That was then, this is now
Staples is planning to close 225 stores in the coming months, joining an ever-growing list of retailers shuttering their operations in the United States and Canada.
Radio Shack is getting rid of 1,100 locations throughout the country.
Will the moves by two retailers affect this area?
Probably, but no one is saying for sure yet.
Cutbacks by Sears brought an end to the store at New River Valley Mall in Christiansburg.
Macy’s, which bought out the chain that owned Hecht’s at Valley View Mall in Roanoke, is also closing some stores although the list of slated to become empty hasn’t been announced yet.
Gone are other trademarks that used to be part of people’s lives: Abercrombe & Fitch, Blockbuster, Circuit City, Tower Records, Borders and others.
Others are expected to join the list: J.C. Penney, Barnes & Noble, Toys ‘r Us,
During our 23 years in Washington, we saw the disappearance of a lot of names, including the aforementioned Hecht’s, plus Stix, Baer & Fuller and Woodward & Lothrop,
In Roanoke, remember Lendy’s? It started out as a Big Boy franchise but morphed into an identity of its own, and was the only source for Kentucky Fried Chicken in the 60s and 70s.
In Floyd, both Ben Franklin and Western Auto had stores downtown in the 60s and early 70s. Western Auto as a store name disappeared after Advance Auto of Roanoke bought what was left of the chain in 1998. the Floyd store was long gone by then, replaced by a lawyer’s office.
Ben Franklin was a five and dime store on the corner of Main & Locust. Sam Walton ran a Ben Franklin store before starting Wal-Mart. Michael J. Dupey took over a Ben Franklin in 1973 and turned it into what is now the Michaels chain.
Floyd’s Ben Franklin location is now a real estate office. Ben Franklin Retail stores went bankrupt in 1996, although some privately owned stores still use the name in parts of the country.
Piggly Wiggly also operated a grocery store in Floyd in the 1960s. Floyd Pharmacy now occupies the location.
Other names that are gone is Rakes Chevrolet on Main, Thomas Ford (later Skyline Ford) at the location of what is now Autoville and an Amoco Station and Garage at where the Station on South Locust now sites. What was once the locally-owned Turman-Yeatts car dealership is now part of the Harvey’s chain out of Radford — the only new car dealership in a town that once hosted three dealers.
The times they are a-changing.
Long-time newspaperman, photographer and videographer who still shoots photos and covers government and courts for a newspaper, shoots video for TV and documentary use and owns web sites like Blue Ridge Muse, Capitol Hill Blue and American Newsreel.