51 PM
CalMeacham CalMeacham is offline
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The J.J. Newberry's near my home closed about ten years ago. The one that had been in New Brunswick, NJ closed much earlier. But we never called Newberry's a 5 & 10, like Ben Frankllin's.


The largest Woolworth's in the world was at Downtown Crossing in Boston. It closed up around ten years ago, too. The one in downtown Salt Lake closed before that. Woolworth's was a 5 and 10 ("I can get you ten years in Levenworth or Eleven years in Twelveworth. Or Five and Ten at Woolworth" -- Groucho Marx line.), even though it didn't say so on the sign.
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  #17  
Old 07-20-2004, 04:00 PM
Mr. Moto Mr. Moto is offline
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Now that takes me back. There are stores around that purport to sell a little of everything.

I regularly stop at a gas station in Keysers Ridge, Maryland. The attached store truly is a thing to behold. It really is a country store.

They sell fishing tackle, bait, camping supplies, ammo, firearms, liquor, beer, wine, snacks, groceries, coffee, sodas, milk, lottery tickets, cigarettes, newspapers, magazines, and pornography.

They usually have a gun raffle going, and I've already won an automatic .22 LR Remington from them.

They also always have the Keno game running for the state of Maryland, so if you want to waste some time there playing Keno, you can.

Fun place.
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  #18  
Old 07-20-2004, 05:49 PM
Skywatcher Skywatcher is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Moto
I regularly stop at a gas station in Keysers Ridge, Maryland. The attached store truly is a thing to behold. It really is a country store.

They sell fishing tackle, bait, camping supplies, ammo, firearms, liquor, beer, wine, snacks, groceries, coffee, sodas, milk, lottery tickets, cigarettes, newspapers, magazines, and pornography.
Wait a minute, that sounds familiar.

::checks mapquest::

I'll be damned! I think that's where we found the kitten!
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  #19  
Old 07-20-2004, 06:05 PM
quiltguy154 quiltguy154 is offline
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You young whippersnappers probably never heard of the wildly popular song[about the lucky young man who found the girl of his dreams selling china in a five-and-dime] of the early 1930's, entitled "I Found a Million Dollar Baby(at the Five and Ten Cent Store) Fanny Brice had a lot to do with the song gaining wide acceptance, and the lyrics were co-written by showman Billy Rose.

"It was a lucky April shower,
It was a most convenient door;
I found a Million Dollar Baby,
at the Five and Ten Cent store."


This was the favorite song of an elderly couple, former neighbors of mine. He actually did find his future wife working at a Woolworth's. Not selling china actually, but they couldn't have everything.
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  #20  
Old 07-20-2004, 06:05 PM
Shrinking Violet Shrinking Violet is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by calm kiwi
Well Woolworths the name lives on (and it did come from the original). Woolworths is one of the biggest supermarket chains in New Zealand.
Woolworths is still a familiar name on the high streets of the UK ..... still selling pretty much the five and dime stuff, plus CDs / DVDs / videos ..... and the ever-popular pick'n'mix.
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  #21  
Old 07-20-2004, 06:59 PM
kunilou kunilou is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BurnMeUp
I remember Ben Franklin as a five and dime. I don't know about the tesr of the Ben Franklins, but some here on the west coast are now strictly craft stores.
There's a surviving Ben Franklin here in St. Louis that's a craft store.

Most of the "nothing over a dollar" stores here deal in closeouts and overstocks and don't have "permanent" merchandise. I think the 5&10 stores' survivors are actually the general merchandise departments at Walgreen and the other pharmacy chains.
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  #22  
Old 09-11-2012, 02:05 PM
JustJenna JustJenna is offline
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Originally Posted by Lute Skywatcher View Post
Wait a minute, that sounds familiar.

::checks mapquest::

I'll be damned! I think that's where we found the kitten!

I know I'm reviving a thread 8 years old so please forgive me but I would really love to know where this store is. I frequently travel through Maryland, and love discovering old country stores. An address would be much appreciated. :-)
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  #23  
Old 09-11-2012, 03:05 PM
Student Driver Student Driver is offline
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Acknowledging first that I realize this is a zombie...

Quote:
Originally Posted by kunilou View Post
Most of the "nothing over a dollar" stores here deal in closeouts and overstocks and don't have "permanent" merchandise. I think the 5&10 stores' survivors are actually the general merchandise departments at Walgreen and the other pharmacy chains.
I'd say those, the non-supercenter versions of the discount store chains, and the Family Dollar/Dollar General variety stores all fit the bill. I'd give the nod to the latter variety stores as being closest in concept and feel to the old five-and-dimes.

Of old five-and-dime chains that survive, sometimes in mutated form:

Ben Franklin Stores still exist as franchised variety stores, in addition to the companion Ben Franklin Crafts stores. However, the original Ben Franklin System went bankrupt, and a holding company currently services franchise owners, who can now source product from other vendors, something not allowed in the original Ben Franklin system.

Walmart started its existence as a chain of Ben Franklin franchises run by Sam Walton. Apparently the franchise agreement was pretty liberal on naming requirements, as they were run as "Walton's Five and Dime." The 5 & 10s survived for a while after the Wal-Mart discount stores opened, and operated independently of the Ben Franklin system after that point. Wal-Mart was started as a proof-of-concept mode discount store to be affiliated with the Ben Franklin system, but Sam Walton withdrew from the system over disagreements regarding buying product outside of the BF system.

Kmart, as mentioned before, grew out of the S.S. Kresge 5 & 10 chain, and Kresge stores were still operating into the mid- to late-80s. For a long time, Kmart circulars were cobranded with Kresge.

Duckwall 5 & 10s begat the ALCO discount store chain (the company was Duckwall > Duckwall-ALCO > ALCO Stores), and Duckwall locations still exist in the chain.
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Old 09-11-2012, 03:21 PM
Skammer Skammer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Student Driver View Post
I'd say those, the non-supercenter versions of the discount store chains, and the Family Dollar/Dollar General variety stores all fit the bill. I'd give the nod to the latter variety stores as being closest in concept and feel to the old five-and-dimes.
And they are much, much larger chains than when this thread was new. Dollar General alone has about 10,200 stores, Family Dollar over 7,000 and Dollar Tree around 4,500. Not much room left for the traditional 5-and-dime.
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  #25  
Old 09-11-2012, 03:54 PM
Soylent Juicy Soylent Juicy is offline
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Originally Posted by ralph124c View Post
I know that Kresge morphed itself into "KMart"..
I did not know that. Thank you for helping me learn something new today.
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Old 09-11-2012, 04:51 PM
Simple Linctus Simple Linctus is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shrinking Violet View Post
Woolworths is still a familiar name on the high streets of the UK ..... still selling pretty much the five and dime stuff, plus CDs / DVDs / videos ..... and the ever-popular pick'n'mix.
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  #27  
Old 09-11-2012, 04:55 PM
Marconi N. Cheese Marconi N. Cheese is offline
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Originally Posted by kunilou View Post
There's a surviving Ben Franklin here in St. Louis that's a craft store.
Sadly, that one's closing now, too. One still remains, though. How much longer is anyone's guess.

From the article: "Ironically, Sam Walton, the founder of Walmart, once owned about 15 Ben Franklin stores in Missouri and Arkansas. When the company’s management turned down his suggestion to open discount stores in small towns, he ended up opening the concept on his own — the first Walmart store — in 1962."
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Old 09-11-2012, 05:04 PM
Annie-Xmas Annie-Xmas is offline
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Old joke: Person who sees their first 7-Eleven says "O my God! Inflation has hit the 5 & 10."
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  #29  
Old 09-11-2012, 07:50 PM
SCAdian SCAdian is offline
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As long as the thread's been resurrected, and no-one else seems to have pointed it out:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Von_Erich View Post
What's with the (initial). (initial). (last name) format of the five and dime store names? We had an M. E. Moses five and dime near my church about fifteen years ago.
Woollie's was the F W Woolworth Company....
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Old 09-11-2012, 09:19 PM
kunilou kunilou is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SCAdian View Post
As long as the thread's been resurrected, and no-one else seems to have pointed it out:

Woollie's was the F W Woolworth Company....
Yeah, but there were a lot of stores that were named after their founders that weren't 5&10.

J.C. Penney

E.J. Korvette

J.J. Newbury

L.S. Ayres

J.W. Robinson
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  #31  
Old 09-12-2012, 12:40 AM
Rampant Coypu Rampant Coypu is offline
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Originally Posted by voguevixen View Post
We had a G.L. Perry. I remember it used to have an entire aisle full of bins of weird toys. Rubber spiders, yo-yos, superballs, plastic snakes, SuperElastic BubblePlastic, mini squirtguns, armymen, etc etc. Good stuff!
Sounds like the TG&Y stores I went to as a kid. I had a huge rubber animal collection. TG&Y seemed to disappear in the very early 80's. They were pretty big stores that sold some sporting goods and had a full service fabrics department. I recently heard that some locations were bought out by Wal-Mart in the late 70's.

Just by chance I discovered that the TG&Y name lasted at least until the late 90's. I was driving a friend around for a photography project and discovered a TG&Y on Cavalcade near Airline, and another in Northline. all in one day. I now regularly go to Airline for the awesome seafood, there is no trace of TG&Y.

Seems to me that dollar stores and chains like Family Dollar are the closest thing to the old five and dimes.
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Old 09-12-2012, 01:18 AM
FriarTed FriarTed is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rampant Coypu View Post
Sounds like the TG&Y stores I went to as a kid. I had a huge rubber animal collection. TG&Y seemed to disappear in the very early 80's. They were pretty big stores that sold some sporting goods and had a full service fabrics department. I recently heard that some locations were bought out by Wal-Mart in the late 70's.

Just by chance I discovered that the TG&Y name lasted at least until the late 90's. I was driving a friend around for a photography project and discovered a TG&Y on Cavalcade near Airline, and another in Northline. all in one day. I now regularly go to Airline for the awesome seafood, there is no trace of TG&Y.

Seems to me that dollar stores and chains like Family Dollar are the closest thing to the old five and dimes.
We had a TG&Y & you're about right- it faded out in the mid/late-80s. The building is I think mostly storage for the Furniture Liquidators which is the only business now operating in that strip-mall.

Over the years (1960s-1990), I can recall G.C. Murphy's (mentioned above)
now occupied by a downtown Mission Church,
Scotts- part of a strip-mall now occupied by specialty shops,
Danners - became 3D- building now occupied by Big Lots,
Heck's- building now a multi-plex movie theater,
K-Mart- now an industrial storage complex.

Wal-Mart, Dollar Stores, Big Lots & a Krogers are the main shopping centers, but small specialty stores also abound, so that's not too bad.
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  #33  
Old 09-12-2012, 01:23 AM
Siam Sam Siam Sam is offline
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How about dollar stores? Or has inflation eaten those up too? (EDIT: Just saw those discussed upthread.)

Japan has 100-yen shops, where everything costs a maximum of 100 yen (US$1.28).

Last edited by Siam Sam; 09-12-2012 at 01:24 AM..
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  #34  
Old 09-12-2012, 03:17 AM
Wendell Wagner Wendell Wagner is offline
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Sunspace writes:

> I understand that Kresge's started just after the first world war, selling things
> for around 10c. If you take 70 or 80 years of inflation into account, the
> equivalent prices are around a dollar.

To be exact, inflation from 1918 to 2012 is by a factor of 15.17, so something worth $.10 in 1918 is now worth $1.51 or $1.52.

kunilou writes:

> Yeah, but there were a lot of stores that were named after their founders that
> weren't 5&10.
>
> . . .
>
> E.J. Korvette
>
> . . .

E. J. Korvette wasn't the name of its founder. It was a combination of the first names of its two founders (Eugene and Joe) and a respelling of the word "corvette," which was a World War II ship. I'm not sure why they used the name of a ship. Perhaps one of founders served on such a ship. Also, E. J. Korvette wasn't exactly a five and dime, but it was sort of a successor to such stores.
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