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Author Topic: Hills  (Read 42490 times)
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d_fife
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« Reply #120 on: November 21, 2012, 11:56:04 AM »

Ok how similiar was Ames to Hills. and did Hills have a big toy department?
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« Reply #121 on: November 21, 2012, 10:00:11 PM »

What year did Hills go out? I can't remember.

It is true that Hills closed its doors in 1998. But Hills never did go out. What happened to Hills Department Stores is that they sold themselves to Ames. After Hills sold themselves and their stores to Ames, that was how Hills no longer came to be in existence. I used to shop there all the time when I was a little boy. My shopping with my mother at Hills originally started out when they were still Gold Circle. Gold Circle went out of business when I was like five years old and Hills Department Stores purchased the gone out of business Gold Circle Chain. Although Gold Circle was no more, my mother loved Hills just as much as she did Gold Circle and continued to shop there which is what led to me falling in love with shopping at Hills. My mother also took me to shop at Kmart while I was growing up, too. Now that Hills is no longer around and I am an adult, I do all of my discount department store shopping at Kmart.
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« Reply #122 on: November 21, 2012, 10:09:07 PM »

Ok how similiar was Ames to Hills. and did Hills have a big toy department?

Hills did have a pretty big toy department. The toy department at the Hills that I used to shop at while growing up covered half of the west side of the building. It was so big that my mother could never get me out of there.
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d_fife
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« Reply #123 on: November 24, 2012, 08:17:58 PM »

what toys do you remember at Hills. did Hills have electronics??? and how Similar was Hills to Ames
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« Reply #124 on: November 30, 2012, 10:25:44 PM »

what toys do you remember at Hills. did Hills have electronics??? and how Similar was Hills to Ames

Hills had all of the normal toys that you would find in most stores sold back in the 80's & 90's.

I cannot remember if Hills had an electronics department at all or not. I know for certain that Ames did though because I went to it an awful lot at my local Ames once they took over the Hills Department Store that my mother took me all the time to.

Hills and Ames were both very similar. While Ames had a couple of departments that Hills never did have, they were both very nice, but Hills was always my favorite, due to the fact that it was originally my mother's favorite store back when Hills Department Stores were still Gold Circle. Gold Circle went out of business in 1988 when I was just six years old and Hills Department Stores bought out the gone out of business Gold Circle Chain. Although Gold Circle was no more, my still continued to shop there when it became Hills. I remember that the Hills Store that I went to was always busy. My mother would do a lot of her discount department store shopping at Hills and she would always take me to Hills with her. The only time my mother went to Hills to shop by herself in secret was when she had to go Christmas shopping for my brother and I both. One thing that my mother loved about Hills and took advantage of there was their layaway department. My mother would buy my brother and I both our school clothes at Hills every summer and would put them in layaway until they would finally be paid off in the fall just in time for the new school year every single fall of every single year. The only con to Hills layaway department is that you would have to wait for more than an hour every two weeks to make your layaway payment. That is not all though. This repeated itself every single summer. This is just a perfect example of how great a business Hills was. If their layaway department was always this packed, just think of what it was like in the rest of the store. My mother also shopped at Kmart, too when I was growing up. I always liked Kmart too, but Hills was always my favorite as a little boy. Now that Hills is no longer around and I am now an adult, Kmart is now my favorite discount department store and I go to Kmart an awful lot. 
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« Reply #125 on: December 17, 2012, 01:48:56 AM »

if you watch this at 1:22 you will see a  hills located in the backround of this new report taking when USair flight 427 crashed in PA
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=huvVlYtj7bA
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« Reply #126 on: December 17, 2012, 02:00:14 AM »

Very neat video. I saw the store in the background.
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Kmart4life
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« Reply #127 on: December 17, 2012, 07:51:13 AM »

I saw it too.
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« Reply #128 on: December 17, 2012, 02:25:02 PM »

Nice find!
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CTAmeshopper
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« Reply #129 on: December 18, 2012, 02:40:43 PM »

Anybody can make out The name of the plaza on the sign above where it says "PLAZA"? I tried with no luck the video is so old. It must be in some area of Pennsylvania.
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« Reply #130 on: December 19, 2012, 02:12:34 PM »

the plane crashed in Hopewell Township while it was trying to land in Pittsburgh Aliquippa is also near by
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« Reply #131 on: December 21, 2012, 12:33:06 PM »

Anybody can make out The name of the plaza on the sign above where it says "PLAZA"? I tried with no luck the video is so old. It must be in some area of Pennsylvania.

It took a bit of research but I finally I found that sign says GREEN GARDEN. It was the Green Garden Plaza in Aliquippa, PA. The Hills became a Big Lots.

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CTAmeshopper
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« Reply #132 on: December 21, 2012, 02:51:53 PM »

I looked it up on Google images found a property page (it's the first hit) and checked the street view and guess what? The same old sign was STILL THERE the sign hasn't changed (besides the tenants) in 18 years! WOW that is RARE nowadays.  Shocked
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« Reply #133 on: December 23, 2012, 06:58:38 PM »

Does anybody happen to have any Hills Brand Items at all that would happen to be from their health & beauty department that are still brand new and have never been used that they would be willing to sell to me? I would be very interested in purchasing them from anybody interested. I have tried searching for them on Ebay as well as amazon.com, but there never seems to be any available. If anybody is interested please feel free to send me a message through the message-board.

Here is a picture of some of the Hills Brand health & beauty items that I am talking about. I must give credits to the http://tokensafari.com/hillsstores/ website, due to the fact that this image is from their website.

Please keep in mind that there are a lot more items than this, but these are just a few examples.

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XDeSuEhTX
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« Reply #134 on: January 01, 2013, 03:46:37 PM »

if you watch this at 1:22 you will see a  hills located in the backround of this new report taking when USair flight 427 crashed in PA
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=huvVlYtj7bA

Couldn't help but notice there was also a Kangaroo gas station at the front of the plaza present in the video, where there is nothing there today on Google street view.
« Last Edit: January 01, 2013, 03:48:24 PM by XDeSuEhTX » Logged

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« Reply #135 on: January 01, 2013, 04:24:43 PM »

what toys do you remember at Hills. did Hills have electronics??? and how Similar was Hills to Ames

Hills had all of the normal toys that you would find in most stores sold back in the 80's & 90's.

I cannot remember if Hills had an electronics department at all or not. I know for certain that Ames did though because I went to it an awful lot at my local Ames once they took over the Hills Department Store that my mother took me all the time to.

Hills and Ames were both very similar. While Ames had a couple of departments that Hills never did have, they were both very nice, but Hills was always my favorite, due to the fact that it was originally my mother's favorite store back when Hills Department Stores were still Gold Circle. Gold Circle went out of business in 1988 when I was just six years old and Hills Department Stores bought out the gone out of business Gold Circle Chain. Although Gold Circle was no more, my still continued to shop there when it became Hills. I remember that the Hills Store that I went to was always busy. My mother would do a lot of her discount department store shopping at Hills and she would always take me to Hills with her. The only time my mother went to Hills to shop by herself in secret was when she had to go Christmas shopping for my brother and I both. One thing that my mother loved about Hills and took advantage of there was their layaway department. My mother would buy my brother and I both our school clothes at Hills every summer and would put them in layaway until they would finally be paid off in the fall just in time for the new school year every single fall of every single year. The only con to Hills layaway department is that you would have to wait for more than an hour every two weeks to make your layaway payment. That is not all though. This repeated itself every single summer. This is just a perfect example of how great a business Hills was. If their layaway department was always this packed, just think of what it was like in the rest of the store. My mother also shopped at Kmart, too when I was growing up. I always liked Kmart too, but Hills was always my favorite as a little boy. Now that Hills is no longer around and I am now an adult, Kmart is now my favorite discount department store and I go to Kmart an awful lot.

Yes, Hill's did have an electronics department, I remember it pretty well. In my local store, it was in the far left corner of the store in the back. Actually, I remember looking at the video game selection there a lot.

Here is an ad I saw a while back - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KoUhRoD2z-E
« Last Edit: January 01, 2013, 04:26:24 PM by XDeSuEhTX » Logged

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« Reply #136 on: January 29, 2013, 06:48:01 PM »

what toys do you remember at Hills. did Hills have electronics??? and how Similar was Hills to Ames

Hills had all of the normal toys that you would find in most stores sold back in the 80's & 90's.

I cannot remember if Hills had an electronics department at all or not. I know for certain that Ames did though because I went to it an awful lot at my local Ames once they took over the Hills Department Store that my mother took me all the time to.

Hills and Ames were both very similar. While Ames had a couple of departments that Hills never did have, they were both very nice, but Hills was always my favorite, due to the fact that it was originally my mother's favorite store back when Hills Department Stores were still Gold Circle. Gold Circle went out of business in 1988 when I was just six years old and Hills Department Stores bought out the gone out of business Gold Circle Chain. Although Gold Circle was no more, my still continued to shop there when it became Hills. I remember that the Hills Store that I went to was always busy. My mother would do a lot of her discount department store shopping at Hills and she would always take me to Hills with her. The only time my mother went to Hills to shop by herself in secret was when she had to go Christmas shopping for my brother and I both. One thing that my mother loved about Hills and took advantage of there was their layaway department. My mother would buy my brother and I both our school clothes at Hills every summer and would put them in layaway until they would finally be paid off in the fall just in time for the new school year every single fall of every single year. The only con to Hills layaway department is that you would have to wait for more than an hour every two weeks to make your layaway payment. That is not all though. This repeated itself every single summer. This is just a perfect example of how great a business Hills was. If their layaway department was always this packed, just think of what it was like in the rest of the store. My mother also shopped at Kmart, too when I was growing up. I always liked Kmart too, but Hills was always my favorite as a little boy. Now that Hills is no longer around and I am now an adult, Kmart is now my favorite discount department store and I go to Kmart an awful lot.

Yes, Hill's did have an electronics department, I remember it pretty well. In my local store, it was in the far left corner of the store in the back. Actually, I remember looking at the video game selection there a lot.

Here is an ad I saw a while back - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KoUhRoD2z-E

I hope you weren't looking at those terrible rzone games



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« Reply #137 on: November 18, 2013, 11:25:49 PM »

From Charleston, WV
http://www.wchstv.com/newsroom/rememberwhen/rem130728_21.shtml?wap=0
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« Reply #138 on: January 31, 2014, 03:04:50 PM »

if you watch this at 1:22 you will see a  hills located in the backround of this new report taking when USair flight 427 crashed in PA
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=huvVlYtj7bA

I was driving back from Michigan and very nearly drove right under that crash.  Only missed it by a few minutes.

That was next to the old Operations Center in Green Garden Plaza.  Hills opened their doors and donated batteries, flashlights, rope or whatever else was needed for the rescue effort.

I had worked for both Ames ('88-'92) and Hills ('96-'98).
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« Reply #139 on: February 04, 2014, 05:22:39 PM »

Hills sign for the former Delco Plaza Mall in York PA
May 1993 photos from the John Lewis collection.
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« Reply #140 on: February 14, 2014, 02:12:44 AM »

a Hills store being converted into an Ames
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« Reply #141 on: July 17, 2014, 09:59:01 PM »

I guess it would have made sense for Ames to close and completely revamp the stores. Here, I thought they just painted things, slapped the green border around the store, and kept the stores open in the interim. Goes to show you what I knew back then! (BTW, the move to the red/white grid-style entrance exteriors was in 1996. The one out here that got the revamp was in the process of renovating when I moved to the area in June/July of that year.)
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« Reply #142 on: July 24, 2014, 11:20:12 AM »

I guess it would have made sense for Ames to close and completely revamp the stores. Here, I thought they just painted things, slapped the green border around the store, and kept the stores open in the interim. Goes to show you what I knew back then! (BTW, the move to the red/white grid-style entrance exteriors was in 1996. The one out here that got the revamp was in the process of renovating when I moved to the area in June/July of that year.)

Actually that's sort of what did happen...while they were holding the GOB sales at Hills they were renovating the stores (painting, etc) at the same time.  You'd notice it more as they consolidated the leftover merchandise to the front of the stores.

For the most part, the snack bars and layaway areas were just left alone and not revamped.  Some stores they even reused Hills old red checkout stands.

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« Reply #143 on: October 02, 2014, 02:59:19 PM »

From the buffalo news about two new hills store opening one in Amherst and Blasdell ny

http://history.buffalonews.com/2014/09/30/sept-30-1979-career-waiting-new-hills-stores-amherst-blasdell/
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d_fife
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« Reply #144 on: October 06, 2014, 07:50:14 PM »

what customers did Hills cater to and how similar was it to Ames?
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« Reply #145 on: October 07, 2014, 07:11:27 AM »

what customers did Hills cater to and how similar was it to Ames?

Very similar product lines.  Hills had a larger percentage of it's stores located in urban areas, so the
product mix was slightly different (i.e. less likely to find Country Geese patterns on everything).

Hills had a bigger toy department while Ames had a larger domestics department.

Ames in some areas was dabbling in Fashion Forward where Hills was not (one of the Ames locations
I was in had a Gitano shop, for example).

Both would have catered to middle-to-lower middle class consumers.  Both did so successfully insofar
as they were able to stick to their niche and to their strengths (which, of course, is never good enough
for any retail executive)

On the whole the Ames-Hills merger was a much more rational one than Ames-Zayre (though Ames
was too weak to pull out of another downturn by that time)

I had worked in management for both Hills and Ames.
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« Reply #146 on: December 25, 2014, 07:59:36 PM »

there is an old Hill's sign at Hills Stationary in Troy NY it also appears that they use the logo on a lot of their internal paperwork as well
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« Reply #147 on: January 28, 2015, 09:16:38 AM »

how similar was Hill's to Ames?
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« Reply #148 on: January 29, 2015, 07:44:18 AM »

how similar was Hill's to Ames?

Hills - very popular snack bar
Ames - no snack bar (until they acquired Hills and retained them at some locations)

Ames - no armored car service, had to drop the bank deposits by myself
Hills - used armored car service (thankfully, as my last assignment at Hills was in an absolute combat zone)

Hills - Senior discounts, plus free hot dog and Coke for seniors on Wiener Wednesday
Ames - No senior discount (until the late 90's, up close to the Hills acquisition)

Hills - Paid employees in cash each payday (was a method to their madness as most people will spend some of it on their way from the office to the front door)
Ames - Paid employees by check (which actually bounced when we filed Chap. 11)

Ames - Jewelry and shoe departments were leased
Hills - No leased departments, at least when I worked for them

Hills - Was nominally headquartered in Canton, Massachusetts.  But other than the buyers and C-level management, the heart of all chain operations was really located in the Green Garden Plaza in Aliquippa, PA.
Ames - All power was concentrated in Rocky Hill, CT

Ames - much bigger Domestics department
Hills - much bigger Toy department

Hills - extensively used TV advertising
Ames - used relatively little TV advertising (other than during the relaunch of the former Zayre stores)

Ames - all employee scheduling was done by management, by hand.
Hills - all employee scheduling was generated by a computer (which had to be extensively edited by the Operations Manager because the algorithms in the computer program refused to accept that you could actually run a store on that puny amount of payroll, and it kept overspending)

Both chains offered layaway.  Both used red in their color scheme and red smocks for their
employees (until Ames changed to green some time after I had left them).  Both chains used
Ames employees to maintain the floors and restrooms, instead of subcontractors. Both launched into
Michigan with great fanfare in the late 1980's, and then quickly retreated with their tails between
their legs.

I was a manager for Ames from 1988-92 and for Hills from 1996-98.
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« Reply #149 on: January 30, 2015, 10:04:33 AM »

what made the toy department large? and was Ames and Hill's quality of merchandise the same?
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