First cousins Stanley and Sumner Feldberg opened their first Zayre discount mart prototype in Hyannis, Massachusetts...the date, June 6, 1956. The name "Zayre" had been coined from a Yiddish phrase that meant "very good". This first store encompassed only 5,000 square feet, but bigger things were to come...
By the early 1970s, there were two hundred locations, ranging in size from 65,000 to 80,000 square feet. The company, headquartered in Natick, Massachusetts, delved into the creation -or acquisition- of various retail subsidiaries; Hit or Miss apparel (1969), T.J. Maxx apparel (1977), B.J.'s Wholesale Club (1984) and HomeClub Home Improvement Centers (1985).
In 1987, these subsidiary stores were grouped into a new corporate entity known as TJX Companies. By this time, the Zayre parent was facing mounting profitability problems. In late 1988, it was decided to sell the three hundred and eighty-eight Zayre stores; Rocky Hill, Connecticut-based Ames being their buyer.
Rebranding of stores to the Ames nameplate was done during 1989. In the end, two hundred and fifty-four Zayre stores became Ames. The remainder were shuttered.
ZAYRE-ANCHORED SHOPPING MALLS:
*GREEN MOUNTAIN MALL, St. Johnsbury, VT (1974)
*PARKWAY CENTER MALL, Pittsburgh, PA (1982)