There is something special about nostalgia. Maybe the thought of days gone by remind us of a freedom we don't feel we have today. Hearing a song, for example, that came out decades ago can take you back to a simpler time in just a few seconds. What if I told you that you might be able to relive a piece of your past?
If the rumors are true Ames department store will be making a return to the Capital Region in the near future.
In December of 2001, Albany Business Review reported that Ames Department Stores Inc. had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and closed more than 50 locations. This move left the discount chain over 300 locations, including each of the Capital Region stores. By the end of 2002 all remaining locations were closed.
Two decades later word is starting to spread that the chain of stores could be making a comeback this Spring.
There is an announcement published at Amesstores.com that states the following:
ANNOUNCEMENT - Ames Department Stores, Inc. is returning in Spring 2023. Please keep an eye on this website for announcements on which locations are opening first!
Based on a Twitter post Ames will announce the exact locations in February.
In it's best years Ames had approximately 700 locations in 20 different states, making it the 4th largest discount retailer in the United States. Keep checking back for updates and remember, "you can believe in Ames"!
A Look Inside Abandoned Ames Department Store in NY
Ames Department stores were once prevalent throughout the United States, including here in the Capital Region and other parts of New York. At one time, there were about 700 stores nationwide.
I remember buying my first DVD player at the store in Latham when it was having its going out of business sale in the early 2000's. That location is now a Hobby Lobby.
In 2002, there were between 300 and 400 stores. The company was declining in sales and shut down operations permanently.
This former store is located in Horseheads, NY, in the state's Southern Tier between Elmira and the Finger Lakes. What makes it unique is the fact that sign and external design of the store still remain. In fact, the power still works in the building - as these urban explorers found out when they were making their way through the building.
Inside the store, not much retail history remains, though there are some colorful counters and maybe the remains of some signs on the floor. It also appears some squatters may have been calling it home at some point.
As expected, floor tiles are deteriorating, ceiling tiles are non-existent, there's garbage and debris, but neatly piled into different areas, so somebody is keeping an eye on it. Graffiti is seen in different parts of the former store as well.
It looks like some work may have been done on the facility in the past as it looks 'relatively' clean for a store that's been abandoned for around twenty years.
WARNING: Under no circumstances should you enter this property. By doing so you risk bodily harm and/or prosecution for trespassing on private property.
10 Lost Stores Upstate New Yorkers Miss the Most at Xmas Time