UPDATED:

RETAIL TIMELINE

 

1872 - Aaron Montgomery Ward founded his company
1879 - F.W.Woolworth opends its first five & dime store
1880 - Opening of the first McCrory variety store
1899 - S.S. Kresge Company founded by Sebastian S. Kresge
1902 - JC Penney is founded by James C. Penney
1906 - W.T. Grant opens first store
1906 - George Clinton Murphy opens the first G.C.Murphy's in McKeesport, PA
1911 - Hechinger stores founded
1929 - Kresge Canadian subsidiary S.S. Kresge Company, Ltd. was founded
1934 - Service Merchandise founded
1948 - E.J. Korvette stores founded
1951 - Caldor stores founded by Cal and Dorothy Bennett
1953 - Simpson-Sears founded in Canada
1956 - Zayre department stores founded by Stanley and Summer Fieldberg
1957 - Hills department stores founded
1958 - Gilman Brothers, opened their first Ames store in Southbridge, Mass.
1958 - Bradlees department stores founded in Braintree, Mass.
1959 - W.T.Grant Co. becomes owner of Canada's Zellers discount chain
1961 - Target stores founded
1961 - Jamesway stores founded in Jamestown NY
1961 - Shopko stores founded
1962 - Wal-Mart stores founded by Sam Walton in Arkansas
1962 - Rich's department stores founded by the Rich family
1963 - Kohl's stores founded
1966 - K-mart's founder Sebastian S. Kresge died at age 99.
1969 - Zayre corporation acquires the Hit or Miss chain
1970 - Christmas Tree Shops founded
1970 - Venture department stores founded by May
1973 - Hannaford (Shop'n Save) opens its first Wellby Drug Store
1975 - October: W.T.Grant asks court for bankruptcy status
1976 - Spring: W.T.Grant Co. goes out of business (Grant / Grant City)
1976 - Opening of the first Price Club
1977 - Tj maxx store chain founded in Framingham, Mass.
1977 - S.S. Kresge Company is renamed Kmart Corporation
1977 - April: Mammoth Mart is acquired bu King's
1978 - October: Food Fair Inc. (JM Fields)  files for Chapter 11
1979 - April: Going out of business sale begins at JM Fields (79 stores)
1980 - Closing of the last Korvette store
1981 - Caldor is sold to Associated Dry Goods Corporation (ADG)
1982 - Consolidated Stores open their first closeout store (Odd Lots)
1983 - Last US Woolco stores are finally closed in january
1983 - Costco Wholesale Corporation formed
1985 - January: Stop & Shop acquires the Almy's chain
1985 - Ames acquires G.C.Murphy stores
1985 - HQ Home Quarters Warehouse is introduced
1986 - Dayton-Hudson(Target)  acquires 51 Gemco stores
1986 - May: Stop & Shop sells 64 Medi-Mart to Walgreens
1986 - ADG merges with the May Department Stores Company
1987 - Kmart sells most U.S. Kresge and Jupiter stores to McCrory Corp.
1987 - May: Stop & Shop decides that Almy's will cease operations (19 stores)
1988 - Target acquires 31 Gold Circle stores
1988 - Zayre stores declares bankruptcy
1988 - Ames is acquiring the bankrupt 392 Zayre stores, closing 74 of them
1989 - May: Mars is going out of business
1989 - Ames sells 130 G.C.Murphy stores and 25 Bargain World stores in September
1989 - October: May Co. sells the 118-store Caldor chain and spins-off Venture
1990 - Kmart purchases The Sports Authority, a chain of sporting goods super stores.
1990 - Kmart is changing the red and turquoise logo to a large red "K" with a white "mart."
1990 - Ames file to reorganize under Chapter 11 of the US Bankruptcy Code in April.
1990 - Venture and Caldor are spun-off May Company in november
1990 - Stuart's department stores files for chapter 11 in December.
1990 - Walmart becomes the world's largest retailer with $32.6 billion in sales.
1991 - April: Jamesway is closing 11 unprofitable stores
1991 - October: Ames will close 77 of its 448 stores by next year.
1992 - February: McCrory's files for bankruptcy protection.
1992 - May: Porteous acquired by Dunlap Co.   (6 stores)
1992 - May: Stop & Shop spins off the 127-store Bradlees chain
1992 - May: Shop'n save sells 34 of it's 41 Wellby Super drugstore to Rite Aid
1993 - January: Jamesway is closing 13 stores
1993 - July: Jamesway files for protection under chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code.
1993 - Price Club merges with Costco wholesale
1993 - October: Woolworth wants to close 970 stores in U.S. and Canada
1994 - Wal-Mart enters Canada with the acquisition of 122 of the 166 Woolco stores.
1994 - Rite Aid Buys LaVerdiere's Drug Stores (72 locations)
1994 - Consolidated Stores acquires Toy Liquidators
1994 - Montgomery Ward acquires Lechmere stores.
1994 - September: Kmart is closing 110 stores.
1995 - Jamesway emerges from chapter 11 protection in January and re-files in October
1995 - T.J. Maxx, buys its biggest off-price rival, Andover-based Marshalls.
1996 - Jordan Marsh Name Changed to Macy's on its 18 stores
1996 - Consolidated Stores acquires KB Toys
1996 - March 13, Rich's files Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, closes 14 of its 29 stores.
1996 - March: Grossman's is closing it's 60 stores in 8 Northeastern states
1996 - Ames closes 17 stores (5 in Maine / 11 in New York / 1 in PA) 
1996 - Kmart sells 860 Auto Centers to Penske
1997 - Rich's department stores closing its last 13 stores.
1997 - Kmart sells the operations of Builders Square and Kmart Canada (127 stores).
1997 - October: Wards, which is operating under Chapter 11 protection, closes 48 stores.
1998 - April:  40 canadian Kmart stores will close and 59 will be converted to Zellers stores.
1998 - The 155 Hills department stores are acquired by Ames.
1998 - Venture stores are going out of business.
1999 - Caldor is going out of business.
1999 - February: Service Merchandise to close 134 of 347 stores
1999 - February: Bradlees emerged from Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection.
1999 - Kmart celebrated its 100th anniversary as a retailer.
1999 - ShopKo acquires Pamida Holding Co., a retailer operating 148 discount stores in small rural markets
1999 - September, Hechinger (HQ) is going out of business, and will close all 117 stores.
1999 - Eaton's declares bankruptcy, Sears Canada buys few stores, name and trademark.
2000 - July 25, Kmart to close 72 stores.
2000 - December 26th, Bradlees is going out of business, closing 105 stores.
2000 - December 28th, Montgomery Ward (Wards) is going out of business (227 stores).
2001 - The last 300 McCrory's stores are closed after a century of retail.
2001 - August, Ames is filling for chapter 11 after the closing of 47 stores.
2001 - Target plans to open 36 new stores in 21 states in the year.
2001 - January, Sears, Roebuck & Co. will close 89 US. stores.
2001 - January, JCPenney will close 44 underperforming stores.
2001 - August - Ames is closing 47 stores. Link
2001 - Filene’s Basement files for bankruptcy
2001 - December - Ames is closing 54 stores, mostly former Hills.
2002 - Sears Canada closing it's Eatons division in february.
2002 - January: K-mart closing 284 underperforming stores in the U.S.  Link
2002 - Kmart & Penske agree on the closing of the last 563 Penske Auto Centers at Kmart stores.
2002 - Ames & Walmart introducing dollar store sections.
2002 - August: Ames announces it goes out of business.
2002 - October: Ames is closing its 327 remaining stores.
2002 - K-mart testing a new prototype store and new logo in White Lake, MI.
2002 - Target plans 94 new stores for 2003, analysts say.
2003 - January: K-mart closing 326 stores in 44 states.
2003 - May: Kohl's plans to open up to 100 new stores for 2004.
2003 - Christmas Tree Shops is bought by Bed Bath and Beyond
2003 - October: The last Porteous department store will close.
2003 - WiseBuys stores is founded un upstate NY.  Joe Ettore is on the board.
2003 - Decathlon USA is closing 14 of it's 18 stores in New England.
2004 - Albertsons to buy 202 Shaw's supermarkets in $2.5B deal.
2004 - April: JCPenney sells it's Eckerd division to CVS and Jean Coutu(Brooks)
2004 - May Company acquires Marshall's Fields from Target Corp.
2004 - Toys "r" us could split off it's Babies "r" us division and sell toys business
2004 - August: Target could buy Hudson's Bay of Canada, or just its Zellers division
2004 - K-mart and Sears, Roebuck & Co. to merge to create Sears-Holding Corporation.
2004 - Frank's Nursery & Crafts is going out of business
2005 - Walmart sales tops 256 billion for fiscal year 2004
2005 - Federated Dept. stores (Macy's)will merge with May Company (Filene's)
2005 - March: Target to open 26 new stores
2005 - April: Shopko to be acquired by a private equity firm based in Minneapolis
2005 - October: Target opens 60 new stores, Kohl's opens 57 new stores and enters Florida
2005 - October: Walmart announces it wants to open more than 555 new units in 2006
2005 - Sears Holdings wants to acquire Sears Canada
2006 - Hudson's Bay Co. reaches takeover deal with U.S. businessman Jerry Zucker
2006 - Sears Canada rejects bid made by it's U.S. parent Sears Holdings
2006 - February: Sears Holdings drops the Sears Essentials store format
2006 - Walmart report sales at year end of $312,4 billion and a net income of $11.2 billion.
2006 - August: Jean Coutu Group sells it's Eckerd and Brooks pharmacies to Rite Aid
2006 - September: Filene's name phased out as Federated converted Filene's to Macy's
2006 - October: Grand opening of 59 Target stores
2007 - January: Rite Aid shareholders approved the merger with Brooks & Eckerd
2007 - March: Tweeter is closing 49 stores
2007 - June: Dunlaps Department Stores goes out of business (38 stores 9 brands)
2007 - CompUSA announces the closing and liquidation of 126 stores
2007 - Levitz Furniture files for bankruptcy
2007 - Seaway Capital acquires Wisebuys and Hackett's and merges the two chains
2008 - March: Grand opening of 26 Target stores
2008 - May: Home Depot is closing 15 stores
2008 - May: Linens'n Things files for bankruptcy protection / closing 120 stores
2008 - July: Mervyn's files for bankruptcy protection
2008 - July: Steve & Barry's files for bankruptcy protection
2008 - July: Dawahare's goes out of business, closing 22 stores
2008 - July: Tjx Company looking to sell the Bob's Stores chain
2008 - August: Boscov’s files for bankruptcy protection
2008 - October 14: Linens'n Things is going out of business
2008 - October 17: Mervyn's is going out of business
2008 - November: Tweeter is going out of business, closing all remaining stores
2008 - November 3: Circuit City is closing 155 stores in the U.S.
2008 - November 10: Circuit City files for Chapter 11  bankruptcy protection

2008 - November: Steve & Barry's is filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy liquidation
2008 - December :  Woolworths UK is going out of business
(UK chain formerly part of the U.S. company)
2008 - December : KB Toys is going out of business

2009 - January 2:  Goody's Family Clothing is filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy liquidation

2009 - January 6: Woolworths Group (UK) closing it's last stores
2009 - January 16: Circuit is Going out of business

2009 - January 30: Closing of the last Steve & Barry's store

2009 - February: Hechinger's website is closing down

2009 - June: closing of the last Fortunoff store 

2009 - July: closing of the last Gottschalks department stores
2009 - October: Kohl's will open 35 new stores at former Mervyn's locations
2010 - December: TJX corporation announces a consolidation that would eliminate the A.J. Wright chain
2011 - January 13: Target announces it will enter Canada with the acquisition of up to 220 Zellers leases
2011 - January: Ultimate Electronics files for Chapter 11
2011 - April: Going out of business sale ends at Ultimate Electronics
2011 - October 17 - Lowe's is closing 20 U.S. stores
2011 - Filene's Basement is going out of business  Link
2011 - Syms is going out of business
2011 - December 27 - Sears Holdings announces it will close 100 to 120 Sears & Kmart stores.
2012 - March - Target Canada has confirmed a list of 76 stores to open in 2013 (out of a possible 125 to 135).
2012 - April - Best Buy will close 50 stores.
2012 - May - Sears Holdings announces it will reduce its stake in Sears Canada (92% to 51%)
2012 - June - The new owners of Charming Shoppes Inc. will close the Fashion Bug store chain by 2013.
2012 - July 12 - Target Canada has finalized the main list of new stores for 2013:  127 new Target locations confirmed.
2012 - July 12 - Zellers announces it will close the remaining 65 stores not acquired by Target by March 2013.
2012 - September - Nordstrom announces it will open 4 stores in Canada in 2014-2015
2013 -  Zellers announces it will keep 3 stores in operation after the closing of the rest of the chain in March 2013.
2013 - Office Max and Office Depot announce they will merge.
2013 - May - Target Canada opens stores in western provinces
2013 - May - Nordstrom launches Nordstrom.ca
2013 - July - Shaw's supermarket is closing 6 NH stores.
2013 - August - Stop & Shop pulls out of New Hampshire (6 supermarkets closing)
2013 - August - Market Basket opens its first store in Maine