List of defunct retailers of the United States

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For defunct restaurants and department (and variety) stores that were formerly a part of this list, please see List of defunct restaurants of the United States and List of defunct department stores of the United States respectively.

Across the United States, a large number of local stores and store chains that started between the 1920s and 1950s have become defunct since the late 1960s, when many chains were either consolidated or liquidated. Some have been lost due to mergers.

Below is a list of defunct retailers of the United States.

Automotive[edit]

Camping, sports or athletic stores[edit]

Catalog showrooms[edit]

Clothing, shoe and specialty stores[edit]

  • Anchor Blue – Youth-oriented mall chain, founded in 1972 as Miller's Outpost. The brand had 150 stores at its peak, predominantly on the West Coast. Anchor Blue declared bankruptcy in 2009 and shuttered more than 50 stores, and gradually shrank to include stores solely in California. It went bankrupt once more in 2011, with the remaining stores closed before Easter of that year.[45]
  • Anderson-Little – men's specialty retailer originally associated with a large Massachusetts-based men's clothing manufacturer; also known as Anderson Little-Richman Brothers; owned for many years by F. W. Woolworth Company. Ceased operations in 1998,[46][47][48][49][50][51] revived as a small online retailer in 2008.[46]
  • Chess King – sold to Merry-Go-Round in 1993; liquidated along with that chain in 1995
  • County Seat – Founded in 1973, the denim-focused mall retailer expanded in the 1980s to nearly 500 stores. It filed for bankruptcy in 1996 and shuttered stores, and another bankruptcy in 1999 put the company out of business.[52]
  • DEB – Closed its stores in 2015, and returned later that year as an online-only retailer selling plus-size clothing
  • Delia's – founded in 1993 as a juniors' clothing catalog, Delia's (stylized as dEliA*s) expanded to more than 100 physical locations before cheaper competitors sent it to bankruptcy in 2014.[53] Reopened in 2015 as an online retailer.
  • Edison Brothers Stores – operator of numerous shoe and clothing chains, including Bakers Shoes, Wild Pair, J. Riggings, Oaktree, Foxmoor and Fashion Conspiracy. Company was liquidated in 1999, though some chains it operated, including Bakers, have survived.
  • Fashion Bug – plus-size women's clothing retailer that once spanned more than 1000 stores. Parent company Charming Shoppes, which owned other plus-size retailers including Lane Bryant, shuttered the brand in early 2013.
  • Gadzooks – Founded in 1983 as a T-shirt store, Gadzooks grew to a 250-store mall fashion retailer before making an ill-advised decision to discontinue menswear. The company was purchased by competitor Forever 21 out of bankruptcy in 2005, with its stores either closed or converted to F21 formats.
  • Gottschalks – Founded in 1904, this middle-market regional department store was once the largest independently owned, publicly traded department store in the United States. Bankruptcy claimed the brand in 2009.[54]
  • Harold's – Founded in 1948 in Norman, Oklahoma, and liquidated through bankruptcy in 2008.[55]
  • J. Brannam – a unit of the F. W. Woolworth Company established in 1979 that operated primarily in the southern U.S.;[56] closed in 1985[57]
  • Jay Jacobs – Seattle-based clothier founded in 1941 and closed in 1999
  • Kids "R" Us – A division of Toys "R" Us, created in 1983 to sell children's and preteen clothing; it folded in 2003.
  • Kinney Shoes – manufacturer and retailer established in 1894 and purchased by F.W. Woolworth in 1963
  • Kleinhans – a men's clothier in Buffalo, New York that operated from 1893 until 1992
  • Klopfenstein's – a men's clothier in the Seattle-Tacoma area founded in 1918 and in operation until 1992[58]
  • Martin + Osa – Established in 2006 as the more mature counterpart to American Eagle Outfitters, the chain grew to 28 stores before millions in losses forced its parent company to discontinue it. The brand's stores and e-commerce site disappeared in 2010.
  • Merry-Go-Round – The precursor to today's "Fast-Fashion" brands, Merry-Go-Round had more than 500 locations during its heyday in the 1980s. It went bankrupt in 1995.[59]
  • Mervyn's – A California-based regional department store founded in 1949. Mervyn's ill-fated expansion out of West Coast markets in the months before a recession sent the company into bankruptcy in 2008.[60][61]
  • Raleigh's – also known as Raleigh Haberdasher, was a men's and women's clothing store in Washington, D.C. from 1911 to 1992
  • Robert Hall – Clothing store that existed from 1938 to 1977. At its peak, the store had locations in both New York City and Los Angeles. In addition, the firm invented the big box concept where all non-clothing lines were leased by other retailers.[citation needed]
  • Rogers Peet – New York City based men's clothing retailer established in late 1874. Among the chain's innovations: Rogers Peet showed actual merchandise in their advertising, advertised fabric types on merchandise, and put price tags on merchandise. The chain went belly-up in 1981.[citation needed]
  • Roos/Atkins – a San Francisco menswear retailer formed in 1957 and expanded throughout the Bay Area in the 60s. The brand went into decline in the 1980s and ceased operations by 1995.
  • Ruehl No.925 – concept brand launched by Abercrombie & Fitch in 2004; poor sales and operating losses led to A&F ceasing operations of Ruehl in early 2010.
  • Sagebrush – Casual wear retailer operated by Meijer from the mid 1970s until it was sold off in 1988.[citation needed]
  • The Sample – Western New York based retailer founded in Buffalo in 1928 when its founder brought a sample set of 48 dresses back from New York City. At its peak, the retailer was noted for its semi-annual clearance known as the Pup Sale. The demise of The Sample was in 1991 following the death of the chain's chairman a year earlier.[citation needed]
  • Sibley's Shoes – Was a show retailer founded by Harry Rosenfield in 1920. Sibley's had locations in Michigan and Ohio and closed in 2003 when the company's executives decided to not save the company.[citation needed]
  • Thom McAn – Shoe retailer founded in 1922 and had over 1,400 stores at its peak in the 1960s. In 1996, the parent company decided to close all remaining stores, but Thom McAn footwear is available in Kmart stores.[62]
  • Today's Man – A men's suiting store that began in the 1970s and expanded rapidly in the 1980s and 90s. Overexpansion brought the brand to bankruptcy in 1996.[63]
  • Warner Brothers Studio Store – Meant to be the WB answer to the rapidly growing Disney Store, the Warner Bros. Studio Stores sold collectibles and apparel based around WB properties including Looney Tunes and DC Comics. The Studio Stores were a victim of the AOL-Time Warner merger, and shuttered operations in 2001.[64]
  • Yellow Front Stores – Founded in the 1950s as an army surplus store, Yellow Front transitioned to become a camping gear retailer before going bankrupt in 1990.

Department and discount stores[edit]

Drug stores[edit]

A–M[edit]

N–Z[edit]

Electronics stores[edit]

Five-and-dime; variety stores[edit]

Furniture stores[edit]

Grocery stores and supermarkets[edit]

A–M[edit]

N–Z[edit]

Home decor and craft stores[edit]

Home improvement[edit]

Music, booksellers, and video stores (records, tapes, books, CDs, DVDs, etc.)[edit]

A–M[edit]

N–Z[edit]

Jewelers[edit]

Office-supply stores[edit]

Toy stores[edit]

Video games and personal computing software[edit]

Warehouse clubs and membership department stores[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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  164. ^ "New Discount Setup For Government Help Is Opened in Denver". Women's Wear Daily. 92 (114). June 12, 1956. p. 16. G.E.M., Government Employees Mutual, Denver's first large discount house, carrying both hard and soft lines opened here at 5200 Smith Road. Shopping at the new firm will be restricted to city, county, State and Federal employees and military personnel.  Link via ProQuest.
  165. ^ Levy, Claudia (January 15, 1974). "7 Stores Of G.E.M. To Close: 1 in Richmond Also Included In Decision". Washington Post. p. D7. (subscription required (help)). The parent Parkview-Gem, Inc., of Kansas City, Mo., is being reorganized under a section of the Bankruptcy Act. The nationwide discount chain has incurred loses for several years, and has closed 35 stores during the past year.  Alternate Link via ProQuest.
  166. ^ "Supermarket, Department Store to 'Wed'". Los Angeles Times. December 29, 1960. p. B10. (subscription required (help)).  Alternate Link via ProQuest.
  167. ^ Gellene, Denise (October 10, 1986). "Lucky to Close Gemco, Sell Most Stores to Dayton Hudson". Los Angeles Times. 
  168. ^ Uzelac, Ellen (February 1, 1985). "Warehouse chain to open 8 PACE outlets in region". Baltimore Sun. p. 9B. PACE opened its first warehouse in Denver in 1983 and added five others in Atlanta, Denver, Charlotte, N.C., and Tampa and St. Petersburg, Fla., last fall.  Alternate Link via ProQuest.
  169. ^ "PACE's Growth Strategies". Discount Merchandiser. 25 (1). January 1985. p. 72. PACE Membership Warehouse (Denver, Colorado) opened its first warehouse club in the summer of 1983, and by the end of last year, 6 PACE units had opened.  Link via ProQuest.
  170. ^ "K mart to Pay $322 Million for Pace Warehouse Inc.". Los Angeles Times. October 17, 1989. 
  171. ^ Barmash, Isadore (October 17, 1989). "K Mart to Purchase Pace Warehouse Clubs". New York Times. 
  172. ^ "Wal-mart Stores Unit to Buy 91 Pace Warehouse Locations". Deseret News. November 3, 1993. 
  173. ^ Strom, Stephanie (November 3, 1993). "Wal-Mart Stores to Buy PACE Warehouse Clubs". New York Times. 
  174. ^ White, George & Kraul, Chris (June 17, 1993). "Price Co., Costco Warehouse Stores to Merge". Los Angeles Times. 
  175. ^ Bryant, Adam (June 17, 1993). "Costco Set To Merge With Price". New York Times.