Sunday, December 09, 2007

CALDOR Store Locator


Where Was Your Local CALDOR?

Ever drive by a former retail establishment of yesteryear and reminiscence? Wondering what your former Caldor has evolved into by today's retail landscape? While you can probably take a guess, maybe you're not too sure or already know because you've shopped there since (or refuse to?). If a bunch of them didn't become used for Ames shortly after only for them to follow in Caldor's demise, their leases were bought up by the likes of today's retail giants, mostly that of Wal-Mart and Kohl's.

I'll tell you something Caldor shoppers, after doing research for this project its baffling to imagine a success story like Caldor, which plummeted into oblivion. Like its rival Bradlees, Caldor shared its peak of success during the 1970's, only to fizzle out by the 1980's and of course facing hard times a decade later.

We all can remember some of the odds and ends about each individual store. Whether it was notoriously dingy, never got an up-to-date remodel, maybe that other one did get one. Maybe you even remember what kind of wall paint/paper colors it had, the musty smells (currently tenanted at today's Kmart stores) and the people who worked there. What store did you most frequent? My store(s) were New Britain and Southington, which were real hole in the wall stores which had the rainbow logo all the way up until their final clearance.

I remember the "rainbow" stripes with a clock underneath, directly over the entrances and even the zebra/peppermint-styled globe-disguised surveillance cameras hanging from the ceilings at the New Britain store.


The infamous "swept wing" facade unveiled in 1972 for the 21st Anniversary. Every child's dream was to climb up onto the roof on one of the wings. (West Hartford-Elmwood pictured).

Feel free to input on your thoughts, memories, or general musings or stories you might have about one not forgotten store... and you don't have to be from Connecticut to get in on the memories.

Below is a list of all the former CALDOR locations we've discovered that existed of in the hometown state of Connecticut. Much like our BRADLEES and AMES store locators (graciously filled in by Ames Fan Club), we're doing a quick list and detailing them by location, by towns. Thus far, and unlike Bradlees, the only towns which shared two simultaneously operating stores was Norwalk and West Hartford. Norwalk had the original store and one additional in West Norwalk. West Hartford had its first store in 1972, and then one in Bishop's Corner in 1984. Both West Hartford stores were inherited from fallen or relocated retailers.



The original stores were (in no particular order): Norwalk (the first store), Hamden, Brookfield-Danbury, Greenwich-Riverside, Manchester and Waterbury; all built before 1966. Today, there is currently one vacant location, WEST HARTFORD-ELMWOOD, and one, GROTON, still unoccupied by a retailer and still largely intact. All original stores contained a "Furniture Mart," exclusive locations whereby showrooms showcased furniture.

Additionally, we had a difficult time finding out information on New Haven and Fairfield County-area stores (especially Branford). If anyone has any information, kick it our way if you would be so kind. This might have something to do with the Hartford Courant and its general lack of reporting on the New Haven Register's "turf."

We urge if you choose to explore these locations (especially GROTON), you do it at your own risk. On stores that are active as other retailers today, there could be some small artifacts lurking among the shadows of facade.


QUICK LIST of CONNECTICUT LOCATIONS
A simple list as if you were being quizzed about former Caldor stores: town and what the store is today. Refer to the DETAIL LIST for specifics and possible imagery.

AVON became Wal-Mart
BRANFORD became Kohl's
BRISTOL
became Kmart, then/currently Price Chopper Supermarket
BROOKFIELD-DANBURY (F) became subdivided into Kohl's, Sleepy's
DERBY became Wal-Mart
ENFIELD
became Kohl's
FAIRFIELD became Kohl's
GROTON became property of Pfizer Global Research & Development: Kings Heights
GREENWICH-RIVERSIDE
(T) (F) became subdivided into World's Gym, Walgreens
HAMDEN (F) became Kohl's
MANCHESTER
(F) became Ames, then Outlet Marketplace, currently vf Outlet
NEW BRITAIN
became Wal-Mart
OLD SAYBROOK
became Wal-Mart
MIDDLETOWN
became Ames, then/currently Home Depot
MILFORD (M) became subdivided and expanded mall space; Borders, Target, Dick's Sporting Goods
NORWALK became Wal-Mart
NORWICH (M) became Bob's Discount Furniture, currently vacant
NEWINGTON became Stew Leonard's Fresh Farm Market
RIDGEFIELD became Kohl's
ROCKY HILL
became Wal-Mart
SOUTHINGTON
became Wal-Mart
STAMFORD
(T) (P) (F) became Burlington Coat Factory
TORRINGTON
became Ames, then expanded, relocated Big Y World Class Market
TRUMBULL (M) (T) became Kohl's
VERNON-ROCKVILLE became Ames, then/currently Price Chopper Supermarket
WATERBURY
(F) became subdivided into three parcels; Bernie's, Planet Fitness, vacant space
WATERFORD became Lowe's Home Improvement
WALLINGFORD became Kohl's
WILLIMANTIC-MANSFIELD (M) became Ames, then/currently Kohl's
WEST HARTFORD-ELMWOOD
became Ames, now currently vacant
WEST HARTFORD (BISHOP'S CORNER) (P) became Marshalls
WEST NORWALK became Wal-Mart

(M) INSIDE MALL/ACCESS LOCATIONS
(T) TWO-LEVEL LOCATIONS
(P) PARKING GARAGE LOCATIONS
(F) ORIGINALLY CONTAINED "FURNITURE MART"


DETAIL LIST of CONNECTICUT LOCATIONS
In the DETAIL LIST, we've detailed aspects about each location: plaza name (if available), street location and major route. Within, you'll find the opening year of the store and finally what's become of the store since. We've also tried to provide as many visuals as possible, some of which are from the ever resourceful SiteRide, The Hartford Courant and those of The Caldor Rainbow.

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AVON
--------------------------------------
Wal-Mart Plaza
225 West Main Street
Route US-44

Opened in October 13, 1970.

Became
Wal-Mart

10th Connecticut store. Was an architectural prototype store.

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BRANFORD
--------------------------------------
Branhaven Plaza
1060 West Main Street

Opened sometime between 1973-1976?

Became Kohl's

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BRISTOL
--------------------------------------
HUB 6 (currently known as Bristol Commons)
99 Farmington Avenue
Route US-6

Opened on October 1, 1976.

Became K-Mart, then became/currently Price Chopper Supermarket.

Was originally W.T. Grant/Grants, which became Caldor after bankruptcy in 1976. Was located in HUB 6 (plaza) from 1972 until 1991 when new ownership renamed plaza The Bristol Commons. Grants was original anchor from 1972 until 1976. K-Mart opened a short-lived store following Caldor in 1999 until 2002. K-Mart shuttered its Bristol location following a company-wide move to close 248 stores across 40 states; Connecticut closed two; one in Bristol.

2007: "Village" facade and clock tower plaza themes still evident from later Caldor-era days. Sealed "automotive garages hubs" used for office space for Caldor still evident from Grants days, patched by Caldor for its opening. K-Mart took over location in 2000, then closed shortly after in 2003.

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BROOKFIELD-DANBURY
--------------------------------------
106 Federal Road
Route US-202

Opened before 1965?

Became subdivided into Kohl's and Sleepy's

Often mistaken for a Danbury location as its adjacent the Danbury townline.

Remains of Caldor (white/red/gray colors) within Sleepy's parcel (Photo credit: SiteRide). Unconfirmed if this artifact still exists today.

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DERBY
--------------------------------------
656 New Haven Avenue
Route CT-34

Opened in 1973 (?)

Became Wal-Mart

Report claims building style was "swept wing"-style.

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ENFIELD
--------------------------------------
Elm Plaza (currently and also known as Kohl's Plaza)
95 Elm Street
(Near) I-91 Junction

Opened in 1976.

Became
Kohl's

Succeeded from former W.T. Grant/Grants, which became bankrupt in 1976. Location was embattled with K-Mart and Two Guys interest for site. Plaza is known as Kohl's Plaza and Elm Plaza simultaneously.

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FAIRFIELD
--------------------------------------
290 Tunxis Hill Road
Route US-1 & CT-58

Opened sometime between 1973-1976?

Became
Kohl's

Store featured "Grand Re-Opening" expansion, completed March 1979. Original opening date unknown. Was directly across the street from rival Stop & Shop plaza.

Photos from SiteRide (1), (2) Note: Building structure apart entrance resemble GROTON location?

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HAMDEN
--------------------------------------
2850 Dixwell Avenue

(F) ORIGINALLY CONTAINED "FURNITURE MART"

Opened on before 1965?

Became
Kohl's

--------------------------------------
MILFORD
--------------------------------------
Connecticut Post Shopping Center, later known as Connecticut Post Mall, currently known as Westfield Connecticut Post
1201 Boston Post Road
US Route-1

(M) INSIDE MALL/ACCESS LOCATION

Opened in April 1977.

Became expanded mall space, redeveloped into Dick's Sporting Goods, Borders and Target amongst other space.

Caldor opened at the cusp of mall enclosure/redevelopment, which completed in 1978. Store might've been two levels, but one level was unused for retail space.


Photo from SiteRide
, taken sometime in the mid-to-late 1990's.

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MANCHESTER
--------------------------------------
The Plaza at Burr Corners
1145 Tolland Turnpike

(F) ORIGINALLY CONTAINED "FURNITURE MART"

Opened on June 15, 1966.





Was the first store in the Hartford area, 12th store chainwide. Formerly located off I-93, Wilbur Cross Parkway before becoming Exit 60 off I-84. Contained a furniture outlet and "Garden Shop."

Became Ames, then Outlet Marketplace, currently vf (Vanity Fair) Outlet

2007: Apart from a few paint touch-ups and other slight modifications, building still largely a ghost of Caldor. Former brick-pillars entrance facade still evident from Caldor. Rectangular label scar evident on building far-left side, confirmably used by Ames.

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NEW BRITAIN
--------------------------------------
655 Farmington Avenue & Corbin Avenue

Opened on November 17, 1972.

Became Wal-Mart

The 21st Anniversary store: 21st company-wide store built for 21st Anniversary. First store to display new corporate "rainbow" logo and modern "swept wing" entrance facade look. Contained almost exact look until its closure.

--------------------------------------
NEWINGTON
--------------------------------------
Newington Fair
3350 Berlin Turnpike

Opened on May 12, 1994.

Became vacant from 1999-2006, was redeveloped and is currently
Stew Leonard's Fresh Farm Market.

Store still skeletal within mold of Stew's, was gutted in Summer 2006. Was vacant from 1994 until early 2006; during then was used for limited storage and other events from nearby Toys 'R' Us. Was the last true vacant/unused by future tenants store in Connecticut.

Retrospective gallery from Caldor to Stew Leonard's, a project undertaken by myself from 2006-2007.

--------------------------------------
OLD SAYBROOK
--------------------------------------
Old Saybrook Plaza
655 Boston Post Road

Opened on August 17, 1976.

Became
Wal-Mart

Was originally W.T. Grant/Grants, which became Caldor after bankruptcy in 1976. Caldor expanded original building from enclosed mall portion.

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MIDDLETOWN
--------------------------------------
Washington Plaza
909 Washington Street
Route CT-66

Opened on August 1976. Was 21st store in Connecticut.

Became
Ames, demolished for Home Depot.

Was originally W.T. Grant/Grants, which became Caldor after bankruptcy in 1976.

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NORWALK
--------------------------------------
500 Connecticut Avenue

Opened in 1977.

Became Kohl's

Photos from SiteRide, from mid-to-late 1990's Caldor-era.

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NORWICH (NORWICHTOWN)
--------------------------------------
Norwichtown Mall
42 Town Street

(M) INSIDE MALL/ACCESS LOCATION

Became Bob's Discount Furniture, now currently vacant

Was originally W.T. Grant/Grants, which became Caldor after bankruptcy in 1976.

Store was graciously renovated by Bob's occupation, but contains rectangular label scar along building side as well as Caldor 90's-era colored stripes. Store contained mall access only. Bob's Discount Furniture closed in 2006. Automotive bays still existant from Grants, later used by Bob's as merchandise pick-up.

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GROTON
--------------------------------------
King's Highway & US-1 Junction

Opened on March 16, 1973.
Closed on March 1996.

Became/property of Pfizer Global Research & Development: Kings Heights

2nd store opened in 1973, 23rd store.

2007: Building still exists as an "Existing Occupied Warehouse," exterior largely intact albeit partially renovated interior. Facade and block-lettering label scar still visible. Entire former shopping center is fenced off and regularly monitored by gate/security (except on weekends?).

Photos: taken November 4, 2007
.

Original thanks to Joseph Rifkin "Surviving Caldor In Groton Confirmed"

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GREENWICH-RIVERSIDE
--------------------------------------
1333 East Putnam Ave
Route US-1 & Sound Beach Avenue Extension

(T) TWO-LEVEL LOCATION

Opened before 1965?

Became subdivided into
Walgreens and World Gym

Was a two-level retail space location.

Photo from SiteRide, from 1990's Caldor-era.

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RIDGEFIELD
--------------------------------------
Copps Hill Plaza
125 Danbury Road
Route CT-35

Opened in October 1976.

Became Kohl's

Was originally W.T. Grant/Grants, which became Caldor after bankruptcy in 1976.

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ROCKY HILL
--------------------------------------
Townline Road Shopping Center
80 Town Line Road
Silas Deane Highway & Interstate 91 Junction

Opened on August 21, 1970.

Became
Wal-Mart

Was an architectural prototype. Featured "Home Improvement Center," which made an addition, opening in 1973.

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SOUTHINGTON
--------------------------------------
Caldor Village (currently Wal-Mart/Plaza)
235 Queen Street
Route CT-10

Opened on August 17, 1973.

Became
Wal-Mart

Fourth of fifth stores planned for opening in 1973, also 25th store chainwide. Building style resembled "21st anniversary swept wing" style all the way up until the end. In later years, there was a rented music store parcel on the far-left end. Formerly apart of Caldor-Village Shopping Center, shared plaza with Village IGA. Clearly evident aged plaza lighting leftover from Caldor-era found on building side, outparcel area.

Yours truly worked here as Wal-Mart from September 2003 until January 2004 as a seasonal cashier.

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STAMFORD
--------------------------------------
Broad & Summer Street

(T) TWO-LEVEL LOCATION
(P) PARKING GARAGE LOCATION

Opened in 1966.

Became Burlington Coat Factory

One of the earliest stores was also apart of a concept was the only downtown location in Connecticut. Retained parking garage and two-levels of store space for current tenant.

Photo from SiteRide; from mid-to-late 1990's.

--------------------------------------
TORRINGTON
--------------------------------------
Torrington Parkade
420 Winsted Road

Opened on October 1971.

Became
Ames, then demolished for expanded and relocated Big Y World Class Market.

Opened in 1971, succeeded from Sears which opened in 1967. Caldor closed in 1999, then Ames took over from 2000~2003 then vacant until 2007. Building has been demolished as of June 2007. Big Y and Lowe's will soon occupy all space in Torrington Parkade.

--------------------------------------
TRUMBULL
--------------------------------------
Hawley Lane Mall
100 Hawley Lane

(M) INSIDE MALL/ACCESS LOCATION
(T) TWO-LEVEL LOCATION

Opened in 1971.

Became
Kohl's

Reportedly did not contain exterior entrance, access was through mall only. Was the first mall-inclusive location built in Connecticut. Store was two-levels of retail space, contained "conveyor belt" escalators between levels.

2007: Rectangular "Red/Accent"-era label scar evident on building side.

--------------------------------------
VERNON-ROCKVILLE

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

Tri-City Plaza
35 Talcottville Road
Route CT-83

Opened on October 10, 1976.

Became Ames, currently Price Chopper Supermarket

Was the chain's 40th store, 24th Connecticut store. Originally Grant City (W.T. Grant Co.), which became Caldor after bankruptcy in 1976.

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WATERBURY
--------------------------------------
Bernie's Plaza
855 Lakewood Road & Wolcott Road

(F) ORIGINALLY CONTAINED "FURNITURE MART"

Opened before 1965?

Became vacant, renovated and subdivided into
Bernie's and later, Planet Fitness (far right end), leasable parcel (far left end).

--------------------------------------
WATERFORD
--------------------------------------
Cross Roads Centre
Interstate 91; Exit 81

Opened in 1988

Became Ames, demolished/currently Lowe's Home Improvement

Joseph: The Caldor had the ORANGE TYPE-WRITER style lettering, in 1997 they replaced the orange lettering with the last red and white logo. Then in 1998 it closed. In 1999 Ames moved in then closed a few years later. In 2005 the former Caldor was demolished in place for the current Lowes.

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WALLINGFORD
--------------------------------------
Wallingford Mall
1248 South Broad Street
Route US-5

Opened in November 4, 1969.

Became
Kohl's

Was an architectural prototype. Was located in a plaza/shopping center referred to as "Wallingford Mall."

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WILLIMANTIC-MANSFIELD
--------------------------------------
East Brook Mall
81 Storrs Road
Route CT-195

(M) INSIDE MALL/ACCESS LOCATION

Opened on April 3, 1975.

Became Ames, became remodeled and renovated Kohl's

Was the 20th Connecticut store and 33rd company-wide store. Was the second mall-inclusive location built in Connecticut. Location did not contain exterior entrances, access was through mall only. Renovation vastly improved store, remodel included reducing store space; removing former loading docks and adding rear lot access (without driving around otherside of mall), and adding rear parking lot and lot-to-store entrance (without entering mall). Main/front entrance still requires mall access.

Retained major label scar from the eras!: The blocky-lettering and rectangular ones near loading dock up until demolition for Kohl's/remodel (photo credit: Chris Fontaine; The Ames Fan Club).

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WEST HARTFORD-ELMWOOD
--------------------------------------
983 New Britain Avenue

Opened on November 2, 1973.

Became
Ames, was used shortly after for climate-controlled storage facility, currently vacant

Was the 26th store and last of the five built in 1973 with "swept wing" facade. Succeeded from/originally Star's Family Fair (discount department store). Building was renovated into Caldor (left side) and a Waldbaum's (right side) in 1973. Visited this store as Ames during its final week of clearance, area is sketchy and the plaza always contained a horrible odor. Ames reportedly never made use of entirety of former Caldor store space.

2007: Store is vacant and largely preserved (!) upon exterior as it was when it was Caldor. Interior is currently gutted completely into a warehouse. Rectangular label scar used by Ames still evident, possibly held over from before Ames occupation. Building was used by private firm for climate-controlled storage but has abandoned it for possible asbestos infestation. Area is very distressed, building is rapidly decaying.

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WEST HARTFORD/BISHOP'S CORNER

--------------------------------------
Bishop's Corner
333 North Main Street & Albany Avenue (Route US-44)

(P) PARKING GARAGE LOCATION

Opened in 1984.

Became
Marshalls

Was formerly and originally flagship location for Lord & Taylor. Lord & Taylor moved into Westfarms Mall in 1982, leaving the space vacant shortly after. Contains largely unused parking garage with Marshalls access from within garage. Building was also possibly subdivided into Blockbuster, Quizno's and Barnes & Noble Booksellers; now vacant. Building rear contains former Edward's, which became Adams-IGA also currently vacant.

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WEST NORWALK

--------------------------------------
650 Main Avenue
Route US-7

Opened in 1951.

Became Wal-Mart

Photo from SiteRide, taken mid-to-late 1990's. This was the first Connecticut store.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
For more on Caldor, look into these other studies and photo galleries.

The Ames Fan Club Forums: "Caldor"
Always worth plugging our ever-resourceful buddy, Chris Fontaine and his outstanding Ames Fan Club.

Flickr Sets
Our very own galleries of various Caldor stores; formerly and currently vacant. Be sure to check out those East Patchogue, New York galleries, which was a former W.T. Grants and some featured in the showcase.

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All dates of opening and locations have been verified by source, Hartford Courant and advertisements. They still may be subject to error, if so, please inform us to make corrections. This document is subject to editing and expanding. All research took many hours and was tirelessly done and compiled by The Caldor Rainbow -- do not reproduce our collection efforts/findings. To inform us if we've made an error by emailing myself at XISMZERO@yahoo.com or by leaving a comment.


The BRADLEES store locator/retail profile is currently under reconstruction therefore is unavailable. Please be patient with us.

Last modified: February 16, 2008.

80 comments:

Joseph said...

Nick it's Joseph again! I would like to make a correction on the WATERFORD location Caldor. it opened in 1988 along with the rest of the original Cross Roads Centre plaza (all opened in 1988).

The Caldor had the ORANGE TYPE-WRITER style lettering, in 1997 they replaced the orange lettering with the last red and white logo. Then in 1998 it closed.

in 1999 Ames moved in then closed a few years later. In 2005 the former Caldor was demolished in place for the current Lowes.

Jude said...

Your blog is always a good trip down memory lane. I was introduced to Caldor stores in 1975; my family moved from south central PA (land of Hill's and Bonton) to Framingham MA (home of Shopper's World). My dad worked at Zayre's corporate HQ (which is now TJX) - before most of the Zayre stores got consumed by Ames.

My mom always preferred Caldor to Bradlees; she said it reminded her of Mailman's (a store in York PA) - I remember browsing for cassette tapes and LP's at Caldor, as well as sporting goods - as well as things like plastic tables and lamps for funky teenage bedrooms. We used to ride our bikes to Caldor - lord knows what all we bought, but I remember going there a lot.

When I moved to CT in 1983, I found more Caldor's - the one in Southington (now Walmart) was a regular stop. I've also lived near and shopped at the Brookfield one, the Waterbury one, and the Bristol one.

I presently live near the funky West Hartford-Elmwood store; I did get to visit the store when it was a Caldor one time, probably lost and trying to avoid I-84 traffic. It was long gone by the time I moved to Hartford; although I think I hit the Ames once or twice during the final days.

Joseph said...

P.S. I've found a vintage (black and white) photo of the old caldor with the orange block lettering. I'll copy it and send it to you whenever I get the time!

Also, whenever we are both in the Trumbull area, we should meet up at Hawley Lane...there's a lot more about the mall that I must give you a walk through tour on.

Chris from Newington said...

Nick:

You did a fantastic job on this. You should get paid for your hard work!!

I knew of Caldor for a few years. I wasn't born until 1989, so I was around for Caldor's final decade. I of course knew real well of the Newington Caldor. I had a feeling that it opened in 1994 and I was right. Before Newington opened, I remember taking a ride up to the New Britain store. I always was wondering what it would be like to go through the "passageway" as I call it of the New Britain store. That store design was very unique and I'll never forget it. I knew there was a Rocky Hill store. I have visited Wal-Marts that used to be Caldor in New Britain, Rocky Hill and Southington.

I really liked the Newington store. I loved their little Cafe. Their fries were great. However, the carousel in front will always be a great childhood memory for me. I can almost smell that area of the store. They had the huge gumball machine and the carousel in the middle. I loved the music that played too. I still remember riding around on the carousel, and then we'd go shopping. This location resembled Target a great deal. I do recall that the Newington location had a small fire in early 1996. It was contained to the front of the store on the exterior. Smoke just barely made it in to the women's department and nearly ruined some clothes. The store had a blue tarp on the damaged part of the building for a while in '96. If you look at photos of the Caldor after it closed, you'll see a portion of the building isn't exactly the same color as the rest. That's where they replaced the siding.

One correction to your info on the Newington store: The actual address of the Caldor was 3475 Berlin Turnpike. You may be referring to the Stickley Furniture building in back of the plaza.

Once again thanks so much for your research. You made my day. Will you ever do Ames or Bradlees?

Nicholas M. DiMaio said...

Joseph: Thanks for the information on Waterford. The later stores are harder to find information on as are the Fairfield County area stores. Is that B&W photo you have of the Waterford one? Either way, I'd like to see that...

Jude: My mom also preferred Caldor over Bradlees. The Bradlees chain lost a lot of clout in their later years. I love that West Hartford store as its just like the New Britain and Southington ones we visited much. Where there any others that looked like these do you remember?

Chris: Thanks for the kind words. I don't remember the Newington one too, too much (and certainly don't recall the fire damage either). This store especially (and Avon, I recall) were so different compared to all the other ones the chain left behind that were around me because the floorplan and set-up were so fresh.

Also, I've done a small story about Ames and the remaining locations but Chris Fontaine at the Ames Fan Club already outdid me (he's the Ames king as far as I know). His efforts and the many who've contributed to that site helped me along in doing this one and one I've got for Bradlees. The Bradlees one is currently undergoing "clean-up" mode right now attempting to clarify and reorganize the page. It should be back up soon.

Thank you all and please keep the comments coming. First hand accounts enable me to learn more about these fallen sites!

Joseph said...

Yes, it is a photo of the Waterford location. Complete with the Orange Block Lettering as I mentioned earlier! I will scan this on asap.

P.S. What's "Furniture Mart"?

P.S.S. Do Not look into a Sony T200 Yet...Ive been having more problems with mine!

Ken said...

I never visited any CT Caldor locations as I grew up in MA. But did frequent the Caldor stores in Malden, Stoneham and Saugus, MA.

The Malden store closed first I believe, sometime int he early 90s and became a community center for the blind.

The Stoneham store became Ames, it's still vacant and sitting in Redstone Plaza. This was a definite brown rainbow store that never got any kind of update. I remember buying books there (one of which still has the Caldor Price sticker on it) and felt like the book section of this particular store was larger than other Caldor stores.

The Saugus, MA store is now a Target. The Target is a similar set up to the Caldor (which used to be next to a Purity Supreme supermarket, which is now a Shaw's), but greatly expanded (when target moved in it also took over a Men's clothing store and some other sture that was in the strip)

Nicholas M. DiMaio said...

Ken,

I visited the Stoneham one last Summer of 06 as a vacant Ames. The store's plenty trashed behind where the older Caldor reveals itself. If you look closely, you can see a rainbow label scar behind the green paint of Ames. This was one of my favorite visits because of the two-faced facade.

jimbo said...

Great Job! I worked at the Caldor store in Milford. It had 2-levels but the lower level was a stock room, break room and also where people would pick up large items. There was a tunnel that ran underneath the mall. It was later closed and now serves as the lower-level.

jimbo said...

Great Job! I worked at the Caldor store in Milford. It had 2-levels but the lower level was a stock room, break room and also where people would pick up large items. There was a tunnel that ran underneath the mall. It was later closed and now serves as the lower-level.

pika23 said...

Caldor--Brick, NJ early 80's-1999
now Kohls,it was a Grants at one time i was told...or two guys.

I got alot of clothing there, it was a decent store i guess.

Caldor--Hazlet, NJ 85 i think or 86-1999...now kohls

Caldor--Monmouth mall, Eatontown, NJ

not sure of age or closure...just remember there was a 2 level one.

Caldor-Ocean TWP, NJ ????-98 formerly sears then became Ames now i think its a office max? cant remember

Jonah N. said...

What?? I can't believe you forgot the Caldor at Latham Circle Mall!

Is this not awesome: http://www.deadmalls.com/malls/latham_circle_mall/lathamcircle07.jpg

It closed in 1998 and was demolished 2003 for a shiny new Lowe's that decided to just cinderblock where the Caldor wing should be and did not open into the mall.

MIKE said...

In your listing of the CALDOR stores you have misidentified the Connecticut Ave store as opening in 1951 (it opened in 1977). The Route 7 Norwalk store opened in 1951 not 1977!!

Nicholas M. DiMaio said...

I fixed the dates of the Norwalk stores. Thanks for the correction.

Jonah, I have been to Latham Circle Mall and as you may know, had a somewhat discouraging run in with security last year. Since there were many stores in other states, I decided to focus on Connecticut only since I had information on so many of them. It would be a ton of work to start exploring other states but I wouldn't doubt it happening in the future.

Estes Model Rockets! said...

Dude, I grew up in Mansfield. I believe the store initially had exterior front entrance. I remember using it. Closed off during major remodel. I may be wrong, but pretty sure.

---------------------WILLIMANTIC-MANSFIELD
--------------------------------------
East Brook Mall
81 Storrs Road
Route CT-195

(M) INSIDE MALL/ACCESS LOCATION

Opened on April 3, 1975.

Became Ames, became remodeled and renovated Kohl's

Was the 20th Connecticut store and 33rd company-wide store. Was the second mall-inclusive location built in Connecticut. Location did not contain exterior entrances, access was through mall only. Renovation

Denise Terry said...

Very much enjoyed your site! Are you aware that the Bradlees is still standing in the Manchester Parkade on Broad St. in Manchester, CT? It's still on Live Maps, and it was there when I was in CT at Christmas. I don't know if the sign is still on it, or if there is just a labelscar.

andie said...

I've been out of state for over 25 years & didn't realize all the Caldors had closed - grest site. Well written & well researched. Enjoyed the article today in the Courant. Would like to hear more about other shopping artifacts. My favorite solo shopping destination of childhood was Mammoth Mart in East Hartford!

Anonymous said...

I have many fond memories of Friday nights at Caldors in Brookfield since my father was an employee / manager for many years.

Whether it was getting our picture taken by the Polaroid rep, buying a gift of jewelry for my mom
(cost $.89)or getting caught stealing a couple of records from their music dept.(bad day for me and the country as Nixon was elected to his first term that day)..

Ah, the good ol' days.

ps: I don't think I ever climbed up on the roof of the store...especially once my mother caught me on the roof of the Bowlarama across the street from the store!

MIKE said...

Thanks for "fixing" the Norwalk store dates!

MIKE said...

The first Caldor store ever was in Portchester, NY, not in Norwalk, CT. Norwalk (Route 7) was the second CT store and Riverside (in Greenwich was the first CT store!

Anonymous said...

Hello,
I was a CALDOR employee at the Bristol Location from 79-84. My first job. Started as Sunday only help @ $2.91hr. By Christmas I was part-time help. I have fond memories of the Caldor Gang as we used to call us. Hanging out after work. A bunch of us showed up on Prom night to let everyone see our
Formals. Those were great times. In the years after high school I still worked to pay for Hairdressing School. Thanks to many Caldor employees I had a lot of practice with hair. I own a Salon now and still see many of those faces. As a matter of fact one of those people told me about your blog and I just had to check it out.

Roger said...

I thought I'd posted this before, but I guess not. The West Hartford Bishops Corner store was a 2-level location.

Matt said...

The Caldor in Groton haunts me! I absolutely need to get in there and see what it looks like! I have friends who claim to have gone in (Pfizer duty) and say that it's used to "demo" new offices, but the big brown stripe and everything is intact. I get chills looking at the newer close up pics. Does ANYone have pics of it during the 80's, I wonder? I wonder if I might have any hiding somewhere?

Anonymous said...

Hi,
Thank you so much for this Caldor site. I worked there for five yrs in the Riverhead,NY store # 89.
I remember the browns and oranges. My work smock was brown. If anyon else worked here before plz let me know, anyone can email me.
maildropbjg@yahoo.com

Anonymous said...

Awesome list. Do you guys have one for Massachusetts stores? I still (fondly) remember the Caldor located at the Auburn Mall. I don't have any real specific details other than that it was turned into a Filene's Home Store in the early 2000's (which then subsequently became a Macy's Home Store).

Jeff M. said...

Although you made some corrections to the Norwalk stores, you still have the Main Avenue store (was Store #4), which is now a Wal-Mart, listed as "West Norwalk." The West Norwalk store (was Store #53) is the one on Connecticut Avenue which is now a Kohl's.

When I worked for Caldor, I knew the number designations for the entire chain by heart. But that was over 25 years ago, and I've forgotten a lot of them. (Also, when I left, there were under 100 stores.) However, I can tell you that:
There was no #1, although the main office had that designation.
There was no #2, but the warehouse in Secaucus, NJ was considered #2.
#3 was Riverside, CT
#4 was Norwalk, CT (Main Ave.)
#5 was Danbury, CT (Brookfield)
#6 was Peekskill, NY
#7 was [I think]Hamden, CT
#8 was [I think] Waterbury, CT
#9 was Bedford Hills/Mt. Kisco, NY
#10 was [I think] Manchester, CT

Also, note that the Riverside store was extremely small, and did not have all the soft goods departments the other stores had -- which is why Caldor ads always carried the ubiquitous notation, "*Not in Riverside"!

If something jogs my memory, I might recall others, but the only one I know for sure now is Ridgefield, CT was #33.

-Phil said...

The Bishop's corner store was indeed two levels. It encompassed the current Marshall's & Blockbuster stores on the top level and also the former Finast/Edward's/Adam's location below. There were standard escalator's as transport, along with an elevator for those with carriages. Clothing was upstairs, and General Merchandise was downstairs. This store closed in 1990-1991.

Just one note on Elmwood.. in 1973 "Foodmart" was the 2nd tenant, Waldbaum's had yet to purchase it to form "Waldbaum's Foodmart" for a few more years.

~ said...

The Peekskill NY store, located at the corner of West Brook Drive and East Main St (Route 6) is now a Kohl's.

I really miss Caldor.

Anonymous said...

I ran across your site,and it brought back some memories.Mostly sad. I was the one who was in charge of Design & Construction. I was an exec with Caldor from 1986 to 1997. The Newington store was the first of our prototypes.The final prototype,which we rolled out was in Bristol,Pa. Just as an aside ,I was also with Bradlees.I turned out the lights their last day.

Mary said...

I can't believe there is a Caldor website! I worked at the Framingham MA location--now a WalMart, for 5 years back in the late 70's-early 80's and made some of the best friends, which I still have. We used to hang out in the parking lot after work, drinking... which if anyone is familiar with the area it's hard to believe we weren't all rounded up and arrested. The store was located on route 9, otherwise known as the Golden Mile....lots and lots of stores. Oh the good times, jeez thinking about it makes me feel old. Anyone out there that worked at the Framingham Caldor around that time? My friends and I often think about having a Caldor reunion, kinda like a class reunion only sadder. Really, who has reunions for defunct dept stores the worked at as a kid? We had some great times, wish I was that age again.

MM

Mary said...

I can't believe there is a Caldor website! I worked at the Framingham MA location--now a WalMart, for 5 years back in the late 70's-early 80's and made some of the best friends, which I still have. We used to hang out in the parking lot after work, drinking... which if anyone is familiar with the area it's hard to believe we weren't all rounded up and arrested. The store was located on route 9, otherwise known as the Golden Mile....lots and lots of stores. Oh the good times, jeez thinking about it makes me feel old. Anyone out there that worked at the Framingham Caldor around that time? My friends and I often think about having a Caldor reunion, kinda like a class reunion only sadder. Really, who has reunions for defunct dept stores the worked at as a kid? We had some great times, wish I was that age again.

MM

Anonymous said...

A former Caldor employee here.. Milford, CT store was #48 Derby was #26. Derby store was the original swept wing style, but was remodeled a few year prior to closing. You could still see the scar from the swept wing on the old "Garden Shop" enterance (Later closed).

Milford was one floor with shipping and receiving downstairs. No direct outside enterance, you and to enter through the mall. I remember the photo deprtment was a bit unusual because it had two cash registers. I was told that it was because they had mismeasured one of the isles during the first remodeling of the store.

Variety House said...

My local Caldor was the Old Saybrook location; it had indeed been a Grant's, although I think that it was a Barker's right before it became (a smallish)Caldor's, but don't hold me to that sequence of events. It wasn't much to look at from the outside (although it did have that rainbow) and had an odd two entrance/exit layout held over from the previous tenant. It was very well kept up with the very notable exception of the bathrooms near the entrance; those (or the men's room at least) had been thoroughly and maliciously trashed within the first year or so and the were never fixed. I also remember that they sold GAWD-awful "Cal-Stars" sneakers which would fall off your feet within a month or two. My parents would always pop for $15-20 sneakers that would last a calendar year, but some insisted on the "cheaper" solution - buying 4-5 pairs of Cal-Stars each year at $4.99 ea. Good store, though.

Anonymous said...

anyone from store 89 riverhead ny?
out there hit me up

ben luft61@comcast.net

CaldorRainbow1976 said...

O.K. Here it goes . . . I was born on July 31st 1976 in Middletown, CT. This was the same time the Caldor Rainbow was being raised onto the Washington Plaza Caldor Store Front just a couple miles away. The store opened just a couple weeks later. I have more than a special bond with this Caldor Rainbow, in fact I own it. I have in my possession the Large Store Front Middletown, CT Caldor Rainbow. I also have one of the Washington Plaza Street Rainbows and my Brother has the other. The story of our Holy Grail is to follow . . .
Growing up in Middletown in the 1980's meant playing with several types of toys. Middletown is shaped like an Hour-Glass. Bradlees was on the South Farms (South Main St.) side of town and Caldor on the West Feild (Washington St) side of town. We lived in South Farms and often shopped with our mom at Bradlees, which is where I was introduced to the Cabbage Patch Kid craze in 1984. Once in a while my dad would have to buy supplies at Grossman's, (an Orange colored Home Improvement Store like a mini Home Depot back in the day, ironically that site is now half of Home Depot, Caldor is the other half). Caldor was next door and we would browse the toy Aisles. When we would go to friends birthday parties in West Field section of Middletown, we would notice that they had diferent toys or different brands at least. One that comes to mind is that I never saw TOMY toys in my side of town. Also those kids rode different bikes too. We had Huffy's and they had Mongoose brands. All because of what our local Department stores carried geographically speaking. Nowadays kids get toys from all over . . .but back then it was different . . . your parents didn't go to malls or even strip malls. Everything you needed was at Stop&Shop and Bradlees. That was your shopping universe. For Kids in West Field, it was Caldor and ShopRite. I can remember going in there walking under the glowing carmel sunshine of the big "C" in the sky. You knew you were in a special place. You knew the ancient looking logo that should have gone out with disco was from some bygone era. you just didn't know what was going to be in that toy section. Speaking of a bygone era . . . I can remember my father buying a set of Lawn Jarts there. Caldor was also the first place I ever got a plastic bubble toy out of the vending machine in the front entrance. The counters in that store were all the Glorious Orange Formica. The T-Shirts and Underwear all had Caldor Rainbow Tags. My brother and I would make up "There's a number that exists" questions like "How many camaros were ever parked in Tommy Pizza parking lot?" or "How many GI Joe Figures have cross the plane of the arch of the Caldor Rainbow in kids hands?" Many memories .. .I can still smell the urinal mints in the bathrooms and getting lost in the breakroom that smelled like cigarettes trying to find the bathroom. Buying my mom Jewelry for xmas. My dad would take me xmas shopping at Caldor and my mom would take my brother to Bradlees on the same night so we could shop for each other. Late in years my Friend in HighSchool worked there. We always asked him why they wore red updated shirts but the store still looked like the 1970's Sunrise Rainbow. He just shook his head.
We then found out why . . .they were closing! My brother and I would sit at the local hangout for late teen to early twenties crownds, Athenian Diner across the street in Middletown Plaza. We would always ask to sit in a booth parallel to Washington St. so we could stare at the Orange Glow across the street of the Street Sign Caldor Rainbow. The Store was closed, but the street sign was still lit up like a birthday cake on the Fourth of July. We would plot and plan for over a year on how to get those Rainbows of our youth. Several plans arose. We would borrow our friends Caldor workshirts and bring my dads work van with ladders and just pretend really early in the morning we were "supposed to be there" taking down the signs. Surely that would work! But we just never really thought we would ever get them, it was just fun to scheme and dream. Then one night the orange arch just didn't show up for "2 eggs anystyle with toast and homefries". We just forgot and moved on.
One day, while working at Circuit City during the glory days, 98 to 2000, I was walking out for lunch when the phone rang in SOHO, small office home office (computers). I did not have to answer the phone . . . in fact I had already clocked out. But fate was in my corner that day just like it was the day I was born. On the other end of "Thank you for calling Circuit City Newington, Marc speaking . . ." was the voice of my mom. "Marc, I just got this great shoe rack . . .blah blah blah, shoe rack this, shoe rack that", the phone is about a foot away from my ear when I hear "and there are some letters" I said "What letters?" "You know the orange letters" "what?" , "The signs and the orange letters are on the ground". A light bulb went off in my head . . .Wait my mom works at Miracle Ear in Middletown Plaza, this was her lunch break
too . . .surely she doesn't mean . . ."Where did you get the shoe rack???", "CALDORS!!! I told you I got a great shoe rack from Caldors! and there's letters all over the ground." CLICK. I hung up the phone ran through the parking lot and got into my 64 Impala. I had an hour lunch break. It took about a half hour to get to that part of Middletown from the Berlin Tpk. I didn't care what I was going to see when I got there, but I knew it was going to be mine. I swear I hit every green light on the way there. Luck was on my side. I noticed something was different from Route 66. It was a fresh label scar. No more Caldor Rainbow, just a dirty outline of a "C" shaped angled rainbow. I pulled into the vacant car-less lot and drove up to the front entrance. Sure enough, my mom was right. All the orange letters were scattered over the pressure sensitive rubber door mats along with clothing racks and two plywood sheet sized caldor rainbows both cracked in identicle spots but still whole. One GIANT Caldor Building Rainbow larger than life. Bigger than I would have ever imagined. Bigger than my car. I gathered what I could. All the letters, mostly broken . . . and the two smaller rainbows. I put them al in my trunk. Its true that you could sneak about 4 or 5 people into dirve in movies in trunks of old impalas. I fit all of it in the trunk and closed it. I drove back to work shaking with excitement and disbelief. I knew once I got off of work that I needed to drive to my brothers dorm an hour away and Surprise him with our Holy Grail. I am sure the last session of work felt like days. I drove all the way across state to ECSU. Pulled up to his dorm and saw his friend sitting outside the building entrance which was lucky so she could let me in. I asked her if she wanted to see what was in my trunk and she replied, "Can't you see I am having a heart to heart right now?!!!!" I was taken aback as she snapped at me. I knew her, but man. I asked her to let me in and she did. I went up to my brother's dorm room and knocked. "Dude, you gotta see whats in my trunk . . .you won't believe it!" was a line I used about once a month with him, but this was different . . .this was our Holy Grail, the Symbol or Logo of our youth. I got him down to the parking lot with a little persuasion from promising to play the song "Your Mama's on Crack Rock" if he came down to the Impala. I unlocked the trunk and had him slowly lift it. Remember the scene in Pulp Fiction with the Brief Case . . . Enough said. Just an orange glow too bright for human eyes poured out, we had to close it. He said immediately, "We have to show the girl sitting over on the bench" I said, "screw her she is too busy with some heart to heart right now" he said " No, you don't understand, She has a photo Album dedicated to the Caldor Rainbow. We went back to her and my brother told her no matter how important this heart to heart was, she needed to see the trunk of my Impala. She did and as we lifted the trunk, she burst into tears. She said she had been taking photos of the Caldor Rainbow for years and that yellow orange and brown were going to be her wedding colors even. She showed me her photo album and sure enough it was true . . . about 50 photos from all over new england! SHe demanded I give her one, and I said "No Way!, Those rainbows are for me and my brother. But there is one giant one left that I cant fit in my car", she then told me to go to her Caldor in New Britain and get the Small Rainbows for her there. Of course I did drive to New Britain first thing in the morning since she was hot, young, and female. Never having been there before and before the time of cellphones and garmins, It was hard to find, but then i saw the architecture and knew it was it. I drove around the building and nothing was there but label scars. I could feel that i was just too late.
i drove back to Middletown and tried to shove the big rainbow into my car. Now Luckily My Impala was a 2 door sport coupe which means that in 1964, there were no frames around the glass windows on the doors and no post seperating the back side window from the front (which is why they are stolen very easily, just bend the glass back and pull the lock switch with your hand). When you roll down the front and back side windows, the whole area between the door and the roofline, front windshield to back window is open. I laid the Rainbow on its flat side and slid it into or shoehorned it into the side window area on top of the front bench seat and rear package tray. Half of the rainbow stuck out the passenger side like the Rack of Ribs at the Bedrock Drive In in the intro of the Flintstones. I had to duck under the sign and put my head up to the steering wheel to drive. I was strattling the yellow double line of an average sized road on the way back to my moms house when i heard a crack and smash sound followed by clickety sounds of the plexi chips falling to the pavement behind me. I smashed a mailbox and the corner of the Rainbow. As I drove above 25 mph, the sign acted like an airplane wing and began to lift and flop violently. I had to drive 15 mph the rest of the way home. I wished I had that on video footage. I shoehorned it back out of the car and and laid it in my driveway. I tried to bring it into the garage but it would not fit even though the 9'x7' door. I had to saw-zall it into pie shaped pieces. I gave one to my brothers freind and I still have another one. I know have a 70's game room dedicated to the colors of the Caldor Rainbow or 70's Sunrise.
By the way, What ever happened to Calvin and Dorothy? Did they remain with the company throughout the 30 odd years or did they sell out early on? Just Curious?

My brother and I also have 2 BOB'S SURPLUS Signs but thats another long story . . . Kind of funny how the 2nd location of Bradlees in Middletown is now the 2nd location of BOB'S in Middletown. My father used to do repair work for the founder of BOB's, Bob Lipedas.

Thanx for letting me share my story . . . How would I share photos of the orginal rainbows with you?
-Marc

Jeff M. said...

Marc, that is one of the most incredible stories I have ever read! Thank you so much for sharing it! You ought to sell it as a screenplay...

But as to your question about "whatever happened to Calvin and Dorothy" -- first of all, it's not Calvin, even though that would make sense for the Cal part; it's Carl. (I guess "Carldor" just didn't make it...). Carl Bennett sold the company (while I was working in the Main Office, in 1982 or 83) to Associated Dry Goods. ADG was subsequently bought out by May Department Stores, which was then bought out by... ah, that doesn't matter, because Caldor was bought back from May by the company's executives in a leveraged buyout.

As for Carl and Dorothy, they retired to their home on Shippan Point in Stamford, CT. As far as I know -- don't remember seeing anything to the contrary -- they are both still alive, though they've got to be in their 90s. The Carl & Dorothy Bennett Cancer Center at Stamford Hospital was named for them.

caldor74 said...

This site brings back alot I worked for caldors for 18yrs.I rocky hill, old saybrook, branford,groton, waterford and opened 3 stores in the baltimore market in the early 80s anyone have a question about those sites let me no great site

Mary said...

I worked at the Caldor's in Framingham MA in the late 70's and early 80's. I met some of my best friends there. We used to have a lot of fun hanging out in the parking lot after work, which since it was on route 9, now doesn't seem like a bright idea. God how I hated those smocks...UGLY.

Maureen said...

I was feel a bit sad at the fact that this month is the 10 year anniversary of store #58, Caldor's of Schenectady NY closing. I googled Caldor to see what was out there and found this web site. I gave 27 years to Caldors, working first in the Wappingers Falls store, # 16 then the Poughkeepsie store # 22 and finally Schenectady. It was a great company to work for and the friends I made there are still my friends. Those of us "lifers" were really more like family than co-workers. In fact, we buried a time capsule out behind our store and are supposed to get together this month to see if we can find it. The store is now a Best Fitness Gym (one half) and a Buy Rite Grocery store in the other half. Hope we don't get arrested out behind there digging around! If anyone reads this from any of the New York stores I would love to hear from you. I also helped out in the following stores..Latham, Glens Falls, Crossgates, Vails Gate, Ramapo and White Plains. Although I thought I would remember the date always, I cannot remember what date in March we closed even though I was one of the last out of the building (had to get that last payroll done). If anyone knows this date, please post it on this site.

Maureen said...

Oh and one more thing, Caldor colors were at one time blue (light blue smocks for the women and dark blue for the guys) and then a blue, pink and purple rainbow. Let me tell you nothing was as ugly as the smocks that were white background with those rainbows all over them. There was no shape or style to the smocks and thankfully, they didn't last long. This is a great site, thanks for doing this. It brings back such great memories to touch base with other Caldor employees and/or shoppers.

Kimberley said...

Our Caldor was right on Elm Street, firs thing when you came to town that you saw, I miss that place they used to have a Grey Recycled Filler Paper, name unknown, with Green Lines, that I just loved, if I had known was going to close back then, I would have bought 20 or more packages of that Recycled Filler Notebook paper, I only wish I could remember the brand.. of paper it was Grey darker than Newsprint, with Green Ruled Lines, and it was really nice to write on.

dpma said...

I worked at Caldor during high school, college and after college-In store #57, Mahopac NY, store #50(I think) Springfield, MA, and store #6 Peekskill, NY.(on and off from '86-'94.) Peeksill was one of the busiest stores in the chain, and in the mid 80's(before the dreadful remodel) had the cool department identifiers(that had a stenciled look). I wish someone would have a picture!

afal said...

when i was a young child,maybe 6 or 7, i had one of my most traumatic experiences at the caldors in riverside,ct. there was a revolving door at that store and i somehow managed to get my finger stuck in it and subsequently got my fingernail torn off and had to go to the emergency room. a few years later,when i was about nine,i was in the store with my mother(brave child,I),and awoman approached us and asked if she could "borrow" me to see if i was the right size for a rocking chair that she wanted to give to her niece as a gift (suspicious story,huh?).my mother approved and the woman took me,without my mother, to the lower level where the furniture was located.all the while i was terrified the woman was planning on kidnapping me.,but everything went okay.ten years later,after high school,i needed a temporary part-time job,and since i lived a short walk away and did not have a car,i wound up employed by this same caldors.on what was supposed to be my first day of work,i had so much anxiety i had to call in sick.i attribute this to my prior traumas there.to this day i am still wary of revolving doors and rocking chairs,and try to avoid them when i can

Anonymous said...

Good times. I remember getting busy in the bushes behind the Caldor in Coram with the singer from Heartless Wager.

There was a bar that they played at all the time, sometimes he would give lessons before they went to LA.

Sometimes I drive by the old site and think about the good old days, but there's nobody left, they're all gone away.

I usedto work sometimes at the Foot Master place, part time, but the pay was no good.

Anonymous said...

I miss Caldor. The story of the guy getting the rainbows is great! Wish I had one. Caldor is where we went for everything. Clothes, shoes, toys, etc. I got my film developed through them throughout my childhood. I was really sad to see them close. My husband worked for one near Orange, CT when he was young. Caldor was a staple. Even the stores like Bradlees and Ames and Jamesway were not the same. And these days, there is nothing even close. I used to love going there. Now I go to Walmart and feel the life drain out of me as I shop! Thanks for bringing back some memories!!

Anonymous said...

oops, forgot to say that my Caldor was in Poughkeepsie, NY!

Geeber said...

I worked at the Waterbury Caldor between 1985 and 1990 in the Seasonal Dept. I remember Mr. Baba and Mr. Schriffer as the managers (forgive me for butchering any of these names...it's been awhile!). Some other people I remember, in no particular order... Judy Couture, Dave (Records & Books), Mike Solerno, Ken Lord, Kevin Talbot, and Jaime Kelly. It was a fun place to work in.

John Sposato said...

Here are the ones I remember in New York State:

New York City:
Flushing, Queens (vacant)
The Bronx (vacant)

Hudson Valley:
Poughkeepsie
Wappinger Falls
Kingston

Albany:
Guilderland (now Best Buy)
Latham
East Greenbush
Queensbury
Clifton Park

Syracuse:
Fayetteville (razed for new plaza)
Fairmount (now Target)
Cicero (now Driver's Village)

All TBD unless indicated.

Anonymous said...

I worked at # 26 in Derby from about 1990-1993. My best friend worked there too. And my boyfriend. And everyone I went to high school with. Except for the ones who worked at Klarides grocery store next door.
Ahhh...good times.

In the later years, the Derby store got a Nathan's hot dogs in it. It made the second floor break room smell terrible. Even working as a cashier or at the courtesy desk you'd go home and smell like a hot dog. Not so nice. I do miss the rainbow though.

Anonymous said...

I forgot to mention that my brother worked at #26 too on the morning crew along with his best friend. We were a company town I guess. :)

Anonymous said...

And let's not forget the "courtesy desk" at #26 before the rennovation. It was next to the mini carosel, and I STILL can hear that song in my dreams. Before the Nathan's arrived (and I did enjoy the mini corndogs back then...), we had a snack stand that sold "big pretzels." We once had a custome attempt to return a used jock strap that he claimed was "too small;" a "smokeless" ash tray that had very obviously been used and it was probably ~15 years old. And the managers would approve these returns. No wonder they went bankrupt!

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...
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John Sposato said...
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Anonymous said...

# 22 is the Arlington store

Corrie said...

The Caldor we went to alot was in the Swansea Mall in Swansea, MA It is sadly now a walmart. Every time I walk in through the mall entrance I still think of Caldor and I remember just how it all looked. The Walmart is going to expand into a Super Walmart supposedly. It was supposed to open in 2009 and it's now 2010 and no work has begun.

I wish there were still some photos available of the Swansea Caldor!

Earcom2 said...

There used to be a department store located in Willimantic, CT where the Shaw's is currently. It was known as Fisher's (or Fischer's) BIG WHEEL. I remember it being there since that plaza was built around 1988 to its closing around the mid-to-late 90s. It was similar to an Ames or Bradlee's. The store's sign was basic white lettering BIG WHEEL on a brown background. I am not sure if this store was a chain or not.

Anonymous said...

mrs Bennett passed away.

Anonymous said...

I worked at the West Hartford-Elmwood CALDOR in 1988 to late 89. I was a loss prevention officer so, as you can imagine, we came across quite a bit of riff raff in that area. It seems that every night there were multiple attempts to steal merchandise. Lots of druggies in that part of town. I remember having to go to the Avon store to do surveillance on an employee who was stealing from the company. What a difference between the Avon store and the Elmwood store. The loss prevention at Avon told me they almost never had an apprehension because there was so little theft in Avon.

As a shopper, I miss Caldor. The prices were fantastic. A gallon of paint for $6.99 (and it was better quality than the $25 cans today!). Good source of electronics, furniture, etc. TARGET is the closest thing I can relate to Caldor.

Brian said...

You can have Kohls and Walmart..i still miss Bradlees and Caldor...i grew up with them, and we always went to both for all kinds of things..it was fun going there, much like my childhood visits to Grants with my Aunt.
The stores today are horrible and lack so much of what those stores had..Walmart is a greed driven hell hole, and Kohls has such cheap crap that is so overpriced it isn't even funny!
As for Target...don't like them much either..never go there.

Anonymous said...

Bottom Line store 29, as the store manager's front plate said. Worked in the Elmwood Ct store from '79 to '81. Like another writer, started at $2.91 an hour. Many great friends...crazy employees...one guy from sporting goods took a manaquin's nose off with a 22 prior to opening one morning. Beer parties after work, a sweet young Newington girl taking my virginity...Ahhh

Tom G

Anonymous said...

Ha! This is awesome. I worked at the Riverside one when I was in high school.

Anonymous said...

I worked at Caldor store #22 in Poughkeepsie from 1977 through 1979 while I went to the local community college (from which I subsequently transferred). As a first "real" job, I can say it was a fun place to work. I made a number of friends and as at least one poster wrote, we were like family more than mere co-workers.

The only store chain that approximates the Caldor "feel" is Target, but in my opinion, it's a poor substitute for a number of reasons (first, in most Targets, there are few retail clerks roaming their departments and most of the ones who do really don't know very much).

I haven't been back to Poughkeepsie in years, but I think the old store was repurposed for some other grocery or department store (or stores). I rarely get nostalgic, but when I think back to those times, I remember it being so much simpler than today.

Tracey Staback said...

I'm originally from Meriden, CT. Wow! What great memories this website brings back. My mom wouldn't be caught dead in a K-Mart, so Caldor was the store she always took me to. I loved Caldor!
The store I would go to is the one in Wallingford. When I attended the University Of New Haven,in the late 80's, I would shop at the one in the Connecticut Post Mall. Then when I moved to Southington, in 1990, I would go to the one there. It was right down the street from where I lived. You'd just go down Queen Street and ta-da! There it was.
I do like shopping at Target, but Caldor will always be my favorite. The stores were always a good size, but not as overwhelming as the "Super Centers" are today. Thank you for this website!

Anonymous said...

What a great site! I wanted to post a comment about the Branford store. I remember distinctly that they had a Record Section in the middle of the store. They sold albums as well as 45's. They'd have a listing of the top 25 singles on sheets of paper and the records were lined up on the shelves accordingly.

Jeff M. said...

Nicholas, I'm glad to see you're "back" - this site remains a treasure trove.

Would like to point out you still need to update the Detailed Store Locator - you still have the Main Ave. Norwalk store listed as West Norwalk. To be clear, the Main Ave. store, #4, was considered the "flagship" because of its proximity to the main office. It became a Walmart. The West Norwalk store on Connecticut Ave., #53, became a Kohl's. There is another Walmart on Connecticut Ave. in West Norwalk; that one was a Bradlees.

Anonymous said...

I worked in store 86 in Toms River, NJ from Sept, 1991 through the day it closed, March 13, 1999.
That was the toughest job I ever had. It was also the best job I ever had.

Anonymous said...

I drove tractor trailers for Store wide Delivery out of Secaucus, NJ. We hauled all of the loads for Caldors when I was there in the eighties. I enjoyed traveling to all the locations up and down the chain. I was also proud to pull the new trailers with the Caldors logo emblazoned around the truck. The receivers treated me like I was part of the Caldors family. I miss the people from the stores and D.C.. Good job! Anybody know whatever happened with Store Wide Delivery? I have relocated south years ago.

Sicklid said...

I remember going to the Trumbull one with my mom when I was little. I remember thinking the conveyor belt style escalators were so cool, I had never seen one like that before, and haven't seen another like it since!

Babs said...

Hi! So many memories! I used to work at the Northampton, MA store from 1970-1973, while in High school and one year of college. Does anyone remember the jingle? "Shopping at Caldor is always a pleasure...There's so much to see and buy, WE Love it. Shopping at Caldor with discount prices, where the quality is always fine!" it is still stuck in my head! and the smocks...oh gosh. awful. I was a front cashier and the first time they stayed open till 8 or 9 pm on Christmas Eve, I worked. I got the last customer who had TWO BASKETS FULL of items to buy. My Mom and my sister were waiting for me (sister a former Caldor employee) helped to bag the items. this was before electronic cash registers folks! there were the buttons across and down that had to all be pushed in for Dept. code and then the price. I think it took me a half an hour to ring up this one customer!
My last year working there was at the switchboard (yes a BIG BLACK SWITCHBOARD with the cords and holes and lights) in the office at night and the night cash room assistant. I remember making the night time announcement "Attention Caldor shoppers, the time is now 8:45 pm and Caldor will be closing in 15 minutes. Please make your final selections and proceed to the Front Cash Registers. As always, Thank you for shopping at Caldor!"

The Northampton Store is now a Walmart. I had a lot of good times and a lot of good friends.

Don B said...

Wow... what a following. Okay, so I worked in store #11, the 4 level building in Stamford, CT. Lived in Port Chester NY just blocks away from what was the original store, but a mile away from the Caldor Shopping Center where the newer store was. I met Carl and Dorothy while they were giving a speech to a business meeting on how they built the company. I actually video tapedthe speech for the company they were presenting it to. God I wish I had a copy. Oh well, loved working for them. I was the Electronics department manager for a while, then when they were filing for bankruptcy, I left them in December of 1995 to go work for another company.

Anonymous said...

I worked in Torrington CT for 18 yrs. What fun we had, great job and great friends.

sue said...

I still have "rainbow" ties in brown and blue that the guys had to wear. And a couple of brown pens with the logo. I started out with the blue smock, then rainbow (yuck) and then gold.

Anonymous said...

Not a employee, but a shopper who grew up going to the Kingston, NY store. I remember at least two remodels, one around '73, when it got a big sweeping blue roof over the front doors, then again about 10 years later when wide fake brown brick pillars were put on both sides of the doors with orange CALDOR letters placed above the doors (the letters had been on the building.)

The store had a great camera dept with guys who actually knew their stuff. In the front they sold pretzels which we often bought. In the 80's they opened a Caldor in Glens Falls (Queensbury) an hour north of Albany. That store was attached to a mall and represented the northernmost store as far as I know.

tim 8>)... said...

re: Norwalk Store#4, just across the line from the Wilton border on Rte 7; if I remember correctly, in the late 50s the original store burnt down and was rebuilt on the same location. I worked there from April 1969 - September 1970. The store manager, Dom Fado, went on to run the Bradlees store in Westport. The store also had a furnuiture department located in what was originally a separate store , but the wall was taken down. Back tehn I remember working Xmas eve until 11:30 - 12 midnight, and people still shopping even though the shelves were pretty much cleaned out! Ah, those were the days...

Ted said...

There were 2 Norwalk stores. The Main Ave (Old Route 7) became the Wal-Mart. The Caldor on the Boston Post Rd (less than 1/2 mile from Bradlees) became a Kohls.

Violet said...

I am amazed to find this blog! I grew up going to Caldor in the 80s and early-mid 90s. My local store was at the Pelham Manor/Bronx, NY border which I believe is now a Kmart. It started out as the brown/orange/gold rainbow decor, but got a remodel in the early 90s to bright red, gray and white. My mom did a lot of shopping there. It was pretty close to us where we grew up in New Rochelle, only a few miles away. I remember distinctly so many weekend afternoons spent there!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this website...I love blasts from the past. I used to work at the Wallingford location as a high school student in the 90s. I wore a red smock. I remember I discovered a lot of great music on the Caldor soundtrack. I ran a cash register and used to love when I was told to go put "returns" back in the different departments so I could "window shop", especially in the holiday season when I got to check out all the beautiful Xmas trees and ornaments. I remembered going to the same store as a kid in late 70s and thought it was interesting that the rainbow was orange and brown. The store got a great makeover in the late 90s complete with a Nathan's, but then sadly went out of business about a year later. I have such great memories of the store and my coworkers...those were the days.

Anonymous said...

The Norwalk Caldor (store #7) became Wal-Mart, however, the West Norwalk Caldor (store #53 became Kohl's)

Bradlees which was down the street from Caldor store #53 became WalMart.

Anonymous said...

Caldor's rainbow logo was designed by Carl(Cal) and Dorothy (dor)Bennet's daughter Robin.