Ames Department Stores, Inc. is pleased to welcome you to our internet site to learn more about our company. Whether you are an Ames customer, associate, shareholder or investor, our site has something to offer. We invite you to learn more about Ames, its history, and its commitment to customer service.

Ames began in 1958 when two Connecticut brothers, Milton and Irving Gilman, opened their first store in the Ames Worsted Textile Co. mill in Southbridge, Mass.

Ames' original business strategy was radical: bring discounting to the underserved smaller towns and rural areas of the Northeast. Amesí broad product mix, discount pricing and convenient shopping hours were enormously popular with customers.

Amesí success spurred an aggressive growth period from 1978-1988. Combining a new store building program with acquisitions of other discount chains such as Neisner Brothers, Kings and G.C. Murphy, Ames grew to 450 stores by 1985.

The 1988 acquisition of the 392-store Zayre discount division, however, brought a sharp reduction in profitability, and Ames filed for protection under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code in April 1990.

After successfully emerging from bankruptcy on December 30, 1992, the company returned to profitability in fiscal 1993 and operating performance has continued to improve. Net income increased to $34.5 million for 1997 (fiscal year ended January 31, 1998), compared with a net income of $17.3 million for fiscal 1996 (fiscal year ended January 25,1997). Income before other charges and gains for the fiscal 1997-year was $54.6 million, compared with $33.3 million in the prior fiscal year, a $23.3 million improvement.

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