A beloved retail chain that went out of business in 2002 is planning a massive comeback with several confirmed new stores opening in New York.

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Ames was one of the major retail chains that flourished in America from 1958 until it went defunct in 2002. At its peak, the beloved retailer operated 700 stores across 20 different states. In New York State, it had roughly 25 locations. The location that was once in Rome on Erie Boulevard West is now a Grand Union.

Those living in the Northeast remember the department chain for its affordable prices on items like footwear, furniture, toys, clothing, and more.

Growing up, Ames was my family's go-to destination for things like televisions, clothes and decorations. We frequented the store so religiously, whenever I see that infamous shade of seafoam green, I immediately think of my childhood store.

Kids these days have Walmart and Target. Millennials, especially those growing up in Connecticut, had Ames and XPect Discounts.

It's been over 20 years since the last Ames store shut down for good, but the chain was recently acquired by Cross Moline Ventures, a U.S. subsidiary of the British firm Molyneux Group. The company also purportedly owns the rights to Bradlees, another beloved franchise that went belly up in 2001.

In 2022, a website claiming to be the official site for Ames went live and claimed new department stores would open the following year.

Read More: Ames Department Store Allegedly Coming Back to New York

Reports fizzled soon after as there was a lack of activity coming from the chain's new owners, leading some to believe that this was all an elaborate hoax. That was until this week, when the "official" Ames website announced its massive comeback.

According to the retailer, Ames is set to open 35 new locations within the next 3 years.

Grand Reopening Planned for 2026

Ames Department Stores Announces Closing
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Ames announced that shoppers will once again be able to take advantage of their hard-to-beat prices starting in June 2026.

Ames formally announced on their Twitter page that June 2026 is the new scheduled opening date for brick & mortar Ames locations. There are currently 35 locations planned to open across the United States by late 2027, with plans to add more locations during 2028.

Plans include 7 new distribution centers as well as a new and improved website that'll support online ordering and home delivery.

New to the chain will be what will be called the "Ames Cafe." Much like how Target and Walmart have franchised coffee chains like Starbucks and Dunkin' at their locations, Ames is planning on having its own coffee chain up and running across its new stores.

Additionally, Ames is planning on opening pharmacies at its participating locations, which will make them even more competitve against dollar stores.

The chain will announce where its new locations are set to open any day now, but a recent report from WRPI in Rhode Island confirmed there will be several locations coming back to New York.

How Many Ames Stores Will open in New York?

Photo by Mick Haupt on Unsplash
Photo by Mick Haupt on Unsplash
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WRPI recently spoke with purported Cross Moline Ventures president Shannon de Molyneux about plans to bring the chain back after its  22-year hiatus. Accoding to de Molyneux, the first store will likely open in Connecticut, which is where the chain was founded in 1958.

She also confirmed store locations will be coming to both New York and Pennsylvania, but did not provide any further information.

Another point de Molyneux made was that certain Ames locations will sell groceries, which will put them in the same league as Walmart and Target.

She also claimed the stores pay will homage to the original chain, so shoppers familiar with the old Ames may be overcome with nostalgia:

Stores will have a similar feel to the originals, with drop ceilings instead of ‘warehouse style’ open ceilings, [as well as] carpet and tile throughout the stores instead of polished concrete.

The Ames logo, she said, will also remain the same but there will be small tweaks made to make it more modern.

Of course, this could all very well be an elaborate hoax since, even to me, this news sounds too good to be true. Not only that, updates aren't being issued as often as a major company would normally do.

However, I am remaining morbidly optimistic that Ames is making a massive return because that's a lot of time and effort for just a prank. Various social media pages, including LinkedIn, have been set up for all the people who purportedly run this upcoming venture. That's a lot of fake people to create and maintain, right?

Why spend over two years stringing discount shoppers along just to say it was all a joke? The payoff wouldn't be worth all that effort.

Unless this is one giant marketing plot and that's all in the name of data collection. Then again, this really could be the product of a bunch of pranksters who have way too much time on their hands.

Guess we'll all find out together about Ames in the near future.

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