J.G. McCrory's or McCrory Stores was a chain of five and dime stores in the United States based in York, Pennsylvania. The stores typically sold shoes, clothing, housewares, fabrics, penny candy, toys, cosmetics, and often included a lunch counter or snack bar. They also exclusively sold Oriole Records, one of the most popular 'dime store labels' from 1921 to 1938.
John Graham McCrorey
John Graham McCrorey opened his first store in Scottdale, Pennsylvania, in 1882. By 1885, the chain had five stores in Pennsylvania. Born with the last name "McCrorey", the owner legally changed his name, dropping the e, to save money by not paying the cost of the extra letter in store signs. These first stores made up the McCrory Stores Corporation, and went bankrupt. J. G. McCrory then began again with McCrory Stores.
One of the early investors was Sebastian Spering Kresge, who later founded the S.S. Kresge chain, which became Kmart. In 1899, Kresge traded his interest in the McCrory's Memphis store for McCrory's interest in the Detroit, Michigan, store, giving him control there.
Of note, in 1987, the Kmart Corporation, which formerly was the S.S Kresge Corp, sold its remaining Kresge and Jupiter stores in the United States to McCrory Stores.
At its height, McCrory's operated 1,300 stores under its own name as well as TG&Y, McLellan (merged in 1958), H.L. Green, Silvers, G.C. Murphy, J.J. Newberry and Otasco, which it had acquired through the years. McCrory's parent Rapid-American also owned Lerner Stores and National Shirt (acquired by McCrory's in 1960).
Meshulam Riklis purchased McCrory's in 1960, and moved its headquarters to Springettsbury Township, York County, Pennsylvania, in 1963. At the time it was the fourth largest retailer in the United States. Riklis controlled McCrory's through the Rapid-American holding company, which was managed by Samuel Neaman. Riklis' famed sleight of hand, shifting assets between notable brand name successful companies and holding companies is best exemplified by his handling of McCrory Stores, driving the brand name into bankruptcy while keeping the assets. Among the retailers controlled by McCrory's at the time were Best & Co., Lerner Shops, and S. Klein.
The decline of the five and dime
In 1986 it purchased the 76 remaining Kresge and Jupiter stores from Kmart, reuniting the companies.
It was at this time controlled by E-II Holdings, Inc., which also owned Elmore, Britts, and Kittinger and Bargain Time. E-II Holdings was a group of jilted Riklis investors, seizing old Riklis properties trying to recoup their losses.
As of 1989 they had some 1300 stores. In 1991 they closed 229 of 1000 remaining stores. The chain filed for bankruptcy in 1992. In 1997 it closed 300 of 460 remaining stores.
In the late 1990s, it converted some stores to the Dollar Zone format of dollar store, but these ultimately closed as well, in early 2002. McCrory had only 200 remaining stores in December 2001, when the company announced that all stores would be shuttered permanently by February 2002. Stores were then operating under the TG&Y, McCrory, G. C. Murphy and Newberry's names.
- "A Kresge-McCrory Reunion". New York Times. April 4, 1887. Retrieved 2010-12-14. "Mr. McCrory preceded Mr. Kresge in the industry, opening his first store in Scottdale, Pa., in 1882. Three years later, he was operating five stores in the state. Born John Graham McCrorey, he was so thrifty he legally changed his name, dropping the e, because he did not want to pay the cost of the extra initial in the gilt letters on his store signs. ..."
- O'Dell, Larry. "OTASCO". Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and History. Oklahoma State University Library. Retrieved 2012-01-28.
- "Local Dollar Zone stores shuttered". Dayton Business Journal. December 19, 2001. Retrieved 2009-06-03.
- "Say goodbye to TG&Y". The Journal Record (Oklahoma City). December 3, 2001.
- Isadore Barmash (1976). For the Good of the Company: The History of the McCrory Corporation. ISBN 1-58798-215-3.