Monday, February 18, 2008

The Caldor Rainbow meets The Hartford Courant

And we're sharing the same page as The Spice Girls.

The Caldor Rainbow has made its first media appearance on Monday February 18. 2008 in the Life section, courtesy of The Hartford Courant.


We would like to welcome newcomers to the site -- we hope you'll participate, contribute and make our site more content rich and relevant. Explore our backlogs on the sidebar (yes, I know it's not entirely user-friendly), and our many original photos on Flickr.

We would like to thank Courant reporter Daniela Altimari; who originally approached us last year about doing a story, Carolyn Moreau; for her online video segment, and Shana Sureck for the "album cover" photographs.

Additionally, our true thanks goes to our retail enthusiasts circle which includes Chris Fontaine, of Ames Fan Club, Daniel "d_fife" Fife (an abundant poster at the Ames Fan Club forums) whose compelled us to take distant road trips, Jason Damas (Caldor) and Ross Schendel (Prange Way) of Labelscar, Keith Milford of Malls of America (still alive, Keith?) and of course the pioneers Pete Blackbird and Brian Florence at Dead Malls Dot Com, who I like to think inspired many of us to keep our eyes on dying retail from the start. Without you guys, I might not have been here sharing similar passions.

Golden thanks is reserved for family; my mother Rose, my father Nick, and my brother Michael whose driven us places and Renee Morrisett, who insists upon coming along for every one of the missions.

If you just stumbled across the site, you can read all about it on The Courant's online mirror, or go grab a copy of the print edition at your local newsstand/supermarket (where we are proudly displayed next to The Spice Girls).

If you've got questions or comments, you can drop us an e-mail at XISMZERO@yahoo.com.

24 comments:

Anita said...

>>and of course the pioneers Pete Blackbird and Brian Florence at Dead Malls Dot Com, who I like to think inspired many of us to keep our eyes on dying retail from the start. <<

Aw, thanks for the mention.

I had no clue Malls of America was apprently dead as a dead mall.

-Anita Rose
deadmalls.com assistant editor.

Jim said...

Nice website. I lived in central CT in the 60's, 70's & 80's. My family shopped at the Caldor in Rocky Hill, CT. I worked for Heartland Food Warehouse in the early, mid-80's. What ever happened to that company? Living in WI now so I have lost track of the retail changes in the NE

Joseph said...

Congratulations Nick, on making it to the Hartford Current!

ME said...

Thanks to the Courant article, I discovered this great site.

My parents were divorced, so I grew up in Torrington & Ledyard. I spent plenty of time at three Caldor's & three Bradlees.

Every time I drive by one of their old locations, I always think of them.

This site is fantastic. I'll be digging around, adding to the Google Reader & linking in my blog.

Steve said...

Interesting site. I came across it totally by accident via the Courant. I lived in Bristol from 1955-2001. I left for a variety of reasons but one of the contributing factors was the decline of the familiar retail establishments. I worked at the Bradlees on Farmington Ave from 1971-1974 and spent some time at the Torrington and New Britain stores as well. One of my first girlfriend's was employed at the WT Grants at the Bristol Commons. Caldor was my favorite shopping venues. I miss the old days very much. It helped shape who I am as I met many friends and acquaintances during my time at Bradlees. All of these closings just added "another brick in the wall", if you will excuse the quote. I currently live in Richmond VA. I miss my family and friends, but not CT.

chief1970 said...

Nick, this is a fantastic website and really brings back a lot of memories. I am about 15 years older than you so my memories of these department stores are even more vivid. It's great to see that someone who is 22 can appreciate the "old school" days of shopping in these stores. They really are a dying breed so congrats on your site and keep the photos and stories coming.

Anonymous said...

I got my first legal job when I was 16 at Caldors in Manchester. I made a lot of friends there. I always liked it when we lost power, as we would have to help the cashiers by hand-cranking the registers. We would race to help out the one we thought was the prettiest! A group of us would go to Shakey's Pizza when we got off work. Those were good times. Chris

Bill G. said...

I'm 52 and I remember working at Caldors in Avon, CT in 1973-74 when I was in High school. I worked in the "Juvenile Furniture" department, which was baby toys, strollers, car seats, Pampers, etc... Great job for a 17 year old guy, huh? Every little department had a "department manager". He/she probably made about $2.50/hour, versus the $2.00/hr I made! It was a cool place to work. Lots of fun around the holidays... man did we get busy then, plus got paid overtime! In these pre-computer days, every time stuff went on sale we had to put new price stickers on the merchandise. When the sale ended, we put more new stickers on, at the old price. Met some cool people there, plus a couple 30-ish crooks who worked there and stole all kinds of merchandise. Despite a lot of store detectives, these guys really ripped the place off. It was just too easy. They did finally get caught, the cops came and hauled them away and everything! I got fired because I wouldn't rat them out. I'm proud to say I didn't steal anything, althought it was tempting. Fun times. It is so sad to see the mega-marts taking over the Universe. Great web site here!

Marc said...

Nice to see the write-up in the paper. And though I wasn't named specifically in the article it was nice to see that I was mentioned. :)

(For those of you wondering I'm the "friend" who told him about the Caldor tractor trailer on Queen Street).

Christina said...

What a great site. I saw the article in the paper and was fascinated as I am currently taking a Master's class on intergrating technology and education. This class has given me my first taste of blogs and I am in the process of creating one for my third grade class. Anyhow, I have be interested in all that blogs have to offer and yours hit a chord as I too grew up with Caldors in the Waterbury area. I would get my favorite Sasson jeans there as they seemed to be the only ones that actually fit me. Bradless was also favorite. I can remember, well before I could even drive, waiting anxiously for the Sunday ads to arrive so I coud see who had what on sale. Then my parents and I would head off to one or soemtimes both to get the local deals. Growing up you always think that those stores will be there and now that I have kids of my own it is the Target ads that I find us looking through. I guess I always wondered why Kmart has made it through as that was the third chain store around and still is. As a teacher I can say that your site shows a great deal of questions that you have researched and answered. Thanks for the research and effort to share on a topic that some many are interested in but few venture to pursue.

Jude said...

Congrats on the article! I've been a fan of your excellent corner of the internets for a while now - keep up the good work!

pandacookie said...

I ADORE your blog, and I've been a loyal reader since last year. Congrats on the media mention and may this blog continue to serve us with many more articles about retail to come.

'DJ' Brian said...

Thank you for your Caldor contribution! I'm glad we're all a part of something great!

chris in newington said...

Nick; a BIG congratulations to you. You have a great website that I bookmarked quite a while ago. I love reading your blog and going down memory lane. I am only 19, so I really wasn't around to see the "golden years" of retail during the 60s, 70s and 80s. I was fortunate enough to be able to shop at the remaining good old chains during the 90s. I had Ames, Bradlees, Caldor and Woolworth's all within a short distance of me and I loved every single one of them. In Newington CT, Bradlees was first to go in 1996. It was a Two Guys prior to it opening. Woolworth's went next in 1997 in Berlin CT; it burnt down. Caldor in Newington went third in 1999. Of course that is the site where Nick documented extensively during its transformation to Stew Leonards. Last to go was Ames in Newington. I really did think Ames would last longer, but of course it didn't. I will never forget these stores and the memories. It's a shame this blog wasn't around a decade sooner!

Once again, great work, and keep the blogs coming.

~Chris, Newington CT

GeorgeL said...

Nick,

Congrats on making the courant. I've been coming here for just about a year as well. I visit at least 4-5 times a week. I'm going to start contributing the best I can when time permits. I'm 33 yrs old and my mom was an avid shopper. We used to hit Bradlees, Caldors and the mall all the time. My grandma used to live about a mile from Trumbull mall and work at Reads. She didnt drive so my mom would take her to work everyday. I had a lot of mall time and I also got a job as a bank teller in the mall when I was 16. Retail in general has changed so much since the 70's-80's. I miss those times. I was and still am a big toy buyer. I wish I could rewind and walk down those aisles again. We just lost 2 of our 4 toy stores in our area. Toy Works in Newtown and TRU in westport. I got some nice souviners from both buildings. I'll send you some photos as soon as I decorate my garage with them this weekend. ;-)
Keep up the great work!!!!

zayre88 said...

Congratulations Nick! Nice article in the Hartford Courant! and nice website too. I recently added your link on my site.

Zayre88

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It is facinated I saw that article in the paper too I think is really great.. You have a nice website guys...

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