Retail Stores you Miss

Missed the edit window, but thought I would throw in a link to W.W. Arcade

I loved Richway when I was in high school. They were like a Kmart but they had cheap, cute trendy clothes and accessories, whereas Kmart’s clothes were all not-to-be-caught-dead-in cheap. They closed in the 80s sometime and reopened as Targets. Target had cute things also, but Richway’s junior department was jammed with racks of stuff like a bazaar.

I still fondly remember Grants and Masons.

Yup - it was just off the Commons and across the street from the Holiday Inn (formerly the Ramada).

They renovated the building and turned it into the public library. They did a great job, too.

We had a Hills, which replaced Woolco, was bought by Ames, and then was torn down and replaced by a Staples while a brand-new Wal-Mart superstore was put in about 500 yards away.

The mall these stores replaced had a Woolworth’s, a Montgomery Ward’s, and bunch of mom-and-pop shops, a Curtis Mathes, and the first food court I had ever seen, right by the arcade (which had great old games in it). The mall also had a pretty spectacular water show, which was pretty common in malls in days of yore.

Thank you for making me nostalgic for 15 years ago. Nowadays everything seems so common. Of course, all that other stuff was common back then, too.

I miss the old KMarts too. I think they made a big mistake when they tried to take their store upscale. Consumers wanted and needed a place to get decent quality at a reasonable price. I particularly liked the lunch counters, and our KMart sold cotton candy at its kiosk. For that matter, I miss the lunch counters in most department stores…it’s not the same if the snack bar is just another Pizza Hut or Starbucks.

Leonard’s Department Store was a big deal in Fort Worth. It was huge, and had all sorts of things for sale. It also had its own private subway, the only one of its kind. Everyone went to Leonard’s.

I also miss Mott’s Five and Dime stores. They used to sell small pets, like turtles, birds, and rodents, and they had craft departments, and loads of cheap toys.

CompUSA was a major metro thing, Chicago maybe had 3 or 4 stores, many states had none or a single store in the largest city.

in the USA Circuit City went also into smaller metro areas.

Yet another vote for Woolworth’s. It was the last “general” store in downtown Houston & it was a blow to lose it.

Now, all we’ve got down there is “Macy’s”—which is really Foley’s, damn it! (Surely, Houstonians are not the only people to mutter about those red stars emblazoning stores that used to be the pride of our cities.)

Across Main Street from Macy’s, at the light rail stop I use every weekday, there’s the parking garage that used to be Sakowitz. As a kid, it was a bit rich for our blood, but I’m still pissed at Bobby Sakowitz for destroying a Houston institution.

When I was a lad, the fanciest store in town, where you would go to buy new school clothes once a year, was O’Neill’s. Kinda like a Macy’s or Nordstroms.

In a small way, I miss Venture stores. They were kind of like KMart or Walmart, and they had lunch counters also. I believe they were entirely or mostly in the Midwest. What I remember most about them was the big diagonal black and white stripes on their signs.

Similarly, I miss Service Merchandise (another catalog showroom).

I also miss Woolworth’s, though the British stores were a bit different to the American ones - the only food they did was sweets. Well, they did do food a few decades ago - my Grandad had his tiny wedding reception in a Woolworth’s cafe.

But for me Woolie’s was just so bloody handy for birthday presents for kids and adults, basic DIY equipment, things like replacement kettle leads (I mean - the power cable that goes with lots of equipment; called kettle leads here but probably not in the US), underwear, stationery, school uniform, all the kinds of things I tend to want to buy at short notice rather than order online.

I must have been in there once a week right up until they closed. Now I have to travel to get this stuff.

Woolworth’s … And I loved their grilled cheese sandwich at the counter. I don’t know what they used, but it was fantastic.

Others? - Service Merchandise, Two Guys, S. Klein.

Can it be just one store?

I miss the Virgin Mega Store that was located in downtown Disney. A shrine to entertainment media. Massive music & movie section on the first floor along with a vinyl and classical room. Books and software upstairs. I loved that place.
But of course Amazon and itunes ended it all.

  1. I really hated to see Hecht’s* get devoured by Macy’s. I mean Macy’s is OK, but that’s it. They’re just meh-OK. Nothing seriously wrong with Macy’s, but nothing compelling or irresistible about them either. Hecht’s was irresistible, a pleasure to shop in because of all the chic fashions that often got their prices slashed as much as 75%. Now Fair Oaks Mall has two Macy’ses cheek by jowl, and I can never remember which one has the good Clinique counter.

*Was this regional? I’m in the DC area. For all I know, most of you have never heard of Hecht’s.

  1. Even though Coldwater Creek still exists in name, all that was awesome about them was lost when some stupid soulless corporation snarfed them up a couple years ago, whereupon their formerly high quality and excellent service disappeared down a certain fixture that runs on cold water. So I miss the CWC that was.

  2. I kind of miss saying “Hi, Opal”… d&r

A few which I miss…

Rose Records. A Chicago record-store chain, though they also had a location on State Street in Madison when I was at the University of Wisconsin. Great selection, wonderful back catalog of albums and singles. Probably killed by the mall chains (which themselves are now dead or dying).

Silo. One of the big electronics stores when I moved to Chicago in the late 80s. I spent a good chunk of my first few paychecks there to buy a good stereo. :slight_smile: Along with Fretter and Highland, was killed by Circuit City and Best Buy.

I could get on board with this if Foley’s hadn’t taken over May D&F, which took over The Denver, which I liked. He who lives by the sword . . .

I also liked Service Merchandise; I spent a lot of money there over the years. And not just 'cause I worked in the warehouse and could pick out the boxes for myself that hadn’t been opened, crushed, or mangled. :stuck_out_tongue:

Service Merchandise mislead you on both words in their name.

As for me, I miss G.C. Murphy’s.

I was thinking I don’t have an answer, but then I remembered G.I. Joes. Not that they’ve disappeared, I just moved away from their area. There’s not a good place around me to get mid-range camping stuff.
(I see that they’ve dropped “G.I.” from the name.)

Border’s at its peak.

Dart Drug and Peoples Drug. Back in the '70s they had huge stores which sold everything, like Target but within walking distance of most neighborhoods.

I don’t understand why all drugstores nowadays are so tiny and cramped. Back in the good old days, you didn’t get claustrophobic if another person entered the aisle you were in.