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Variety store
FateAcquired by Ames
HeadquartersRochester, New York, United States
Key people
Abraham and Joseph Neisner, Founders
Neisner Brothers
Big N

Neisner's or Neisner Brothers was a chain of variety stores in North America.


The brothers Abraham and Joseph Neisner opened their first variety store in Rochester, New York in 1911. They incorporated the company in New York in 1916, by which time they had five stores, selling merchandise from 5 cents to one dollar.[1] The company acquired a large interest in British Home Stores, a chain of similar stores in the United Kingdom in 1929, but sold its interest in the late 1930s.[1]

The company prospered during the Depression, and by 1935, Neisner's had 103 stores in 63 cities in 16 states.[2]

Abraham Neisner died in 1933, whilst travelling aboard the SS Rex. Neisner's was later headed by Joseph's son Fred Neisner, who became chairman of the board, with Abraham's son Melvin Neisner, as company president.[3]

During the 1960s and 70's the company created the Big N division, a format which resembled the big box stores of today. These were located primarily in New York and several northeastern states.

Neisner's petitioned for bankruptcy protection on 1 December 1977[4] and the Ames Department Stores acquired the chain in November 1978.[5]


  1. ^ a b "Neisner Brothers, Inc". Baker Library Lehman Brothers Collection. Retrieved 2014-02-06.
  2. ^ Elvins, Sarah (28 May 2004). Sales and Celebrations: Retailing and Regional Identity in Western New York. Ohio University Press. p. 147. ISBN 0821415492.
  3. ^ Drew-Bear, Robert (1970). Mass Merchandising; Revolution and Evolution. Fairchild Publishing. p. 210.
  4. ^ Greater Buffalo Press v. Federal Reserve Bank of New York, U.S. F.2d 38 (2nd Circuit 18 January 1989).
  5. ^ "Ames Department Stores, Inc. History". Funding Universe. Retrieved 2014-02-06.

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