Tredyffrin Easttown Historical Society
History Quarterly Digital Archives

Source: April 1994 Volume 32 Number 2, Pages 45–58

Club Members Remember Shopping at Woolworth's

Herb Fry

Page 45

Herb Fry

A September 30, 1993 first-page story in the West Chester Daily Local News announced the end of the era of "five-and-ten cent" variety store shopping in West Chester. "F. W. Woolworth Co.," it was reported, "which for years has been a fixture at the main intersection of Gay and High streets, is not renewing its lease." According to the property manager for the owners of the building, Woolworth had informed him of its decision to leave the location when the lease expired in January of 1994.

A follow-up story two days later quoted a Woolworth official, who corroborated the closing. At the same time she stated that Woolworth "has no present intentions" to discontinue operations at the store in the West Goshen Shopping Center on Paoli Pike. By late November, however, newspaper advertisements for the company confirmed that a $220 million "going out of business" sale was underway at 191 Woolworth stores, including both the downtown and West Goshen locations in West Chester, the one on Lancaster Avenue in Wayne, and sixteen other city and suburban locations in the Philadelphia area. The closings in West Chester would not be isolated ones.

Those of us who grew up in Pennsylvania in the 1920s and 1930s certainly have a fond recollection of the familiar red-front Woolworth's "five-and-ten". One could be found on the main street of almost every village or town with a population large enough to support a shopping district for the surrounding countryside. The stores were the source of supply for many of the household and personal items needed in an America not yet overtaken by the automobile age and the mobility it gave to shop here, there, and everywhere.

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For many years the company did a strictly "five-and-ten cent" store business, but in the spring of 1932 a 20-cent line of merchandise was added, and finally the company's directors, on November 13, 1935, decided to discontinue selling price limits altogether.

Following World War II, the size of new locations became larger and often included a long soda fountain and lunch counter along one side of the store. Still later, the company diversified into a wide variety of speciality retail chains, such as Woolco, Foot Locker stores, and Kinney's. Now it appears that it will be phasing out most, if not eventually all, of its traditional and historic five-and-ten cent variety stores and becoming a specialty store retailer almost exclusively. The traditional Woolworth store has become a relic of the past and, as one writer put it, "a victim of the ongoing and evolutionary downtown city business demise".

The idea of selling a fixed-price line of merchandise was originated by "visionary" Frank Winfield Woolworth. He was born on April 13, 1852 in the village of Rodman, just south of Watertown, the county seat of Jefferson County in northern New York. After receiving a public school education and briefly attending a business college in Watertown, he worked as a clerk in various stores. In 1877 he entered the employ of W. H. Moore, a merchant in Watertown. Hearing of a store which sold only five-cent items, Woolworth persuaded Moore to let him test the idea. In September of 1878, during the week of the Jefferson County Fair, he originated a "five-cent-table" in the store of Moore and Smith. It immediately proved to be a success.

Moore then established Woolworth in a five-cent store, which opened for business on February 22, 1879 in Utica, N. Y. The store was a great disappointment, as its sales after a few weeks were as low as $2.50 a day. By late May of 1879, Woolworth's net worth had declined to a total of $252 and he decided to leave Utica. Apparently the store was not in a good location, down a side street, with little foot traffic. He put Edwin Merton McBrier, his first cousin, in charge, and set out for Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

Exactly why he chose Lancaster is not clear. It was a thriving town, with more than 200 industrial employers, set in the midst of a fertile farming area, not unlike the countryside in New York state where he had his roots. At any event, he arrived in Lancaster on Wednesday, May 28, 1879, and booked a room in a hotel there. Early the next morning he was out looking for a store location, found one at 170 North Queen Street, and promptly rented it.

Woolworth returned to Utica, and on Saturday, June 14, closed that store, shipped the remaining stock and fixtures (which had been financed by his backer, Moore), gathered his family, and returned to Lancaster. One week later, on June 21, he opened for business there his first successful venture, which he called the "Great 5-Cent Store".

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In mid-July the first joint venture of the Woolworth brothers, Frank and Charles, opened in Harrisburg, also called the "Great 5-Cent Store". It was, however, forced to close its doors when the landlord upped the rent. C. S. Woolworth then opened for business in York, Pa. on April 3, 1880, but this store, too, closed shortly thereafter, on June 30, and Charles Woolworth assumed the position of manager of the Lancaster store.

In the next decade Frank Woolworth opened 21 more stores in various towns in Pennsylvania, Ne Jersey, Delaware, and Connecticut, adding a ten-cent line of merchandise and thereby increasing the variety of his goods and offering many articles previously available only at higher prices. The majority of these stores were highly successful and were financed and managed in partnerships. Woolworth founded his success on the principles of volume buying, counter-display merchandising, and cash-and-carry trans- actions.

In 1905 the business was incorporated as F. W. Woolworth Company, a Penn- sylvania corporation, with a capitalization of $10 million. During the next five years the company established subsidiaries in Canada and England. Then in 1911 he invited four of his rival retailers (and his former partners) to meet with him at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City for the purpose of merging his and their businesses into a single national corporation. They were Seymour Horace Knox, Woolworth's first cousin, with 108 five-and-tens in New York; Fred Morgan Kirby, with 84 stores in Pennsylvania; Charles Sumner Woolworth, Frank's brother, with 14 stores; and Earle Perry Charlton, with 48 stores in Connecticut. Woolworth's own giant company had 319 stores at the time of the merger, stretching from Maine to North Carolina and from New York to Colorado. The five-and-ten cent store business of W. H. Moore & Son, Woolworth's mentor, with 23 stores, also joined the new enterprise. Agreements were signed on November 12, 1911, and the new consolidated company was incorporated on Decem- ber 15, capitalized at $65 million, to take over, as of January 1, 1912, the assets and property of the combined group. By March 1, 1912 all 596 stores, coast to coast, had assumed the F. W. Woolworth Company name.

Even before the merger was consummated Frank Winfield Woolworth had re- tained the services of Cass Gilbert as architect and designer of the landmark Woolworth Building, which was to be the company's headquarters in New York City. Completed in 1913, the 60-story, 792 feet high skyscraper, with its lacy Gothic detail in white terra-cotta over a steel frame, was regarded as a model of tall commercial building design. When it was constructed it was the world's tallest building, which it remained until 1930, and it is said that Woolworth paid for it in cash, $13.5 million, of his own money. At its grand opening on April 24, 1913 President Wood- row Wilson pressed a telegraph key to light the new building, called the "Cathedral of Commerce". Woolworth also installed a 24th-floor marble office that was a detailed replica of the Imperial Room of one of Napoleon Bonaparte's French palaces.

Woolworth went on to amass a great personal fortune. In addition to his

own corporate responsibilities, he served as a director of various banks and trust companies. He died on April 8, 1919, five days short of his 67th birthday, in Glen Cove, Long Island, N. Y. At that time the company he had founded was operating more than 1000 stores in the United States and Canada.

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The villages in Tredyffrin and Easttown did not fit the criteria considered desirable for a Woolworth store location, and so residents of our area had to travel west to West Chester or east to Wayne to shop at Woolworth's.

There was a time, though, when a Woolworth store almost made it to Paoli, when John J. Mai ley developed the Paoli Shopping Center in the 1950s. An American Stores Copmpany unit, Acme Markets, occupied the first store constructed there in 1954, and American Stores assisted Mai ley with some financing or the stores which followed, as compensation exacting from him an obligation to put a Woolworth store at the east side of the center. Correspondence between the parties in June of 1959 indicates that American Stores was pressing Mai ley to deliver the Woolworth store, with Mai ley's reply enumerating "unforeseen circumstances" but expressing assurances that "if there were no further hitches, the store probably will be under way within the month". However, there apparently were "further hitches", and the store was not to be. It was a point that led to strained relations between the two parties right up until the Mai ley interests sold the shop- ping center at the end of 1986.

Another retail development in Tredyffrin, the Gateway Shopping Center at Swedesford and Valley Forge roads, which was constructed around 1960, did attract a national five-and-ten cent store, but not Woolworth. McCrory's occupied a store that was at what was then the western end of the shopping center for most of the 1960s and 1970s, before it closed.

The era of the small-town five-and-ten-cent store came to an end at the close of business on Saturday, January 22, 1994. Workers began cleaning out the stores the next day, removing fixtures, hauling away trash, and taking down the familiar red and gold F. W. Woolworth Co. signs. The few stores which will continue to operate, in shopping malls such as at King of Prussia, will little resemble the familiar old "five-and-dime" which stands on the downtown street of our memory.

Bob Goshorn

The Woolworth's with which many of us were probably the most familiar was the one in downtown West Chester.

It opened in 1911, the same year that the several variety store chains were combined, and was originally located on North Church Street. (Later the site became a part of Mosteller's Department Store, and still later it was occupied by the sheriff's office and other county offices.)

The first manager of the Woolworth store there was H. T. Bowkley.

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After sixteen years at that location, in 1927 the business was moved to the northwest corner of High and Gay streets, occupying a new building erected there for it, across from the old Green Tree Hotel.

In early 1939 an addition was built on the north end of the building, providing, it was later reported in the Daily Local News, "for the installa- tion of a complete lunch department and soda fountain equipped with every known facility to promote service and insure sanitary conditions". A few months later the store was further expanded, to the west, and in mid-July the re-opening of the "greatly enlarged store of the F. W. Woolworth Company at 1-3-5 Gay street" was announced. With these additions, the store now contained nearly 12,000 square feet of floor space.

"With the erection of the new addition in the rear, and extending the complete width of the building," it was reported in the Local, "all depart- ments in the store have been greatly increased, permitting the display of more merechandise. The entire store-room is air-cooled, assuring comfort to patrons. The aisles are wide, providing ample room for customers to move around freely, without being crowded. Only the highest type of merchandise is obtainable in the stores operated by the F. W. Woolworth Company. The display counters are of convenient height, and arranged for the convenience of the customers. The lighting fixtures are moder, and so arranged as to bring out the true shade and quality of the goods displayed." (Later in the article it was also noted that at that time F. W. Woolworth had "more than 150 stores established throughout the state and over 2,000 stores in the entire syndicate".)

In 1952 Santa Claus included the Woolworth's in West Chester in his pre-Christmas itinerary for the first time. "The beautifully decorated store made an imposing setting for the occasion," it was reported in the Local. "Guests were at liberty to inspect the store, make purchases or visit at will. Santa Claus made his appearance much to the delight of the children, large and small. Many secrets were revealed to him as children told what they desired for Christmas. He presented each child with a bag of gifts. Delicious refreshments were served."

In 1955 the store was again remodeled. "Remaining open for business during renovation," it was noted in the Local in January of that year, "the store management is asking the indulgence of the people of West Chester during the transition. . .. Patrons are asked to watch for the opening date ceremonies for the new Woolworth's."

The ceremonies were held on March 31st, with the burgess of West Chester, Henry V. DeHaven, taking part in the ribbon-cutting. "The newly renovated store," it was reported in the Local, "... is predominantly self-service with super-market type baskets and check-out counters for those who prefer to leisurely browse around and help themselves. Completely redecorated, the store has new air-conditioning, interior appointments and front. A brand new lunch counter featuring more stools and quicker service is an eye-catcher in the new store. More merchandise is on display than ever before. Many departments are enlarged, and most offer self-service, but there is [sic] still sections where articles must be paid for at the point of sale.

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Numerous wrapping stations are spotted around the store for the convenience of customers, who have bought merchandise which they wish individually packaged. The new Woolworth's for a growing West Chester is an obvious bright spot for a progressive community."

That "bright spot for a progressive community", alas, is now just an empty building, and the "five-and-ten" there is no more.

But many of us have recollections of shopping at Woolworth's.

I recall that it was at Woolworth's in West Chester that, when I was about ten or eleven years old, I managed what I felt was quite a financial coup. Woolworth's at that time still had a policy of "nothing over $.10", and so some items would be broken down into several component parts, each priced at ten cents but making the total $.20 or $.30 or whatever. It was always advertised, however, that each part could be purchased separately. One of these items was what we called a "school companion", a cardboard box containing pencils, a ruler, an eraser, a pen and pen point, a protractor, and so on. To conform with the "nothing over $.10" policy, the box was priced at $.10 and the contents were $.10. I told the clerk that I wanted to purchase only the contents. She demurred and called the manager over, and he reluctantly agreed with me that they could be sold separately. So I got all the contents of the box for just a dime! (As I left, with my collection of stuff in a paper bag, I saw him then reach into his pocket for a dime to buy the box.)

Another incident I remember concerned the Woolworth's in ottstown. There we could buy all sorts of neat accessories -- telephone poles, crossing gates, semaphore signals -- to go with our electric train set-up. Coming home, as we were crossing the railroad tracks south of Pottstown the cross- ing gates were lowered as a train was approaching. There we were, on the tracks, with the gates closed and this train bearing down on us! Fortunately, the gate keeper realized our predicament, and raised the gate in front of us so that we could get out of its way. But you can imagine why I still remember so well shopping at Woolworth's in Pottstown that day, ironically to purchase train accessories and crossing gates.

Mildred Kirkner

When I was a very little girl, going to West Chester to shop on Saturday nights was the thing to do. And of course we always went to the five-and-ten because I had just a small allowance and I could do all my shopping there.

In fact, at that time all I knew was that we went to Woolworth's to shop, so if I had a new dress or coat or a new pair of shoes and someone would comment on them, I'd always say, "Oh, we got that at Woolworth's!" My mother would be so embarrassed.

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When I got a little older my allowance was increased to a quarter, but I still did all my shopping, even my Christmas shopping, at Woolworth's. really looked forward to Saturday nights when we'd go to West Chester and go shopping at Woolworth's.

Elizabeth Goshorn

I grew up in Wayne, and we used to think that the five-and-ten was the greatest thing, especially for school supplies. We bought all our notebooks, colored paper, crayons, and so forth there.

But the thing I especially remember was a pair of elegant sewing shears for just $.25. I couldn't believe it! I asked my mother how they could sell them for that price, and she told me that Woolworth's would sometimes buy the surplus stock of other stores and sell it below the original cost. For 60 years now I've been wondering if this really was so.

Jane Ingram

For a book I'm having published I took a photograph of the Woolworth's in Wayne. Fortunately, it was taken in August of 1992, when the big sign across the whole front of the building was still up. (The sign was taken down about a year ago. I remember that the people in the Chamber of Commerce, which was across the street on the other side of Lancaster Avenue, were complaining about "staring at that blank space". They thought that Woolworth's was going to put up a brand new sign. They didn't know that it was going to be a brand new nothing!)

When I mentioned to my friends that the sign was down, I was surprised at how many people were not aware of it. A lot of them work in the city, and don't walk through Wayne every day and know what is going on there.

But I shopped at that Woolworth's for twenty years. And it seemed that there were always the same people, the same faces, working there. (For that matter, it seemed like they were the same people and the same faces in every Woolworth's, in every city. It was just a look that somehow was characteristic of the store.)

I loved that store; I really did. I used to go shopping there for things you couldn't find in any other place. It was the only place in the whole United States of America -- and in England and France, wher I have travelled -- that you could get air mail envelopes.

But the thing that I noticed the most was the distinctive smell. You stepped in the door, and there it was. For years and years there was this same smell. And it was not just in this particular store or in this particular area. I walk in and I'm back in Brooklyn where I grew up.

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That, and the people, I remember. And the canaries in the basement --

One of the things that I've tried to do in my book is to document this area before these stores all disappear. And this is a classic example. In the next couple of years, with the opening of the Blue Route, there are going to be a lot of changes, and places as we know them are going gradually to disappear. We have an exit from the Blue Route at Villanova, and we are certainly opening up the doors to changes, particularly in the face of places like Wayne. It is one of the few places in the area that is still a little village. Wayne and Bryn Mawr are the only two that are left.

Skip Eichner

I can't remember whether it was at Woolworth's or Kresge's -- they both had stores at 69th Street in Upper Darby. But anyway, my favorite treat was the "Big Little Book" counter. These books were special, with illustrations on every other page. The subjects ranged widely -- westerns, adventure, mysteries, sports. They were a great stimulus for me to read.

I've stashed away a few of them somewhere in the house for my children.

Herb Fry

In addition to Woolworth's and Kresge's, there was also a McCrory chain and Newberry's, W. T. Grant, and several others who tried to emulate Woolworth's success.

There must have been something in the soil of Pennsylvania which nourished the many five-and-ten cent store chains which grew up following the lead of Frank Winfield Woolworth.

S. S. Kresge, for example, although he made his mark around Detroit, was born in Bald Mountain, Pa. (The Kresge five-and-tens were actually the forerunners of today's K-Mart stores.) McCrory was a partner of Kresge in Detroit and Memphis; when they later split Kresge took the stores in the Detroit area and McCrory took the stores in the south. Similarly, J. J. Newberry came from Sunbury; W. T. Grant, a slightly more upscale chain, was from Stevensville; and S. H. Kress was from Nanticoke. Allen Price Kirby, the son of Woolworth's merger partner Fred Morgan Kirby, came from Wilkes-Barre, and I believe G. C. Murphy was also from Pennsylvania.

Actually, the Newberry store and Woolworth's in Pottstown were next door to each other, on the north side of High Street.

The Newberry's that was in West Chester for many years, similarly, was located on North Church Street, across the street from where Woolworth's first opened in 1911.

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Jane Denk

I think the sad thing about the closing of these Woolworth stores is that people could walk to them, like the one in Wayne. People would meet there we'd have certain days on which we would get together and we would sit there at the lunch counter.

When I lived in Washington, for some reason I got a little fed up with Woolworth1s, but we had a Murhy's five-and-ten. My father worked for the government, and at that time the government worked on Saturday mornings. We'd go up to Murphy's for lunch. It was a big deal -- hot dogs were five cents and we would share a Pepsi (At that time they were 16 ounces -- "twice as much for a nickel too".) This was during the Depression. It was a high spot.

My brother always had toy soldiers that he bought there. He never had any money, because he always spent it on toy soldiers at the five-and-ten.

I remember the sheet music they used to sell. There was a piano in the store, and someone would play the music for you before you bought it. That was her job.

Later, the Woolworth's in Wayne was most kind to our Needlework Guild when I was president of it. It was the first store to give us a discount.

The same people used to work there for years.

Bill Denk

We even had a Woolworth's out in North Dakota, where I grew up, but not in the town where I lived. We lived in a little town of about 400 people, and we had to go to a big town for the dentist or to shop. That was the town of Oakes, North Dakota. (Anybody who buys sunflower seed to feed the birds may be familiar with the name Oakes; it's a big supplier of sunflower seeds. A 50-pound bag we bought just the other day had "OAKES, NORTH DAKOTA" on the bag.)

But anyway, after seeing the dentist in Oakes my father would give me a dime and I would go down to the Woolworth's store. And I can still remember my first purchase. It was a jumping jack. (You'd squeeze two handles together, and when you released them a clown would fly up. I suspect that every Woolworth's store had jumping jacks for sale in those days.)

Mary Ives

I went to school for eight years in West Chester and I often went to the Woolworth's store. One of the things that I often bought was cosmetics. When I heard that the store in Wayne was going to close I went down and stocked up on face powder.

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Another thing Woolworth's always carried were lamp shades. There was always a nice variety of them, in good conservative shapes, and they weren't terribly expensive.

Libby Weaver

One of the things I remember about Woolworth's was the lunch counter. It was a convenient place to stop after shopping to have a cup of coffee and rest a bit before we started home. My youngest daughter, who is 40 years old, said the highlight of her shopping trips to West Chester was sitting there on a stool at the lunch counter; -- she could order anything she wanted, a soda or a sandwich -- while I went around the store and shopped and then came back for her.

We lived in Paoli, and we could go to Phoenixville or Norristown or West Chester. They were about the same distance.

Mildred Kirkner

My dad used to go to Woolworth's to get something to eat while my mother went to the hairdresser.

Barbara Fry

The Woolworth's of my childhood was a sturdy, two-story, red-front building in the downtown shopping district of Binghamton, New York. It was on the best side of the main street, along with three family-owned department stores that ccupied the prominent corner properties. The Woolworth store was in the center of the block.

We did not shop often, but occasionally we would take the twelve-minute trip to town by trolley, or, later, by bus. No matter where else we did our shopping, we almost always were allowed to visit Woolworth's.

The store seemed very large to me. The front door opened into a burst of activity, with many people usually in front of and behind all the orderly counters. Immediately inside the front door was a glass showcase row of assorted candy; it extended to the middle of the store. Farther on were ribbons and notions, and then a whole counter of assorted handkerchiefs. Stamped needlework was always in vogue, with embroidery and crocheting cotton for those who could manage it. (Many a young seamstress began with the stamped nursery rhyme blocks from Woolworth's.)

All the counters were served by accommodating employees who kept the stock in order.

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At the back of the store an imposing double stairway led to the second floor, with its toys and housewares. Quality was good. Everyday dinner ware might come from Hall's pottery, and it is quite collectable today, as are the Big Little Books, some of which now go for as much as $35 or $40, and the Hubley tractors that were acquired by many children.

Sometimes we bought gifts. I can remember buying a book of poetry, bound in stiff covers, that was within the price range of the third grade gift exchange. It included selections by James Whitcomb Riley that were new to us and inviting. The poems were good; in fact, I wish I had that book today.

As we grew older much of what we bought was inspired by popular movies, but even in our younger years we bought Shirley Temple paper dolls and Big Little Books with Mickey Rooney and Jackie Cooper on the covers -- or, better yet, Freddie Bartholomew in David Copperfield. Some paper dolls came with an entire family, and for a time we had paper dolls with the Dionne Quintuplets. The paper wardrobes for the dolls were quite extensive, and provided many an evening of entertainment.

After World War II Woolworth's gave up its prime location in Binghamton to an upscale specialty shop and moved across the street. Nothing ever seemed as attractive in the new store. It was pretty much like the Wayne store.

When I moved to Philadelphia I shopped at the Woolworth's in the 1300 block of Chestnut Street. At first the selection and service there were good, but gradually they wore down. Service at the counter disappeared. The customer had to search for what was wanted, and then line up at a cash register serving several departments.

Out here the Wayne and King of Prussia stores were efficient and accommodating, but somehow the mystique had been lost. Children no longer lingered over inexpensive toys. Valentines came in boxes of 20 or 30. No longer could you go through bins to make your own selection. Candy was sold in packages or bars or in pre-packaged bags. Stores that had a downstairs section cut down on the help there until the shopper felt abandoned in a desolate, unkempt basement.

Edythe Housworth

I grew up in Germantown -- I was a Philadelphia girl -- and went to Germantown High School. I remember that after school we would all walk down Germantown Avenue to Woolworth'.s -- and that was somethin. (There was a Kresge's there too.) It was always a place where you could stop in and get candy. A girl behind the counter weighed it out for you.

That's also where we bought our Valentine cards. Now you have to go to the supermarket or a card store.

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And the paper dolls! That was one of my hobbies. You could get a folder with several dresses for the doll. Many of them were patterned after some famous movie star Deanna Durbin was one of my favorites. I had to have them. But I also used to design clothes for my paper dolls myself and made my own wardrobes for them.

Woolworth's always carried a lot of different things that attracted people of my age at that time. And you could afford to buy things there. You didn't have to have a lot of money to shop there.

And you could get everything!

Skip Eichner

My sister used to get her paper dolls at Woolworth's, but she'd cut the tabs off the clothing when she cut them out. So I had to cut out all her paper dolls for her.

They also had all kinds of little metal trucks and cars; I think they were Tootsie toys.

Herb Fry

What happened to bring about the closing of these stores?

In the wake of the announcement last September analysts have offered a number of explanations, noting, as one columnist expressed it, that the "Woolworth's stores of today have been overtaken by changing demographics and market-place demands". Among the factors cited were the development of shopping centers with their "stores of all shapes, sizes and varieties" and the dependence of shoppers on automobiles, and the limited parking in places like Wayne or West Chester, though these factors have been true for many years. It was also suggested that the top management of Woolworth's "stayed too long with tradition".

Or, as noted in another column, a corporate official was quoted as stating that "small town five-and-dimes had simply become untenable propositions".

And so an era in retail merchandising is coming to an end. It will be missed by many of us.

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Much of this information, obviously, is from the personal recollections of various club members.

For more information on F. W. Woolworth and Woolworth stores:

Academic American Encyclopedia, "Woolworth Building". Danbury, CT: Grolier Incorpotated 1989

Chester County Historical Society : Clipping File West Chester, PA

Encyclopedia Americana, The, "Frank Winfield Woolworth" Danbury, CT: Grolier Incorporated 1993

Encyclopaedia Britannica, The, "Cass Gilbert and Woolworth Building"; "Variety Store Retailing, Woolworth Co.". Chicago: Encyclopaedia Britannica Inc. 1988 [15th edition]

Moody's Industrial Manual, "Woolworth Corporation". New York: Moody's Investor Service 1993

"Fifty Years of Woolworth". New York: F. W. Woolworth Co. 1929 [quoted in amous First Facts. New York: The H. W. Wilson Company 1981 4th edition]

"Woolworth's First 75 Years : The Story of Everybody's Store". New York: F. W. Woolworth Co. 1954

For information on the store closings:

Daily Local News [9-30-93; 10-2-93; 11-27-93; 1-25-94]
Philadelphia Inquirer


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