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Author Topic: Ames in MI???  (Read 5857 times)
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amesdefiance
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« on: September 15, 2006, 03:38:24 PM »

This is a question for the Ames Department Store gurus from the late 80's/ early 90's.  Was this store at 2025 N. Mitchell St. in Cadillac, MI truly an Ames Department Store at one time?  It sure looks like the prototype store Ames used in the late 80's for new Ames stores.  If so does anyone know when it was open and for how long?  Ames once had 15 or so stores in Michigan, most of which were new stores built from the ground up.  And most were profitable before their closure in 1993.  Any help would be appreciated
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C. Fontaine
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« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2006, 07:45:34 PM »

The front lobby/vestibule there does look very much like Ames.
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beachgal26
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« Reply #2 on: September 29, 2006, 10:43:29 PM »

Does anyone know if that was an Ames store at one time?
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TheFugitive
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« Reply #3 on: September 17, 2014, 08:00:08 AM »

Yes, there was an Ames in Cadillac.  Would have opened sometime around 1990.
I was in Imlay City at the time.  Ames made a huge push into Michigan in 1988.
After the first bankruptcy they reversed course.  Were pretty much out of the state
by 1993.
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TheFugitive
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« Reply #4 on: March 09, 2015, 01:27:32 PM »

Found this announcement from the Cadillac News stating that the store would open
on Groundhog Day, 1990

Jan. 13, 1990

The new Ames Department Store in Cadillac was scheduled to open Feb. 2, said company spokesman Bill Roberts. The store would feature more than 65,000 different items. They would include clothing, domestics, curtains, rugs, small kitchen appliances, automotive and sporting goods, toys, housewares, computers, radios and health and beauty aids. The store likely would employ 60 workers.


http://www.cadillacnews.com/news_story/?story_id=1824002&year=2015&issue=20150113


I believe the Store Manager here was an Eric Bontiko (sp?) who would have transferred from the Caro store.

The closing was announced in October, 1991.  I imagine it would have been closed by Christmas of that year.

http://articles.dailypress.com/1991-10-05/business/9110060161_1_ames-department-stores-ames-spokesman-bill-roberts-stores-early-next-year

I also left Ames around this time.

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« Reply #5 on: June 10, 2015, 11:17:27 PM »

I would compare Ames' push westward into Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, and Illinois to Shopko's push eastward into Indiana and into Kansas and Missouri with the purchase of some failing Venture and Jack's stores. Shopko did have one store in Paducah, Kentucky. Their store (previously a Venture) connected to a Joplin, Missouri shopping mall became a temporary home to Joplin High School, after the original Joplin HS was destroyed by a tornado. Shopko also expanded into Ohio's Cuyahoga Valley under the ownership of SuperValu, with a chain of stores similar to Biggs and Meijer, called Twin Valu. One former Twin Valu location became a Super Kmart location for a decade before closing again due to poor sales figures. The Shopko in Dubuque, Iowa still retains the Venture-style exterior on the outside, but the layout has been changed on the inside, when Shopko moved in, in 1998. That store recently got the new logo, and paint job on the outside.

Ames push into the Midwest is also similar to Venture's failed attempt to expand into Texas. The majority of those former Venture stores are now home to Kmart stores.
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TheFugitive
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« Reply #6 on: September 10, 2015, 12:34:23 PM »

One of the reasons that Ames made the big push into Michigan was that their CEO at the time,
Peter Hollis, had previously been CEO of Fisher's Big Wheel.  He knew that many of the most
profitable Big Wheel locations were in small Michigan towns where there was little competition
and above-average disposable incomes.  So he took Ames into those same markets.  There was
almost always a Big Wheel in the same town competing with us (including right across the street
in Imlay City.  That store is now a Shopko.)

Hollis had also previously been CEO of Zayre, which more or less explains our ill-fated
purchase of their discount stores.
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