Tuesday, May 7, 2024

Your Downtown Lorain Superstore Campaign – May 1954

Back in early May 1954, the O'Neil-Sheffield Shopping Center had just opened days earlier – and perhaps the Downtown Lorain shopping district recognized the threat it now faced. Maybe that's why a new advertising campaign was launched with the theme: Your Downtown Lorain Superstore. 

A series of ads was introduced that extolled the benefit of shopping at 'your Lorain superstore' – which, according to the ad copy, was "an imaginary store – the composite picture of all Lorain retail stores."

It's kind of a confusing concept. Nevertheless, each ad featured a mini directory of all the Lorain area stores and their specialties. Two specific businesses were highlighted in each ad with a photo and some short ad copy.

Here are three samples that ran in the Lorain Journal in May 1954 within a few days of each other.

From the May 1, 1954 Lorain Journal
From the May 3, 1954 Lorain Journal
From the May 5, 1954 Lorain Journal

It looks like the Journal's art department had fun laying out the ads. Each has a nice eye-grabbing illustration.

I can't help but feel a bit wistful looking at the roll call of stores. Just about everything you could possibly need was available right in Lorain, with an incredible selection in each category. People shopped locally back then, and as a result strengthened the community by supporting the families who owned the businesses.

Nowadays, there's still an incredible selection of places to shop. Unfortunately, it's mostly online (unless you're willing to drive a long way). And that trend will only get worse, as the brick and mortar stores stock less and less items and force the shopper to buy online. I don't know how many times I checked the Walmart or Home Depot websites looking for a specific item, found that they carried it, and then drove to the store – only to find out it was available only online.


Anonymous said...

Even the teeny boppers of today(or whatever they call themselves)don't like to go shopping anymore at stores that cater to them.Rue21 just filled for bankruptcy last week and will liquidate each location.There is one over by the Lorain WalMart which will become another empty storefront.

Ken said...

Antiquated in-person shopping requires dreaded unfiltered human contact.

Anonymous said...

Hey Dan - looks like the forerunner of the B&I pages you enjoyed in The Journal. Todd

-Alan D Hopewell said...

Of course, a lot of this self isolation is the result of the Scamdemic.

Buster said...

The ads are strangely constructed, with chic women in the first ad combined with profiles of a glamorous dry cleaner and paint store, and the third ad showing us the magic of a carpet emporium and camera shop.

Don Hilton said...

And now, 70 years later, people shop at Crocker Park, a fake-a$$ downtown instead of a real one.