Back in the 1980s and early 1990s, before Walmart ruled the world, Ames was the go-to department store in many communities.

Even though they were technically a discount store, they never felt like one.  The stores stocked a variety of high-quality merchandise.  They had everything from clothes to sporting goods, electronics, and toys.

Sadly, the chain started to fail in the late 1990s.  By 2002, they had closed all of their stores and liquidated all of their assets.

In 2022, we started hearing that the chain may be making a comeback.  We had gotten word that the brand had been purchased by Cross Moline Ventures, which is a US subsidiary of the UK company Molyneux Group.

At the end of 2022, a report from WPRI said that the company had planned to open a series of locations in the United States in 2023.  The first would be in New York and Pennsylvania, but they planned to expand across the East Coast within a year or so.  Presumably, this would include stores in Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and the other New England states.

As 2023 rolled along, problems started to surface.  The website that Ames had set up frequently crashed, there were few updates on social media, and it did not appear that any work was being done on the stores.

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By the end of 2023, we were under the impression the whole thing had been some kind of hoax.

It looks like we may have been wrong, though.

As of March 2024, the website is back up, and they are posting again on X/Twitter.

The owners of the brand are now indicating that they are back on track and will be opening new stores in 2026.  The website indicates that they plan to have 35 locations by the end of 2027, and will be opening even more in 2028.

This documentary gives a complete background of the history of the chain.

Will it happen?  Only time will tell.

Personally, the '90s kid in me would love to see them sample the concept by doing a series of pop-up stores.  We have an old K-Mart location here at the Augusta Plaza that would be perfect for an Ames pop-up.

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