Woolco, Jamesway and Caldor, who were these defunct Retailers?
Today we have Wal-Mart, Target, Costco, Amazon, Best Buy, Sam’s Club, BJ’s and Buy.com, and a list that seems endless. If I tried to stop and name them all the list would probably go on and on forever. There are just too many today to choose from. Choice is good, but too many choices can be overwhelming. There can be an argument for less choice sometimes. Simplicity can be good. Simplicity can bring ease, and simplicity can bring peace of mind, and it can bring memories. I can clearly remember climbing in my Dad’s 68′ Charger and driving down to Woolco to get garden tools, or charcoal for the grill, or even a parakeet. Then Woolco was gone and it became Jamesway. Then we moved norht and we went to Caldor. So today I pay homage to those simpler days. We may have gained choice, but what did we loose in the process?
Woolco was an American-based discount retail chain. It was founded in 1962 by the F.W. Woolworth Company. It was a discount department store. At its peak, Woolco had hundreds of stores in the US, as well as in Canada and the United Kingdom. While the American stores were closed in 1982, the chain remained active in Canada until it was sold in 1994 to rival Walmart. Most of the former UK Woolco stores were renamed Woolworth.
Jamesway was a chain of discount department stores based in Secaucus, New Jersey. It was founded in 1961 with a store in Jamestown, New York, and at its peak operated 138 stores in the Northeast and mid-Atlantic regions. Despite its successes, Jamesway faced significant losses during its last years in business. This resulted in two bankruptcy filings which ultimately put an end to the chain in 1995.
Caldor was a chain of American discount department stores headquartered in Norwalk, Connecticut, operating throughout the northeastern United States. At one time, the company was a subsidiary of May Department Stores; Caldor was among the country’s largest discount retailers.
Despite being a popular destination for shoppers, Caldor faced mounting losses during its final years. The chain declared bankruptcy in 1995 and never fully emerged from it, eventually resorting to closing its remaining stores on May 15, 1999. Caldor relied heavily on a weekly multi-color sales flier to generate business. Fliers were distributed weekly to advertise sales that ran from Sunday through Saturday. In November 1998, the company suffered a huge public relations blow when its sales flier featured a prominent photograph of two grinning boys playing the board game “Scrabble” with the word “RAPE” spelled out in the center of the board. Eleven million copies of the flier were distributed to the public via an 85-newspaper distribution chain. Caldor released a statement expressing its mystification over how the image was created and got past proofreaders.