The possible resurrection of a once-popular department store chain is generating both excitement and confusion, with several news sources reporting the news as a fact and others questioning whether the story is a hoax.
Ames Department Store was a Rocky Hill, Connecticut-headquartered chain that opened in 1958 and had 700 stores in 20 states during its peak years, making it the nation’s fourth largest discount retailer. The company went out of business in 2002.
At the end of December, the defunct-company’s AmesStores.com website went live with an announcement that the chain would be returning in “Spring 2023.” Molyneux Group, a British firm that acquired Ames’ domains and name when the company was liquidating, stated the company was serious about restoring Ames to the U.S. retail scene.
“Ames is part of everyone’s hearts,” said Shannon de Molyneux, president of Molyneux’s U.S. subsidiary Cross Moline Ventures, in a RetailWire interview. “We’ve received multiple requests for an Ames store over the years, and we’ve been planning the comeback for six years now.”
De Molyneux added that Ames will open stores in Connecticut, New York and Pennsylvania this year and is planning two Rhode Island locations in 2024.
“Further expansions still require some research at this time as it is still early days,” she said.
However, the veracity of the story has been questioned. The Twitter page for Ames offered a link to a “careers” page, but that page has the message “Currently we don’t have any open positions.” The WKBN.com news site pointed out that Cross Moline Ventures has no website or presence online while the Snopes investigative site’s efforts to contact parent company Molyneux Group was thwarted by an inactive email address, a nonexistent Facebook page link and a telephone number was constantly busy.
Nonetheless, the Ames Twitter page stated the company will announce its new locations in February and the opening dates in March.
Photo: Zayre88 / Wikimedia Commons