Retail Stores you Miss

So I decided to put my old optical reader/writer in my new computer. But due to a different MB layout the SATA cable is too small. So I want to buy one. Walmart doesn’t sell one. I think Best Buy might have a single choice. You know who would have a few choices? CompUSA. But they are gone from the area. I miss them. Lechmere probably would have carried them too. Also gone.

So what retail chains, mom and pop stores, etc have come and gone that you wish never left?

Well, Woolworth’s actually. They seemed to have a lot of stuff that I, as a kid, liked, and a soda fountain.

Kee-reist, I’m feeling old just reading that.

There aren’t too many stores like Woolworth’s anymore that have a department-store style selection along with a food counter to boot. The closest I’ve come recently was in a hamlet outside the Appalachian Trail where me and my friends hung out at for several hours when we decided to prematurely call our hike quits. It was a true general store, having not only your standard convenience store items, but also a good selection of tools and movies, a counter where you could (and we did) get a meal, and they even had an entertainment room with a pool table and video games. All in a space not much bigger than a 7-11.

ETA: scooped on the Woolworths!

Another vote for Woolworths. When I was in elementary school it was the go-to place for almost anything from candy to model airplanes to St. Christopher Medals.

I miss Korvettes and Zayre (now known as Congo-Kinshasa :))

I miss Zayre too, but I would miss it more if K-Mart wasn’t still around :slight_smile: (I just never differentiated them from K-Mart and Ames, but I miss Z and A, along with Woolworths, because they used to have video games in their lobbies. K-Mart did too, but since it is still around and no longer does, I do not miss it :))

KMart is still around but they are few and far between. Used to have one in my neighborhood now I have to drive about a half hour to get to one.

I have no idea why I prefer KMart to Wal Mart or Target (both in my neighborhood now)…I don’t know if the prices are different or the selection is different or if it’s just nostalgia.

But damn, I love me some KMart.

I came in to mention Woolworth. I spent many many days there as a kid. There was no better place to spend a couple of hours browsing and deciding how to spend a dollar.

When I was growing up in the Ithaca NY area my mom, sister and I went to Woolworth at least once a week. My aunt worked as a waitress in the restaurant (this one had a full-blown restaurant with booths rather than just a lunch counter). We’d always go in for a cup of coffee (for my mom) a soda (for my sister) and a glass of tomato juice (for me). If my mom was feeling particularly flush she’d let us order a snack. My sister usually got a donut or a piece of pie. I always got an order of bacon.

I shopped at Woolworth 'til I was out of college (1992). Woolworth closed sometime after I moved away from Ithaca. I have so many fond memories of the Ithaca Woolworth, but I have a friend who claims that the Ithaca store was the only nice Woolworth on earth. I find that hard to believe.

I was sewing on a button last week and remembering Woolworth fondly because the spools of thread in my sewing kit are all Woolworth brand. I bought them to go away to college in 1988. Sigh.

I miss Ames. It had a craft dept. I don’t have a Walmart super close, and that one is one of the stores that has the reduced craft dept. Sure, I can go to a craft store, but sometimes it was nice to buy socks, detergent, and yarn all at once without 3 trips.

I never thought Ames was a great store but they were usually found in smaller towns that don’t rate a Targets or WalMart. So the closing of Ames left them without any local department store.

Media Play used to be good. But their selection and service went downhill while their prices rose so by the time they closed, it was no great loss.

Kmarts are still in the regions I frequent, but they are a mere shell of what they used to be. When I was young, Kmart had its own brand of everything- spark plugs, motor oil, tires, televisions, stereos, sneakers, and so on. The stuff was good quality at a decent price. They had lunch counters and a smaller kiosk that sold frozen cokes, submarine sandwiches, popcorn, and deli ham. Now the stores suck.

Woolworths were good in their day, too. The neighborhood Ben Franklin store was our “dime store”. A quarter could get me a ten-cent cap gun, a box of roll caps, and five pieces of gum if I talked the cashier into ringing the things up separately to avoid the penny sales tax.

Was it around here (south of the Commons)? I also fondly remember a Woolworth-style store around there, as it was the only place within walking distance of Cornell that had affordable Mountain Dew :slight_smile:

We still have a Ben Franklin in the next town over.

Broadway. May Co. Kresge. I Magnin.

Of all, I miss The Broadway most… Yes, I know it was just like your Macys/Nordstrom/Knock-Offs… But I always felt different shopping in a Broadway and a Magnin.

KMart still has about 1300 stores, though they closed at least 300 stores when they went through bankruptcy a few years back. So, while they’re “few and far between” in your area, there are still quite a few of them around.

I think you got a heavy dose of that peculiar KMart odor at one point (I always think KMarts smell like mothballs), and you can’t shake it. :wink:

I came in here to say that i don’t miss a single damn brick & mortal store but you guys have made me realize that I do miss Woolworth’s. The cheeseburger, fries and pepsi were great. Now all we have is Target with a Starbucks and Pizza Hut built-in.

Regarding the situation laid out by the OP, I am more than happy to find my replacement electrical and computer parts online and have them shipped to my doorstep. It beats the heck out of wasting a half day and half tank of gas driving around the city looking for this item and that one. Not to mention the opportunity cost of my time.

For me it would be TG&Y

I could buy my Zebco set up, line and lures, and my fishing license, while Dad could get motor oil for the car and Coleman gas for the camping stove, and Mom could get sodas and picnic foods and our long underwear.

W.W. Arcade Hardware
Any doper who is a long time Edmontonian will remember them.

Their basement was the best. They has long rambling aisles of hardware and assorted surplus. The old guy that ran it would see a hand written price on , oh, say a fishing rod, from 1953, and charge you that price… in 1987. It was kind of cool finding an unused antique, and paying jsut 2.77 for it.

It was dingy, the floor creeked, the staff seemed to have been there for EVER, and they all seemed to have a spooky, almost clairvoyant meta knowledge of the stock. Need a gasket for a 1944 war surplus napathene lantern? Just walk into W.W. Arcade and ask the first staff member you saw. They would star into space for a moment, lead you on a winding path through the maze of overflowing, seemingly random shelves of products, reach in behind a box of needle jets for a 1941 fordson carbourator, and pull out your gasket. Price. 3 cents.

They were a land mark, and I miss them.
The building that they were in is now a very upscale restaurant called “The Hardware Grill”, a great place if you like paying $15 for a bowl of soup, and $55 for liver and onions…


I miss Kmart.

I miss Woolco.

I’m going to miss Zeller’s once they become Targets. :frowning:

ETA: oh! And Consumer’s Distributing!

I do miss CompUSA. As you say, Best Buy is the closest substitute but sorely lacking in specialized parts.

I also miss The Sharper Image, although more for how the stores used to be when I was a kid (filled with all kinds of cool electronic gadgets) than how they were at the end (filled with illuminated nosehair trimmers and glass bathroom scales that display your body-fat percentage).