Hills Department Store was a
Massachusetts, based discount department store chain.
founded in 1957 in Youngstown, OH, and existed until 1999 when it
was acquired by Ames
Most stores were located in Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, New York,
Pennsylvania and West Virginia, though the company had made a push
into the South and had several stores in Tennessee, Alabama and in
the West Michigan area through the late 1980s.
In the late 1950s, Hill's stores were full-fledged department
stores (as opposed to the discount department stores the chain
later became known for).
Herbert H. Goldberger, the founder of Hills, sold the
chain to SCOA Industries, (Shoe Company of America), of Columbus, Ohio, in 1964.
He remained as president of Hills
until 1981, when his son succeeded him. Goldberger was the vice
president and director of SCOA when, in 1985, he led a management buyout
Hills went public
becoming the nation's eighth-largest discount retailer. In November
1990, Goldberger's son resigned, according to a Hills statement,
and was replaced by Jack Brouillard. Goldberger's resignation from
his family business surprised some observers. He had been the
chain's president and CEO since 1981, and assumed the role of board
chairman when his father died in 1987. Stephen Goldberger also
introduced several other changes, including acceptance of credit cards
and rollout of UPC scanning
In 1989, Hills bought 33 Gold Circle
locations. In the Buffalo, New York, area, many of these locations had previously been
Twin Fair, Inc., stores prior to
Hills had its own private label under which various goods were
marketed. It was called "American Spirit".
Hills Department Store Sign
Hills filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection
February 1991, and the number of stores declined, from 214 to 151.
Michael Bozic was brought in as President and CEO of Hills to
revive the company. He had spent 27 years with Sears
and had been the head of the Sears Merchandising
Group. Stores were remodeled, scheduled opening of distribution
centers beginning in 1991, and the introduction of a new store
prototype in 1991. Hills had a large toy section that accounted for
more than 10% of sales throughout the year. Hills emerged from
bankruptcy in 1993 as Hills Stores Company.
In 1998, Ames
Hills. At that time, in 1998, Hills was operating 155 stores,
covering 12 states, and employing 8,553 employees. Headquarters were in
Massachusetts. With the Hills acquisition, Ames expanded
from 301 to 456 stores and became the nation's fourth-largest
discount chain behind Wal-Mart, Kmart, and Target.
Almost all Hills stores
were renamed Ames by the end of 1999, even in markets where Ames
and Hills overlapped.
"Hills is where the toys are." - Television commercials aired
during the Christmas holiday season using this slogan. These
advertisements involved an impish character named "Sprite", not to
be confused with the soft drink of the same name.
"Check us out!" - used in print and TV ads.
"The Anti-Inflation Department Store"
"Famous for low prices ... Everyday"
"Save every way. Save everyday at Hills."
"Nobody beats Hills."
"Hills is the place for kids."
Hills had various subsidiaries that handled some of the various
operations: Hills Department Store Company, HDS Transport, CRH
International, Canton Advertising, Corporate Vision and Hills
- SCOA Industries' board O.K.'s recast leveraged
buyout offer | Discount Store News | Find Articles at
- SEC Info - Hills Stores Co/DE - 10-K405 - For
- Hills Stores Company: Information and Much More
- Hills Company History
- SEC Info - Hills Stores Co/DE - 10-K405 - For 1/28/95 -