Date: February 21, 2010 10:18PM
Wieboldt Stores, Inc., also known as Wieboldt's, did business as a Chicago general retailer between 1883 and 1986. It was founded in 1883 by storekeeper William A. Wieboldt. The flagship location was located on Milwaukee Avenue in Chicago.
In 1961 Wieboldt's enlarged itself by acquiring the failed Mandel Brothers store on State St as well as a smaller branch store in Lincoln Village
shopping center. Prior to that time there were five Chicago
neighborhood stores; Grand and Ashland, Milwaukee and Paulina, Lincoln
and Belmont, Halsted and 63rd St., and Ashland and Monroe.They also had
several suburban stores including locations in Evanston, Norridge, and
Oak Park IL. By the 1970s Wieboldt's operated over 15 stores in the Chicago area.
Wieboldt's was known for giving S&H Green Stamps with purchases and had redemption centers located in their stores. The
State St. location included a large redemption center. Customers would
choose items based on the number of stamps turned in for redemption. In
the 1940s and 1950's they sponsored a radio program featuring Cinnamon Bear. Later they had a television program called The Cinnamon Bear. The shows were stories of how Cinnamon Bear takes his young friends on a trip to maybe land in search of the silver star. A stuffed teddy bear version could be purchased from the stores for $2.98 in the 1950s.
Santa would give out free Cinnamon Bear buttons to children visiting
Santa. The program was first produced by Glen Heisch and Elizabeth
Heisch in 1937 in Hollywood and syndicated around the country.
Wieboldt's was known for their good values, unpretentious
merchandise, and multilingual sales staff, the stores were especially
popular among ethnic, working-class shoppers who could not afford or
did not like to shop at the big downtown department stores. Wieboldt's
former slogan was "Where You Buy With Confidence!".
They celebrated 100-years in business in April 1983. An
advertisement in the Chicago Sun-Times stated "Building for a New
Tomorrow". "An important part of Chicago's past, we look to the future
with confidence and enthusiasm. The dream of yesterday is the promise
of tomorrow. Chicago, Wieboldt's. Tomorrow begins today."
During the 1980s the chain had trouble staying profitable, eventually leading the company into bankruptcy in 1987. The chain never recovered and all the stores closed.
My family shopped at the Lincoln-Belmont store.
I found my old photo taken with Santa it says Santa-Graf on it with Wieboldt's in green letters on the front.
I remember the S&H Green Stamps my mom collected those I got my first transistor radio with the stamps.