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<tr><td colspan="2" style="text-align:center; padding:16px 0 16px 0;">Image:Zayre-logo.jpg</td></tr>

Type Department store
Founded 1956, Hyannis, Massachusetts
Headquarters Framingham, Massachusetts

<tr><th style="text-align:right; padding-right:0.75em;">Key people</th><td>Malcolm L. Sherman, CEO; Max Feldberg and Morris Feldberg, Founders</td></tr><tr><th style="text-align:right; padding-right:0.75em;">Industry</th><td>Retail</td></tr><tr><th style="text-align:right; padding-right:0.75em;">Products</th><td>Clothing, footwear, bedding, furniture, jewelry, beauty products, electronics and housewares.</td></tr><tr><th style="text-align:right; padding-right:0.75em;">Website</th><td>None</td></tr>

Zayre was a chain of discount retail stores that operated in the United States from 1956 to 1989. The company headquarters was in Framingham, Massachusetts.


[edit] History

Zayre was founded by brothers Max and Morris Feldberg, who immigrated to the United States from outside of Kiev, Ukraine in the early 1900s. Their first chain of stores was the Bell Shoppes, which sold woman’s apparel. Max had a keen business acumen, and Morris was a natural merchandiser together they built a retail powerhouse. 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. During the early 1970s the company started the TJ Maxx chain. In 1984 it started the BJ's Wholesale Club chain. In 1985, Zayre acquired California based Home Club. After the sale of the Zayre chain to Ames, the company changed its name to TJX Companies, which is still in business today.

Zayre developed an image problem because it was seen as offering low class and low quality merchandise. Also the stores began to look seriously outdated. In 1975 Zayre started a program entitled "Zayre 75" to remodel and update the stores from the existing old looking Pink and Blue color scheme to a new updated Orange and Brown theme. The first store to be remodeled was in Waltham, Massachusetts. In October 1988 the Zayre stores were sold to Ames. This doubled the size of the Ames chain, but caused many problems for Ames, and brought about a large loss for that chain. Eventually Ames would close 74 stores, and converted the rest into Ames stores. As a result, some of the remaining Zayre stores operated under the Ames name until Ames ceased operations in 2002.

[edit] Name

The original name of the company was "Zayre Güt," which means "very good" in Yiddish. Not having enough money to pay for a sign that included both words, ownership instead installed the first word "ZAYRE" to the front of their building with the intentions of adding the "GÜT" later. However, the company became branded as "ZAYRE" and the owners feared that adding the second half of the name might confuse customers. The name of the store would be a play on the Yiddish phrase "Zeyer Güt" or "Zeyer."

A former Zayre department store in Dubuque, Iowa. The building is now home to ShopKo.

[edit] Slogans

  • It pays to shop at Zayre...Everyday!
  • Zayre - Fabulous Department Stores!
  • can't do better than Zayre!
  • Zayre is going "Price-happy!" (circa 1977)
  • We'd like to make Zayre your store!

[edit] Trivia

  • In the 7th season of The Simpsons there's a store called Tee Jay's ZayMart which was created by one of the writers who lived near a Zayre. The "Tee Jay" is likely a reference to the retail chain T.J. Maxx, owned by the TJX Corporation (who also own the Canadian store chain Winners, which was the parent company of Zayre.
  • The Zayre store in Chattanooga, Tennessee (located at the Golden Gateway Shopping Center, now owned by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee) was home to a local TV station (WTVC-TV 9) and has since moved next to State Road 153.
Zayre shopping bag

[edit] External links


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