Welcome to those who have come here by way of Eric Zorn’s Chicago Tribune column today. This website is a tribute to retail chain stores of the past – mainly supermarkets and discount stores, with a few others (department stores, toy stores, etc.) thrown in just for fun. Some chains are gone altogether. For the ones that remain of course, the stores look radically different today.
My name is Dave, and I grew up in the Chicago area during the Ray Rayner/Family Classics/Svengoolie period (which was somewhere between the Mezozoic and Paleozoic eras, I believe). Many of the chains profiled are from the Chicagoland area and can be found at this link. Extended postings on Korvettes, Sears, Turn-Style and the early history of Jewel are here so far, along with a few Dominick’s tidbits. Also Shoppers World , Kmart and Bargain Town, just for good measure. My travels through the years have led me to a general fascination with retail history across the country, and you will find info on chains from many other regions. If your favorite chain isn’t here yet, hopefully it will be soon.
Regarding the photo above - no, the St. Louis Arch has not sold naming rights – this was the original sign from the Dominick’s distribution center in Northlake, Illinois, shown in a 1971 photo. This sign was a landmark for I-290/294 commuters throughout the sixties and seventies. The facility was originally a Kroger distribution center, and when I was very young the Kroger block letter logo (white letters on individual blue square backgrounds) existed where the Dominick’s logo appears in this photo. The sign was replaced with a more conventional version in the early 1980’s.
Thanks so much for stopping in, and please come back!