The Good Old Days of Retail in Washington State, Who Recalls These Stores?

Growing up a poor kid in Washington State, if I got K-mart clothes, that was a win. I got my first job in high school and I recall the day I was able to buy a pair of Levi's from the Bon Marche - trust me, it was a big deal.

Beleaguered Toys R Us Battles For Survival
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Times have changed, before e-commerce and mega-chains took over, Washington State was home to some cool stores and I wanted to shop at them all. I remember getting to shop at Nordstrom's one summer and I think I wore those clothes until they fell off.

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I thought I'd share with you three retail giants that walked the earth long before the Wal-Mart's and Cosco's of the world and a few of these, I'm sure you'll recall. It's crazy to see that even Jo-Ann Fabric might be going away.

Here's Three Gone But Not Forgotten Retailers We Loved In Washington State

Frederick & Nelson at Wash. Square, 1988
Photo by Steve Morgan.

Frederick & Nelson – The Elegant Emporium

Fredrick & Nelson, often fondly referred to as F&N, stood as a beacon of luxury and style. With its flagship store in Seattle, F&N was notable for its iconic Christmas events and extravagant window displays that attracted families from all over the region.

CC BY-SA 3.0,
CC BY-SA 3.0,

Ernst Home Centers – Your DIY Partner

Ernst was the go-to spot for any aspiring or seasoned do-it-yourselfer. With various branches across Washington, Ernst was much more than a hardware store—it was a community hub that offered workshops, advice, and a wide selection of home renovation products. To this day, the green and yellow logo of Ernst is etched in the memories of those who spent their weekends in the aisles, hunting for the perfect tool.

Fashion and Fun: Stores That Defined an Era In Washington State

By Steve Morgan - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,
By Steve Morgan - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

The Bon Marché – A Pacific Northwest Staple

The Bon, as it was affectionately known, was more than just another department store. With its original location in downtown Seattle, The Bon became a quintessential Pacific Northwest brand.

From its Western-themed signage depicting a horseshoe to the bronze pigs that still enchant Pike Place Market visitors, the store was steeped in local imagery and pride.

The closure of The Bon and its transformation into Macy's marked the end of an era, but the legacy of The Bon continues to strike a chord with Washingtonians.

As you can see, those three childhood brands have come and gone, I'll be curious to see if the big retail giants like Amazon and Walmart will be around in another 20 years in Washington State.

READ MORE: The Best Washington State Diner You've Never Heard About

LOOK: 50 Beloved Retail Chains That No Longer Exist

Stacker takes a look at 50 major retail chains that no longer exist and the reasons for their demise.  

Gallery Credit: Madison Troyer

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