Forbes & Wallace

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Forbes & Wallace
Industry Retail
Founded 1874
Defunct 1976
Headquarters Springfield, Massachusetts
Products Clothing, footwear, bedding, furniture, jewelry, beauty products, and housewares.
Website None

Forbes and Wallace was an American department store chain based in Springfield, Massachusetts.

History[edit]

Early years[edit]

The Forbes and Wallace Store was constructed by partners Alexander B. Forbes and Andrew Brabner Wallace in 1873 at the corner of Main and Vernon Streets, Springfield, Massachusetts. In 1896 Forbes retired and Wallace became sole proprietor.

In 1905 the Store consisted of eight floors and had grown into a complex of six buildings, taking up the entire city block. Forbes & Wallace was considered Springfield's leading retail establishment.

Expansion[edit]

In the 1940s through the early 1970s, Forbes & Wallace also ran several other department stores in Massachusetts and New York State under their original nameplates. In Massachusetts, stores were operated in nearby Holyoke as McCauslan Waklen, and in Northampton as McCallum's. McCallum's former location is now the site of the successful indoor Thorne's Marketplace, which took over the vacant space in the late 1970s. The Boston Store in downtown North Adams, MA was also part of the Forbes & Wallace chain. In New York State, Wallace's department store in downtown Schenectady, NY, with branches in Kingston and Poughkeepsie, NY was also operated by Forbes & Wallace until it closed in 1975.

Forbes & Wallace also operated 60,000-square-foot (5,600 m2) store at Fairfield Mall, now the site of Home Depot, in Chicopee, MA. Forbes & Wallace and the now-defunct Two Guys were the low-rent mall's two anchor stores. The Forbes & Wallace at Fairfield Mall was closed in the mid-seventies, replaced by now-defunct Caldor. Two Guys, at the opposite end of the mall, also closed and it was replaced by now-defunct Bradlees.

The mall, then faced with competition from the new and massive Holyoke Mall at Ingleside, went into a long period of decline, and was closed and eventually torn down around 2002 after being shuttered for several years. The site is now a successful plaza featuring Home Depot, Staples, Sleepy's, a party shop and some other stores, anchored on the Bradlees side of the old mall with a Wal-Mart Super Center and ringed by Friendly's, Applebee's and a 99.

Forbes & Wallace also had branch stores at the Eastfield Mall in Springfield, MA and opened a small store at the Manchester Parkade in Manchester, CT. The Eastfield Mall location served Springfield's affluent eastern and southeastern suburban areas and was a very popular shopping destination. The Manchester, CT location was not as successful, as it was located in a small shopping center some distance from Forbes & Wallace's normal trading area, and it competed unsuccessfully was the established Hartford, CT department stores G.Fox & Co. and Sage-Allen Co.

After the demise of Worcester, MA-based Denholm & McKay Company in 1973, Forbes & Wallace briefly operated a store at the Auburn Mall in Auburn, MA in the former Denholm's location.

Closing[edit]

In 1970, it had a skywalk connecting it to the new 30 story Bay State West. Bay State West had a retail court which was also connected to Springfield's other leading private department store, Steiger's. 1976 the Store was closed and the buildings remained vacant until demolition in 1982.

In 1987 The Monarch Place was constructed on this site. The only surviving independent department store in western Massachusetts of that era is Wilson's in Greenfield, MA, 40 miles (64 km) north of Springfield. I

References[edit]