Vintage New Jersey Christmas TV Commercials that Will Make You Long for the Good Old Days
For many, the holiday shopping season has just begun. For others, it started a while ago thanks to the beauty of online shopping.
Isn't there a little part of you that misses walking into stores and just looking around?
I was thinking back to the stores that, sadly, are no more.
Back in the day, the only way to check off your holiday gift list was to visit these retailers.
These commercials are going to bring you back!
The 80s were about music technology. We were transitioning from vinyl and 8-tracks to cassettes or as this commercial promotes a "compact disc player."
"Caldor...we make shopping a pleasure." Good luck getting that jingle out of your head. Caldor became no more in 1999.
Circuit City was a go-to for the newest electronics. Check out this 4 head VCR for only...$299!
Bamberger's was a department store chain with locations primarily in New Jersey and headquartered in Newark. In the 60s and 70s Bamberger's expanded rapidly throughout New Jersey and into the Philly area. As the north Jersey population grew, Bamberger's launched 'suburban branches' of L. Bamberger & Co. in downtown locations in Morristown, Plainfield, and Princeton. Other popular locations include East Brunswick, Garden State Plaza, Monmouth Mall, Nanuet Mall, Ocean County Mall, and Menlo Park Mall. In 1970, the East Brunswick location became an anchor store for the Brunswick Square Mall. On October 5, 1986, the Bamberger's stores adopted the name Macy's New Jersey, and in 1988 Macy's New Jersey was consolidated with sister division Macy's New York to form Macy's Northeast.
Check out this vintage Christmas ad from 1980.
Here's a bonus Bamburger's holiday commercial from 1985. Check out the size of the hair!
KAY BEE (KB TOYS)
KB Toys put up a fight against Toys R Us for toy store domination but always came up a bit short. I remember KB being a staple in the Ocean County Mall as a child. Always good times there. Do you remember this commercial from 1987?
Christmas 1977, Kmart was all about the luxurious women's nightgown for a low low price of only $4.50.
I definitely remember this Kmart Christmas jingle when I was a kid.
Rickel also known as Rickel Brothers in its early years, Rickel Supermarts in the '60s, and Rickel Home Centers in later years was a chain of home-improvement centers based in North Jersey. The company’s first store opened in 1953 and for three decades Rickel was the go-to for hardware, plumbing, heating, and electrical.
Sadly, stores started closing in 1997 and '98.
Here's what was hot for Christmas in 1980.
Here's a throwback! Two Guys From Harrison (later shortened to Two Guys) is a former discount store chain founded in 1946 by brothers Herbert and Sidney Hubschman in Harrison, New Jersey. They originally sold major appliances like TVs. Eventually, locations included a discount store with a supermarket, as well as complete hardware, major appliance, and automotive service departments. The Two Guys supermarkets were full-sized "stores within a store." The last Two Guys closed its doors in 1982.
Here's a look at a commercial from 1979. Polaroid cameras were big this season.
Korvettes was an American chain of discount department stores, founded in 1948 in New York City. It was one of the first department stores to challenge the "suggested retail price" method. Their record (what's a record?) and audio division became a hugely popular part of Korvettes. Unfortunately, the chain declared bankruptcy in 1980.
Wait until you see the massive deal they feature for a 12" TV in this ad.
The F. W. Woolworth Company aka Woolworth was one of the original five-and-dime stores. The first Woolworth store was opened by Frank Winfield Woolworth on February 22, 1879. Woolworth became one of the first American retailers to put merchandise out for the shopping public to handle and select without the assistance of a sales employee. The stores eventually incorporated lunch counters which became a signature of Woolworth. The shopping mall food court wouldn't be a thing without Woolworth. The last store closed in 1997 when the company changed directions and renamed itself, Foot Locker. A Woolworth's building still exists in Bakersfield, California and operates as an antique store, and includes a still-functioning diner.
I totally got a Thundercat from Woolworth in 1985.
Here's a bonus throwback. It's Woolworth's 1971 Record Sale!
"Jamesway, your way!" We remember that jingle well.
Jamesway was a chain of discount department stores based in Secaucus, New Jersey. It was founded in 1961 with a store in Jamestown, New York, and at its peak operated 138 stores in the Northeast and mid-Atlantic. Despite its successes, Jamesway faced money issues in its last years in business. This resulted in two bankruptcy filings which ultimately put an end to the chain in 1995.
Nobody beats The Wiz! Whoever did the voiceover for this commercial must have had 5 pots of coffee. Hopefully, that's all he had. It was 1985 after all. This is direct from channel 11.
Bradlees was a discount department store chain that sold clothing, jewelry, health care, beauty products, footwear, furniture, electronics, housewares, and bedding. At a time there were over 100 Bradlees stores in operation. Fun fact: Bradlees was owned and operated by the still flourishing Stop & Shop. Bradlees went through Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2000, and all of its stores closed by 2001.
In 1984, Cabbage Patch dolls were everything. The accessories were always found at Bradlees.
"Bradlees, the Christmas Store with a difference!"
Wait. What? A cordless telephone? Oh yes, in 1986 everybody wanted one and Bradlees was were to get it.
TOYS R US
We will always be Toys R Us kids, especially at Christmas. Here's a look back at a commercial from 1981. Do you remember this one?