Thread Number: 78528  /  Tag: Vintage Automatic Washers
When did local department stores stop selling major appliances?
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Post# 1025371   2/22/2019 at 19:00 by jamiel (Detroit, Michigan)        

With the discontinuance of sales at JCPenney, I was just musing about when various local department stores stopped selling major appliances? I think Boscov's still sells them in their territories; I recall Shillito Rikes in Ohio still selling them in the 1986-7 time frame; LS Ayres was not selling them in their Cincinnati stores in 1986/7 (and leased their electronics department as well). Marshall Fields leased space to Silo in the 1990 time frame...anyone have any more definitive information?

Post# 1025374 , Reply# 1   2/22/2019 at 20:00 by super32 (Blackstone Massachusetts)        

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Funny you should mention Shillitoes'. I grew up in Cincinati and remember Shillitoes', and all of their name changes before it became Macy's. Swallen's was also another local retailer in Cincinnati that was really popular. I miss both of them. Its the whole "memories" thing that makes me nostalgic.

Post# 1025379 , Reply# 2   2/22/2019 at 20:44 by Yogitunes (New Jersey)        

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Boscov's around here just sell small appliances and vacuums....they stopped the larger ones a few years back...

seems back in the 70's, a lot of Dept Stores sold major appliances....Kmart, Grant's, TwoGuysÖ.

surprised WalMart doesn't sell them in stores.....granted you can order some stuff online...

I remember Grant's having washers on endcaps hooked up to water/electric like Sears used to...with a Plexiglas lid...

Post# 1025380 , Reply# 3   2/22/2019 at 20:44 by Lorainfurniture (Cleveland )        
The internet and Home Depot

Itís easy , local shops do not have the selection as the big box stores, and hd has no problem working on a 5% profit margin. I tried selling new, and honestly was relatively successful doing it. Within one year I was My distributorís second best customer.

To be competitive I have to be within dollars of hd/ Loweís. They offer free delivery, I canít. It costs me north of $50k a year just to have a delivery truck available to me. They have 100 different stoves in stock, I have 3. (The best 3).

When any of them have a sale their sale price is cheaper than what I can buy it from wholesale. Iíve quite literally have bought my own merchandise from Home Depot before.

Honestly I canít wait to wind down my new appliance section. 3 years and a hundred grand later I realize that itís not for me. Iíll stick to my junky direct drive washers.

Post# 1025383 , Reply# 4   2/22/2019 at 21:13 by Washerlover (Lake County, California: Wines With Altitude)        

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Our local K-marts carry BOL Kenmore washers, dryers and refrigerators. I remember Montgomery Ward sold appliances up until the very end when they closed in 2001...

Post# 1025384 , Reply# 5   2/22/2019 at 21:41 by pulltostart (Mobile, AL)        
In the South

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We had Rich's (Atlanta owned and operated, thank-you) until Federated decided that everything had to be Macy's.  I do remember that the Rich's at Brookwood Mall (Birmingham) had appliances until maybe the late 1980's - certainly before the Macy's name replaced Rich's.  They lost major appliances, luggage, and electronics all about the same time.  I remember major appliances at the Rich's store at Cobb Center in the late 1960's.  Seems like their main offerings were General Electric.



Post# 1025390 , Reply# 6   2/23/2019 at 04:20 by toploadloyalist (San Luis Obispo, CA)        
California department stores

In Southern California, The Broadway discontinued major appliances in 1986, and May Company the year after. Bullock's carried them at their Downtown LA, Santa Ana, and La Habra stores up to 1974, and Robinson's from c.1947-1956 at Downtown and Beverly Hills. At their Northern California counterparts, Macy's phased them out in 1978, Weinstock's (Sacramento) in 1982, and Emporium-Capwell (San Francisco) in 1987. In between, Gottschalks (Fresno) had them until 1992, with Whirlpool as their sole brand.

Post# 1025407 , Reply# 7   2/23/2019 at 12:01 by HiLoVane (Columbus OH)        

JCPenney has been selling Major Appliances for a while, now; GE; LG; and Samsung.

Post# 1025408 , Reply# 8   2/23/2019 at 12:51 by appnut (TX)        

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In Houston, it was Foley's and Finger Furniture store that sold appliance until the early 1980s.  I got my GE pair at Foley's April 1978.  

Post# 1025414 , Reply# 9   2/23/2019 at 15:53 by firedome (Binghamton NY & Lake Champlain VT)        

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here has 5 floors in their old store downtown, it's in what was once Binghamton's largest local Department store, Fowler's. It's getting old and creaky but is the closest to the kind of big city department stores I grew up with: Hutzler's "Palace" building on Hownard St in Baltimore. Our Boscovs is a real throwback, escalators, elevators, a "Basment" bargain floor, a restaurant that just closed a few yrs. ago. I highly recommend a visit to anyone passing thru the area, it's close to what stores used to be, minus the proper # of salespeople of course. Last time I was on the upper floors they did have some, but not a lot, of full size appliances. I'll have to make a visit soon to check.

Post# 1025415 , Reply# 10   2/23/2019 at 16:07 by fan-of-fans (Florida)        

Royals Furniture and Badcock both sell appliances. I'm not sure about Royals but I don't know how Badcock competes with HD, Lowes or anywhere on price. In their ads it shows a BOL model for what you could get at least a MOL at HD, Lowes or even one of the independent appliance dealers. I guess it's because it's easy to get credit with them.

Post# 1025428 , Reply# 11   2/23/2019 at 18:49 by wayupnorth (On a lake between Bangor and Bar Harbor)        

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Around here it was Sears, W.T. Grant and later Woolco until they all closed. Now its the big box or independent dealers only.

Post# 1025486 , Reply# 12   2/24/2019 at 08:58 by HiLoVane (Columbus OH)        
Addendum: JCP Appliances

Almost immeditely after I posted that JCPenney sells appliances, I read elsewhere online, that they will no longer sell major appliances quite soon.
This is supposedly part of a restructuring, as JCP has not been doing well, in general.

Post# 1025501 , Reply# 13   2/24/2019 at 12:18 by vintagekenmore (Spokane, Washington)        

The classic Kmart (think the big red K and turquoise mart) sold GE appliances in the 70s. I remember seeing the filter flo washer and matching dryer and the GE refrigerators and ranges being sold there. Their appliance departments were usually along the back wall near the layaway department and restrooms. I remember having to be buzzed in to use the bathroom back then....LOL funny but good memories of a time long ago that should be brought back!!

Post# 1025510 , Reply# 14   2/24/2019 at 13:32 by DADoES (TX,†U.S. of A.)        

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No dept stores in my home-town. The next big town over for shopping had Sears, JCP, Kmart, Lacks (a small local-area furniture/appliance chain), FedMart (carried Whirlpool), Gibson's (carried Hotpoint) and several local furniture/appliance stores. I don't recall a full MonkeyWards, only catalog/pick-up stores. IIRC, Goodyear tire stores carried GE.

Post# 1025522 , Reply# 15   2/24/2019 at 17:52 by jamiel (Detroit, Michigan)        

I was really talking about local department stores (rather than discounters/national chains) so thanks for the recollections.

Post# 1025569 , Reply# 16   2/25/2019 at 03:13 by askolover (South of Nash Vegas, TN)        

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The Kmart in Florence, Alabama had Whirlpool appliances when I was little as did the Woolco across the street.  G.F. Wilson in Florence had more compact appliances like twin tubs and such.  I think Service Merchandise in Nashville had some appliances too, but I couldn't tell you which ones since they were not as close to us as the Alabama stores were.

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