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Do you Remember Two Guys Department Stores?
The department store known as Two Guys got its start in Harrison, New Jersey. The discount chain, which was originally called Two Guys from Harrison founded by Sidney and Herbert Hubschman in 1946.
How they started in a great story of spotting an opportunity and seizing it. The Hubschmans operated a snack bar at the RCA manufacturing plant in Harrison. They made friends with one of the executives who offered to give Herbert a tour of the plant.
During the tour, he spotted a room that had television sets that had been returned by retailers because of scratched cabinets. Hubschman thought that he could move these “damaged” sets. So he made a deal to buy the TVs at a significant discount. Then he and his brother sold them in a nearby vacant lot with a $5 markup. They advertising via flyers and thought it would take a month to sell out. They sold out that very day.
They kept this relationship going with RCA and eventually built a department store that kept the scrappiness they showed in that parking lot., offering a good selection at hard to beat prices.
They would acquire the Vornado appliance company in the late 1950s and started to spread out from New Jersey. Being ahead of their times, they even started selling groceries, increasing traffic into stores, and becoming the template that many retailers would come to emulate.
Eventually, they had over 100 locations, reaching as far south as Virginia and all the way in California. Sadly their profits began to decline in the 1970s and they would close their doors in 1982.
My parents were dedicated Two Guys shoppers. I recently found a box of receipts that my mother kept for all her major appliance purchases and the majority of them, right up until 1982, were from Two Guys.
I have very vague recollections of the one we used to go to right before it closed. I think it was pretty shabby at that point, and their toy and video game section was nothing compared to what they had in the shiny bright and new K-Mart down the road.
Did your family shop at Two Guys? Where was it located? Do you have any memories of the store?