Does anyone remember the days when South Florida had Zayre Department stores just about everywhere?
In Tamarac, Zayre was located at 7350 W. Commercial Blvd, which is now where Staples is located. That corner doesn’t even belong to Tamarac anymore as it has been annexed by Lauderhill.
In 1989, Ames Department Stores bought out Zayre’s stores, but they proved unprofitable after several years and eventually closed them up in 2002, ceasing operations.
Here is a brief history of Zayre:
Zayre was founded by brothers Max and Morris Feldberg, who immigrated to the United States from Russia in the early 1900s. Their first chain of stores was the Bell Shoppes, which sold women’s apparel.
Zayre started in Hyannis, Massachusetts, in 1956 as a discount department store. It was initially focused on the Northeast but soon expanded to other areas, including a considerable midwestern presence.
In 1975 Zayre started a program entitled “Zayre ’75” to remodel and update the stores. In 1985, Zayre purchased the former Gaylords store chain. However, many new stores opened up during the 1980s suffered from cluttered aisles and messy appearances.
Zayre began to feature appearances from celebrities such as Sherman Hemsley and Robert Guillaume in “Grand-Reopenings” of their major stores. These events failed to improve their market share. In February 1988, they filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy, and in October 1988, the Zayre’s stores were sold to the competing Ames chain.
Zayre’s other brands were reorganized under the corporate umbrella of the renamed TJX Companies.
The acquisition of Zayre doubled the size of Ames Department Stores Inc., but it proved unprofitable. By 1990, Ames had closed 74 Zayre stores, and the rest were converted into Ames stores.
- Sharon Aron Baron is the Editor of Talk Media and Tamarac Talk, Coral Springs Talk, and Parkland Talk. Tamarac Talk was created in 2011 to provide News for the residents of Tamarac and is the #1 News Source for Residents.
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