90’s Stores That Are Dead And Gone

Time of death: 2011

Dearest Borders,

No one ever thought you would go away. We just assumed you’d be with us forever. We took you for granted and for that we apologize. We will now go into the street and pour out a nonfat, vanilla latte in your honor.

Time of death: 2010

You may not have had the size or selection of Borders. You may not have been as ubiquitous either. And you certainly never had a cafe located in the back of your store. But you sold books — actual books — and for that we will always love you.

Cue the Whitney Houston.

Time of death: 2001

Yeah, we can buy our Bugs or Daffy paraphernalia anywhere these days, but the actual brick and mortar Warner Bros. store made it special. And the fact that it is coming up on 15 (15!!) years since they’ve been closed truly makes it heartbreaking when I say…

“That’s all, folks.”

Time of death: 2003

Yes, you can find the Structure clothing line at Sears, but it’s not the same. Buying clothes at the same place you buy tires is just a recipe for fashion sadness.

Time of death: 1996

Merry-Go-Round was the most democratic store in any mall in the country. It allowed anyone, no matter what race, creed or color, to look like a total cheeseball if they so chose to.


Time of death: 2015


Oh, Radio Shack, we are lost without you.

Time of death: 2009

Walking into a Circuit City was like walking into a church. It was a religious experience. You bought your new CD Walkman here and you never felt more alive.

Time of death: 1999

Nearly every birthday part I went to as a kid was at Discovery Zone. If these were still around now and served beer, we would totally come here to celebrate our growns up b-days. (Again, if there was beer.)

Time of death: 2009

Some of you out there may not be old enough to remember a time when you just went into a music store and browsed through it for hours, just looking at anything and everything. It was an amazing time suck that, sadly, is just no longer a part of our daily lives. (That is, unless you go visit the Middle East or North Africa, the only places where Virgin stores still exist.)

Time of death: 2008

To the store that we went into whenever we found one in a mall, yet never, not once, bought anything in it, we salute you.

Time of death: 2009

Ahhh, KB Toys. The place you insisted on going to as a reward whenever you got a really good report card.

I rarely went there.

Time of death: 2006

Nothing was cooler than Tower Records. Nothing. You walked in there, bought a CD (or two…or three…or seven) and you walked out feeling like you were on the cutting edge of the music scene…even if the music in your hand was from Chuck Mangione. (Don’t you dare disparage the man. He is thefinest flugelhorn player in the history of recorded music.)

Time of death: 2005

Zazzle wishes it was GadZooks. But it can never be. GadZooks was special, more special than anything you could get on an Internet site. Yeah, I said it!

Time of death: 1996

“Damn! Today is Aunt Ginny’s birthday and we didn’t get her anything! What do we do?”

“I dunno. Go to The Nature Company and buy something completely random?”


Time of death: 2014

We loved you because you were everywhere. You were never not around and we could always find a Jean Claude Van Damme movie when we needed one…

Cause we always needed one.

Time of death: 2011

For all those times when you said you didn’t care about fashion but refused to get your T-shirt and jeans at JC Penny, Anchor Blue was there for you. RIP, A to the B.

Time of death: 2004

You were really only Mexican food in name, but damnit, we supported you to the bitter end. We will miss you and your Mexican Fried Ice Cream (which, also, was really only fried in name).

Time of death: 2009 (NY flag ship store closed in 2015)

This. We all did this. No one ever went into FAO Schawrz and didn’t do this.It was almost a law that you had to do this. And now we can’t do this ever again.

Time of death: 2006

Sadly, Goody ain’t got it no more.