Ames Stores, Once Prominent in Franklin, Claim a Comeback


Above, a New Hampshire Ames during the store's heyday.

 Ames Department Stores Inc. was an American chain of discount stores based in Rocky Hill, Connecticut. Founded in 1958 with a store in Southbridge, Massachusetts, and at its peak operated 700 stores in 20 states, including the Northeast, Upper South, Midwest, and the District of Columbia, it was ranked as the fourth-largest discount retailer in the country.

In Franklin it took over the location in the Horace Mann Plaza roughly where the Dollar Tree and Trampoline facility are located today, succeeding what had been a Mammoth Mart and then a King's -- all discount departments stores. 

Despite some success in its later years, Ames was plagued by debt "via acquisition decisions" and a slow decline in sales, going belly up in in 2002, to the sorrow of many in town who relied on its sewing and crafts departments and broad selection.

In December 2022, Molyneux Group, who owns the assets of Bradlees Department Stores PLC, announced that Ames Department Stores would be returning, opening locations in Connecticut once again starting in the Spring of 2023. That didn't happen, but a more recent announcement is promising 30 or more stores will be open by late 2027, with plans to add more locations during 2028. Also "planned" are:

  • 7 Distribution Centers to open near Ames locations to handle deliveries.
  • Same great prices, better quality.
  • Ames Cafe will be available at all 35 locations.
  • New Ames website will allow Online Ordering & Home Delivery.
  • Click & Collect will be available from participating locations.
  • Plans for a Pharmacy have been submitted at participating locations

However, reporters warn they have had no luck finding anyone to answer the phone at the company, let alone substantiate the claims made in the announcement.

The curious can check out the website at

I'm interested
I disagree with this
This is unverified