Fifty years ago, a retail institution was waning, but for the moment, still clinging to life.
The “five and dime store” was fighting the larger, more complete discount department store.
Locally, smaller stores such as C.G. Murphy, Kresge, and Woolworth were losing their customers and profits to larger discount stores such as K-Mart, Twin Fair, and Two Guys.
One of the main stays of the five and ten which would die out along with the concept was the in-store lunch counter.
In ads this week, S.S. Kresge (which evolved into K-Mart) and Woolworth’s (which was once the world’s largest retailer, and hung on until 1997) both offered lunch counter specials.