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Thursday, June 4, 2015

Price Tag Chronicles: Old & Vintage Store Stickers

          For the last several years, I have been a victim of retail poise and have surrendered myself to study and come to an understanding of how stores work, and the interesting stuff that separated each others, and stops me from just saying "they are all the same", because that is simply not the truth, they are not the same, they serve the public a purpose, and its to provide goods and services, but each brings its own character to a storefront, and you end up asking yourself "Why did I choose to shop here over anywhere else?", because you like what makes that particular store different from the rest.

          The use of a price tag, not only displays what the price of the item is, but represents what the store is all about, from the color scheme, to the logo, and what the merchandise is that is being sold. Each tag seem below is from a different store, some are collections from the same stores, like Korvettes, Venture, and Sears, but are all range from various decades and regions of the country, but the one main purpose is to show the price, but just how different each one looks from another is the primary reason I have made up this list, and frankly because it looks great to see all the tags I have collected over the years.

Here is a chart of very old, and some newer price tags from many stores both long gone and still holding on: [Above each tag is the a brief description of the chain or store and if they are still around or when they went out of business].

Turn-Style was a discount department store chain owned by Chicago-based Jewel Food Stores at the time, and was founded in 1961 and went out of business in 1978 when they were sold to May Company and converted to Venture stores, Osco stores, or closed entirely.


The Rolling Stones Music Store in Norridge, Illinois is still operating since 1977 minutes away from the Harlem Irving Plaza.

Woolco, a division of F. W. Woolworth, and was a discount version of the traditional 5-10 chain, started in 1962, in Columbus, Ohio, around the same time Wal-Mart was founded. Woolco was in three countries, closing all American stores in 1982, stores closed in the United Kingdom in 1986, and in Canada in 1994.

Firestone Christmas Album

Herman's World of Sporting Goods was a small scale sporting goods chain that was founded in 1916 and entered bankruptcy in 1993 and closed all remaining stores by 1996.

McDade & Co., better known as McDade's was a catalog showroom of sorts, similar to Service Merchandise that catered specifically to the Chicago-land area and went out of business at the end of 1987.

Meijer; supermarket and general merchandise chain based in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Elder-Beerman is a subsidiary to The Bon-Ton chain of stores found in the Midwest to Northeast states including Ohio, Michigan, and Kentucky.

Founded in Hartford, Connecticut in 1956, Topps was a department store chain owned by Interstate Department Store Inc. and by 1960, the chain consisted of 10 stores in Connecticut, New York, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Illinois. All stores closed by 1974 when the owners filed for bankruptcy.

Carson Pirie Scott, operating currently primarily in the Chicago and Northwest Indiana. 

Value City was a discount department store chain that liquidated in 2008, yet still operates furniture stores.

Chicago-known Wieboldt's, after celebrating a 100 anniversary in 1983, not shortly after the chain started to decline and filed for bankruptcy in 1986 and all stores closed by 1987.

Franks Nursery closed in 2004.

Galyan's Sporting Goods chain bought out by Dick's Sporting Goods in 2005.

Service Merchandise was a catalog showroom chain founded in 1934, but closed all stores in 2002, and reopened in 2004, much like Linen's 'N Things and Circuit City as an online-only operator.

80's Target tag

Border's was a book store chain that closed in 2011.

Bought from Party City and many stores closed or changed names, but some can still be found operating under the Factory Card name today.

K's Merchandise was a catalog store chain in the Midwest with stores in Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, and Kentucky, and closed in 2007.

Trak Auto was bought by Advanced Auto Parts by 2003.

Service Merchandise

Waccamaw was a pottery store chain with not a lot of collected history, but closed by 2002*

Linen's "N Things closed all stores by 2009.

Vintage Jewel-Osco tag, called Jewel Food Stores.


Arlan's Department Store was founded in 1945 and had stores in 18 states by 1966, and filed for bankruptcy in 1973.

Sound Warehouse

Lechter's Housewares was a small kitchen and accessory utensil store much like William Sonoma and closed by 2001. 

Rich's based in Salem, Massachusetts and founded in 1963 and went out of business in 1997.

KB Toys closed in 2008.

Eagle Country Market known best in the Chicago area and western Illinois and Iowa, closed in 2002 and most locations are now Butera Market

Hechinger was a chain of outdoor and home improvement centers based in Landover, Maryland was founded in 1911 and closed in 1999, but went back online in 2004, and those operations ended in 2009. 

Bought by CVS in 2007.

Coast to Coast Hardware

Polk Brothers was an electronics chain from Chicago founded in 1935 and closed in 1992.

TG & Y was a 5-10 chain that had more than 900 stores in 29 states before closing 2001.

Woolworth was one of the best 5-10 chains until closing in 1997.


Handy Andy was a hardware chain from Chicago, headquartered in Schaumburg, Illinois and closed in June of 1996.

Sears, they speak for themselves.

Texas and Oklahoma known Federated owned Foley's Department Store, changed to Macy's in 2006.

Marshall Field's is as Chicago as it gets, changed to Macy's in 2006.

60's and 70's Penney's tags.

Old Kmart tags.

EJ Korvette was a chain of discount department stores founded in 1948 and closed in 1980.

Craft chain bought by Michael's in 1994.

Venture was a chain of department stores based in O' Fallon, Missouri and had a Majority of there stores in Chicago, St. Louis, the Quad Cities, and Illinois, Kentucky, Oklahoma, and Kansas, and Nebraska. Founded in 1970 and closed in 1998, most stores were sold to Kmart.



Montgomery Ward was a department store founded in Chicago in 1872 and closed in June 2001.

Zayre was a discount department store chain founded in 1956 in Hyannis, Massachusetts and closed in 1990.


  1. Can you date any of those old yellow K-Mart tags? Like the one that has $3.44 on it?

    1. The yellow K-Mart price tags are off of records, so the 70's, but no later.

    2. "The yellow K-Mart price tags are off of records, so the 70's, but no later." So it's possible it could be from say 1968?

  2. When you say off of records, you mean like vinyl albums right?

    1. Yes, from LP's at local thrift stores.

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