Missouri December 28, 2017
10 Stores That Anyone Who Grew Up In Missouri Will Undoubtedly Remember
Local retailers and family owned shops used to dominate the shopping scene in Missouri. However, as larger corporations thrived many smaller retailers had to file for bankruptcy or sell out to these corporations. Surely there are local shops you remember visiting at as a child, but here are 10 old stores that anyone who grew up in Missouri will undoubtedly remember.
1. Famous Barr
Famous Barr was founded in St. Louis in 1911. It was the first department store in the nation to have air conditioning. Famous Barr also acquired the Kansas City based Jones Store Co. Eventually, the St. Louis and Kansas City locations were re-branded into Macy's which remain operational.
2. Wonderland Arcade
Wonderland Arcade operated at 12th and Grand in Kansas City from the 1940's until the 1980's. People of all ages enjoyed playing games and grabbing a bite to eat at this classic arcade for many generations.
Walmart is the world's largest retailer, but this mega discount store had humble beginnings in the Midwest. The second Walmart store came to Sikeston, Missouri in 1968. Prior to the late 1980's, most Walmart locations were located in smaller towns across Missouri.
Venture Stores had 70 locations spread across St. Louis, Kansas City, and Chicago. This discount retailer sold clothing, footwear, home goods, and jewelry but most stores also had a dining area that offered items like hot-dogs and popcorn. In 1998, Venture filed for bankruptcy and most of the stores were converted into K-Mart or Target stores.
Woolworth's started at a five and dime store with locations all across the nation. Woolwoth's had locations all across Missouri, but most of the locations had closed their doors by the early 1990's. You may be surprised to learn that the Woolworth's corporation re-branded and now operates in malls across the nation as Foot Locker.
6. Katz Drug Co.
Katz Drug Stores opened in the Kansas City area in 1914. Katz expanded to more than 65 locations in 5 states but by the 1970's, the chain began to shutter. For Kansas City locals of a certain age, Katz holds memories of enjoying a burger and shake at their soda fountain with friends.
7. Price Chopper
Price Chopper had stores all across Missouri but now the locations are largely located in the Kansas City metro area. Price Chopper is still locally owned and is the most successful supermarket retailer in Kansas City.
Remember when you had to take your photo film to a Fotomat for development? Although this chain got it's start in California, their drive-through kiosks were located nationwide. Customer's could drop off their film in the drive through and return the next day to pick up their prints. these kiosks began to disappear in the late 1980's with the implementation of one-hour photo development.
9. Ben Franklin
Ben Franklin was a five and dime store that also specialized in arts and crafts materials. The store originated in Wisconsin but spread nationwide with more than 25,000 stores in operation. Most Missourians can remember going to a Ben Franklin to fill up a bag full of penny candies. By 1997, the Ben Franklin Retail Stores Inc. had filed for bankruptcy and most of the stores were closed.
Harzfeld's was a Kansas City based department store that specialized in high-end apparel for women and children. Their first branch location opened in Columbia in 1929. More Kansas City locations followed. Many women in Kansas City and Columbia can remember buying their wedding dresses or their child's christening outfits at Harzfeld's.
Do you remember shopping at any of these retailers? What other stores do you fondly remember shopping at? Tell us in the comments below.