Slogan: ... ... ... better than Rich's!
Rich's was a New England chain of discount department stores. Their store size was in between Ames and Bradlees. Many Rich's were modern and located in new or renovated buildings. Rich's was a family-owned business, and was among the smallest chains in New England with Mars, Globe, and Stuart's.
Rich's maintained stores and upgraded their company systems to stay competitive. The major problem for Rich's was tough competition from Walmart and other discounters wich caused a decrease in sales and profit. The irony is that the former Rich's in Gilford, NH was replaced by Walmart in 1998.
Founded in 1962, Rich's was a small New England chain whose employees often stayed for their entire careers. Rich's was founded by Jerry Rich, his son Howard later became President of the company. In 1983, Rich's opened a store in Bangor in the former space occupied by Woolco. In 1985, the company came close to open a store in Rockland, Maine. The official annoucement was made, construction had begun and then plans were cancelled. In 1986, the company opened a new store in Manchester NH in a former Lord's Department Store. Another store was added in 1990 in Auburn, Maine at a new shopping center.
Rich's had sales of $240 million in 1994. In May 1995, Rich's opened it's 28th store in Milford MA, back then the fourth in Central Massachusetts. In March 1996, the chain, which had 2,300 employees, filed for bankruptcy protection. Before the filing, the company closed two Maine stores, Auburn and Calais. In May 1996, Rich's announced it would close the Nashua NH location which was operating since 1977. On October 9, the company announced the closing of three New Hampshire stores by the end of the year (Portsmouth, Concord and Rochester). The closing left Rich's with 19 stores in New England, including five New Hampshire stores in Gilford, Gorham, Keene, Manchester and West Lebanon.
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