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am one's ears in

AM&A's

Adam, Meldrum & Anderson Company (AM&A's) was a chain of department stores based in Buffalo, New York. It was an institution to generations of shoppers in the Buffalo area. The company remained family owned until its sale to The Bon-Ton in 1994.

History

The company was founded in 1867, as Adam, Meldrum & Whiting, at 308-310 Main Street. Co-founder Robert Borthwick Adams, was a brother of the founder of J. N. Adam & Co. In 1876, William Anderson joined the company after Whiting departed and it was renamed Adam, Meldrum & Anderson. In 1886, the company pioneered the use of electricity at a commercial enterprise in Buffalo with the installation of a Westinghouse generator. The company incorporated in 1892. In 1896, it joined the Syndicate Trading Company, a retail joint purchasing company based in New York City. From 1925 to 1956, it operated the Adam, Meldrum & Anderson State Bank, which merged with M&T Bank. In 1942, Robert Adam III, grandson of the founder, became President and served in that capacity until 1980; then serving as Chief Executive Officer until his death in 1993. The chain was purchased by The Bon-Ton Stores Inc. in 1994.

Flagship Store

The original store was located on Main Street at the current site of the Main Place Mall. A $500,000 expansion of the store occurred in 1924, adding 70,000 square feet to the original location. In 1932, the store expanded northward with the purchased of the Hudson's store at 410 Main Street. From the 1940's until its closing, the store was known locally for its elaborate Victorian Christmas windows. In August 1960, the chain moved its flagship across the street to 389 Main Street in the building formerly occupied by J. N. Adam & Co. After expanding warehouse space in adjacent buildings, a major remodeling of the store occurred in 1966; it was remodeled again a decade later. The store also had a restaurant, the Yankee Doodle Room, which operated from 1960 until 1993; then reopened for a short time as a gourmet market and deli. The flagship store operated as a Bon Ton until 1995. It reopened for eight months in 1998, as an upscale ladies department store. Since that time it has been vacant and is currently threatened with demolition.

Branch Stores

AM&A's opened the first branch location of a downtown department store in 1948, when it opened a 5,000 square foot store at University Plaza. Shortly after they opened branches at Sheridan Plaza in Tonawanda and Airport Plaza in Cheektowaga. In October 1952, they took over the former E. W. Edwards & Son location at L.B. Smith Plaza, later Abbott Road Plaza, in Lackawanna; it closed in 1971.

During the 1960's through 1980's, many major malls were erected throughout suburban Buffalo and AM&A's expanded to most of them. An 18,000 square foot store opened at Southgate Plaza in 1961, expanded to 100,000 square feet in 1964. In 1966, a store opened at Thruway Plaza, later Thruway Mall. That location would close in 1990, when the Walden Galleria location opened in a store originally constructed for B. Altman. The Eastern Hills Mall location opened in 1972, Lockport Mall store in 1974, and Olean Center Mall in 1976. A store opened in 1979, as part of an expansion to the Summit Park Mall. After the closure of the local Hens & Kelly chain in 1982, AM&A's moved into its former location at Northtown Plaza. The McKinley Mall Location opened in 1985. All branch locations operating in 1994, became branches of The Bon Ton.

Former locations

References

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