Department store chains that are now defunct

When I was kid there were a chain of Wal-Mart-like department stores in the midwest called Big Wheel. We used to go to the one in our town all time, but it closed in the early 1990s, shortly after the Wal-Mart arrived. And I haven’t seen one at all since about 1998.
What other chain stores have gone belly up or have become far less visible than they once were?

Fed Mart
Montgomery Ward (may exist online)

White Front

And while we’re on Wiki:
List of defunct department stores of the United States
They mention Fisher’s Big Wheel, not sure if that’s the one the OP was referencing.
List looks fairly comprehensive…


All of these were prominent in (at least) the NYC metro area:





some dime stores in California…

J.J. Newberry

Zayre, which later became Ames.

Luria’s – a Florida chain

Gottschalks (a CA department store chain) went bankrupt and closed this year. We had one in our city. The nearest department store is now 1/2 hour away. We now have an enormous Forever 21, though. :rolleyes:

Heck’s. I used to walk up the road to ours all the time.

My first thought was Venture.

My first thought was Gimbels. At one time it was one of the world’s biggest department store.

Korvettes was a favourite store of mine. They used to always have sales on singles (I know half of you are saying “What’s a single?”)

Back in the old days we used to like to pay money for a song. And the nice thing was after a month of playing the song we’d put it in a big box, where it’d get all scratched up and the when you went to play it it’d sound awful and but by then we’d be grown up enough to buy the album or the group would have a “Greatest Hits” package by then.

We also had “Turn Style” in Illinois and “Shopper’s World.” Actually “Target” was around in Illinois when I was young in the early 70s then it left and came back.

In SoCal:

May Company (bought out by Robinson’s)
Robinson’s (bought out by Macy’s)

Yep – we always used to go to Gimbel’s when I was little.

Then there was Hornes, which became Lazarus, and now THAT’S gone as well!

But the one I miss the most is Kaufmann’s. :frowning:
(Fuck Macy’s!!!)

Better to ask which department store chains haven’t disappeared.

Just recently Mervyn’s, a West Coast chain. The one in the mall near us build a new building in the shopping center across the street, moved in, and the chain went bankrupt 2 days later.

Besides Gimbels in NY there was also Gertz.
In Philadelphia the two big ones were John Wanamker and Strawbridge and Clothier.

Remember the yellow lines on the sides of the escalators there, where you were never ever ever meant to put your feet? That’s because of my cousin, who had his foot up against the side of the escalator, got his shoelace caught in the step and lost his toes and about 1/3 more of the front of his foot in the ensuing calamity.

Which is just as well, because Lazarus was awful, in every measurable way. And still owe us money for that ugly building.

In terms of department store chains, Macy’s has a lot to answer for. Kaufmann’s. Robinsons-May, Famous-Barr, Foley’s, Hecht’s, Lord & Taylor, Filene’s and Marshall Field, all eaten by the Macy’s juggernaut, and turned to crap.

Mervyn’s had spread out away from the West Coast before it went bankrupt. We had several of them in New Orleans, and all of the old stores sit empty now.

The three I remember from growing up in Northeast Ohio in the 80’s:

Gold Circle

I was also going to say Silverman’s but apparently they are still in business, much to my surprise.