View Full Version : Chains from your past that no longer exist

Otter Mii-kun
August 26th, 2011, 6:04 PM
Here, you can list and talk about retail, food, and other chain businesses from your past that no longer exist, or have pulled out of your area. This can include local/regional chains, and national chains.

Here are some chains I remember that have since gone kaput or pulled out of my area:

Hardee's: Although this chain pretty much still exists, most locations in Michigan converted to Tim Hortons in the mid to late 1990s. Last time I was in a Hardee's location was in late 2001, in Owosso.

Dawn Donuts: A donut chain that, at its peak, grew to nearly 50 locations, mostly in Michigan. The chain was bought out by Dunkin' Donuts in 1991, and locations converted to the Dunkin' Donuts name.

Fisher's Big Wheel: A discount chain operating mostly in smaller cities. Went bankrupt in 1993 and some locations were picked up by and converted to Pamida.

Builder's Square: A home improvement warehouse at one time owned by K-Mart, with a similar format to The Home Depot, Lowe's, and Menards. After the chain was sold off to Hechinger, it eventually went out of business, and some locations were picked up by The Home Depot.

A&P (The Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company): Once a nationwide grocery giant with more than 16,000 stores at its peak, its locations in Michigan were converted to the co-owned Farmer Jack chain in 1994 (see below). A&P has continued its downward slide, pulling out of most of the United States, and focusing now on the northeast/New England. It filed for bankruptcy in 2010. Needless to say, this chain is now nearly extinct.

Farmer Jack: Its roots trace back to 1924 as "Tom's Quality Meats" in Detroit. This chain was sold to A&P in the late 1980s, and closed all its stores in July 2007. Best known for its advertising jingle, "It's Always Savings Time at Farmer Jack". After this chain went under, some locations were picked up by Kroger.

Perry Drug Stores: Founded in 1957 in Pontiac, Michigan, this chain peaked at more than 200 stores, and was bought out by Rite Aid in 1995.

Hudson's: A department store chain based in Detroit, founded in 1881. Locations were rebranded as Marshall Fields, which eventually converted by Macy's through a series of mergers and acquisitions.

Mervyn's: As we all should remember, this chain went kaput as a result of the 2008 economic crisis. It pulled out of Michigan in 2006.

Hamady Bros. Food Markets: A Flint-area grocery fixture for 80 years. Its first store was opened in 1911 in Flint near the Buick factory by Lebanese immigrant cousins Michael and Kamol Hamady. The chain grew to many locations in and around the Flint area for decades, but eventually filed for bankruptcy in the late 1980s and closed all its remaining locations by the end of August 1991. Some of the locations converted to Kessel Food Markets (see below). For a more detailed history of Hamady, see http://home.comcast.net/~steelbeard1/flinn022004.htm .

Kessel Food Markets: Established by former Hamady executive Al Kessel in 1981 by purchasing the Flint and Saginaw area Kroger stores (and busting the unions out of them). The chain grew to 20 locations at its peak, but was sold back to Kroger in 2000. The former Kessel locations have all either reverted to Kroger, converted to Save-A-Lot, or closed altogether, depending on the individual location. Kessel was well known for its television commercials in which Al Kessel would read off prices of select items and throw them towards the camera.