Nichols Discount City

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werememberretail
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Nichols Discount City

Postby werememberretail » 12 Jul 2010 23:39

Anyone remember Nichols Discount City? They were the Predecessor of the Pharmhouse Superdrugstores and operated about 40 units in the Mid Atlantic region

Ephrata1966
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Re: Nichols Discount City

Postby Ephrata1966 » 18 Jul 2010 19:05

I do. They were a strange one. Nothing really set them apart from Kmart, or Woolco, or Grant City. They could be found in Ephrata and Chambersburg in PA and Maple Shade, NJ. The Maple Shade one briefly was next to a Centennial A&P. Later that was a "Cloth World" store. And the Ephrata one once had an Acme next door. Now it's a Weis. I wonder why there weren't more in Philadelphia and suburbs. "Us Main Liners have no room for your trashy stores!" Just kidding.

But what is really weird to me is that Wal-Mart also used "Discount City" into the 80's. At least in Texas they did. These stores were popping up just as Nichols was having their closing sales. Later, they became "Bud's Discount City". Google "It's a Wal-Mart World Out There". I know, I know, those stores were trashy.

Also, do you remember Gaylords? They also had so few locations, they could print them all on newspaper ads. There was one in Wilmington, DE that became a Caldor, then briefly Ames, then Home Depot. Added later on I believe was a Thrift Drug, which of course became Eckerd, then Rite Aid, and is now empty. The third anchor was a Centennial A&P which MIGHT have become a Super Fresh. Then it was a Dollar Tree, and just recently became a "Dollar Tree DEAL$" store.

The other Gaylords was at Church Hill Mall in Hazleton, PA. Church Hill Mall was a mini-mall built around 1965. Later it became a "Gee Bee" store. More recently it was a Value City, and is now Ollie's. The very old PA State Store is still inside. I believe at one point, there just might have been a Genuardi's as grocery anchor.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe Nichols and Gaylords both shut down in 1985.

werememberretail
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Re: Nichols Discount City

Postby werememberretail » 19 Jul 2010 01:48

Ephrata1966 wrote:I do. They were a strange one. Nothing really set them apart from Kmart, or Woolco, or Grant City. They could be found in Ephrata and Chambersburg in PA and Maple Shade, NJ. The Maple Shade one briefly was next to a Centennial A&P. Later that was a "Cloth World" store. And the Ephrata one once had an Acme next door. Now it's a Weis. I wonder why there weren't more in Philadelphia and suburbs. "Us Main Liners have no room for your trashy stores!" Just kidding.

But what is really weird to me is that Wal-Mart also used "Discount City" into the 80's. At least in Texas they did. These stores were popping up just as Nichols was having their closing sales. Later, they became "Bud's Discount City". Google "It's a Wal-Mart World Out There". I know, I know, those stores were trashy.

Also, do you remember Gaylords? They also had so few locations, they could print them all on newspaper ads. There was one in Wilmington, DE that became a Caldor, then briefly Ames, then Home Depot. Added later on I believe was a Thrift Drug, which of course became Eckerd, then Rite Aid, and is now empty. The third anchor was a Centennial A&P which MIGHT have become a Super Fresh. Then it was a Dollar Tree, and just recently became a "Dollar Tree DEAL$" store.

The other Gaylords was at Church Hill Mall in Hazleton, PA. Church Hill Mall was a mini-mall built around 1965. Later it became a "Gee Bee" store. More recently it was a Value City, and is now Ollie's. The very old PA State Store is still inside. I believe at one point, there just might have been a Genuardi's as grocery anchor.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe Nichols and Gaylords both shut down in 1985.

I can clue you in on Gaylords, which if i'm not mistaken was mainly a Deep Southern Chain in areas like Louisiana towards the end of its life. in 1985 Gaylords exited most of the northeast closing the last stores there but sold itself to Zayre. Perhaps Gaylords wanted to get out of the Northeast to make itself attractive to Zayre. as Zayre would have closed whatever stores in the PA NJ Del area BECAUSE
it never had any presence there to begin with and was probably not going to even try as the market was getting crowded ( Kmart Clover, Jamesway Jefferson Ward/Bradlees, The Dry Goods, Gee Bee,Ames and later Caldor) Nichols Discount stores held out until 1990 when the last few stores that did not become Pharmhouse were closed and or sold shomewhere along the line Nichols the company became Pharmhouse, merging ironically with another Dimestore one off Wooworth's RX Place stores and finally was purchased and merged into Phar-mor

rt22306
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Re: Nichols Discount City

Postby rt22306 » 07 May 2014 20:59

I remember Nichols in Lumberton, NC. I think it came into being about 1973, to about 1990. What I remember best about this one is that in the early 1980's was that they actually had 35mm SLR cameras, lenses; and a sales guy that knew photo. No other local retailer carried them routinely (not a big market there) or that variety (to include Yashica). About '86 the photo shop scaled back, and they had salesmen that didn't know Kodak from Polaroid.

paysh
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Re: Nichols Discount City

Postby paysh » 12 May 2014 08:07

There was a Nichols Discount City on Lake St between Elmira and Horseheads NY. It was a really plain type of building; kind of a low end KMart in character. After I moved out of town, in the mid 80s, it became a PharMor store and then closed in the early 90s, I would guess. Here is a photo when the building was a PharMor :

https://www.flickr.com/photos/23616573@N06/6594137627

I know that the building has been demolished and that, for a long while, she PharMor sign stood at the edge of Lake St. with nothing behind it.

While searching for a photo, I found a lawsuit affidavit from the 1960s that describes how the stores were set up and it struck me as somewhat unusual, though I am not sure. Here is a quote describing how things worked:

"S. E. Nichols Company through its subsidiary Nichols Discount City operates a retail store in Elmira, N. Y. [i]Four departments are leased to licensees[/i]..."

Here is a link to that document: http://openjurist.org/380/f2d/438/natio ... pany-p-h-s

rt22306
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Re: Nichols Discount City

Postby rt22306 » 18 May 2014 15:42

Here is a link to a number of photos for the Maple Shade, NJ Nichols:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/42444189@N04/sets/72157622434650575/

Many of them are also from stock images taken from annual reports.

bobsjers
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Re: Nichols Discount City

Postby bobsjers » 05 Jun 2015 22:32

What was really ironic for me, is that in 1975 I was a teacher in Virginia and worked for Gamarel Electric during the summer. I was sent to Amsterdam NY to set up the new Nichol's store's electrical department. Then around 2002 after moving the NJ and (after 25 years with Hechinger) working for a company that did Crown Bolt resets among other things, I was sent to the Home Depot in Amsterdam NY to set up the nuts and bolts. The Home Depot took the place of Nichol's which was demolished.

TW-Upstate NY
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Re: Nichols Discount City

Postby TW-Upstate NY » 06 Jun 2015 20:04

If memory serves, I believe that Nichols location opened in 1974. It joined a store in Gloversville which opened in 1972. And Home Depot almost didn't get built there. Nichols closed in the very early '90's or so and sat vacant for a few years until Wal-Mart decided they wanted to build there. What stopped them was Hannaford had a store (and still does) adjacent to Nichols and their lease stipulated what could go into the Nichols space or the land if the building was taken down. Eventually, Wal-Mart ended up building on land just down the road where it remains to this day.

Ampersand
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Re: Nichols Discount City

Postby Ampersand » 18 Apr 2017 10:20

I recall something about some old woman crashing into the Amsterdam Nichols.. I was wondering though wasn't there a Nichols in Johnstown or did the Gloversville one move from a different location (I think it was in the arterial plaza before moving across the street next to the Shop n' Save (Hannaford)? I sort of recall an even older smaller Nichols in Johnstown/Gloversville with like this segmentation in the sign that sort of became a church or a bingo hall.. initially i was thinking it was Loblaws. I haven't been in the area in so long.

TW-Upstate NY
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Re: Nichols Discount City

Postby TW-Upstate NY » 18 Apr 2017 19:21

To repeat, there was one (and only one) Nichols location ever in Gloversville. It opened in 1972 and closed probably late '80's or very early '90's or so. It wasn't long after that Wal-Mart demolished it and built their first store in the area which was open by the summer of '92. As far as grocers are concerned, there was a Grand Union adjacent to the Nichols which opened about the same time in '72 as well and closed the end of 1981. That space was never occupied again. Hannaford built a store adjacent to Wal-Mart and opened there probably sometime in '93 and remains there to this day. The Wal-Mart there is now gone having relocated in 2013 to a super center maybe 2-3 miles Rte. 30-A closer to Johnstown. Runnings (a store I call Tractor Supply on steroids) now occupies the space. As far as the plaza across the road, there was a Britts which opened maybe early-mid '60's and closed the end of 1978. It stayed empty until 1985 when Zayre moved in and became Ames in 1989 and closed with the entire chain in 2002. Today, that space has been subdivided between Save-A-Lot, Dollar General and Grossman's Bargain Outlet

Ampersand
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Re: Nichols Discount City

Postby Ampersand » 22 Apr 2017 19:54

TW-Upstate NY wrote:To repeat, there was one (and only one) Nichols location ever in Gloversville. It opened in 1972 and closed probably late '80's or very early '90's or so. It wasn't long after that Wal-Mart demolished it and built their first store in the area which was open by the summer of '92. As far as grocers are concerned, there was a Grand Union adjacent to the Nichols which opened about the same time in '72 as well and closed the end of 1981. That space was never occupied again. Hannaford built a store adjacent to Wal-Mart and opened there probably sometime in '93 and remains there to this day. The Wal-Mart there is now gone having relocated in 2013 to a super center maybe 2-3 miles Rte. 30-A closer to Johnstown. Runnings (a store I call Tractor Supply on steroids) now occupies the space. As far as the plaza across the road, there was a Britts which opened maybe early-mid '60's and closed the end of 1978. It stayed empty until 1985 when Zayre moved in and became Ames in 1989 and closed with the entire chain in 2002. Today, that space has been subdivided between Save-A-Lot, Dollar General and Grossman's Bargain Outlet

The Hannaford started as Shop N Save..

TW-Upstate NY
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Re: Nichols Discount City

Postby TW-Upstate NY » 23 Apr 2017 09:51

Shop 'N Save was a Hannaford banner and all that happened was they eventually rebranded the store as they did all of them.


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