Sunday, August 07, 2011

Emporium-Capwell Valley Fair Directory 1986

Back in the day, department stores used to print store directories so you could easily find the department you wanted. This scan is from Emporium-Capwell at the Valley Fair mall, shortly after the rebuilt mall opened in 1986.

Among the interesting departments, you'll find not one, but two gift wrap stations. Gift wrapping at departments stores is now extinct. You might get lucky if you can get a box at the holidays, but certainly not have someone wrap the gift for you. Now that's service.

In 1986, department stores like Emporium-Capwell and Macy's were also in the business of selling electronics and TVs. Least until the Good Guys and Circuit City came on the scene. Interestingly enough, those stores are also gone.

Extinct services at department stores included watch repair, culinary advising, flower arranging, and travel agents. We all could use a little culinary advisement now and then.

Who remembers buying tickets for the Thompson Twins concert at the Emporium? It was a Ticketron outlet, too. Department stores sure have changed.

Enjoy!
Scott

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

My family and I have a major disagreement and I came across your blog. I'm thinking if anyone can settle this, you can. Back in the day, somewhere around 1990, there was a Capwells in Fremont. There was a restaurant on the top floor our parents would take us to when we were little. None of us can remember the name. Any chance you, as the master of mall info, know it????

BIGMallrat said...

Hi,
It was the "Mission Buffet." It originally was on the second floor. Does that sounds about right?
Scott

Anonymous said...

Ahhhh.. I don't know. That's not ringing a bell :( I'm almost positive it was on the top top floor, cause I remember having to take the elevator to the highest level. We've thrown around The Grille? Or the 'insert something' Grille?? It was like a diner and you could pick music from a box right at the table. Thanks for your help..these things drive me crazy! Capwells off of Mowry in Fremont, now its part of Washington Hospital...its awful not remembering!!

BIGMallrat said...

Hi,
It was Mission Buffet at least through 1976. I don't recall if they added a third level to that store or not. It might have had a basement, which could have made it three levels.
I hope someone else can chime in if they know a different name.
Thanks,
Scott

Anonymous said...

I was a former EMPORIULUMNI from 1984-1986 down in the south bay of the VALLCO Mall.Started out in Shoes,then a "floater" then ended up in housewares.Personel office employees were very "weak" if a problem arised between employee & supervisor.I loved my co-workers and shipping crew & warehouse folks.Lots of stories to tell about that store back then.We had the once a year "dreaded" January inventory,which means the store would close about 5 or 6pm and from 6 to the next morning,you would have to inventory your department ,then they would make you go to another department & help them out.
My salary was only $5.25 HR back then as a FT.I think we only got a store discount of 20 to 25% off,which if you found something on CLEARENCE,that would be a incredible savings!!It's now MACYS,so on ocassions,I walk in there and I still see & feel the memories coming back each time,even though It's now a MACYS store.I was 26 when I started there(WOW)!!