Tag: retail

Thanksgiving, the Incredible Shrinking Holiday

Thanksgiving, the Incredible Shrinking Holiday

Rants
For those not familiar with the term Christmas Creep -- and no, I'm not referring to the skeevy dude dressed as Santa Claus at the mall who looks way too excited to have little kids sitting on his lap -- it refers to the ever-widening window stores use to stock their shelves with gift items and bombard us with advertisements. While some people still debate whether or not climate change is a real thing, there can be no debate that Santa and his multi-billion dollar operation have inched further and further outside the traditionally defined Christmas shopping season barrier of Black Friday. It has become more and more common to see Christmas store displays and ads not only well before Thanksgiving, but now just after Halloween. Hell, I even spotted displays in places like Home Depot and L...
Scenes from an A&P Supermarket Opening, Atlanta, 1965

Scenes from an A&P Supermarket Opening, Atlanta, 1965

Capsules
Courtesy the Georgia State University Library collection comes this group of neat images showing scenes from the opening of an A&P supermarket in the Williamsburg Village shopping center, located in Atlanta, Georgia. These were taken on May 12, 1965 and showcase the grocery giant's still-new Centennial style, first rolled out in 1959. The affair is complete with men dressed in 18th century Colonial American garb. The opening was covered by Atlanta radio station WGST, as seen in the picture with their mobile news vehicle.
Vintage Photo Wednesday, Vol. 30: Two Guys in the ’50s and ’70s

Vintage Photo Wednesday, Vol. 30: Two Guys in the ’50s and ’70s

Vintage Photo Wednesday
I've written about how much I miss the old Two Guys department store. I consider it a vital piece of my New Jersey upbringing and heritage, and I know others feel the same way. So imagine my excitement when I stumbled across this pair of old photographs. The first one comes from the golden age of Two Guys -- 1952 to be precise -- and is an interior shot from an unknown location. It shows the arcade/play area located by the entrance and cart return. Just 10 cents gets you a ride on the Rally Traffic Police Bike or the Tooner Ville Trolley! The next photo is in glorious color, although it has considerably less visual interest for store enthusiasts. This is an aerial shot taken above the Hackensack Two Guys in November 1974. Just about the only thing definitively marking this is a Two ...
Vintage Photo Wednesday, Vol. 27: Franklin Township Deli, 1936

Vintage Photo Wednesday, Vol. 27: Franklin Township Deli, 1936

Vintage Photo Wednesday
We return to New Jersey for this week's vintage photograph, specifically Franklin Township. This shot, taken in February 1936, depicts a woman in front of a small grocery store/delicatessen. She's either fixing a tattered awning or taking it down, I can't be sure which. This is from the days before big supermarkets were a common sight. A few brand names figure prominently in this scene -- Coca-Cola and White Rose Tea. Everyone knows Coca-Cola of course, but fewer know about White Rose. It is a rather large independent wholesale food distributor in the New York/New Jersey metro area and has been in operation since the late 19th century. They got into the tea business in the early 1900s. Below the display window it's all about tobacco. I see a sign for Granger Rough Cut (pipe tobac
Sears Catalog Highlights: Spring/Summer 1958

Sears Catalog Highlights: Spring/Summer 1958

Capsules, Ephemera, Featured Posts
I hope you enjoyed the gallery of Sears catalog covers I posted recently, because we're really going to get into it now. I've been combing through some classic catalogs of yesteryear to bring you the most interesting images of how people looked and lived back in the day. So here's some galleries from the Spring/Summer 1958 Sears catalog, arranged by area of interest. Images may take a few seconds to load. To see the full collection -- including full-size pictures -- from 1958 and other years, check out my Sears Catalog Museum. (Sorry fellas, no bras or panties in this gallery.) Women's Fashion Children's Fashion Men's Fashion Electronics & Appliances Sports & Games Home Decor Everything Else Random Neat Images
For No Particular Reason, Here’s a Bunch of Old Sears Catalog Covers

For No Particular Reason, Here’s a Bunch of Old Sears Catalog Covers

Ephemera
There are already a bunch of sites out there hosting and/or gently mocking vintage Sears catalogs, so do we really need another? Yes, yes we do. The thing is, I had forgotten just how huge some of those catalogs were. The yearly Wish Books -- aka Christmas toys -- were pretty big themselves, but the seasonal catalogs were typically well in excess of 1,000 pages each. That's a ton of material to comb through, and to be honest I'm not quite sure what the angle is going to be. So while I put a game plan together to ensure that it's worth your (and my) time, here's a sampling of old Sears seasonal catalog covers from 1960 to 1983. After '83 they got rather bland and generic, so I decided on that as the cutoff point. (If you want to see all of them, the complete set is on Flickr.) ...
Retrotisements — Back to School edition

Retrotisements — Back to School edition

Advertising, Retrotisements
One of the few advantages to being out of school is that I don't get to experience the huge buzzkill that occurs around mid-to-late summer, when the first Back to School ads start appearing. There you are, all happy and carefree when BAM! -- you walk into the mall and see giant displays of backpacks, notebooks, and other implements that have absolutely no use outside of school. So for the rest of the summer, you can't quite enjoy yourself on the same level because there's that little nagging reminder in your subconscious that any day now, it's all over. See, I don't have to deal with that anymore because I work for a living. Every day is like that, so eventually your soul is numbed and you kind of get used to it after awhile. Anyway, here's some ads to either get you back in the ...
No-Go Logos

No-Go Logos

Advertising
I've always considered myself an armchair graphic designer, particularly when it comes to logos. A logo is a really easy and effective way to convey an image about your business/club/whatever. And while I'm all for modern styling, logos are one area where I'm old-fashioned. Too often, companies will update their logo for seemingly no good reason, and it's usually for the worse. So let's take a look at a sampling of logos and emblems, both old and new, and see if my stodgy views are justified. Burger King The original BK logo was simple, yet effective. A nice, quirky little font and the bun halves got the point across. Not as iconic as the golden arches, but still good. The font on the logo was made blander in 1994, then five years later BK unveiled a SLAMMIN' new look: Yeah...
View-Master’s 1957 New Jersey – 7 of 7

View-Master’s 1957 New Jersey – 7 of 7

Ephemera
That's right, kids, our look back at Ye Olde New Jersey is finally at an end! And since one of the main purposes of this little photo essay was to show just how much the state has changed over the last 50 years, perhaps few slides illustrate it like this one -- Broad Street in Newark. The cars (and buses), the people, the buildings -- they all seem so different to me. That big red sign on the left? Why that's none other than F.W. Woolworth, known to you and me as the now-defunct Woolworth's. Woolworth's was the first great five-and-dime chain store, and was a precursor to discount stores like Wal-Mart and Target. Check out the sweet signage on the lower left. Who uses eyeglass frames like that to advertise a business anymore? Don't bother looking it up -- no one does. This ...