Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Bradlees Store Locator PLUS

Back in February 2007, we launched our Bradlees Store Locator, which attempted to detail every Bradlees store in Connecticut from the first one in New London in 1958 up until the final 17 locations upon the December 26, 2000 announcement whereby the chain ceased operations.

Back in early 2007, our resources were limited to an ad unearthed by a board member of the Ames Fan Club. Since, we've expanded our research and have tracked down every store that ever existed in Connecticut and even cleared up some unconfirmed and/or short-lived locations. Now, one year later, we have fixed the errors, added opening dates to most stores, included some photographs, and added a host of information on each site.

The Caldor Rainbow presents the Bradlees Store Locator PLUS. And now, a brief history of Bradlees *cue the lights*.

Bradlees Department Stores began in New London, Connecticut in 1958 as a "suburban self-service department store" as cited in their earliest advertisements. The once coastal tourist attraction quickly rose to fame in 1961 when they became recognized by Stop & Shop as "One of The Stop & Shop Companies" and began to expand. The Companies now consisted of Stop & Shop supermarket, Bradlees department store and later Medi-Mart pharmacy/drug store, and Perkins Tobacco.

In its earliest years bond with Stop & Shop, Bradlees shared a food/grocery brand as "Stop & Shop-Bradlees Foods" with some locations becoming an extension of Stop & Shop before some locations were morphed or relocated into becoming full-fledged department stores that later became known as.

Along with the brand, many of the earliest "food" brand Bradlees stores were located in Bristol, East Haven, Milford, Norwalk (two locations; Connecticut Ave and West Avenue), New Britain, Torrington, Stamford, West Haven and Westport existed as food retailers beyond the ceasing of the foods brand while others did not or relocated. The "food" brand was later discontinued, by the late 1960's, whereby stores would simply become Bradlees stores, most of which already contained neighboring Stop & Shop markets.

As part of a short-lived series, some Bradlees stores were surnamed "Family Centers" in the later 1960's, later dropping the name upon later built stores.

Their earliest Connecticut stores apart the original established New London location was Derby, Bristol, Milford, Hamden and soon after a short-lived West Hartford-Bishop's Corner store. At closing in 2000, Bradlees only retained two of these early, original locations: Bristol and Hamden.

The store itself was a typical department discount-themed store trafficking in essentials, clothing (softlines), hardware, home furnishings and decor, electronics, toys, grocery and more. Like other retailers in its time, stores also featured snack bars or eateries at the front of most stores trends of including in-house eateries and restaurants within stores like Grant's Bradford House Today trends call for franchise operations, unlike the once exclusive bonds retailers once had like K-Mart and its bankrupt bond with Little Caesar's, Wal-Mart; with Subway and Target; with wide offerings such as Taco Bell-Pizza Hut Express and/or Starbucks today.

In their prime, the store within the family of Stop & Shop shared great success during the 1970's throughout the late 1980's having the ability to expand beyond Connecticut and into neighboring states and soon a bulk of the Northeast retail market including a heavy presence in New Jersey and Massachusetts. Stores would also later trickle into Pennsylvania, Maine, Rhode Island with a handful in New York and New Hampshire as well.

Bradlees, coupled with Stop & Shop, quickly emerged as a store with one-stop-shop mini-mall enterprises. Thriving with competitive edge across the consumer spectrum, having many of their locations built aside Stop & Shop locations; conveniently aiding from the proximity of frequent supermarket traffic influx. Many locations even featured hybrid meshed concepts were shoppers could cross over via interior and intermingle into neighboring stores territories a la Wal-Mart Supercenter of today with as many as three of its store brands; Bradlees, Stop & Shop and Medi-Mart across one strip.

These expansion and opportunist years of the peaking early 1980s enabled the chain to occupy a few fallen rival discounters including Two Guys; a famed New Jersey super discounter of the 1970's, King's, which had collapsed during the early 80s, Jefferson Ward; a like discounter based in New Jersey and Woolco; a discount, youth-oriented arm of the Woolworth chain who also had many locations in places where Bradlees would soon compete.

Bradlees ended up taking over two of the three fallen Two Guys locations in Connecticut in New London (at New London Mall) and Newington in early 1982. Both locations would soon see the ends of the expansion, both closing after the mid-1990's shift.


A NOW DEMOLISHED BRADLEES AT "THE DOCK" IN STRATFORD WAS THE LAST REMAINING VACANCY OUTSIDE THE HARTFORD AREA, NOW HOME TO BJs WHOLESALE CLUB

But for many New Englanders and outer regions, the direct contender for Bradlees rule was none other than fellow rising discounter, Caldor, who are very comparable in looks, offerings, and location sprawl. Caldor also rose quickly and demanded the retail market throughout the 1970's, expanding rapidly in a fierce duel with the rival discounter.

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, critics noted that Bradlees struggled financially and declined in image in opposition to rival discounter chains which were rising quickly. One such was Ames, who had swallowed up the Framingham, Mass.-based Zayre in 1988, inheriting a bevy of prime landscape but also a detriment of debt it had soon endured in 1990. Most empirically, was Bentonville, Ark.-based Wal-Mart, who began entering the Northeast market, having its first Connecticut store to break ground in Manchester in 1993, turf were Bradlees had been since 1982.

Like even their most brazen rivals, Bradlees' struggle increased by the early 1990s and shortly after when Stop & Shop dealt the blow to the once cradled company by initiating the first divorce of the companies brand. The company's departure began with the phaze out of Medi-Mart, when in May 1986, Stop & Shop sold it off to the rapidly expanding Walgreens.

Medi-Mart, the pharmacy-based subsidiary of Stop & Shop more or less has since become apart of Walgreens but not without keeping the heritage within today's Stop & Shop with an integrated portion of their supermarkets today dedicated to pharmaceutical and drug store conveniences, sans the name. In May 1992, Stop & Shop announced the selling of Bradlees, thereby becoming detached from its almost 30-year bond with Stop & Shop to focus on its own operation.

Following the divorce, Bradlees, now as a publicly-traded company, changed their outlook for survival. By 1992, Bradlees had 29 locations to deal with, a number throughout the 1990's would see steady decline shuttering starting old, New Britain on Slater Road and new stores, Simsbury, at The late Farmington Valley Mall.


A ROAD SIGN STILL UP GREETS FROM BEYOND THE GRAVE IN MANCHESTER

Despite their continual reports of success, Bradlees, was falling behind in trend and vanity of their stores displayed that with outdated decor and crumbling exterior models -- most of which predated decades old, without significant remodeling efforts. Attempting to repel, keeping prices competitive also meant improving the cosmetics of their store and layouts. Bradlees already had the benefit of owning much prime real estate, like Caldor, with over 30 locations in Connecticut which reduced cancerously over the course of the 1990's.

Like many rivaling chains, Bradlees undoubtedly borrowed much from the playbook of its up-and-coming rivals to be at the top of the edge again. Mirroring the obvious Caldor, who entered the 1990s with a revitalized image and store model to suit it, Bradlees also, in the later 90s, contended by looking towards Wal-Mart and Ames, who recently and overzealously conducted themselves following the acquisition of an indebted Zayre and further sprawling beyond the Northeast and into outer territory, all of which who were fierce competition. This sought to leave many aging stores behind, which of course hurt the company's image.

As a result, they began to brighten up the darker, outdated colors of their store's interiors, adopt catchy slogans this side of Ames but solely ran things as tight as their finances deemed. Unfortunately, many of these long-needed cosmetic enhancements, including an unwillingness to update their 70's-centric logo, ended up coming too late or never for older stores, some of which were, like aching rival Caldor, severly outdated until the last months known well today for neglecting exterior renovations of some decades old existing locations. The company also misstepped in that; like Caldor, attempted to build newer stores throughout the 1990s, using marketing techniques to mask their appearent woes (much like Kmart is exercising today).


A LONG ABANDONED BRADLEES IN MANCHESTER AT THE COMPLETELY VACATED BROAD STREET-SIDE, MANCHESTER PARKADE

On June 24, 1995, Bradlees entered Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Only months later would rival Caldor enter the same challenge. As a result, the chain strategically shuttered a series of underperforming in 1996, with some trickling years forthcoming.

After a pressure-filled decade, were stores slowly darkened, something went right for Bradlees who miraculously emerged from Chapter 11 in 1999, becoming free of burden which usually sees no recovery to its past retail victims, one such lifelong competitor Caldor falling within the same year. Sadly, the celebratory fanfare or prospect to start anew ended only one year later when the staggering retailer methodically, after the millennial holiday season of 2000; announced they were closing up for good.

Within months, Bradlees shuttered all remaining 105 locations across six states.

On December 26, 2006, Bradlees, as it's been known for half of the 20th century, was soon no more -- swallowed into a black hole of retail history.

But always remembered. We at the Caldor Rainbow recognize the significance and appeal Bradlees had on its customers which is why we are proud to preserve Bradlees memory in our premium store locator.


A LONG VACANT BRADLEES IN THE PARKVILLE SECTION OF HARTFORD STILL STANDS

Bradlees left an impression on us Northeasterners. Many people miss the store's charm compared to today's empirical Wal-Mart. So much that it ranks up there with beloved departed department stores of past like rival, Caldor, who's charm died around the swing of the millennium. Arguably, Bradlees wasn't quite as pinnacle as Caldor, not as gaudy as Ames, but had a likability that today's discounter seem to be devoid of (excluding the slick Target, who's hung in there for decades and going stronger than ever). Maybe it was their iconic, forever groovy logo or their non-uniform building styles, or maybe the smell of salty popcorn upon walking into a store.

The Caldor Rainbow holds no malice towards today's discounters: may the fittest survive.

WHAT BECAME OF FORMER STORES?

Wondering what became of your local and elsewhere Bradlees?


A RECYCLED, FORMER BRADLEES IN EAST HARTFORD NOW HOME TO BURLINGTON COAT FACTORY

The change in the market has taken care and recycled many former locations, but that doesn't mean they're completely gone. Some, in fact, still exist as ghosts in their newer tenants -- if you can find them.

Because of Bradlees earliest bond with Stop & Shop, it's not unusual to find former Bradlees sites evolved into full-fledged, expanded Super Stop & Shop stores. Some former stores have also been subdivided or partitioned -- when the original building is split to accommodate lower volume retailers thus more occupants per square foot. Specialty retailers who deal in smaller volume have done this like TJ Maxx, Staples and even furniture stores, have done this in accordance to fit inside or make the once big box scale more versatile and suitable for more retailers.

Many other entire sites have either been partially or completely demolished and overhauled -- mainly those rebuilt for Wal-Mart, Kohl's, and even those to the scale of Home Depot and Lowe's. There's also still a handful of vacant sites with uncertain futures.

Here's a list we've compiled of all known former Bradlees locations across the state of Connecticut. We've decided to focus solely on Connecticut although there could be locations remaining in surrounding states where stores were once positioned around the Northeast. To keep the list accurate, regular updates and submitted or suggested corrections are welcomed.

COMPLETE QUICK LIST of FORMER CONNECTICUT LOCATIONS (INCLUDES FOOD STORES)

AVON-SIMSBURY (M) became Bob's Stores/redeveloped Simsbury Commons
BRIDGEPORT became subdivided into AJ Wright, Modell's and Sleepy's
BRISTOL (F) became expanded Super Stop & Shop
CROMWELL became expanded Super Stop & Shop
DANBURY became Wal-Mart
DERBY became Shop-Rite
EAST HARTFORD (M) became subdivided into Burlington Coat Factory and Aaron's Rental
EAST HAVEN (F) became Carmax
ENFIELD/THOMPSONVILLE became Lia Hyundai of Enfield
ENFIELD (King St.) became Bernie's Corporate Offices
ENFIELD (Hazard Ave.) became subdivided into Linen's & Things, Michaels, and Office Depot
FAIRFIELD (F) became expanded Super Stop & Shop
GROTON (Long Hill Rd.) became subdivided into TJ Maxx, Goodwill Super Store
GROTON (Route 12) became Kohl's
GUILFORD became Wal-Mart
HAMDEN (940 Dixwell Ave.) (F)
became Dollar Deals, Jane Beauty Supply
HAMDEN (2300 Dixwell Ave.) became Wal-Mart
HARTFORD currently VACANT
MANCHESTER currently VACANT
MERIDEN became Burlington Coat Factory
MIDDLETOWN (E. Main St.) became Marshalls
MIDDLETOWN (S. Main St.) became Biosystems Inc.
MILFORD (F) became Stop & Shop, then redeveloped mall; Sears
NEWINGTON became Wal-Mart
NEW BRITAIN (Stanley St. & E. Main) (F) became ?
NEW BRITAIN (Slater Rd.) currently Webster Bank Corporate Training Center
NEW LONDON (South Frontage Rd.) (T) became Burlington Coat Factory
NEW LONDON (New London Mall) (M) became reconstructed New London Mall
NEW MILFORD became Wal-Mart
NORWALK (Connecticut Avenue) (F) became Wal-Mart
NORWALK (West Avenue) (F) became ?
ORANGE became Kohl's
SHELTON subdivided into Bed, Bath & Beyond and Hawley Lane Shoes
STAMFORD (F) became Shop-Rite Super Grade A
STRATFORD became BJ's Wholesale Club
TORRINGTON (F) (T) became TJ Maxx
WEST HARTFORD (T) currently Whole Foods Market
WEST HAVEN (F) became Walgreens
WESTPORT (F) became ?
WETHERSFIELD became subdivided into AJ Wright and EbLens
WATERBURY (Chase Ave.) became Target
WATERBURY (Reidville Dr.) became subdivided into Sealy Sleep Center and Raymour & Flanigan Furniture
VACANT STORES AS OF FEBRUARY 2007: 2

(F) ORIGINALLY FEATURED/WAS "BRADLEES FOODS"
(M) LOCATED INSIDE MALL
(T) TWO-LEVEL LOCATION



DETAIL LIST of FORMER CONNECTICUT LOCATIONS


Remaining 17 Connecticut locations as of Fall 1998 which remained until 2000, courtesy of the late Bradlees.com website.

All 17 final stores listed as "CLOSED" on December 26, 2000 actually closed months later, per liquidation.

----------------------------------------
AVON-SIMSBURY
----------------------------------------
Farmington Valley Mall
850 Bushy Hill Road

OPENED : September 23, 1982
CLOSED : April 1992

CURRENTLY : Bob's Stores

HISTORY : W.T. Grant / Grants (1972-1976), King's (1976-1982), Bradlees (1982-1992), vacant (1992-1994), Bob's Stores (1994-present)

NOTES : Closed April 1992, citing sluggish sales (and likely a cut due to Stop & Shop Companies divorce). Stop & Shop was later rebuilt and the Bradlees portion was partially demolished for Bob's Stores.

----------------------------------------
BRIDGEPORT

----------------------------------------

156 Boston Avenue
Route US-1

OPENED : 1975
CLOSED : December 26, 2000

CURRENTLY : subdivided into AJ Wright, Modell's and Sleepy's

----------------------------------------
BRISTOL

----------------------------------------
Bristol Plaza
603 Farmington Avenue
Route US-6

OPENED : November 2, 1960
CLOSED : December 26, 2000

CURRENTLY : relocated, expanded Super Stop & Shop

----------------------------------------
CROMWELL

----------------------------------------
197 West Street

OPENED : November 3, 1983
CLOSED : ?

CURRENTLY : newly-rebuilt Super Stop & Shop

NOTES : Originally neighbored Stop & Shop, eventually became Super Stop & Shop.

----------------------------------------
DANBURY

----------------------------------------
Berkshire Shopping Center
69 Newtown Road

OPENED : 1962
CLOSED : December 26, 2000

CURRENTLY : Wal-Mart

NOTES : Featured nearby Super Stop & Shop location, now occupied by Marshalls. Was only partially demolished for Wal-Mart. Former Stop & Shop contains original Bradlees logo label scar.

VIEW : SiteRide Property Snapshots

----------------------------------------
DERBY

----------------------------------------
Valley Shopping Center
49 Pershing Drive
Route CT-334

OPENED : (In or before) 1961
CLOSED : February 1996

CURRENTLY : Shop-Rite

NOTES :
Store targeted for closure in February 1996 as part of bankruptcy reorganization.

----------------------------------------
EAST HARTFORD

----------------------------------------
Charter Oak Mall (became Super Stop & Shop/Burlington Coat Factory/Plaza)
640 Silver Lane

OPENED : March 21, 1976
CLOSED : February 1996

CURRENTLY : subdivided into Burlington Coat Factory and Aaron's Rental

NOTES : Was once apart of the now demalled Charter Oak Mall. Was reportedly a very troubled store built on "sinking land" throughout it's life, later years.

Contained exterior and interior/mall entrances.

Store was remodeled and completed by August 1979 adding energy conservative lighting, widened aisles, luggage and optical departments.

Store targeted for closure in February 1996 as part of bankruptcy reorganization.

VIEW : our profile on The Charter Oak Mall.

----------------------------------------

EAST HAVEN

----------------------------------------
121 Frontage Road / Connecticut Turnpike
I-95 South; Exit 51

OPENED : 1960s
CLOSED : February 1996

CURRENTLY : Carmax

Notes: Originally contained neighboring Stop & Shop, later occupied by Toys 'R' Us in former Stop & Shop location. Bradlees closed in 1996 wave of store closures. A notorious location; many reports of vandalism and even built on "sinking" land. Entire site demolished and bolstered for Carmax in 2005.

Store targeted for closure in February 1996 as part of bankruptcy reorganization. Was vacant from 1996-2005.

VIEW : Unknown authored photo of vacant East Haven location

----------------------------------------
ENFIELD / THOMPSONVILLE

----------------------------------------
483 Enfield Street
Route US-5

OPENED : 1960s?
CLOSED : January 1970

CURRENTLY : Lia Hyundai of Enfield

NOTES : Store closed in January 1970, reopened at Enfield (King Street) in March 1970. Medi-Mart took over former Bradlees, located next to Stop & Shop. Was eventually redeveloped for Lia Hyundai, a car dealership lot. This was the first location of Bradlees in Enfield.

----------------------------------------
ENFIELD

----------------------------------------

274 King Street
Route US-5 & Interstate 91

OPENED : March 1970
CLOSED : Unknown

CURRENTLY : Bernie's Corporate Headquarters (?)

NOTES : Relocated from Thompsonville location at 483 Enfield Street. Year closed unknown. Was originally listed as 274 King Street. Did it become farmland? Was listed as Route 5 & I-91 in advertisement store locator but address does not match with Bernie's listed at 1559 King St.

----------------------------------------
ENFIELD

----------------------------------------
Enfield Suburban Mall (now Enfield Commons)
25 Hazard Avenue
Route CT-190

OPENED : ?
CLOSED : December 26, 2000

CURRENTLY : subdivided into Linen's & Things, Michaels, and Office Depot

NOTES : Was the third and final location for Bradlees in Enfield.

----------------------------------------
FAIRFIELD

----------------------------------------
Tunxis Hill Shopping Center (became Super Stop & Shop-Bradlees-Walgreens/Plaza)
776 Villa Avenue & US-1 split

OPENED : 1960s?
CLOSED : December 26, 2000

CURRENTLY : expanded Super Stop & Shop

NOTES : Originally featured Bradlees Foods location.

VIEW : SiteRide Property Snapshots

----------------------------------------
GROTON
----------------------------------------
810 Long Hill Road

OPENED : 1960s
CLOSED : 1986

CURRENTLY : subdivided into TJ Maxx and Goodwill Super Store

NOTES :
Was also listed at "670 Long Hill Road." Later relocated to Route 12.

----------------------------------------
GROTON

----------------------------------------
Groton Square
Route 12

OPENED : 1987
CLOSED : February 1998

CURRENTLY : Kohl's

NOTES : Was relocated from original Long Hill Road location. 20-Year Lease Signed by Kohl's; Opened on April 6, 2001.

----------------------------------------
GUILFORD

----------------------------------------

Shoreline Plaza
900 Boston Post Road

OPENED : 1983
CLOSED : December 26, 2000

CURRENTLY : Wal-Mart

NOTES :
Was possibly a former King's

----------------------------------------
HAMDEN
----------------------------------------
940 Dixwell Avenue

OPENED : 1960s
CLOSED : ?

CURRENTLY : Dollar Deals, Jane Beauty Supply

NOTES : Was Bradlees Foods

----------------------------------------
HAMDEN
----------------------------------------
Hamden Mart
2300 Dixwell Avenue

OPENED : (In or before) 1961
CLOSED : December 26, 2000

BECAME : Wal-Mart

NOTES: Plaza facade theme of former store in later years still exists.

----------------------------------------
HARTFORD

----------------------------------------
1250 Park Street & Laurel Street

OPENED : November 5, 1968
CLOSED : December 26, 2007

CURRENTLY : VACANT, possible plans for future site “Pope Commons”

NOTES : Location was used for Mega Liquidation Sale; a closeout-style bazaar featured for a limited time only in late 2006. Building is still vacant, up for lease. Large banner on far-left end claims future redevelopment "Pope Commons" in works.

----------------------------------------
MANCHESTER

----------------------------------------
Manchester Parkade
West Middle Turnpike & Broad Street

OPENED : April 22, 1982
CLOSED : December 26, 2000

CURRENTLY : VACANT

NOTES : Was originally King's from 1966-1982, became Bradlees, opened on April 22, 1982.

VIEW : Flickr Set: "Manchester Parkade (June 6, 2007)," Update photo taken on December 20, 2007 by The Caldor Rainbow.

----------------------------------------
MERIDEN

----------------------------------------

Townline Square
410 South Broad Street
Route US-5

OPENED : June 1988
CLOSED : August 1996

CURRENTLY : subdivided into Burlington Coat Factory and Michael's Arts & Crafts

NOTES :
Was located on the Meriden-Wallingford line. Store targeted for closure in August 1996.

----------------------------------------
MIDDLETOWN

----------------------------------------
South Main Street

OPENED : September 1965
CLOSED : 1992

CURRENTLY : Biosystems Inc.

NOTES : This was the original Bradlees store which was relocated to a nearby plaza on East Main Street in 1993. Currently Biosystems Inc. headquarters.

----------------------------------------
MIDDLETOWN

----------------------------------------

East Main Street
OPENED : 1993
CLOSED : December 26, 2000

CURRENTLY : subdivided into Marshalls, Bob’s Stores and Dollar Tree

NOTES : Relocated from original South Main Street location. Was vacant from 2001-2004.

----------------------------------------
MILFORD

----------------------------------------
Connecticut Post Shopping Center (became Connecticut Post Mall, renamed/currently Westfield Connecticut Post)

OPENED : (In or before) 1961
CLOSED : ?
CURRENTLY : redeveloped Mall, Sears

NOTES : Was originally a Bradlees Foods. Became Stop & Shop, then/currently Sears. Was apart of Milford Mall, closed before mall enclosure in 1977.

----------------------------------------
NEWINGTON

----------------------------------------
Berlin Turnpike & Deming Road

OPENED : August 1982
CLOSED :
August 1996

CURRENTLY : Wal-Mart

NOTES : Store closed in 1997, Wal-Mart opened in 2001. Originally a Two Guys; Bradlees would takeover Two Guys location and open by August 1982.

Vestige of older plaza still exist in the form of Staples and outparcel Webster Bank. Co-existed with original Wethersfield location, also on the Berlin Turnpike.

Store targeted for closure in August 1996.

VIEW : Photo of vacant Newington location, from Newington Assessor Database

----------------------------------------
NEW MILFORD
----------------------------------------
Dodd Road
Route US-7

OPENED : 1980s
CLOSED :
December 26, 2000

CURRENTLY : Wal-Mart

----------------------------------------
NEW BRITAIN
----------------------------------------
Stanley Plaza
Slater Road & Hillhurst Avenue

OPENED : August 2, 1966
CLOSED : 1992

CURRENTLY : currently Webster Bank Coporate Training Center

HISTORY : Bradlees (1966-1992), Price Club (1992-1994), Nestle Chocolate Distribution Center, Wal-Mart (1997-2002)

NOTES : Still shadows Wal-Mart in design. Entire plaza is now security gated-off to public access under current ownership. Area is/was reportedly laden with crime.

----------------------------------------
NEW BRITAIN
----------------------------------------
East Main Street & Stanley Street

OPENED : ?
CLOSED : ?

NOTES : Was Bradlees Foods location.

----------------------------------------
NEW LONDON
----------------------------------------
New London Shopping Center
268 Bridge Approach / South Frontage Road
Interstate 95, Exit 86

OPENED : 1958
CLOSED : 1982

CURRENTLY : Burlington Coat Factory

NOTES : The first Bradlees store, built in 1958.

Later relocated to New London Mall in 1982, occupied fallen Two Guys formerly at New London Mall. Was a known two-level location, still contains multiple levels of store space.

----------------------------------------
NEW LONDON
----------------------------------------
New London Mall
North Frontage Road

OPENED : April 1982
CLOSED : February 1998

CURRENTLY : redeveloped New London Mall

NOTES : Relocated to New London Mall from original North Frontage Road location directly across I-95. Was formerly/originally Two Guys.

Declaration of closure cited in December 1997 whereby the chain closed four other "underperforming" stores. Mall was partially demolished in 1998 for New London Mall reconstruction. Former Bradlees was converted into mall space.

-----------------------------------------
NORWALK
-----------------------------------------
West Street

OPENED : ?
CLOSED : ?

CURRENTLY : ?

NOTES : Was a Bradlees Foods location.

-----------------------------------------
NORWALK
-----------------------------------------

680 Connecticut Avenue
Rotue US-1

OPENED : ?
CLOSED :
December 26, 2000

CURRENTLY : Wal-Mart

NOTES : Originally a Stop & Shop Companies plaza. A dated Stop & Shop pulled out towards the end of this store's life.

VIEW : SiteRide Property Snapshots

----------------------------------------
ORANGE
----------------------------------------
250 Bull Hill Lane
Route US-1

OPENED : 1960s
CLOSED : December 26, 2000

CURRENTLY : Kohl's

NOTES : Was vacant from 2001-2005. 20-year lease signed by Kohl's in 2005.

VIEW : SiteRide Property Snapshots

----------------------------------------
SHELTON
----------------------------------------
862 Bridgeport Avenue

OPENED : 1982
CLOSED : December 26, 2000

CURRENTLY : subdivided into Bed, Bath & Beyond and Hawley Lane Shoes

NOTES : Hawley Lane Shoes moved into subdivided space in 2004. Formerly at Hawley Lane Mall (Trumbull).

----------------------------------------
STAMFORD
----------------------------------------
Elm Street

OPENED : ?
CLOSED : ?

CURRENTLY : Shop-Rite Super Grade A

NOTES : Shop-Rite listed at "200 Shippan Avenue."

----------------------------------------
STRATFORD
----------------------------------------
The Dock
955 Ferry Boulevard

OPENED : 1971
CLOSED : December 26, 2000

CURRENTLY : BJ's Wholesale Club

NOTES : Was vacant from 2001-2007. Store had two separate entrances; one frontal and one far-left/side entrance.

----------------------------------------
TORRINGTON
----------------------------------------
Torrington Plaza
77 South Main Street

OPENED : August 11, 1963, reopened on April 2, 1967
CLOSED : 1993?

CURRENTLY : TJ Maxx

NOTES : Store burned down in 1966, but reopened in 1967. Was a two-level store.

----------------------------------------
WATERBURY
----------------------------------------
Waterbury Plaza (also known as Super Stop & Shop-Bradlees/Plaza, currently Super Stop & Shop-Target/Plaza)
300 Chase Avenue

OPENED :
November 1962
CLOSED : December 26, 2000

CURRENTLY : Target

NOTES : Was the 8th Connecticut store. Was vacant from 2001-2005; Super Stop & Shop-Bradlees road sign at the corner of Chase Ave. & Wigwam St. remained until mid-2006, through construction site for Target. Super Stop & Shop was located in a gap over in the nearby plaza (possibly moved in 1980s or 1990s).

Target opened on October 8, 2006.

VIEW : Stop & Shop-Bradlees road sign, since removed Summer 2006.

----------------------------------------
WATERBURY
----------------------------------------
410 Reidville Drive & Scott Road

OPENED : 1960s
CLOSED : December 26, 2000

CURRENTLY : subdivided into Sealy Sleep Center and Raymour & Flanigan Furniture

NOTES : Like other Waterbury location, featured neighboring Super Stop & Shop location. Was the only city in Connecticut to feature 2 simultaneous locations.

VIEW : Photo, year unknown from Waterbury Assessor Database.

----------------------------------------
WEST HARTFORD
----------------------------------------
Crossroads Plaza
Bishop's Corner
340 North Main Street

OPENED : August 8, 1967
CLOSED : January 6, 1973

CURRENTLY : Whole Foods Market

HISTORY :
Value House (1973-?), Service Merchandise (?-1998), Wild Oats Market, currently/rebranded as Whole Foods Market

NOTES : Bradlees store closing was cited by company’s need for each store to pull own weight (underperformed?). Was a two-level location. Location behind/around back was a basement and former "showroom" for Bradlees later used as storage by future parcels, The Value House and Service Merchandise.

VIEW : Photo from The Hartford Courant, article dated August 6, 1967.

----------------------------------------
WEST HAVEN
----------------------------------------
394 Campbell Avenue

OPENED : 1960s
CLOSED : ?

CURRENTLY : Walgreens

----------------------------------------
WESTPORT
----------------------------------------
Boston Post Road

OPENED : 1960s
CLOSED : ?

CURRENTLY : ?

----------------------------------------
WETHERSFIELD
----------------------------------------
Mini-City (currently Jordan Lane Shopping Center)
Berlin Turnpike & Jordan Lane

OPENED : May 14, 1968
CLOSED : Unknown

CURRENTLY : subdivided into AJ Wright and EbLens

NOTES : Opened along with Stop & Shop. Rockface walls from original architecture still evident within plaza. Location remained open simultaneously with Newington location, also on the Berlin Turnpike.

-----------------------------------------------

We will also be working on completing quick lists of former stores and their status today in all other states Bradlees was a participant. Currently, we are aware of numerous vacancies in neighboring states and hope to bring you quality image galleries of those, mostly in New Jersey, in the near future. Below is a quick list of stores we know about, still vacant. Please alert us if you think we've missed any.

NEW JERSEY (6) : STRATFORD (former Jefferson Ward), HAMILTON (former Caldor), , HAZLET, WOODBURY (former Jefferson Ward), TOMS RIVER, BORDENTOWN (former Jefferson Ward)
MASSACHUSETTS (1) : FOXBOROUGH

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Ames Fan Club / Message Board "Bradlees" Topic

Premium Galleries on Flickr

Bradlees (vacant) at The Manchester Parkade
Bradlees (now demolished) at The Dock; Stratford, Conn.
Bradlees (vacant) at Foxborough Plaza; Foxboro, Mass.
Bradlees (vacant, since demolished) at Mini City; New City, NY
Bradlees (vacant) in Hazlet, NJ

Please report errors, issue corrections, clarifications or expansions to help us secure the most accurate database available. Leave a comment or send an email to XISMZERO@yahoo.com.

All text entry has been written by Nicholas M. DiMaio and is therefore rightful property of The Caldor Rainbow.

69 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi Nick,
I worked for Bradlees for 18 years leaving as a store manger in 1998.
GOOD UPDATE!
A couple of additions:

Wehersfield did exist and was knocked down for a Stop and Shop if I remember corrctly in the early to mid 80's. I think there is also an AJ Wright in that plaza. I'll follow up on that.

There was a store in Cromwell (#853) that was also knocked down for a Stop and Stop. That one was a kick in the butt to us Bradlees people since the store had been opened only a few years when Stop and Shop "took" the building to expand the existing Stop and Shop.
There were two stores in Groton store 899 the Long Hill location that is sub divided between the TJ Maxx and Goodwill and the "new" store located up the street toward the Sub Base on the site of an old Drive-In. That store, #129, is now a Kohls.
To my knowledge there was never a store in West Hartford; Park Street and E. Hartford but not West Hartford.

Greg

Nicholas M. DiMaio said...

A few questions for you Greg,

Have you got any pictures, memorabilia from your days? What store did you manage? It would be a fine addition to the page.

Also, I never believed there was a Bradlees in West Hartford either until this advertisement posted on the page claimed it. Now I've wondered where it could've been, and have come to the only conclusion possible; it was long demolished and replaced by something else I'm not certain of.

A local pictoral book (http://www.amazon.com/Hartford-Images-America-Wilson-Faude/dp/0738534862/sr=8-1/qid=1172514696/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1/102-8090093-1153754?ie=UTF8&s=books) about West Hartford shows an image of the old Lord & Taylor at 333 N. Main St., now home to Marshalls, Quiznos and Blockbuster Video, in West Hartford. The current realtor (Edens & Avant) claims this is in in fact Bishop's Corner which happens to be along North Main St. On the ad, it says this Bradlees was located at "N.Main & Bishop's Corner" leaving the possibility of it having to have been in this very plaza.

I've wondered if maybe this became Bradlees after L&T moved to the Westfarms Mall and knocked down this older location, but given the time of this ad, it would've had to be in the same plaza at sometime in the late 60s/early 70s. However, this same book claims this building, at 333 North Main, now Marshalls, was "renovated for Caldors" after L&T vacated it. It seems W.Hartford had two Caldor stores. But Bradlees?

Also, there's a parcel behind Marshalls which is now vacant; it's home was Edwards then became Adams (which remains scarred on the building) when Edwards went away. Could this have been Bradlees? Could it have been an extension of a former Caldor? My other question: when did this Caldor go out of business?

There's also the entire plaza to consider; the Romano's Macaroni Grill could've also been the former site.

About Wethersfield; on the ad it claims there was a store on the Berlin Turnpike. Wethersfield doesn't really have much territory on the Berlin Turnpike today. I know there is a Stop & Shop on the Silas Deane Highway in Wethersfield - could this be a mistake?

Thank you for the contributions, I will add it to the locator. Someone on the Ames Fan Club claims and has a picture of a possible Milford store. Do you know if one existed?

Marc said...

I disliked Bradlees. I liked Caldor better. I applied to work there 3 weeks before I turend 16 and they never called me, yet they hired a 17 year old known drug addict around the same time I applied there.

Dave Lansing said...

The Bradless in Toms River is still pretty much in tact. The signs are still on the building, and Bradless stickers/window decals are there. I miss the snack bar, oh how the pizza would rotate for hours.

Nicholas M. DiMaio said...

Toms River, New Jersey? A friend of mine told me there's also a vacant Bradlees on the Philly/N.J. border. I've prompted them to investigate for me. If you've got access and/or visuals to that location, Dave, please send them over!

Mark said...

Where Staples is in Torrington Plaza was formerly occupied by Pricebuster Foods grocery store NOT Bradlees!!!

Bradlees was located in the space where T.J. Maxx is now.

The Bradlees in Torrington closed in the early 90's around 1993. The T.J. Maxx came in around 1994.

The Torrington Plaza looked slightly different back then also, the blue stripe on the top section of the roofs isn't original and I could be wrong but I think it might have been gray or white (around a faded blue I think) colored. Further more the peaked roof front on the T.J. Maxx store wasn't there when it was occupied by Bradlees I think it was a flat roof before.

Actually Torrington Plaza has changed dramatically from its first incarnation HERE's a pic of what it looked like back in 1969: http://www.cardcow.com/images/torrington-center-torrington-us-state-town-views-connecticut-torrington-48285.jpg

notice on the far right you can make out the first few letters of Bradlees.

Interestingly it was originally called "Torrington Shopping Center" it was later renamed the "Torrington Plaza"

The way I remember Torrington Plaza in the early 1990s was that the buildings were all in white with faded blue trim and all of the buildings had a flat roof except for a few buildings (The Toy Works,former area of JC Penny) and the Clock Tower with the blue letters of "Torrington Plaza" underneith.

I suspect the remodeling happened around the 70s and the plaza did another slight remodel in 1994 or 1995. The area where the sports store is now (between Payless Shoesource and KB Toy Works)used to be an open hallway with stores on each side that you can see Route 8 from (really cool) I think it had a staircase leading out to the back parking lot.

The Bradlees (when it was around) there didn't change much of it's original interior, it still had those yellow florescent lights.

amanda said...

There was a Bradlees in TOmsRIver, NJ that became a local distribution center and warehouse for Boscov's

Mark said...

There was definately a Bradlees in West hartford its NOT a printing error.

according to this article:http://www.zwire.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=17197523&BRD=1646&PAG=461&dept_id=11035&rfi=6

the building that housed the Bradlees was 340 North Main Street and that Bradlees closed in the early 1970s.

some old news clippings of Bishops Corner can be sdeen here http://www.hagley.lib.de.us/libimages/LoewyScrapbooks/Page0002.htmlunfortunately none of them are from 1966.

However this could be the same area where IGA used to be (which you took photos of).

Mark said...

I've edited my comment.

There was definately a Bradlees in West hartford its NOT a printing error.

according to this article:http://www.zwire.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=17197523&BRD=1646&PAG=461&dept_id=11035&rfi=6

the building that housed the Bradlees was 340 North Main Street and that Bradlees closed in the early 1970s.

some old news clippings of Bishops Corner can be seen here http://www.hagley.lib.de.us/libimages/LoewyScrapbooks/Page0002.html unfortunately none of them are from 1966.

However this could be the same area where IGA used to be (which you took photos of).

Fox N Allen said...

Growing up in Fair Haven, my mom would grocery shop at the Stop&Shop/Bradlees location on Frontage Road. I remember as a kid how cool it was to be able to go between the stores, much like a Super Wal-Mart is today. The stores each had a seperate entrance to the parking lot as well as an adjoining entrance inside. The Bradlees stayed till the company closed, but the Stop & Shop was moved when the Super S&S opened in Trolley Square.

I believe one the main reasons that the building was demolished was because it was built on land-fill and was actually sinking into the ground. Alot of resurfacing and excavation had to be done prior to Carmax being built.

Kristen said...

We had a Bradlees here in Middletown, NY. The store is now an Ashley Furniture and the other half was an AJ Wright up until a couple of months ago.

Anonymous said...

Nick,
I saw the link to your site from moby.com. It brought up great memories of shopping at the Riverside Mall in Utica, NY. Now replace by a Staples, Michaels, Walmart complex. Thank you!

free ps3 said...

Thanks for the nice post!

BradleesMgr said...

The Bradlees Plaza looked exaclty the same as the 1969 photo except for the signage (Bradlees excluded) Sign was finally replaced when the plaza remodled mid 90's. The Price Buster grocery was orginaly Stop & Shop, Bradlees parent company. I worked for Bradlees for 11 years 5 spent in torrington. This store in that time received not dime one of improvements. Every year we put up the holiday decoration from the 70's. The only improvements made is if another store remodeled torrington got there old stuff.

There was also a Store in Simsbury/Avon Ct, 530 Bushyhill Rd.
This store closed in late 80's early 90's. I closed this store then moved back to torrington where I started and closed that store about 1 1/2 later. I also worked in Bristol, Shelton, New Milford, CT and Yonkers NY. Got out just before thing got real bad.

Nicholas M. DiMaio said...

So there indeed was a Bradlees in Avon/Simsbury? 530 Bushy Hill sounds like it was at the Farmington Valley Mall (or perhaps behind the mall where Stop & Shop is now?) for a few short years? I knew it though I could not find evidence to prove it.

Please tell me more about the Avon/Simsbury store so I can add it to the historic store locator.

Nicholas M. DiMaio said...

EDITORS NOTE: Comments from here and above where posted during the original Store Locator. All comments below are for the reposting of the Store Locator PLUS.

Roger said...

You should indicate whether the Bradlees building was demolished or reused for each location. I know the locations in Waterbury where Target is now and Bristol where Stop & Shop is now were completely demolished. The Target and the Stop & Shop are entirely new buildings.

Joseph Rifkin said...

Correction on the New London Mall Bradlee's location. Marshalls was always there as a second anchor, while Bradlee's was still open. Marshalls replaced a store called "The Outlet Company" in the 1980s.

The Outlet Company held a store in the New London Mall since it's opening in 1968. It was originally a two-leveled store, with an escalator in front. When Marshalls moved in in the 80s, they kept the store single leveled, and sheet rocked the escalators, rather than removing them...

Bradlee's use to be a store called "Two Guys" since it's opening in 1968. Then in the early 80s (probably the same time when Marshalls moved in), Bradlees took Two Guys place in the mall.

Most of the stores closed permanently or temporarily in 1998 for the Outdoor style conversion/renovation.

greg8370 said...

Nick,

What a great piece of work! Congrats!
A couple of things I saw on the first pass:

New London (#837) is gone at the New London Mall. The Marshalls is built into where the Outlet/Malleys building was. I spent most of my Bradlees life at 837.

Groton (#899) Long Hill Road was an Orbits Store once. Bradlees closed in 1986, then the new Groton store (#129) on Rt 12 opened in 1987.

Guilford (#568) opened in 1983. It had been something before, a Kings, Grants or something like that. It was not a new building when we opened it.

The first Bradleees (#880), now a Burlington, is not subdivided and is still a multi level store today.

New Milford opened in the mid to late 80's I'm not sure.

Meriden opened in 1988. I was there for GO

Nicholas M. DiMaio said...

Roger: That's a good suggestion. We'll consider it but it's sometimes uncertain to know whether or not former locations were demolished or simply had facade thrown up.

Today's leading retailers like Wal-Mart, Target and Kohl's, likely gutted the former buildings (unless they were in really bad shape) while others, like Burlington Coat Factory, are well known for minimalist remodeling. I can be sure about some locations, because they're obvious, but not about others.

To my knowledge, when a building is demolished it's either totaled or just stripped to a skeleton, like the former Caldor in Newington. Go inside Stew Leonard's, and not many people know much of the exposed warehouse ceilings are in fact carried over from Caldor's era.

Joseph: About the New London Mall store, so only half of Marshall's was formerly Bradlees? I'm a tad unclear about that one.

Keep the suggestions coming!

greg8370 said...

Marshalls in New London opened on May 1, 1983. It was part of the lower level of the "Outlet" store that had been closed. That lower level area also housed a CVS, Fashion Bug and a hair salon. Marshalls took up the right side of the new wing and the other three stores took up the left side.
The upstairs remained vacant for many years although the Mall would set up a haunted house type deal for Halloween.
Upstairs was remodeled and split in office areas in 1999-2000.

Joseph Rifkin said...

What Greg just said...was basically part of what I was trying to say. Marshalls didn't take over Bradlee's.

greg8370 said...

Nick,

I have a store memo dated Nov. 1993 that lists all 126 stores we had at that moment in time. Stores are listed by town and store number.

Greg

Mark said...

Good stuff, There was something about Bradlees that many of todays stores lacked today, maybe it's the familiarity.

If your curious about what Bradlees looked like in it's earliest incarnations around 1962, well it consisted of a boxy buildings with "Bradlees" text in freestanding letters on top of the roof. You can see a picture of it on Pleasant Family Shopping blog.

I also can't help but think that Star's was also a competitor with Bradlees in the early years since it had 6 stores, 3 stores in New York and 3 stores in Connecticut at it's height.

The Torrington Bradlees store must had of been renovated to fit TJMaxx because I remember that the store used to look much more larger from the outside and the inside. I remember the Bradlees look from that old pic of the Torrington Plaza, where the storefront looked much more exposed, and the top had the Bradlees logo on the freestanding rectangle on the top. I definately remember that type of yellow greenish lighting from the picture in the store. I also remember a high tiled ceiling, very high shelves that almost went/or seem to go to the ceiling and on the walls near the top with the famous dark red famous Bradlees "B" with orange and dark red/brown stripes, really cool stuff probably it was from the 70's. I also remember the doors were automatic and the enter and enterance were right next to each other, they were both straight in, enter on the right exit on the left. The escalators to the top floor was to the left hand side. I only remember bits and pieces it seems so long ago.

Oh one more thing before the sports store came in next to the now gone Toy Works, there was a corridor out to the back (where you could see all the way to to route 8 (I clearly remember seeing a telephone and a hill, some buildings, and a little hill where you could see a highway) that had two empty storefronts on each side, if you further traveled there was a staircase that lead down to a rear parking lot, all that now is blocked off.

Mark said...

This is the interior I remember of the Bradlees in Torrington, it was like this except the store was 2 floors, the ceiling was higher and it had different type of lighting. Notice the big red B's on the walls with the colored strips.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bewek4DUNGE

Anonymous said...

As an employee of Waldbaum's across the street from the west hartford Bradlees, and long time resident of the area....

People mention that that plaza also held a stop & shop years ago.. (both the Bradlees and S&S predate me)

However, I do remember that there was a stand alone Medi-Mart too.. This is still there as the recently remodeled Wal-Greens (who bought out the medi-mart stores).

This may have been a full Stop & Shop-Bradlees-MediMart center like neighboring Hartord & Simsbury.

-Phil

Genghis Conn said...

The Enfield location on Rt. 5 which was briefly a baby store, a used car lot and then Lia Hyundai is now vacant again--the Hyundai dealership moved back to Palomba Dr. where it was originally.

I don't know what to tell you about the King St. Location--I remember what is now Bernie's being owned by Coca Cola for a while, and it could have been a Bradlees originally.

I was able to find an old Hartford Courant ad for Bradlees which listed both the T-ville location and the "I-91 and Route 5" location from 1971. Not sure about that. Have you used ICONN.org to do research? They have display ads from the Hartford Courant which are absolutely great!

Dosman! said...

Just to clear something up about the Torrington, CT store. It was a two-level store, but it was a basement level and a ground level. There was a wide staircase when you first walked in, that split left and right at a landing. To the right, and right again was the toy department.
The only other visible stairway was in the far rear corner, and it wasn't very customer friendly.

All of the stores in the plaza had basements. JCPenney had the catalog and home items in their basement. The two grocery stores had their stock rooms in the basement. I remember dropping soda can returns down shoots that dropped into bins in the lower level.

Anonymous said...

In the 80's when I was growing up Bradlees was at the Jordan Lane Shoppping Center... but it was at the northern end. It was actually connected to Stop and Shop. It was demolished for Super Stop and Shop (and parking). In the 80's the Eblens/AJ Wright corner was an abandoned movie theater (Paris Cinema or something like that)... Bradlees was on the other end of the shopping center.

Jeramari said...

Hello folks! I worked for Bradlees as an area manager in the mid 80's until we closed. I worked in Turnersville, NJ now "The Dump" a furniture discounter. I worked in Woodbury, NJ now part of a Shop-Rite, and an Office Depot, the middle section of the store had a Bradlees logo last time I was out that way. Most of my years were working at Vineland, NJ,,that was a great store! It was attached to the Cumberland Mall. It was cut up into Marshall, Bed, Bath, & Beyond, and Michael's. I haven't seen Vineland listed on your site. I remember that it was store #839

Craiggers said...

The King St. Bradlee's in Enfield is were the Bernies New England Distribution Center is. I remember visiting the store when i was young and from what i heard from some co-workers at the Stop & Shop I work at, next door to Bradlee's used to be the old Enfield Stop & Shop before their current location on Hazard Ave. The original building is still intact, they've just simply built onto the front of the original building. What used to be Bradlee's now is their showroom.

http://maps.live.com/default.aspx?v=2&FORM=LMLTCP&cp=qzsd2y8yh40r&style=b&lvl=1&tilt=-90&dir=0&alt=-1000&scene=17057116&phx=0&phy=0&phscl=1&encType=1

Anonymous said...

It's not really a comment but a question. I'm curious to know how does one obtain employee info regarding Bradlees during the 90s, ie:w2 form? I worked for store(#531) for 9 years, I was sorry to see it go. Many people in the city still talk about Bradlees.
Could you reply to heatherfieldsp@peoplepc.com. Thanks!

CaldorRainbow1976 said...

I was there when the 2nd Middletown, Connecticut Store Closed down. They sold everything. This was about 2000. I currently own and have in my possesion the Aisle #7 Light Post. Gray with Red Translucent Plexi. The number 7 blinks or stays lit. I also have 3 manequine sock legs.
My career as a display artist for an upscale/trendy retailer has brought me to Durham, NC. This is where I was shopping for antique furniture for my store displays. The owner of the shop made small take with me and soon found out I was from Middletown, CT. his name for me has since been "Connecticut". Anyhow, he then went on to tell me that he lived in Connecticut back in the 50's and 60's and was in charge of opening up Bradlees Locations.
I remember buying legos, gi joe, etc with my paper route money in the mid to late 80'. I would ride my bike to the original 1965 store on South Main St. My friend in school was there with his mom in the bedding section when a 1985 Volkswagon Rabbit crashed through the back wall of the store from Stephens Lane leaving a cartoon like car shape in the cinder-block wall of the store. You could see the shape of a VW Rabbit for years since they just filled in the cinderblocks and painted it over. I think you can still see the shape if you look hard at the biosystems location. Drive down Stephens Lane and pretend like you lost your brakes at the stop sign. I also used to sell chocolate bars outside the Stop&Shop next door on SuperBowl Sundays.

Jason said...

Hi Everyone

Used to work for Bradlees as a member of the early morning flow crew (merchandise handlers) from 1996 to 1999.

My store (store#116) was located at The Coventry Mall in Pottstown, PA. When it closed, the mall had a hard time finding a retailer who wanted that much room so it had to remodel the whole site. Ross and Dick's Sporting Goods are now located where my Bradlees once stood.

Some odd info: The hours for the Flow Crew was 5:30 am to 2:30 pm, we had hour long lunches. It was a union store and our shop steward was the guy who worked in electronics. My starting wage was $5.95 and by the time I left it was $6.95.

I do have some memorabilia including a piece of an old shopping cart, a pin, my old 'Welcome to Bradlees' job pamphlets, pictures, receipts, and my old red Bradlees apron and name tag.

I LOVED my time there and there's not a day that goes by that I don't miss it. One of the best jobs I ever had period!

Nicholas M. DiMaio said...

Jason,

We would appreciate it if you would share your memorabilia with us. If you'd like to scan them, snap some pictures or otherwise, give me an email and we can talk.

Nicholas DiMaio

Pete said...

http://web.archive.org/web/*/http://www.bradlees.com - I don't know if you know about this site above of if links will show up on this post but there is a website that has been setup that archives websites. Above is the link for Bradlees on the web. I haven't read this entire post just looked at the pics so the link may be in there I just didn't look for it. Enjoy the Bradlees site circa 199?-200?..........if the link doesn't show google the Wayback Machine and you should find it.

Anonymous said...

If anyone has pictures of the stop and shop/bradless on frontage road from the 60's and 70s send them to me at
johndandre@sbcglobal.net

RICHIE BATRA said...

HI I WAS AN OVERNIGHT MANAGER, THEN AN ASSISTANT RECEIVING MANAGER AT THE TOTOWA NJ LOCATION.
ANYBODY THAT HAD ANYTHING TO DO WITH BRADLEES, WRITE TO HAMMER@NJ.NET PLEASE

authenticallyme said...

I worked in Pennsylvania Bradlees from 1987-1995, in Bethlehem. Started as cashier, then front end manager, then floor associate, then telxon orderer (remember that????)/cash office associate, then got chosen to join the 'remodeling team' which would drive to various stores on a 'team' and remodel every single planogram, then did a second stint on the 'remodeling team', then promoted to housewares manager, then flow crew mananager, then my store manager took me with her to another store, and shortly after I quit, and went to (boo hiss) Walmart. Left there two years later to be a SAHM.

Most of my time was spent in the Bethlehem Store, #322, I believe. The stores I traveled to were Allentown, Horsham, Pottstown, Broomall, Levittown, Norristown, and eventually Glenolden when they could not find anything else for us to do. My favorite times were the remodeling team. I met people from all over, getting to know even the construction crews...as they would go from one store to the next to. I LOVED the teams I was put on; had the BEST time with those people. Unfortunately, I can only recall one mans FULL name, that was JOE SMITH from Willow Grove, PA...and with a name like that, I dare not search on the internets for him! The gal I hung out with most was Eleanor, from the Levittown store. WE got paid pretty well on the traveling crew; we were also compensated for travel time and gas. It was something new everyday.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know if the Bradlees pictured with caption "A LONG ABANDONED BRADLEES IN MANCHESTER AT THE COMPLETELY VACATED BROAD STREET-SIDE, MANCHESTER PARKADE" is still there? If so, does anyone know how to get the sign off the building? I remember my Bradlees here in Massachusetts(Chicopee location to be exact). When I found out that the building was going to become a Wal Mart I was devastated. I loved that location, and I HATE WAL MART! I've tried many times to get a sign off the building before it was torn down, with no success. If anyone knows what's up with the signage on this building pictured, let me know. My e-mail address is jtswrangler@gmail.com Thanks guys!

"Why not make it a Bradlees Day"

Anonymous said...

The sign is there and you would have no problem stealing it at night. You should make an attempt!

Anonymous said...

There was a Bradlees in Portsmouth, Virginia at Tower Mall. The mall has since been torn down and is now Victory Crossing. A strip mall with a Lowes and a Farm Fresh. Does anyone remember it? I worked the Customer Service Desk, Cashiered and worked the Cash Office for a 1 1/2 years during the 80's. Great memories.

Rich said...

Hey Nick, wanted to give you an update on the Bradlees in Hartford, over on Park Road. There have been people working on the store front of the building in the afternoon. There was also a banner on the building that stated that a"Super Laundr-o-mat" was coming soon. The banner isn't there at the moment. I will try to grab a picture or two on my way home from work.

That leaves Manchester as the sole remaining vacant location in CT.

KeyPoint Partners said...

Don't forget the Bradlees acquisition of Memco, expanding the chain into DC/Maryland/Virginia and eventually NC. This occurred in 1983, prior to the Jeff Ward acquisition. Following the KKR buyout, this southern tier of stores was sold to Hechinger o pay off debt.

Rich said...

The Bradlees on Park Road in Hartford has been subdivided into three. The first of the three stores to enter will be Family Dollar. Store signage is up already.

Anonymous said...

I don't know the dates involved but you seem to be missing the saga of the Southington Bradlees.

In my dimmest memories, I recall that in the early/mid 80s there was a Bradlees at 835 queen st in southington.

For whatever reason they closed that at some point and the store was taken over by Zayre, which became Ames and then finally after I think a period of emptiness it became Bob's Discount Furniture.

Anonymous said...

i am travelling to bonn in june and looking for some [url=http://alitraveltips.ecuib.com/2011/01/15/cheap-hotels-in-bonn-4/
]bonn hotels[/url] ?

Sara said...

Hi there!

I have been here a few times. The first time I saw that Bradlees closed in 2000 it brought back memories. I used to go there alot along with "The Fair" (which was like Bradlees too) back in the 80's when I lived in MA. A few years ago, I found a game and Christmas ribbon that still had Bradlees and the price tag on it. I'll see if I can find those again. Here is one for a location in MA that I used to go to:
91 Medway Rd
Milford, MA 01757

I recently went back there in 2009 and it's now a Kohls.

Hope this helps in finding stores in MA to your list. :)

Father said...

I have been informed that the vacant Manchester location is planned to be completely demolished by early 2012. The future plan is till unknown for the entire site.

Mr. Time Space Warp said...

There was one location in Northern New Jersey that the Rainbow didn't detect: A Bradlees in Clark, NJ. I'm not sure when it opened, since I'm 12, and we moved away from neighboring Westfield in 2004, but it did seem to close with the rest of the chain in 2000, as I can only remember it being renovated to become a Target. This location was in Clark Circle, right near the Garden State Parkway. It was across the street from a (admittedly big)ShopRite, which is so big, it has a giant "tower" type sign. Apparently the sight used to be a Howard Johnson's inn, at some point, they closed and the land was redeveloped.

krisalyx said...

well here's what info i have on the richmond va stores, one on route 60 near cloverleaf mall , it later became a burlington outlet , one location in petersburg va near walnut mall it later was owned by roses stores, another location in the west end of richmond also became a burlington outlet as well

Rob T. said...

Worked for Bradlees as a Mgr for 20 years. Started in Manchester CT. (#565). Demolition is now happening at this location. The Bradlees street sign has been up since the store closing in 2000 and was just torn down a few weeks ago. The sign on the building front was also still intact. My brother also a Bradlees Mgr was able to get into the store and see all the fixtures and racks that were left behind. So many memories. There were also 4 Bradlees stores in Maine to. Topsham, Lewiston and North Windham I believe closed in 1996 and the Westbrook Store (which I became the Str Mgr) closed with the rest of the company in 2000. Do you remember the different Bradlees slogans "Savings on the Good Stuff" "The Department Store with the difference" How about our "Certified Values" Loved Bradlees, thanks for the memories!

Cheap wedding dresses said...

Very happy to see your article, I very much to like and agree with your point of view. Thank you for sharing. At the same time,i love best pram very much .Welcome to look at my website and blog articles.Hope we can become good friends, and exchange and to help each other! Thanks!!

Anonymous said...

Most recently the Bradlees in Toms River was demolished (along with the rest of the dover mall) in order to build a new shopping center. I know this because I live in New Jersey

staindsoul74 said...

there was a Bradlees in Pittsfield Mass. store 827. it is now a DICKS SPORTING GOODS.

staindsoul74 said...

dont forget store 827 in Pittsfield mass. is now a Dicks Sporting Goods

retail clothing franchise said...

The post is very nicely written and it contains many useful facts. I am happy to find your distinguished way of writing the post. Now you make it easy for me to understand and implement. Thanks for sharing with us.

Anonymous said...

Okay, I'm no genius, but I know some things about Bradlees.

The Stratford, NJ location is vacant to this day, and a car crashed through the front window. If you pass the Location (located near the Goodwill) there is a board on the window where the crash happened.

The Turnersville, NJ location was converted to The Dump, a discount furniture store. It looks horrible. It's parking lot is all beat up. It's sunroof is boarded. The sign isn't even permanent. So, if the sign that says The Dump comes down, (it's one of those flag things) you'll see "Bradlees" in it's original design.

Sadly, the sign in Stratford was removed from the light-up sign bord, but the letters on the building remain.

I am not sure, but I think there was one in Marlton, NJ, on Route 130, but there was no letters, no sign, and the building is yellow on the outside. However, it looked similar to others on the inside.

The Bradlees in Toms River, NJ was torn down in 2009. The video is on YouTube.

I have a light-up Santa from Bradlees. Also, I have a replaceable cell-phone antenna from Bradlees.

saim said...

Interesting post !!! i love to see it, when people need such type of site. which has great information about this topic... Great for new generation..
Thanks..




natural minerals

Anonymous said...

I am very happy to read this article..thanks for giving us this useful information. anti viral Read a useful article about tramadol tramadol

Rich T. said...

The final demolition of the Bradlees in the Manchester parkade is taking place now. 1/2 the store is down and the "Infamous" Bradlees sign on front of the building have been knocked down. I took many pictures of this that you can find on facebook on the page called "Manchester Parkade Vintage". I also had the opportunity last summer to go inside the building when they were doing pre-demo clean out work, and I also posted pics of that. I am not sure if this is the last vacant Bradlees standing? If it is its the end of an era.

Rich T. said...

I saw some posts about the former Torrington bradless. It is a TJ Maxx as I was the Str. Mgr there for 5 years. TJ Maxx just utilized the upstairs section and sealed the stairway. The downstairs now is a vacant fixture storage area that we used. It has been untouched since Bradlees closed, still have "Dial 70" signs on pillars, the offices, restrooms are still there, just a pile of debris and rubble.

Anonymous said...

There was a Bradless in Hazlet, NJ that still stands vacant. Next to it was stop and shop for years, one of those walk through the hall way to get to the grocery store types. Later it became Foodtown. But this store still remains vacant, I'd say for close to 25 years. Even the Foodtown closed about 15-20 years ago.

Anonymous said...

The very first Bradlees in New London still standing. Still has the staircase to the basement where Toys and Sporting goods were...no elevator. Even though it's Burlington's, I still can see Bradlees everytime I'm in it. For a long time, even the out/in decals on the vintage front doors had the Bradlees look. So unlike the neighboring Staples which looks nothing on the inside of long gone Sears. BTW, the original Groton Bradlee's on Long Hill was originally an Orbit's Department Store. After Bradlee's moved up the road, this store became Waldbaum's than A&P, before Goodwill/TJ MAxx it is now. The store at the New London Mall formerly Two Guys, was demolished in 1998 foor Parking as was one side of the former enclosed Mall. All that remains is the wall along the side of the Marvel Shop (which was originally a Mall entrance). Remarkably for Two Guys fans, the auto center has continued virtually unmolested. Currently monroe and Winshield repair.

cleontos said...

When exactly did the Bradlees in East Haven open?

Thanks

JOHNNY HERNANDEZ said...

Theres a bradleese in hazlet nj still standing vacant any one has memories pictures from any store inside? Email me johnny8342@gmail.com I also worked at a bradleese warehouse in edison nj

Anonymous said...

I grew up in Norwalk and worked at Bradlees on Connecticut Avenue part time from 1975-1977.

I have no memory of a store on West Avenue. Do remember a store called Consumers Merchandise or something similar.

tom t said...

my mother worked at bradlees in the cash office in newbritain ct from the day it opened in the 60,s when the parking lot was still mud, till the day it closed, then went to the one in simsbury for a while

tom t said...

my mother worked at bradlees in newbritain ct in the cash office from the day it opened in the mid 60,s while the parking lot was still mud, till the day it closed, then went to the simsbury store
the one in nb was stanley quarter park before it became a shopping plaza, they named it stanely plaza