What 8 Stores Used to Sell When They First Opened

Yes, there was a time when you could get pantyhose at Trader Joe's!

dick's sporting goods storeJonathan Weiss/ShutterstockDick’s Sporting Goods

Dick’s started as a fishing bait-and-tackle shop, then in the 1970s expanded to supply for all forms of outdoor activity–related gear, including shopping by sport and a fan shop for top competitive teams.


The traditions that Macy’s customers enjoy now are deeply rooted in the store’s beginnings. A pioneer in firsts, the store was fundamental in introducing a liquor license, visits to Santa at Christmas, supplying colored bath towels, and even made-to-measure men’s and women’s clothes. Some Macy’s employees might not know its history, but they do have some helpful tips to help you save money there—as well as at your other favorite stores.


UPCO, the former name for the popular pet store, upgraded to Petco 12 years after its inception. During this time, the store began to offer grooming services, although it started as a mail-order veterinary supplies business in San Diego, California.


Originally a dry goods store, the place where modern shoppers go for retail therapy was once the home of a radio station. It was among the first to be broadcasted by a department store in the Twin Cities in 1922. The store wasn’t always called Target, though—find out how Target and other iconic stores got their names.

The Home Depot

Since day one, this place was built for the determined do-it-yourselfer. The vision of The Home Depot was clear: a place that supplied customers with physical and mental tools. Along with planks of perfectly-sanded wood, pipes, and screws, employees offered clinics, customer workshops, and one-on-one sessions with customers. The store is still based in this method of teaching and has online workshops. And while its offerings haven’t changed drastically, you might still be surprised to know you can get these 19 bizarre things there.

Tiffany & Co.

Audrey Hepburn waltzed into this store not only for their dazzling jewelry and breakfast, but for their stationery and “fancy goods.” These goods included the Tiffany Timer, which is America’s first stopwatch.

Trader Joe’s

A stop by the original Trader Joe’s in 1958 could get you groceries…and a pair of pantyhose? The store that’s famous for fun Hawaiian shirts and exotic foods offered pantyhose until 1978, but the line was since discontinued. The store also made the first reusable grocery bag.


The heart of Walgreens was, and still is, the pharmacy. The founder, Charles Walgreen, made his own drugs after being mentored by a few notable Chicago pharmacists. When the doors of this prominent pharmacy opened in the early 1900s, a customer could find their medicine, a soda fountain, and a home-cooked meal. Walgreens was among the first stores to have beautiful, ornate soda fountains that distributed ice-cold soda in the summer and warm meals, cooked by Myrtle Walgreen herself, in the winter. Now that you know what they sold, check out what your favorite retail stores used to look like.

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Isabelle Tavares
Isabelle Tavares is a journalism graduate student at the Newhouse School of Syracuse University and former ASME intern for RD.com, where she wrote for the knowledge, travel, culture and health sections. Her work has been published in MSN, The Family Handyman, INSIDER, among others. Follow her on Twitter @isabelletava.