Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Pic 'n' Save

After moving to the Riverside-San Bernardino area (real natives from that neck of the woods don't say "Inland Empire!" It sounds like you're trying to sell something) from Oceanside in 1966, we often went to a store in Fontana (which was on the site of a recently closed McDonald's Supermarket--no relation to the fast food chain). This was a store that sold things other stores couldn't sell. And this store had something else... FREE STUFF! I remember getting finger puppets that were absolutely free, even if my parents didn't buy anything!

The store, later I realized, was part of a bigger chain. Over the years, I came to appreciate it. I could get almost anything I wanted for pennies.

When I moved to Texas in 1989, I was surprised that there were several Pic 'n' Save stores in the Fort Worth area (I also refuse to say Metroplex!) But for some reason, after about a year, the store name was changed to MacFrugal. Nothing about the store had really changed except the name...

But remember this: Name changes never happen for no reason! What happened was there was a Pic 'n' Save chain in Florida and this cleared up the confusion of two chains with the same name. Never mind that there weren't any other Pic 'n' Save stores in Texas (that I knew of) besides the one chain I knew from California. Outside California, Pic 'n' Save was MacFrugal.

Fast forward about fifteen years. I was back in California and started noticing the signs were changing. Now it was Big Lots! This was more than just a name change. It marked the beginnings of a merger with a store chain from back East and this chain promised not to sell any junk. For that, you have to go to the 99 Cents Only Store or Dollar Tree.


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