As a young child growing up in the 80s in Lynchburg, Virginia, we didn’t have no stinkin’ Wal-Marts or Targets. No sir, the 80s were still the glory days of K-Mart, shopping malls, outlets and department stores. Corporate monopolies hadn’t fully taken over and WE LIKED IT THAT WAY…
Welcome to Where I Shopped, a truly engaging series of posts where I continue to take a look at those years gone by (the 1980s) and the stores I have fond memories of my family shopping at. In this smashing second installment: Roses!
If Hills was an inferior K-Mart, Roses was an inferior Wal-Mart. I mean, the fine people of Roses must’ve stolen Wal-Mart’s floor plans (or vice versa) because when I finally stepped foot into a Wal-Mart years later, the set up was practically identical. Even down to the white & blue color scheme.
Roses wasn’t a store we went to nearly as much as K-Mart or Hills because it was on the other side of town. Hills was just down the street as was K-Mart. I seem to recall there being an older Roses somewhere in Lynchburg, but a new one was put up over near the also-new theater and right behind the Jones Memorial Library and a shopping center that played host to Peoples Drug and a predominantly electronic-based store called BEST (for the life of me, I can’t find any info on this store and I wonder if it is now the chain known as Best Buy).
Another thing I can’t remember is the name of that shopping center but if Google Street View is any indication, it still stands to this day but looks to be mostly empty stores.
Like I said, Roses was like Wal-Mart. They had a little bit of everything but my fondest memories are of their video rental service. Yep, they had a little cubby hole at the front of the store with filled with videos and NES games. When I flash back to all those gruesome, sexually explicit covers of horror movies gone by, I think of Roses because I vividly remember seeing the VHS covers of Don’t Go in the Woods and Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (which really scared me) along with a plethora of other horror movies featuring girls in various states of undress.
Also, the Nintendo games! Yes! How many times did I rent WWF Wrestlemania from them? Too many times to count.
Roses is based in the south and still exists to this day. They are part of a larger corporation called Variety Wholesalers Inc. these days and at their peak Roses had nearly 300 stores throughout the region. Thanks to the growth of Wal-Mart, they’ve been scaled back to about 100. Sadly, the Roses in Lynchburg no longer exists but a store called Maxway does (which is also owned by Variety Wholesalers).
I couldn’t find any commercials, but here’s a slideshow uploaded by an employee of a Roses in Morristown, TN…
How about you southern readers? Do you remember shopping at Roses?