From the writers at RV Life Magazine.
When I grew up, we had five and dime stores. In Little Rock, there were big stores like Woolworth and Kresge and in my small hometown,we had family-owned stores. That was before discount chains popped up across America.
Some might have called them variety stores because the middle class shopped at these stores for everything from housewares and kitchen utensils to linens, basic clothing (especially the underwear department), shoes, school and art supplies, toys, and candy.
The name “five and dime” fit because most items on the shelves and in store bins sold for a nickel or a dime.
Even as late as the early sixties, when the chain stores had started carrying higher-priced merchandise, old variety stores were still called “dime stores.” They were located in downtowns—even of small towns—long before shopping centers on the edges of towns and cities were a part of the American shopping scene.
Many of the larger stores had snack bars or lunch counters. None in Heber Springs, but I remember sitting on shiny silver stools with red leather seats in a Woolworth in the big city of Little Rock. In fact, as late as the 1980s, we had lunch at one of those counters in a Woolworth in Brownsville, Tex.
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