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This page takes a looks back on the history of hardware and department store chains that are no longer. This page also

contains information about chains that are currently operating.

 

History To Present

 

Hardware Stores That No Longer Exist

 

Lindsley Lumber

 

Also known as Pinellas Lumber Co on FL west coast and RBC Lumber Co. in the keys). Lindsley Lumber was a popular lumber yard and hardware chain which had many locations through out south Florida on the east and west coasts. They started up in either the 1940s or 1950s and closed their stores somewhere in the mid to late 1980s. This store is totally forgotten. Does anyone remember this store? Almost feels like a legend.

 

 

Builders Square

 

 

Was Once a popular hardware store chain in the US and marketed many ceiling fans. Could not compete with Home Depot. Closed their stores somewhere around the late 1990s.

 

 

Scotty's

 

 

A popular Florida hardware store that Home Depot killed in South Florida. Closed all their doors in 2005

 

Update: Scotty's Inc., the 80-year-old hardware store chain that filed for bankruptcy, appears to be approaching its last days.

 

Winter Haven-based Scotty's is in final stages of liquidation, a court-appointed bankruptcy official, David Spehar, said Monday.

 

Stores in Land O'Lakes, Dade City, Brooksville and Haines City are among those selling their entire inventory. Employees who answered phones at the Haines City and Land O'Lakes stores said about 15 remaining branches will close by March 31.

 

Scotty's Inc. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy court protection in September.

 

The company said it had been surviving against big-box competitors such as Lowe's and Home Depot, but Hurricane Charley doomed the company when it destroyed Scotty's Punta Gorda store and seriously damaged other branches.

 

The telephone number at Scotty's headquarters had been disconnected Monday. Officials who could be reached by The Tampa Tribune hung up or said, "Scotty's is out of business."

 

Founded in 1924 by farmer Evanda Hugh Sweet, Scotty's grew into a hardware and building supply chain that went public on the American Stock Exchange.

 

It was purchased by a Belgian company, GIB Group, in 1998, when Scotty's had 164 stores in Florida and neighboring states and an estimated 6,000 employees.

 

Later in 1998, the company's senior management team, including current President Tom Morris, purchased the company for about $100 million. As of September 2004, Scotty's had more than 30 stores in Florida, mostly in central and northern Florida.

 

In recent years, the chain had transformed itself from large home improvement stores to small hardware stores in rural communities. It converted some of its larger properties to outlet malls and flea markets.

 

Customers arrived in a steady stream at bankruptcy sale at the Land O' Lakes Scotty's on Monday, in what Wayne King, the manager, described as "loyalty at the end."

 

Hardware Stores That Currently Exist

 

Home Depot

 

First store opened in Atlanta on June 22, 1979. #1 home improvement store. During the 1990s is when Home

Depot began to quickly grow, and still is today.

 

 

Lowes

 

Somewhere around 58 years, Lowes has been around. They are now starting to spread. Some Locations are right across the street from a Home Depot.

 

 

 

Ace Hardware

 

Began as a small chain of stores established by a group of Chicago-area retailers in 1924. Ace has grown to include more than 4,800 stores in 50 states and 72 countries. Great chain of small hardware stores. Beats fighting the crowd in Home Depot when looking for a small item.

 

 

 

True Value

 

Established in 1948. Great chain of small hardware stores. Beats fighting the crowd in Home Depot when looking for a small item.

 

 

> Department Stores That No Longer Exist

 

Zayre*s

 

 

One of the first major discount chains, opened their first location around 1956. When they folded, many locations were replaced by Ames Discount Stores, which began as a chain in 1958 and has now closed all remaining stores around after a troubled period of trying to stay alive as the fourth largest discount chain behind K-Mart. There last store closed in 2001.

 

 

 

Montgomery Ward (Jeffersons)

 

Began as a mail-order house in 1872, and then became the one of the most Popular department store chains in history. Somewhere along the line, they opened up department stores under the name Jefferson Ward, also was known as Jefferson's. They closed their South Florida stores in the mid 1980s. Struggling for years, Wards filed bankruptcy in 1997. By 2000 all their stores were closed.

 

 

 

Richway

 

 

Richway was the discount division of Rich's, and was owned by the Rich family until Federated bought them both. Rich's sold Richway to Federated which converted the stores to Gold Circle which were then bought out by Target shortly after. 1990 through 1999 Federated Department stores declares bankruptcy. There are two Target stores here in South Florida that has not remodeled yet and still looks the same as they did when they were a Richway store. One has moved to a different location. The old building is still there and looks the same.

 

 

 

Woolworth

 

 

 

The first Woolworth store opened in 1879 in Utica, New York as a five and ten cent store, later became a department store. Was the #1 well known chain in history, even had a pet shop inside. They closed their doors in 1997. The world is a sadder place without Woolworth. Today, everybody knows the Wal-Mart name, but a couple of years ago, it was Woolworth the #1 retailer in the world and in our hearts. It was more than just another store chain, it was a wonderful experience that we can't see no more. The buzzing fluorescent lighting, the old Hunter Original ceiling fans hanging above the doorways, the lunch counter, the unforgettable smell when you enter, the bargains, RIP Woolworth.

 

 

 

Laura's

 

Was a popular Florida store like Service Merchandise. Remember selecting an item you wanted on display, purchase it, then go to the merchandise counter and wait for your item to come down from the 2nd story inventory on a conveyor belt. They closed their stores in the mid to late 1990s.

 

 

 

Best (Service Merchandise)

 

 

 

Came to South Florida somewhere around 1990. Bought out BEST. Declares bankruptcy in 1999, recently closed their South Florida stores.

 

 

 

Department Stores That Currently Exist

 

 

Kmart

 

 

Old Logo

 

 

Born in 1899 Kmart is one of the #1 well known chains in history. In 1990 Kmart unveiled a bold new logo. In 1991 as part of the new plan, Kmart opened the first Kmart Supercenter in Medina, Ohio Offering a full-service grocery along with general merchandise 24 hours a day seven days a week. In 1999 Kmart launched it's Blue Light free ISP, now is discontinued. On may 6 2003 Kmart filed bankruptcy, having to close allot of  their stores. What's going to happen to Kmart? The future will only tell.

 

 

Target

 

 

1962 Logo

Today

 

In 1962 the first Target store opens. One of the #1 well known chains today.

 

 

 

Wal-Mart

 

 

Founded in 1962, Wal-Mart is the #1 well known chain today and still growing. Everybody knows the ''Low Prices Always'' phrase. Could this be why allot of the other chains disappeared? and some struggling today?

 

 

 

Sears

 

In 1887 Sears opens the first Chicago location. In 1927 Sears launches the Craftsman, and Kenmore brands. Sears is one of the biggest chains in history. Marketed many ceiling fans under their name.