Do you remember Zayre Corporation, with the big red logo with an asterisk in front of the all-purpose retail chain store?

Through the 1990s, there were many department stores which carried everything from automotive needs, to lingerie, children's clothes, toys, outdoor games, grills, bicycles, and much more.

If you're thinking "That's what a Target is today", you wouldn't be wrong, but 50 or 60 years ago, that's all we had.   There were very few specialty shops back then.

One of the most popular stores in New England is T.J. Maxx.  There's no question that you can find great deals and quality goods at any T.J.'s.  But do you know how the TJX Brands started?

In 1975, the Zayre Corporation of Framingham, Massachusetts, hired a merchandiser from Marshalls named Ben Cammarata to start up a new family apparel and home fashion store.  In 1977, the first two T.J. Maxx stores opened in Worcester and Auburn, Massachusetts, according to

Zayre Department Store via Facebook
Zayre Department Store via Facebook

Do you remember Hit or Miss or Chadwick's of Boston?  Those two brands plus T.J. Maxx were spun off from the Zayre Corporation to become The TJX Companies, Inc. in 1987.   TJX became the parent company after Zayre's restructured.

When I think about Zayre's as a kid (and now as an avid T.J. Maxx, HomeGoods, Marshalls, and Home Sense shopper), who would've thought they are related?  More astounding is they are still based in Framingham, Massachusetts, although the company now has 4,800 stores under its umbrella in nine countries.

Off-price, high-quality, name-brand apparel and home fashions at affordable prices make any shopper a Maxxinista.  IYKYK.   Thanks, Zayre's.

TJ Maxx via Facebook
TJ Maxx via Facebook

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