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Department store
Founded1883 Chicago, Illinois
Defunct1987 (all stores have closed)
HeadquartersChicago, Illinois
ProductsClothing, footwear, bedding, furniture, jewelry, beauty products, home electronics, small appliances and housewares

Wieboldt Stores, Inc., also known as Wieboldt's, did business as a Chicago general retailer between 1883 and 1987. It was founded in 1883 by storekeeper William A. Wieboldt. The flagship location was at One North State Street Store in Chicago.[citation needed]


Wieboldt's operated five Chicago neighborhood stores at Madison Street and Ashland Avenue, Milwaukee Avenue and Paulina Street, Lincoln and Belmont Avenues, Halsted and 63rd Streets, and one at State and Lake Streets in downtown Chicago They also had several suburban stores including locations in Evanston, Lombard, Norridge, Carpentersville (Meadowdale), Matteson (Lincoln Mall), Waukegan (Lakehurst Mall) and Oak Park, Illinois .[1] In 1961, Wieboldt's acquired the failed Mandel Brothers store on State Street as well as a smaller branch store in Lincoln Village shopping center. By the 1970s Wieboldt's operated more than 15 stores in the Chicago area.[citation needed]

Wieboldt's was known for their unpretentious merchandise and multilingual sales staff; the stores were especially popular among ethnic, working-class shoppers who could not afford or did not like to shop at the big downtown department stores.

The company celebrated 100 years in business in April 1983. An advertisement in the Chicago Sun-Times stated "Building for a New Tomorrow". "An important part of Chicago's past, we look to the future with confidence and enthusiasm. The dream of yesterday is the promise of tomorrow. Chicago, Wieboldt's. Tomorrow begins today."[2]

During the 1980s the chain had trouble staying profitable, eventually leading the company into bankruptcy in 1987. The chain never recovered and all the stores closed.


Wieboldt's was known for giving S&H Green Stamps with purchases, and there were redemption centers located in their stores. The State Street location included a particularly large redemption center. Customers would choose items based on the number of stamps redeemed. In the 1940s and 1950s, and then again in the mid-80s, they sponsored a broadcast program featuring The Cinnamon Bear: stories of how Cinnamon Bear takes his young friends on a trip to maybe land in search of the Silver Star. A stuffed teddy bear version could be purchased from the stores for $2.98 in the 1950s, and Santa would give out free Cinnamon Bear buttons to children visiting Santa. The program was first produced by Glen Heisch and Elizabeth Heisch in 1937 in Hollywood and syndicated around the country.[3] Wieboldt's had a number of memorable radio ads on radio during Chicago Cubs games in the early 1960s, featuring announcers Jack Quinlan and Lou Boudreau. Some of them can be heard at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tgHwHsA6YiQ.


  • "Where You Buy With Confidence"
  • "The Values Speak For Themselves"


  1. ^ Christmas on State St. ISBN 0-7385-1972-3 Original four locations and merger with Mandel Bros. Store
  2. ^ Chicago Sun-Times, March 13, 1983.
  3. ^ Christmas on State St. ISBN 0-7385-1972-3 - WENR, WGN Cinnamon Bear Program, teddy bears, and advertising.

1986 Annual Report

External links[edit]