Thread Number: 42110  /  Tag: Other Home Products or Autos
Ben Franklin store
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Post# 443889   7/16/2021 at 21:15 (447 days old) by fan-of-fans (USA)        

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When I was growing up, on the main street of our town, there was a store called Ben Franklin. I think they sold mostly arts and crafts stuff but they sold other things as well. It sort of seemed like a Michaels Store I guess. They also sold toys and I remember one Christmas I really wanted a Dirt Devil toy hand vac so I got one for Christmas and my parents got it there.

It was in a really old building. I can recall it had the square paper ceiling tiles and huge round HVAC vents. The restroom I also remember had an old wooden paneled door with a skeleton key style plate and knob. I'd guess it was built in the 1920s, not sure how long the store had been in there. I remember the sign was made up of individual plastic letters. The shopping bags had little pinwheels on them.

Pretty sure that store went out of business sometime in the mid 90s. We moved in late 1995 and it was gone by '96 or '97 I'd guess.

I can also remember a few older buildings on the main street that had tin ceilings. We went inside one once - why I can't remember, but it looked like it hadn't had any business going in probably 50 years, smelled musty too!

Post# 443895 , Reply# 1   7/16/2021 at 23:15 (447 days old) by human (Pines of Carolina)        

human's profile picture
I remember those stores. There was one in Raleigh, where I grew up but it was on the other side of town from where we lived so we seldom went there. I recall it being sort of in between a Woolworth's and a Kmart in its offerings. The one in Wilmington went out of business right when I started college there in 1982 and I bought a few things once they were heavily discounted, like 70-80 percent off but I remember getting better deals when Woolco closed down a short time later.

Post# 443911 , Reply# 2   7/17/2021 at 13:10 (447 days old) by fan-of-fans (USA)        

fan-of-fans's profile picture
I'm too young to remember Woolco. Interesting you mention it though because I was going through some bins of decorations we had recently, and I found some halloween decorations that I'm pretty sure said "Copyright 1995 Woolworth" on the packaging. I'll have to pull them out sometime and check but I'm pretty certain.

I have no idea where they came from but if I had to guess given 1995 the only place I can think they came from was that Ben Franklin store. My mom must have bought them right before we moved that December. But why would they be selling stuff from Woolworth at Ben Franklin?

Post# 443915 , Reply# 3   7/17/2021 at 15:31 (446 days old) by human (Pines of Carolina)        

human's profile picture
Woolco closed up all its U.S. stores in 1983, although some of the smaller ones were rebranded as Woolworth. Woolco continued to operate in Canada for some time after that. The 1995 copyright date would indicate the tail end of Woolworth's operation, which shut down in 1997 to focus on its Footlocker sporting goods stores.

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