The Glory Days of Buffalo Shopping

A revised version of the 2009 best seller “Nine Nine Eight” is now available. “The Glory Days of Buffalo Shopping” is a completely revised and updated book featuring a new chapter, new photos and updated text on the history of Buffalo’s great retailers.

The book is available at all major booksellers including online and is available for the Kindle.

It makes a great holiday gift, so get yours today!

 

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Aldi Eyeing Sattlers Site

sattlers logo 1947 300x204 Aldi Eyeing Sattlers SiteGrocery chain Aldi is looking to build a store at the former site of Sattlers at 998 Broadway. It is currently the home to a closed K-Mart. The biggest question the city has is what effects the store would have on the Broadway Market directly across the street. My other concern is, what affect would this have on revitalizing the Broadway-Fillmore community? Any opinions on it?

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This Day in Buffalo History

E. W. Edwards

edwards 1947 logo This Day in Buffalo History

Edwards department store logo

E. W. Edwards & Son was a chain of department stores that opened their first Buffalo store in 1922 at 460 Main Street. Business grew and the company continued expansion in the Buffalo market.

They announced a small 5,000 square foot store on Bailey Avenue in the Langfield Plaza in June 1947. This store was designed to “serve a sufficiently large segment of the population of Buffalo to warrant establishing a branch in this area.”

The store was successful and in 1950 they quadrupled the store size. They were “convinced there is a definite need for suburban shopping centers,” and opened a branch in the L. B. Smith Plaza in Lackawanna in October 1951.

Suddenly they announced they were closing the Buffalo store in 1952. Hens & Kelly took over the Langfield Plaza store and AM&A’s took over the L.B. Smith Plaza store.

This and other Buffalo retailing history can be found in the book “Nine Nine Eight“.

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This Day in Buffalo History

 

gutmans ad 166x300 This Day in Buffalo History

Ad for local women's clothing store Gutman's

Gutman’s

was a popular woman’s clothing chain in Buffalo started in 1947 by Alvin H. Gutman. The first location was at 584 Main Street, and in 1955 they added a branch at 91 Grant Street. By 1960 they had added one at 959 Broadway.

The local chain, known for spectacular sales, was very successful in Buffalo and was able to duplicate that success, at one point operating 28 stores in several states. Locally, the company felt that  malls were the future, eventually moving their Main Street store into the Main Place Mall when that opened in the mid-1960s. Other locations included five suburban malls.

In 1985 the company filed for Chapter 11 reorganization, with debts eating away at the company. At the time they were down to 17 stores in New York, Michigan, Ohio, and Virginia.

In 1989 they closed their Seneca Mall location, which had lost all its major tenants to the McKinley and Galleria malls, and was failing. The following year they opened an off-price outlet in the Thruway Mall (formerly Plaza), which was losing the battle with the Walden Galleria, a mile away.

In June 1991 they closed the Galleria, McKinley, and Main Place Mall stores. The Galleria store was located near two other local stores at the mall which had recently closed, Sample and L. L. Berger, leaving less of a draw for Gutman’s. Together with cash flow problems, thinly stocked stores, and losses mounting, they filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection again in July 1991.

Following a troubled summer, they shuttered all their locations, except the Eastern Hills Mall, in August 1991.

This and other Buffalo retailing history can be found in the book “Nine Nine Eight“.

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This Day in Buffalo History

In April 1990 Buffalo’s ladies clothing store chain the Sample closed their Eastern Hills Mall location, and remodeled their flagship Hertel Avenue store. They said the Galleria location was the major reason for closing the Eastern Hills store since it was taking business from that mall. In addition, the company was reverting to its original name, The Sample Shop, from just the Sample. The company was down to nine stores, the late 1980s recession was taking its toll.

This and other retailing history can be found in “Nine Nine Eight” available online and in bookstores. A tour of Buffalo’s downtown stores is available from NakedBuffalo.com.

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This Day in Buffalo History

The once popular Buffalo department store chain Twin Fair was down to 14 stores in 1982, all in the western New York area where they had originated. The saving grace came when Federated Department Stores, Inc. purchased the remaining stores, leaving Twin Fair, Inc. to continue operations “as a real estate holding and development concern.”

In return, Twin Fair received a $2.5 million loan, and Federated re-opened the Twin Fair stores as Gold Circle, one of their subsidiaries. On April 13, 1985 Twin Fair Distribution Corp. was terminated, effectively ending the Twin Fair chapter.

This and other retailing history can be found in “Nine Nine Eight“, available online and in bookstores. A tour of Buffalo’s retailing history is available at NakedBuffalo.com.

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This Day in Buffalo History

By the 1960s, the Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company, (A&P), had seen competition from larger suburban stores in Buffalo and around the country. Their once popular house brands were losing favor as “national television advertising drives increas[ed] customer demand for national brand products.” There were 20 branches in Buffalo in 1960, as the company struggled to survive and closed 2,885 stores, and was down to just 15 in Buffalo by 1970.

The changing tide was too much and senior management was unable to right the ship. So, in March 1970, the company announced they were closing the Buffalo bakery, which supplied 80 stores. On April 10, 1975 the company announced they were pulling out of the Buffalo market completely. Other local chains were interested in the stores, including S. M. Flickinger Co. which purchased some of the closing A & P stores, converted them into their Super Duper brand. In 1978 Flickinger again bid on closing A & P stores, this time in Ohio.

This and other retailing history can be found in “Nine Nine Eight” and on a local tour available at NakedBuffalo.com

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Buffalo Tours

Sightseeing in Buffalo, NY

For those of you who follow our tour business this may be old news, but for those of you who are unaware, here’s an update.

In 2008 we formed The Mob Tours and began bus tours of former Mafia sites in Niagara Falls. In 2010 we decided to add a couple walking tours in Buffalo, one of them based on my book “Nine Nine Eight“. This year we completely revamped our tours and renamed our company to Naked Buffalo.

Naked Buffalo

It’s a fun name for our company that shows the different type of tour company we are. As well as changing the name we added five new tours! We have a new Mafia walking tour, another one with some ties to my book “Through The Mayors’ Eyes, a bus tour of local breweries, a new Mafia bus tour, plus an Erie Canal tour unlike any other!

So, please check out our new website and come join us on a tour this year. We start next weekend and will be going until October, with well over 100 tours. You can keep up-to-date by joining us on Facebook or our website.

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