UPDATED:

 

HEADQUARTERS :

 Framingham, MA

 PRESIDENT :

 Malcolm L. Sherman

 EMPLOYEES :

 n/a

 STORES :

 392

 FOUNDED :

 1956

CLOSED :

 1989

 

Slogan:  We'd like to make Zayre your store!

 

I remember going to Zayre with my parents in the 80's.  My first bike was bought in a southern Maine Zayre store.  Zayre was one of the pioneer New England discounters.  They operated stores that were quite big for that time... usually around 70,000 sf.   A lot of detailed information about Zayre is missing because it closed over 20 years ago.  However, there's a lot of information available when the subject is its acquisition by Ames...  Zayre had many stores in almost every large town in New England, especially in Maine where the company opened stores early after being founded.


The stores had that old style and smell inside.  The old neon lighting, the big ceiling air conditioner, orange and brown colors on walls and carpet.  When i found the Zayre logo on the web, I immediatly recognized the asterisks * logo.  On many Zayre stores, the door handles featured that asterisks logo. The stores in Augusta and Portland still had that asterisks carved in square wood handles on each door until they were renovated or demolished.  The square handere were however flipped over to hide the Zayre star.

 

OVERVIEW

 

Zayre was founded in 1956 in Hyannis Massachusetts. The discount department store chain was started by Stanley H. Feldberg and his family including cousin Sumner, father Max and uncle Morris.  In 1969, they acquired the Hit or Miss chain.  Then they added the Tj maxx stores in the 70's and Bj's Wholesale club.  The company had it's  headquarters in Framingham, MA.  Zayre operated stores troughout the eastern states.  In their last decade, Zayre began to be synonymous of low class and low quality, lost market share to Wal-Mart, Ames and other chains.


In October 1988, TJX completed the sale of its Zayre Stores division to Ames Department Stores.  This move nearly doubled Ames size. During the takeover, Ames kept the Zayre stores for a while.  They installed new registers and changed the slogan to «It pays to shop at Zayre - Everyday!»  Ames already used  «It pays to shop at Ames - Everyday!»  Zayre also used the slogan: "Compare, you cant do better than Zayre!"


In june 1989, Zayre Corporation spun off its BJ's Wholesale Club and HomeClub divisions into a new corporation, Waban, Inc. Zayre Corp. was renamed TJX Cos. and operated the Tjmaxx and Hit or Miss chains. In August 1997, BJ’s was spun off from Waban on a tax-free (one-for-one) exchange and began trading in the $26 to $32 range.


The former Zayre stores were now operated by Ames.  The takeover was difficult and contributed to major losses for Ames.  After closing 74 Zayre, Ames began reconverting the 318 others.  The effort went slowly and proved to be very costly.  Ames sold the Zayre shoe division to J.Baker in 1989.  In october 1989, 11 New Hampshire Zayre stores were renamed Ames.  There was then 27 Ames in the state and 632 nationwide.

 

ME/NH/VT LOCATIONS

MAINE
13 STORES
Augusta
Saco
Waterville
Bangor
Presque Isle
Sanford
South Portland
Brunswick
Rumford
Lewiston
Portland
Madawaska
Rockland
NEW HAMPSHIRE
11 STORES
Belmont
Concord
Dover
Hooksett
Seabrook
Manchester
Nashua
Londonderry
Salem
...
...
VERMONT
? STORES
South Burlington

ZAYRE PICTURES



Almy's  Ames   Ann&Hope   Bradlees   Caldor   Giant  Globe   Hills   Jamesway  JM Fields   King's   Mammoth Mart  Rich's   Stuart's  W.T.Grant  Woolco   Woolworth   Zayre

 

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This website is not affiliated with the former Zayre chain or the Tjx Companies.

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