Family Bargain Centers (New York)

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nysw3636
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Family Bargain Centers (New York)

Post by nysw3636 » 16 Nov 2011 18:58

Thought I'd bring this topic up as I've seen no other posts about this chain. Found out about this chain while looking for info on other stores. FBC had a short life, from 1957 to 1973. They operated mostly in NY, but had locations in PA, IN, IA, and VA. At their height of success, they had 49 stores. Names used were Family Bargain Centers, Easy Bargain Centers, and Mill Centers. I have locations for NY...soon to follow...

TW-Upstate NY
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Re: Family Bargain Centers (New York)

Post by TW-Upstate NY » 16 Nov 2011 21:28

Know this chain very well. They actually were pretty good stores. Didn't know they operated that many location especially outside of NY. If you don't have them already, here are four New York locations: -Johnstown (currently a large Dollar Tree and subdivided into several other smaller stores) , -Amsterdam (at one time a Fays drug and department store), -Oneonta (which later became an Ames) and Norwich. I had a mid to late '60's metal back to school ruler from them which listed several of their locations and if I find it, I'll post the cities.

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Re: Family Bargain Centers (New York)

Post by TW-Upstate NY » 17 Nov 2011 12:52

From 1966
FBC.jpg

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nysw3636
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Re: Family Bargain Centers (New York)

Post by nysw3636 » 19 Nov 2011 21:15

TW-Upstate NY wrote:Know this chain very well. They actually were pretty good stores. Didn't know they operated that many location especially outside of NY. If you don't have them already, here are four New York locations: -Johnstown (currently a large Dollar Tree and subdivided into several other smaller stores) , -Amsterdam (at one time a Fays drug and department store), -Oneonta (which later became an Ames) and Norwich. I had a mid to late '60's metal back to school ruler from them which listed several of their locations and if I find it, I'll post the cities.
Thanks TW.. I had 3 of the 4 you mentioned. The only one I did not have was Oneonta...

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Re: Family Bargain Centers (New York)

Post by nysw3636 » 19 Nov 2011 21:38

Family Bargain Centers, Inc. locations I've found so far are these (41 of 49 with breakdown). They had locations in Ohio, but can't seem to find them...

FBC = Family Bargain Centers
EBC = Easy Bargain Centers
SSM = State Street Mills
MC = Mill Centers


Amsterdam,NY (FBC)
Auburn,NY (FBC-2 locations)
Baldwinsville,NY (FBC)
Batavia,NY (MC)
Binghamton,NY (FBC)
Clay,NY (FBC)
Cortland,NY (FBC)
Dewitt,NY (FBC)
Fulton,NY (EBC)
Geneva,NY (FBC)
Herkimer,NY (SSM)
Hornell,NY (FBC)
Ithaca,NY (FBC)
Johnstown,NY (FBC)
Lockport,NY (FBC)
Newark,NY (FBC)
Norwich,NY (FBC)
Olean,NY (FBC)
Oneonta,NY (FBC)
Onieda,NY (FBC)
Oswego,NY (EBC)
Sidney,NY (FBC)
Syracuse,NY (EBC)
Utica,NY (SSM-2 locations)
Watertown,NY (FBC-2 locations)
Yorkville,NY (SSM)
Bradford,PA (FBC)
Waynesboro,PA (FBC)
Wilkes-Barre,PA (FBC)
Naugatuck,CT (FBC)
Collinsville,VA (FBC)
Martinsville,VA (FBC)
Staunton,VA (FBC)
Princeton,WV (FBC)
Muscatine,IA (FBC)
Reidsville,NC (FBC)
Huntington,IN (FBC)
Warsaw,IN (FBC)

TW-Upstate NY
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Re: Family Bargain Centers (New York)

Post by TW-Upstate NY » 20 Nov 2011 10:46

Now that I've had time to think about it, the Herkimer store ended up being a Great American after they had moved from their previous location. As I recall, the stores were "bare bones" operations and not much to look at.

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Andrew T.
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Re: Family Bargain Centers (New York)

Post by Andrew T. » 11 Dec 2011 14:52

This is a picture (not mine) of the former Family Bargain Center store in Collinsville, Virginia; which opened in 1971. Note the alternating brown-tan pattern on the walls:

Image

A building absolutely identical to this stood in Princeton, WV for many years. It housed a smallish Kmart for most of its existence, and I shopped there dozens of times without ever knowing the real truth or origin behind the place.

I'm dying to know if any more of these stripey buildings still exist in substantially original form.
"The pale pastels which have been featured in most food stores during the past 20 years are no longer in tune with the mood of the 1970s."
Andrew Turnbull

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Andrew T.
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Re: Family Bargain Centers (New York)

Post by Andrew T. » 01 Oct 2016 12:11

Here are some additional FBC store locations I've been able to confirm:

* 394 Slab Run Rd, Falls Creek, PA. Opened May 18, 1972. Location also given as DuBois, PA (the towns kind of run together).

* Fort Madison, IA. Opened April 25, 1972. Address described vaguely as "shopping center on the south side of U.S. Route 61" and "opposite the Holiday Inn." A building at approx. 5012 Avenue O looks like it may be the one.

* 2415 Park Ave., Muscatine, IA. Building has been converted to offices.

FBC appears to have focused on smaller cities in a geographically concentrated area...not unlike the location strategy that Wal-Mart used in the 1960s and 1970s. The Bradford, PA store opened in 1969 and was touted as their first Pennsylvania store...presumably, they were only in New York State to that time.

But at some point, their aspirations changed. A January 29, 1972 news article touted plans for stores in Baldwinsville NY, New Hartford NY, Sayne PA, DuBois PA, Warsaw IN, Huntington IN, Muscatine IA, Fort Madison IA, and Sturgis MI; also mentioning that FBC had expanded into WV, VA, and NC the year before. By mid-1973, they were out of business.

I can't help but think that FBC's sudden, abrupt expansion into places as far-flung as Iowa and North Carolina is what spread them thin and did them in!
"The pale pastels which have been featured in most food stores during the past 20 years are no longer in tune with the mood of the 1970s."
Andrew Turnbull

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Re: Family Bargain Centers (New York)

Post by Andrew T. » 01 Oct 2016 12:17

And, to answer my old question...here is the former FBC store in Falls Creek, Pennsylvania (blurry image from Google Maps). It opened on May 18, 1972; it has stripey exterior walls identical to the Collinsville, VA and Princeton, WV stores, and it evidently still stands today.
Attachments
fbc-fallscreekpa.jpg
"The pale pastels which have been featured in most food stores during the past 20 years are no longer in tune with the mood of the 1970s."
Andrew Turnbull

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