Friday, March 13, 2009

Matchless Memories of Mammoth Mart

The word “mammoth” calls to mind something big, huge, out of the ordinary. So the giant new discount stores must have seemed to folks who were used to shopping at the traditional “five and ten” - type variety stores that were a fraction of their size. It only makes sense, then, that one of these new “discount houses”, the upstarts of the retailing world, would adopt a “mammoth” as its trademark. And when it happened, did they choose an ancient woolly mammoth, with its ultra-long, curved tusks and generally terrifying appearance? Not at all. Instead, they went with a refined, genteel, bi-pedal elephant, smartly dressed in trousers, a sportcoat and tie. This friendly fellow was “Marty”, official mascot of Mammoth Mart, the late, great New England-based discount chain.

Quincy, Massachusetts native Max Coffman, the founder of Mammoth Mart, was born in 1910 to Russian immigrant parents. Coffman was one of those people of whom it could truly be said that retail was “in his blood”. Starting out as a grocery delivery boy, Coffman worked his way through high school and college performing a number of retail jobs. After four years with Enterprise, a Boston-area department store, Coffman joined Union Premier Food Stores, forerunner to Food Fair, where his responsibilities included overseeing the opening of new stores. In 1937, he joined Economy Grocery Stores, parent of Stop and Shop, a leading New England area chain. At Stop and Shop, Coffman’s responsibilities were once again centered on the company’s new store program. It was here that he learned the benefits of self-service, and especially of having a centralized checkout area at the front of the store - a practice that he would help pioneer later on for the discounting field, where it had previously been a foreign concept.

In 1941, Coffman, along with his brother-in-law Henry Gornstein, went into business for himself, opening an Army/Navy surplus store in Quincy. Problem was, with the outbreak of World War II, the supply of military surplus items had dried up, so Coffman stocked a variety of apparel, mainly work clothes, instead. The end of WWII in 1945 unleashed a flood of surplus items to the market, enabling Coffman to open five more surplus stores by 1948.

By the early 1950’s, as discussed numerous times on this site, a new form of retailer was springing up all over the New England area, known in the early days of the business as the “discount house”. Again, as mentioned, these new stores were often located in old, vacated factories that begged for tenants and were available for a song. J.M. Fields, Ann and Hope and Interstate Stores’ (who would later buy out Topps and White Front) first discount operation all began in this mold. While Zayre chose to come out of the box with new construction instead of the “mill building” approach, their merchandising approach bore some similarities to the aforementioned companies. The stores were very simple, often outfitted only with pipe racks and basic fixtures (as these chains became successful, much more sophisticated store designs would follow), but they made money hand over fist. Max Coffman was quick to recognize the potential of this new self-service, volume based, low price approach, and decided it was the route he needed to take.

In March 1956, the first “Mammoth Mart” (originally Mammoth Mills) was opened in a 51,000 square foot former foundry building in Framingham, Massachusetts. Robert Drew-Bear, in his book Mass Merchandising, describes the opening day scene, where there happened to be a “…very heavy snowfall. As a matter of fact, even the large searchlights were buried by the storm. Nevertheless, the buying public came to the store opening and a new era was born for Max Coffman and Mammoth Mart”.

The profitability of his Army/Navy surplus stores paled in comparison with that of the discount store, so Coffman soon closed them down in order to fully devote his resources to opening new Mammoth Marts. Coffman expanded cautiously, especially in the early years. “I wanted to get a good solid foundation established first”, he was quoted in the Drew-Bear book. In 1959, the second Mammoth Mart was opened in Bangor, Maine, with a third unit in Lewiston, Maine the next year. 1961 through 1965 saw the opening of an average of two new Mammoth Marts per year, and also the company‘s first public offering of stock. 1966 was the chain’s “breakout” year, so to speak, with the opening of six units, one of which replaced the original Framingham store.

The Mammoth Marts were located in strip shopping centers (except the free-standing Bangor unit), usually next door to a supermarket. The store size ranged from 42,000 to nearly 90,000 square feet. The stores’ merchandise mix, was heavily weighted towards apparel. In the early years, factory overruns and seconds were stocked. Drew-Bear’s book notes the chain’s private label brands, including “Princess Anne” for their nylon stockings. (Somehow, that just sounds better than “Mammoth” stockings, eh?) The company also operated their own shoe departments, a rarity in the discount industry where they were generally leased out to others. Small appliances, housewares, cameras, records and books helped round out the mix. Another feature of the stores were their snack bars, de rigueur for the time.

As the Mammoth Mart chain grew, so did Max Coffman’s reputation as a respected businessman, a fact acknowledged well outside his company’s New England trading area. In 1967, Coffman received the prestigious Horatio Alger Award, which he accepted that year alongside such other notables as Dr. Michael DeBakey, the famous heart surgeon, Lawrence Welk, and Ewing Kauffman, chairman of Marion Merrell Dow pharmaceuticals and soon-to-be founder of the Kansas City Royals.

Coffman’s retailing savvy also caught the attention of one Sam Moore Walton, operator of a small Arkansas discount chain with a big future. In his autobiography, entitled Made in America, Walton specifically mentioned Mammoth Mart. Sam called on the Mammoth Mart offices and was given a tour of the operation by Coffman’s son Jeffrey, which he recalled in his father’s obituary as reported by the Boston Globe - ''I showed him around," said Jeffrey. ''I was only 20 years old. Who knew what he would become?"

At the end of 1970, Mammoth Mart was in great shape. Seven new stores had been added, bringing the company total to 34. Two were located in Maine, one in Vermont, and the company’s first four stores outside of New England – Bel Air (suburban Baltimore), Maryland and Lumberton, Henderson and New Bern, North Carolina. A childrens’ clothing store division,”Boston Baby”, was started around this time.

On a personal note, Mammoth Mart is special to me because it’s one of a handful of classic retail chains outside of the Chicago area that I shopped at extensively. Throughout the 1970’s, my brother and I spent three or four weeks every August with our grandparents in North Smithfield, Rhode Island, where we frequently shopped at the Mammoth Mart at Park Square, an area of town located just on the edge of Woonsocket. It was located in an “L-shaped” shopping center along with a Star Market. A Kentucky Beef restaurant sat on the edge of the parking lot, which later became a Burger Chef. Many times we’d hit all three in the space of an afternoon. Across the street was an Almacs grocery store, a popular Rhode Island chain.

My favorite part of the Mammoth Mart, of course, was their record department, a welcome sight after those exasperating moments spent in the fitting rooms, trying on yet another pair of corduroys. The record department had a great cut-out bin, where I picked up a number of bargains. Without a doubt, the oddest album I found there was Yoko Ono’s 1973 double-album entitled “Approximately Infinite Universe” on the Beatles’ Apple label. It was a bit on the surreal side for Mammoth Mart – I remember thinking “What an ironic juxtaposition - How incongruent!” (Actually, being 12 or 13 at the time, it was more along the lines of “Man, this is weird!”) I didn't buy the album.

Getting back to the storyline, the retail landscape grew bleak for many discount and variety chains in the early 1970’s. Interstate Stores (Topps and White Front), Arlan’s, and Grants, among others, got into financial trouble, leading to the eventual closure of those chains. The stagflation of the American economy caught many retailers flatfooted, especially those with older stores or less than stellar merchandising. Some chains did well, including Kmart on the national level, and local competitors Ames and Caldor. Unfortunately, Mammoth Mart ended up in the former category.

In June 1974, Mammoth Mart filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The ten “Boston Baby” stores were closed. Happily, (unlike many other chains) the company emerged from it six months later, and shortly thereafter resumed payments of dividends to its shareholders. In April 1977, a “secret suitor” made an offer to buy out the 51-store Mammoth Mart chain. The “secret suitor” was soon revealed to be King’s Department Stores, Inc., a Boston area discounter (ironically founded in 1956, the same year the first Mammoth Mart, and headquartered in Brockton, Mass, Mammoth Mart’s original corporate home) with 121 stores along the eastern seaboard. The deal was finalized in August 1977. Mammoth Mart was no more.

The next year, King’s was set to merge with W.R. Grace and Company, a firm best known for chemical production but had recently acquired a number of retailers – Herman’s World of Sporting Goods, Sheplers Western Wear and Handy City hardware, to name a few. The merger failed to go through, and King’s more or less faded away over the next few years, closing most of its stores, including several former Mammoth Marts. In August 1982, King’s parent company, KDT Industries, went bankrupt, selling its remaining 42 stores to Ames the following year.

Max Coffman, Mammoth Mart’s founder and early discounting pioneer, spent his post Mammoth Mart years in real estate ventures and philanthropy. Mr. Coffman passed away in 2005 at the age of 95.

The North Smithfield Mammoth Mart I referred to earlier was torn down around 1990 (the store, of course, had closed much earlier) along with the Star Market. A Super Stop and Shop was built in their place. The Burger Chef was torn down to make room for expanded parking. The Almacs across the street closed along with the rest of the chain in 1995. A Hollywood Video store and an Ocean State Job Lot (which is actually a very interesting store – I visited it for the first time last year) now occupy the building. Time sure marches on.

And as for “Marty”, the retired Mammoth Mart elephant mascot? Last I heard, he was living a quiet life at his place on the Cape.

The photos above, from a 1962 trade ad, show the brand-new 88,000 square foot Mammoth Mart in Brockton, Massachusetts. Mammoth Mart was headquartered in Brockton, “home of (champion boxer) Rocky Marciano”, as Max Coffman proudly told a UPI interviewer in 1965. The company’s HQ was later moved to nearby West Bridgewater. Here are a couple of links of interest - a list of the Mammoth Mart locations, and a nice photo of the Scarborough, Maine Mammoth Mart circa 1967.

41 comments:

  1. I remember the Mammoth Mart in Scarborough, Maine. Closest to Old Orchard Beach when my family spent our vacations. There was another one outside Portland as well. Great store to visit at the time. Rembembered when it was turned to Kings. And of course we do remember Marty as well.

    Thanks for the memories!

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  2. I always smile at all the names they had for store. Mammouth, Giant, Thrifty, Super, King, etc. And we believed it all. Great post.

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  3. Claude - Thanks, and glad it brought back some memories. I've stayed in Saco, near Old Orchard, a couple times in the last few years on business, and just for fun have walked around the beach and tourist areas in the evenings. The whole feel of the place is from a much earlier era of tourism. Very cool! And the place was packed -it seems every little beachfront motel was sold out. Reminded me a bit of the Wisconsin Dells when I was young.

    Richard - I guess exaggeration has become something of a lost art! Thanks.

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  4. Marty is a cutie! I like elephants best when they are all dressed up and on their best behavior.

    (Somehow, that just sounds better than “Mammoth” stockings, eh?)

    LOL! Fitting name for those women who like to squeeze into too small sizes.

    This was a great write up on Mammouth Mart which I have only heard the name occasionally over the past few years. Shame they lasted just a bit over twenty years though. I still think you should have jumped on the Yoko Ono record. Ha!

    Another thing, how long did Kentucky Beef last? Seems that I never heard that KFC had been trying to compete with Arby's. This is new to me.

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  5. I fondly remember Mammoth Mart (and the Kings transition). There was a Kentucky Beef next door to a Kentucky Fried Chicken stand in Chelsea, Mass. KFC is still there and the Kentucky Beef building is now a Chinese restaurant I believe.

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  6. A great old photo of Kentucky Beef can be found at Groceteria

    http://www.groceteria.com/board/viewtopic.php?f=31&p=13505

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  7. And a color versian of the same location here:

    http://content.lib.washington.edu/cgi-bin/viewer.exe?CISOROOT=/imlseastside&CISOPTR=763

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  8. Whoa, okay...

    "In 1959, the second Mammoth Mart was opened in Bangor, Maine"

    Really?

    I did not know this! I had vaguely heard of Mammoth Mart, but I certainly had no idea that one of its stores was right here in my city...so where was it, I wonder?

    Very interesting!!

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  9. Didi- That color photo of the Kentucky Beef place is exactly as I remember it! It had a sort of "elegant" look, though that word's an oxymoron in the world of fast food architecture. I don't really remember the food, though it must've been decent since we ate there several times, and my Gram didn't suffer lousy food gladly!

    The Yoko album is on CD now, but I think I'll still pass! Tell you what, if they reopen Mammoth Mart, I'll be sure to pick it up!

    Larry - I don't remember any of the Kentucky Beef restaurants in Chicago - maybe they thought the concept would fly better in New England. Interesting coincidence on the pairing (or maybe a real estate package deal).

    Kendra - I don't have the address (sorry!), but I know it was a downtown location while most Mammoth Marts were in suburban strip malls. I do know that the Bangor unit closed in 1974.

    They had opened a more typical shopping center location in Orono in 1971 at the University Mall that I'm pretty sure became a King's when the chain sold out, then later on an Ames. (And now is something else, I'm sure!)

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  10. I worked at Mammoth Mart in North haven ct in the mid 70's. I left in 78 but it was Kings then. The old store building is still there but part of a hugh complex that makes medical equipment. They make syringe needles in the old MM building today/ Marty the elephant was on our paychecks. When i left i was making 3.35/hr. Got a job with the power company making 4.65/hrthought I was rich! Still with the power co 31 years later. I think i made the right choice leaving Kings what say?

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  11. Anonymous - I'd have to say you made the right choice. $4.65/hr was good money in those days. I'll bet those paychecks with Marty the Elephant on them were cool-looking, though!

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  12. I am the grandson of MM co-founder and partner Henry Gornstein. Thank you for the memories of a great store and a great time. Although my grandfather was only briefly mentioned in your story, his role should not be underscored, along with his partner, Max. They were brave and wonderful men in those days and success followed them. Of course, I have many "Marty" momentos to remember those times. Fun times.

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  13. Chad - It's great to hear from you and I'm glad you liked the post! I'm sorry not to have featured Mr. Gornstein more prominently, but it seems most articles I found in researching focused more on Mr. Coffman's involvement. Thanks for bringing that to my attention, and you are justifiably proud of your grandfather's fine achievements. They were great stores! I'd love to be able to contact you with some questions if you wouldn't mind. I can be reached at the email address in the profile section. Thanks very much, again!

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  14. There was also a Mammoth Mart in Presque Isle Maine, so I guess Maine had three stores?

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  15. Me again- we never got rich at Mammoth Mart but we sure had a good time in the North Haven Store. On day the managers had to go to a meetin at the head office and they put me in charge of the store. someone asked me if I could do something with the Musak system and put some different music on so... I got an 8 track player (im dating myself here) and hooked it up to the stores speaker system. Then I got a 'Wild Cherry" 8 track and we were playing that Funky Music" among others all day. Then...

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  16. A week or so later the store manager called me in the office and asked when he was at the meeting if there was a "deviation' from the normal store music while he and the asst manager were up in Mass. "well, uh. er uh Mr Hourihan I uh" Before you answer said he I got a letter from the President of the company who got a letter from an old lady who did not like shopping to the song, Play that F---ing Music! Of course I had to tell the truth. He tried to keep a striaght face and scolded me a bit but when I left his office I heard him start cracking up! Geeze, that was in late 1977 just before we became a Kings Store

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  17. For a while I was the store "Dick Tracy"in the north haven cT mm Store Id gluequarters tothefloor and watch(through the one way mirrors) the antics of those that tried to pick them up ie looking around to see if anyone was looking at them and trying to be discreet.Never laughed so hard. another one was to find a torn bill of some denomination and place it just a little under one of the remote cash registers, just enough to make look like a full bill with most of it hidden under the register- another laugh just to watch what different folks would do! One more was to be looking through the one way mirror into the toy department when the kids were tearing everything apart and yelling at them and have them freeze, and look isle by isle to find out where the voice was coming from. Despite my foolish behavior I did catch my share of shoplifters

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  18. Gary24fan - There were actually 13 Mammoth Marts in Maine at one time - a comprehensive location list can be found here:

    http://sites.google.com/site/zayre88/Mammothmart

    Anonymous - Thanks for sharing those great (and hilarious) memories of working at Mammoth Mart! Too cool!

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  19. Thanks for such a great, well-researched article on Mammoth Mart. I grew up in Amesbury in the 1960s and '70s, and my parents shopped extensively at the Mammoth Mart in neighboring Salisbury, Mass. Nearly all of my toys came from there, as did most of my clothes as a kid. They were located in the Crossroads Plaza, right over the Amesbury/Salisbury town line. There was also a First National Supermarket and some other smaller stores in the plaza, along with a freestanding Col. Sanders. My mother later worked for them after they became King's, around 1978 or so, managing the housewares/domestics department. She remained there for about four years, through around 1982.

    There was something strangely endearing about these stores, that is simply not the case nowadays with the 2010's equivalents, Wal-Mart, Target and K-mart, which are larger, much more corporate and simply don't have the "charm" of these early discounters.

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  20. Anonymous - Thanks so much for that compliment. It's a fun subject to write about, and I do try.

    Mammoth Mart was always a favorite of mine, and I agree that they (and other stores of the era) had an endearing quality you just don't find today. Thanks again!

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  21. Your list of Mammoth Marts in Massachusetts is missing one. There was a Mammoth Mart on Route 140 in Foxboro Massachusetts that they shared with an Almacs and a Radio Shack. Today the Mammoth Mart building is empty and the Almacs is gone replaced by an Ocean State Job lot. Also I remember their jingle it was "Play it Smart, Shop Mammoth Mart"

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  22. Mylo – Thanks for the info about the Foxboro location. And I loved Almacs – shopped there every summer with the grandparents in R.I. back in the seventies. The location we shopped at, Woonsocket, RI, is now an Ocean State Job Lot as well.

    Oh – and as much AM radio as we listened to, I’m surprised I never heard the Mammoth Mart jingle – thanks again!

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  23. There was a Mammoth Mart in North Smithfield Rhode Island when I was a kid and it did have an awesome record department. Best thing I got there was a Leader of the Pack 45 by the Shangrila's and it was waaaaay after the song would have been popular.

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  24. Are there websites for former employees of Mammoth Mart...I worked for about 6 years in Henderson, N.C. and 'it's a small world'....i am now located in MA...would like to try to connect....

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  25. Thank you so much for this walk down memory lane. I used to work at the Walmart when I was a teenager. My first job in 1971. First I worked in the women's department and then as a cashier. I remember working the cash register at Christmas and my tape would run out and there would be a lady yelling at me "you need to get one of those managas to change that faw yah so the line can go fastah."

    I remember a polyester top (fully fashioned) was $2.99 and skirts were $4.99. I can't remember what the Princess Anne nylons were. I think my pay was $1.85 an hour something like that.

    I had such good memories and when I walk into a Walmart I think of Mammoth Mart. It is not quite the same.

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  26. Ooops, I said I worked at Walmart and meant to say I worked at Mammoth Mart.

    I remember hearing the flip flops of the customers in the summer coming from the beach and how it would get very busy on rainy days.

    Appreciate the history of Marty and Mammoth. I always thought that Sam Walton must have based his ideas on Mammoth Mart and now the evidence is there.

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  27. My Grandfather was Henry Gornstein and together with my cousin Max, they did great things. Mammoth Mart was their baby and they did a great job in their time being the only ones able to do it. True retail pioneers.
    Todd M. Gornstein

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  28. I worked at Mammoth Mart in Canton, Mass in the early '70's. I remember one night a group of men in long black coats and black hats came into the store. One asked me to cash a check for him, but he didn't have the correct credentials. I refused. It got very, very quiet in the front of the store. My manager came and told me to cash the check. Turns out, it was one of the owners himself!! I thought I was fired, but I was on the schedule the next week.

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  29. Todd – Great to hear from you! I wholeheartedly agree - they were true retail pioneers. And their stores were fun to shop, which makes the memories even fonder. Thanks again!

    Anonymous – Hey, you were just doing your job! I have a feeling he appreciated your looking out for the company’s interest, whether he expressed it or not! ;)

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  30. my great grandfather, Max Coffman, was an exceptional man. He new what he was doing with his life at a young age. We use too spend alot of time together in his home in Hollywood, FL. He was an awesome great grandfather and he has inspired me to take on the family values at a very young age. RIP papa MAx, you are missed everyday <3

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  31. I recently found out that a home that I will be moving into was once owned by Max Coffman.Its an amazing home with most of its original features. It was built in the late fifties, I think, and it was state-of-the-art. Most of the original appliances still work as if they were brand new.

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  32. When I was a young boy of 5-6 I used to go to the MM in New Bern NC. Me and my friends would cut through a path in wooded area behind our neighborhood and come out beside the parking lot. I remember there was a "Big Star" grocery store next door. We would play the pinball machines at the front of the store. (Only a dime) and sometimes get icees and popcorn from the snack bar at the front of the store. Thanks for the memories. I found your site after seeing Marty hanging on the wall on an episode of American Pickets.

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  33. There was a Mammoth Mart in Brunswick,ME too.

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  34. Again, thanks for the memories! The Mammoth Mart in Johnston RI was a godsend, as there weren't any other stores around and we had to go to Providence to shop. I bought a Frankie Valli and the 4 seasons album there that apparently was very rare..they tried Country Western...and 30 years later sold it at a yard sale after my mom passed away. The snack bar was great, and once I got my license, I had to take my 2 younger brothers there at least twice a week.

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  35. I worked for MMI for several years starting by cleaning the West Bridgewater offices after school. From there I went to Canton#19. I went on to work at East Providence briefly then to Marlboro (some time in both stores there). I went back to Canton and then Brockton until I changed careers. We were like gypsies but we were young and enjoyed it. I met some wonderful people and made some life long friends including my first wife. Thanks for the article, it was enjoyable. Still have that mad crush on Maureen S. from the Brockton store and I voted for Todd Gornstein on merit alone. Being Henrys family is a bonus.

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  36. Dave, one of my first jobs was with Mammoth Mart. I was hired to be the Electronics Dept. Lead Clerk (there was no "department manager") for the opening of a new store in the Putnam Plaza on Route 6 in Mahopac, NY. My only previous retail experience was as an assistant manager with Fayva Shoes, a job I took straight out of college and where I worked for about six months the previous year. I walked in to the still-unfinished store, where an employment table was set up at the front. Sheldon Silverstein, the new store manager, seemed to be thrilled to find somebody with any retail management experience at all and hired me on the spot. Two other guys and I spent a week carpooling up to Kingston, NY to be trained in the store there. What I didn't know at the time was anything at all about Mammoth Mart, because I'd never even heard of them. The Kingston store was old style, with the Marty mascot on the sign, but the new store was completely different: a modern, sans-serif rounded font with no capital letters was the new store logo and sign, and the interior was all cream colored with brown accents. Once we got back, we spent another week or two setting up the merchandise before the Grand Opening. Mr. Silverstein was a rotund, jovial guy who had come down from Massachusetts; his two assistant managers, Mr. Watring and Mr. Horrigan, as well as the whole set up crew seemed to be from Maine and other points north. It was an exciting time, but the timing couldn't have been worse: our opening was in August 1977 - which, in your account above, is the exact month when "Mammoth Mart was no more."

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  37. Anyway, we didn't find out about the sale until some time later, when there were rumors circulating that the company had been sold to King's. In the meantime, I was in charge of a department that included portable TVs, cameras, clock-radios, records, and two new and hot selling items: CB radios and video games. The video games were basically Pong-type early Ataris and a couple of other brands, and the CB radios sold like hotcakes and were returned just as quickly, because they were all apparently defective. The TVs turned out to be a pain in the ass because people also kept bringing them back to be serviced (imagine that today!) and I had to schlepp them over to a local TV repair outfit with which I set up a contract. (We also had one of those TV tube testers and stocked replacements.) My fondest memory is of the time a man wanted to buy a video game for his kids. He had an odd accent, and I spent a lot of time showing him the various games and after he'd decided on one, he gave me his credit card, and he turned out to be Jan Hammer -- and he was dumbstruck that I knew who he was. (He was, for those too young to remember, the composer of the Miami Vice theme and former keyboardist for John McLaughlin's Mahavishnu Orchestra.) He lived in nearby Kent. Oh, and that record department of which you were so fond? It was actually run by Pickwick International. A guy named Harley would come in once every week or two to restock and merchandise it.

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  38. To bring this tale to a sad end, within six months King's came in, fired Mr. Silverstein (who promptly got a job with Caldor and told me "when you're ready, come join me, I'll have a spot for you" -- which he did), brought in their own people and began ripping the place apart. (Silverstein lamented, "That was a beautiful store - look what they've done to it!) "Electronics" per se did not exist in King's; I was moved to, of all places, Domestics, where I was made Department Manager of something I knew absolutely nothing about. Luckily I had a full-time employee who did, but did not want to be a manager for some reason, and she helped keep me sane -- but I spent a couple of months feeling like I was drowning under huge cases of Mammoth Mart brand yarn that did not match the King's yarn in the sale circulars, and Mammoth Mart brand curtains that did not match the... well, you get the picture. The new King's store manager sneered at me a lot, told me he thought I was "hen-pecked" and when I finally had enough and told him I was leaving (and he guessed I was going to Caldor), he sneered some more and told me that I was making a big mistake because Caldor managers were nothing but "key carriers". Within four years, I was working in Caldor's main buying office, and King's was out of business.

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  39. A small correction to my post above: Mammoth Mart / King's was located in the Putnam Square shopping center, on Route 6 on the Mahopac-Baldwin Place border, NOT the Putnam Plaza shopping center, which is in Carmel. But there was another King's in Putnam Plaza! It was originally a Barker's, then King's, then Ames, and is now a Hannaford supermarket. The former Mammoth Mart / King's in Putnam Square where I worked is now an A&P Fresh Market.

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  40. Great memories of Mammoth Mart. Worked at North Haven, Ct, Marlboro, Ma and Waldorf, Md. Remembered transferring a bunch of trash shoes to Waldorf, only to be greeted by it when I was transferred there.

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  41. We used to shop at the Mammoth Mart in the Gansett Shopping Center in E. Providence, RI, next door to the old Narragansett Horse Racing Track. I worked at the Star Market in the same shopping plaza, and spent many a lunch break leafing through Mammoth Mart's record bins. Got a rare Yardbirds album for $1 (worth about $200 today). Thanks Marty!

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