Barker's Discount Department Stores
Barkers Discount Department Stores was a chain of department stores located in the United States and the Caribbean. Originally, they were owned by Franklin Stores Corporation (Bronx,NY), then sold to Cornwall Equities, LTD. Barkers were located in two separate areas of the continental United States, the northeast and the south central. Locations in the northeast US were in Connecticut, New York, and New Jersey, while locations in the south central US were Texas and Louisiana, primarily the New Orleans area. Barkers locations in the Caribbean were in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.
Barkers had a distribution center in Brooklyn, NY. They invested heavily in imports which they purchased directly from manufacturers, which played a major role in their discounting plans. They made use of import distributors domestically, as well as direct buying from overseas. Barkers belief was that to offer discounts, they must offer a wide variety of brand names, private brands, imports and domestic labels. Barkers layout was mostly the same as other retailers. They had departments featuring furniture, electrical, hardware, clothing, health and beauty aids, records, books, TV's, camera's, automotive, camping, bicycles, garden, etc.
"Live Better For Less... Of Course"
The Wallingford, Connecticut slogan was "Pay Less For The Best."
Barker's Discount Department Stores was started February 1, 1961. At this time, Franklin Stores Corporation acquired all outstanding stock of Barker's Inc. Barker's Inc. was an operator of two discount department stores in the state of Connecticut. With this purchase, Barker's began a period of 19 years in business. Between 1961 and 1970, Barker's would open over 11 more stores. From 1970 to 1975, Barker's would become one of the nations fastest growing retail chains in the United States, opening almost 20 stores alone in New York State. In 1976, Barkers would open up several former W.T. Grant store locations in central New York.
After years of prosperity, Barkers was on its downfall, along with several other major retailers. King's Department Stores Inc. (later renamed KDT Industries, Inc) acquired the financially ailing Barkers for $30 million in August 1980. Included in this deal was the 125 Franklin Store chain, a women's specialty shop retailer. Barker's stores retained their name until early 1981, when most Barker's were renamed King's. Barker's stores not purchased by King's were either closed or sold to other retailers. At the time of this purchase, Barker's operated 63 stores. Only the stores in Louisiana, Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands retained the Barker's name. KDT Industries, under a reorganization plan, would finally close all Louisiana Barker's stores on October 24, 1982.
- "Buying Agents Note 1st Rise Since August". Yonkers NY Herald Statesman. 1961.