Was the Promise of Ames Stores Returning to Maine Just a Big Hoax?
If you were a kid of the 80s or 90s, there is a real good chance that your family spent a lot of time shopping at your local Ames department store. These great stores had EVERYTHING! Clothing, toys, cosmetics, electronics, and more. And, much of it was discounted.
After experiencing many years of economic success, particularly here in New England, the brand saw a downturn in business in the early 00s. In 2002, the retailer completely folded and closed all of their locations.
Fast forward two decades... And, it looked like Ames might be making a comeback. Not just as pop-up stores or as an online-only retailer.
It looked like the chain was going to be bouncing back in a big way!
The Return Of Ames Department Stores
Those of us who fondly remember the chain were excited to get the news that the brand had been purchased by a company called Cross Moline Ventures, which is a US subsidiary of the UK company Molyneux Group.
Media for the company claimed that they would be opening a series of Ames locations 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.
Rhode Island TV station WPRI, reportedly spoke with Shannon de Molyneux, the president of Cross Moline Ventures, at the end of 2022. In the email correspondence she reportedly explained that she was the representative for the project, but she claimed she had too much going on to answer any questions.
Despite her being super sketchy, the whole thing seemed really promising... at first.
They brought back the original Ames Stores website, set up a Twitter / X account, and setup a Facebook account.
However, as we got deeper into 2023, problems started to emerge. The Ames website would frequently crash. People would bring it up on social media and the social media accounts would attempt to defend the crashes.
Even though they had promised to announce store locations in early 2023, that never happened. In February, the Cross Moline Ventures / Silver Knight Group Twitter / X account announced that they were going to have to delay the announcement of the locations.
The post said, in part:
Due to unforeseen technical issues, we have to postpone the launch of the new Ames website and location announcements. We are exploring any and every option possible to get the location announcement back on track
The last posts made about the project were from July 2023, when the company announced Ames now had a Facebook page.
As of November 2023, the Ames Stores website is offline.
So, what's the deal? I think we already know the answer... The only question is whether or not it was a business train wreck or whether it was one of the greatest hoaxes pulled in the 2000s.
What do you think? Let us know by sending a message to our app.
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Gallery Credit: Madison Troyer