Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Return Trip: Does Anyone Remember the Akron Store?...

Two Sundays ago I visited the Pasadena City College Flea Market for, dare I say, the first time!
Well anyway, I stuck to my budget and then had to keep my hands in my pockets for the rest of the visit. I saw these really cute vintage colored shot glasses in the original box and just had to bring them home to the hubby. You can barely make out that the original cost which was a whopping 49 cents. In even smaller print, it says "the akron." OMG! I remember happily trailing around after my parents around this home furnishing store in the early seventies! The store was located between 182nd and 190th streets on east side of Hawthorne Blvd. in Torrance. Where's that darn time machine when you need it? Does anyone else remember "the akron" store?

8 comments:

Charmie said...

I worked at that Akron store from 68 or 69 until 72 or 73 when I transferred to the Lakewood store. It was a lot of fun to work there. I was just out of high school and the management was unique in a good way. They treated the help like they cared. Pretty unique as today you may sometimes be treated like surplus cattle. Great job, paid my way through college and furnished all of my apts with what was known as "early akron". I left the country for three years after college and was sad to see how it had gone to a very bad mangement place by 1977. I believe they began closing those stores at that time. I sure loved the ads and I miss going into the store to see what the weekly specials were. They were located in the center of the store in/on these funky wrorght iron bins/tables. I worked on the cash register most of the time. I got to work customer service for a time and when we weren't busy we all got to help put out the merchandise. I just can't tell you how much fun it was most of the time. I met one of my dearest friends on the phene there! She worked at the Santa Monica store and we connected when she transferred to LBSU and the Lakewood store. I haven't seen the Torrance site in quite a while, but I was over at the Lakewood Mall for the CostCo opening and there was the old Akron building. I think it was a Curcit City or something. Anyways, it's closed whatever it was . I am looking at a hurricane lamp as I blog, that I bought at the Akron way back in the day. Thanks for the fun memory, Emma. Hey, chances are I waited on you and your family back then. I was the very dark-haired girl whose smock covered her dresses, (our skirts and dresses were so short them-also the era of hotpannts haha), and, I, was so short that the cash register totally hid me from the customers. They often thought no one was at a register. We (the girls) were all a buch of shorties. Also, the days when there were no pictures on the register keys and you counted back change to the customers. Now there's a lost art! (haha) Again, thanks for the memory jog. A nice little memory to say the least. Well, I hope you enjoy your "early Akron". Now I will go to my FedCo phone and call my dear old Akron friend and have a chat about our "early Akron" adventures! Charmie

William said...

My Grandparents in law are the Finks of Akron fame. It's great to read things about the old stores. Our kids, their great grand kids, love the stories about the stores.

torresongs said...

I vaguely remember the Akron store outside the Lakewood Mall. I remember the merchandise being similar to what you might find at a Pier One store or a Cost Plus today. LOTS of wicker and rattan! Very 70's! My mom LOVED it!

Brady Westwater said...

We mainly went to the one in Hollywood when I was a kid - but they were all over - and after we moved to the Valley, we went to the one in Tarzana where Vanalden - dead ends into the Ventura Freeway at Ventura Boulevard.

My father like to buy oddities like canned kangaroo tail and my mom liked all the kitchen and decorator items. And the reason I just looked them up was that reading about flip-flops, I recall first calling them Zoris, and then thongs - and assumed we bought them first - and sure enough - Zoris are from Japan and throngs are from Australia - so we likely first bought them at Akron's.

And if you what to know what LA in LA was in those days - a copy of Sunset Magazine and a catalog from Akrons - if they had them, since much of their stuff was one time only lots - would be as accurate a guide as any.

MJ said...

OMG-I was really young, but I totally remember going to Akron with my mom. We lived in Torrance and went to the one on Hawthorne Blvd. Akron was the predecessor of Cost Plus/World Market and Pier 1. My mom used to love the crochet hanging plant holders, rattan accessories, and wicker baskets. Very 70s chic. What a lovely memory.

davesandvig said...

I started working at the West LA store as a stockman[tiger] in 1960and worked my way up to store manager, at the following stores. Tarzana, Ventura,and the Northridge stores. The work was hard but so much fun. We sold so many different items, like monkeys used work benches,tropical fish,bus meters, African carvings,and so many other items of interest. This site brings back a lot of good memories for me.

John McVey said...

I remember trips to the Akron in Silverlake (was it?) in the mid-late 1960s, from our home in Eagle Rock. We kids looked forward to that...

Brady Westwater is right : a catalog (if they existed) -- or an ad -- and a copy of Sunset Magazine would give the complete picture for those years.

ok, so why "Akron" ?

SSCOTT said...

My wife Susan directed me to this Akron inquiry. With over 20 years experience working for The Akron chain, I've decided to give a brief history as I remember it of the retail icon from the 1960's-1980. Hy Fink and Bernie Fields started the business in an old steel building on Sunset Blvd as a war surplus store in the mid 1950's. It expanded through the years to 23 Akron stores in California and several Columbus Botique stores in Phoenix, Denver, and Texas. Innovation was their strength...first retailers to mass-market wine, first to use Direct Television advertising in the LA market, were open on Sundays when most retail stores (Sears, etc) were closed. Great knock-off artists with products from Asia selling at half US cost for similar items. GREAT fum working there and until economics caught up with them. Thrifty Drug came in as a co-partner for awhile. in 1981, a Hong Kong family bought up all of the store leases and converted them to rattan furniture outlets. The Chan family then sold the leases to Circuit City which used the deal to expand into the California market. Most CC stores in LA are still at old Akron locations. BTW, DaveSandvig replied in an earlier blog. HI Dave...email me at azbooksource@ yahoo.com. DougScott

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