After scouting a number of locations in the greater Boston area, Star and Spier decided to pull up stakes and plant their flag in Chicago instead, where Star’s brother lived. The first store was opened at the intersection of Milwaukee, Foster and Central Avenues. Some months later, Shoppers World number two opened in Cicero, followed by a third store in 1958 in Melrose Park. By 1960, a Highland, Indiana store had been added along with two more Chicago locations. The Lincoln, McCormick, and Devon store was in the West Ridge community of Chicago, across the street from Lincoln Village Shopping Center, opened on August 15, 1962. [Chicago Community Map]
|Pandemonium broke out in this 1962 grand opening of the brand new Shoppers World Discount Store, located at 6211 North Lincoln Avenue in Chicago.|
|Similar to the Devon Avenue entrance to Shoppers World.|
In 1961, Star and Spier sold their six-store chain to Chicago-based Aldens, which was at the time the fourth largest catalog retailer in the United States. The new parent company invested heavily in Shoppers World, growing the chain to 14 stores (ranging from 40,000 to 120,000 square feet each). There were now stores in these Chicago suburbs as well - Mount Prospect, Niles, Oak Lawn, Chicago Heights and also in Gary, Indiana as well as downstate Decatur, Illinois and one store in more distant St. Paul, Minnesota.
Aldens itself was acquired at the close of 1964 by Gamble-Skogmo, Inc., owner of several retail chains -Gambles, Skogmos and Tempo, among others with most of their locations in America’s heartland, and Clark’s and Maclean’s in Canada.
The Shoppers World story wound down pretty quickly from there, with Gamble-Skogmo’s sale of the still 14-store strong chain in 1967 to Community Discount Stores, whose name the stores took on.
Compiled by Neil Gale, Ph.D.