Arizona October 12, 2017
9 Stores That Anyone Who Grew Up In Arizona Will Undoubtedly Remember
Ready for a quick trip down memory lane? I hope the answer is “yes” because we’re going to check out a few stores from Arizona’s past that will take you back to walking alongside a parent while doing some weekend shopping, and some that you can still visit today! Let’s see how many of these stores you remember visiting!
1. A.J. Bayless
This local supermarket chain operated across Arizona for several decades until 1984. It was later sold to American Grocers then was eventually acquired by Bashas’ where it became A.J’s Fine Foods.
My earliest memories of grocery shopping with my parents occurred in Bashas’ supermarkets where I always wanted to venture up the stairs to the second floor. I never got the opportunity to do so. The company was founded in 1932 and is one of the few stores on this list that is still in business all these years later!
3. Circles Records & Tapes
These days, kids tend to buy their music online but I remember a time when you had to visit a music or other retail store to get the latest album. Circles was located in downtown Phoenix where it sold records, 8-tracks, cassettes, and CDs for nearly 40 years. It closed in 2010 after dwindling sales and was sold to a development group for mixed use apartments.
Another store located in downtown Phoenix, Hanny’s was a department store that opened in 1947 and sold stylish clothes until it closed in 1986. The building was vacant for some time until it was renovated and re-opened as a restaurant and bar in 2008. If you remember shopping there, consider paying the restaurant a visit and see how much has stayed the same—or changed!
5. J.B. Bayless
The father of Arthur Joseph (or A.J.) Bayless, J.B. operated a grocery chain in Phoenix between 1917 and 1929. The very first market opened up near 3rd Street and Washington and the business eventually grew to a total of 18 stores before it was sold to a company that would later become Safeway.
6. Montgomery Ward
Who remembers this department store and their Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer merchandise when the holidays came around? The department store operated nation-wide until 2001 when it went bankrupt and was liquidated. An online division still exists, however, it is not owned by the original company.
You don’t hear people talk much about going down to the five-and-dime these days but they were similar to dollar and other discount stores. This particular Sprouse can be found in Bisbee, where the sign lettering still sit on the face of the building.
8. TriCity Mall
This one isn’t a store but was a mall sitting in Mesa for 30 years until it was closed and demolished in 1998. These days you’ll have just memories to refer to; the site is now home to a Safeway, Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, and lots of parking spaces.
Woolworth’s was a five-and-dime, similar to Sprouse-Reitz, and operated until the 1990s. This store can be found in Nogales where it sits just feet from the U.S.-Mexico border, still looking just like this but houses a completely different store. You can also find another historic Woolworth store in Bisbee, although it doesn’t have the impressive sign gracing the storefront.
How of those did you visit in your younger days? There are plenty of others to add to this list, so let us know other stores you remember frequenting as a kid!
Want to continue your trip down memory lane? If you lived in the state before 1983, you might remember one famous amusement park called Legend City. Read about the park and watch a few videos in
This Rare Footage Of An Arizona Amusement Park Will Have You Longing For The Good Old Days.