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Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Department Store Shopping

J.M. Fields.
Zayre  (above pictured the one in Agawam, Mass.).
W.T. Grant.
Two Guys.
...etc.  You remember them, the discount department stores where we headed for back to school shopping (or Christmas, or for the first record albums we ever purchased).

Here's the W. T. Grant's in New Bedford, Mass.:

We had our grand stores in New England of course, G. Fox of Hartford, Steiger's and Forbes & Wallace in Springfield, Mass., Filenes, Jordan Marsh -- we've mentioned them before.  But today a brief glance at those less-than-swank, but beloved, discount chains that came with us to suburbia and most of which are gone.  

All of these regional and national chains had their roots in New England, except for Two Guys, which was started in New Jersey. J. M. Fields began in Salem, Mass.; Grant's in Lynn, Mass.; Zayre in Hyannis; and Topps in Hartford, Connecticut.  Another Connecticut chain that spread across the country was the Robert Hall store. 

Here's a commercial featuring the great Les Paul and Mary Ford:

Never again would we be so thrilled by a package of filler paper, or believe the words "bargains galore."

Never again so mesmerized by a blinking neon sign:

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