Jun 182013
 

Times Square Stores

Those who grew up on Long Island in the 70s likely remember the Times Square Stores, or as they were better known, TSS. Although never exactly plentiful, these department stores were memorable for their discount prices in the pre Wal-Mart era.

Today, they exist only in our memories.

TSS was founded all the way back in 1929 by a man named George Seedman. He would run the company for almost half a century before retiring in 1987. At it’s peak, TSS had 12 locations in the New York area, and was quite popular among budget-conscious families on the island. Sadly, the store filed for banruptcy in 1989, with the last location closing the following year.

Here’s both of the only existing commercials available online:

Admittedly, there isn’t much in this article but the bare facts. The data, images and commercials simply weren’t there. Today, all that’s left is our collective memory of the days when a local department store like TSS could not only survive, but thrive. But we can share what we remember in the meantime, and if more resources become available, we’ll be sure to update this article.

If you have fond memories of shopping at TSS with your family back in the day, or if you happened to work at one of the locations, we’d love to hear your memories in our comments section below.

  111 Responses to “TSS”

  1. When did George Seedman die? I was an employee of his.

  2. Hi .. I was looking up info on TSS and found myself here.. Do you know if there was TSS located in bayshore?

  3. MY family use to go to the TSS store across the street from the Walt Whitman shopping center. ironically, that location is now a Walmart. does anybody remember the old guy that used to sell pretzels from a pretzel cart in the walt whitman shopping center?

  4. My grandfather used to take us to the TSS on Farmers blvd. in Springfield Gardens, Queens. It was walking distance from the house, so we would go there often. It is now Western Beef Supermarket.

    My most vivid, and best, memory was trying out the patio furniture. My grandfather let us test out and make a case for what we liked best. It took along time, but in the end he let us vote on our top choices and we took home the favorite.

    I loved TSS. It was so comfortable and you could get whatever you needed at a great price. Also, I remember the staff being very nice and helpful.

    • Thanks for sharing that great memory, Christine!

    • I worked at the sayville t.s.s from 1974-1988 the company was big on good old fashion customer service.. they would send us to product knowledge training sessions once a year at the Lawrence store. The company was very good to their employees we had a union with great benefits. I was sadden to see it go down hill after Mr. Seedman sold the company. You will never see a retail chain EVER like T.s.s.

  5. Late to this party but I often recall the old mega department stores I lived near. TSS obviously was a big one (with various named supermarkets attached) but there was also Modell’s Shoppers World in East Meadow (before they went sporting goods), Mays in Massapequa & Levittown, Pergament in Copaigue (before they went all Home Depot) and Great Eastern in East Meadow (which became Woolco later on). Obviously, being a 70’s kid myself, I loved going to PlayWorld and can remember vividly going to both the Seaford & East Meadow stores. Also, if you were a kid in the 70’s and your parent never brought you to the Jolly Roger, they must have hated you. 🙂

    • The nearest to Bayshore was Massapequa. I was assistant manager of hardware in winter 1972-73. At the time this was one of the few unprofitable stores.

      • I lived six blocks from Modell’s BEFORE it became Shoppers World. My parents would buy me a huge soft pretzel and a Italian ice cup. It was to grow into a much larger store in the 1960s. in the late 1950s, across Front Street was a military surplus store called Reader’s. The sold lots of WWII and Korean War material and I recall some WWI surplus. It was an easy and safe walk from my house to Newbridge Ave (now East Meadow Ave) past the library to Front Street. Modell’s had a great toy section.

  6. Anyone remember a TSS across from a beer and soda house. it may be near Farmers Blvd. There was an accurate service station on the corner

  7. Was in their Management Trainning Program in 1975. worked in their Oceanside Store and then a store in Queens

  8. Was in Middle Island NY circa 1982

  9. My Dad sold building supplies @TSS with Ed Kranepool of all people

  10. We used to go to the TSS in Middle Island/Centerach area when I was a kid (I think it’s a Kohl’s now). I remember they had a huge candy counter that sold popcorn, nuts,pretzels, fudge, etc. The best was their toy department, and around Halloween they had aisles of costumes. I also remember the record store and pet store inside. That store was the best. So sad when it closed.

  11. I remember the TSS in West Babylon. Our neighbor bought a puppy there and called it TSS, of course. We loved looking at the tropical fish and the puppies. Male puppies were $6 and females were $5. I think my friend’s brother got caught shoplifting there.

    • My regrets I mislead the fellow from Bayshore above. No STS in Massapequa. Mays store was in that town. YES was in West Babylon. And that is where I worked Jan -March 1973. The hardware manager was run by a former Luftwaffe pilot who lost a leg in the war…Paul Truman. Sorry for the mix up!

  12. I worked in the smoke shop late 70’s early 1980. I worked at the Oceanside store. Loved that store. My family lived in island Park and TSS was our store to go to when we needed things. Good memories.

    • I lived in Baldwin when I became assistant manager of Oceanside TSS toys. It was a huge department with a manager and three assistants. Once the holiday season began me and the other young manager moved to the night shift 11PM to 7AM. The store managers would permit customers to let their kids run wild. Toys and games were opened and broken etc. The job of night shift was to repair what could be repaired and put back on shelf, return broken stuff to manufacturer, and restock shelves for the following day. We had 15 guys working for us. I was appalled by what management would let customer children do. These kids were extremely spoiled and affluent.

  13. I grew up in the Copiague/Amityville area but before we lived there we were in Hempstead in Nassau County and I remember four things from back then (up through 1977). Fire Engine races, Carvel, Mr. Softy, and TSS.

    I don’t know exactly where the TSS was that my dad used to take us to (maybe someone here can say which one would be most likely given where we lived), but whether we were coming or going, TSS and Carvel always went 1-2 in the same trip.

    Embarrassingly enough, the one specific memory I have of TSS was when we went there to get wood just before a heinous storm hit and the day after some jerks had taken the long wood poles from our fence, thrown them into the street, and broken some of them. Our whole fam went (three boys, two girls, and parents), and we were going to eat somewhere close and then go back so he could fix the fence. Unfortunately he had forgotten his wallet and only had his checkbook, but the store wouldn’t take a personal check. I can still remember he got so mad the entire store was looking at us and me and my sister were scared out of our wits. I think he was just frustrated that someone would vandalize our house and we had enough to deal with because of the storm coming.

    I think we ended up at Arthur Treachers Fish and Chips or something. That is where things go grey, but over 35 years on I guess they would.

    • There was a TSS in Hempstead. Parked on the roof. There was also one on Hempstead Tpke Levittown.

      • Thank youuuu! I knew it wasn’t that far from the house. We lived on Kennedy Ave. and I am positive we didn’t get on the turnpike so it must have been the local Hempstead store.

        I miss this era so much. I miss the 80’s too so I guess I just miss childhood. Watching that TSS Christmas commercial almost makes me tear up like most Christmas commercials from back then. If I could have three wishes, one of them would be that my daughter could have grown up in our innocent era where families were still close and kids had real holidays. I’m no good around those Toys R Us commercials either.

        But I miss New York in general from back then. Gimbels, Coney Island, Great Adventure in Jersey, ice skating and the decorations at Rockerfeller Plaza. L.A. sucks man.

      • I used to ride my bike to tss levittown and go to the record store and spend my allowance there. That was in the 70s. Fun memories! !

  14. I am so happy to have found this site! I loved TSS and actually am familiar with the one in Oceanside and the one in Hempstead!! It was so convenient to go there. We would do a big food shopping on a Friday night, and then have pizza at the pizza place that was in TSS. Did all our Christmas shopping there. I might have loved it too much, because when my son Phil, who was 6 at the time, was told by his teacher to draw a picture of what he would be doing for winter recess, he drew a picture ( stick people) of all of us, a car behind us, and he titled it: My Winter Vacation. TSS HERE WE COME! He was serious! My husband and I laughed so hard, then took everyone out to a movie and ice cream! Does anyone remember the Hempstead TSS? I worked in the record department to make some Christmas money. Had all the 45s against the wall. OMG! How OLD am I???

  15. Ask Jungle Bob about TSS

  16. I remember my mom taking me to the TSS in Middle Island to get an autographed baseball from Rusty Staub! He was sitting outside the store signing autographs with another Met. I think maybe Ed Kranepool….. I was only 7 or 8 Years old at the time but I remember the thrill of meeting real “Big Leaguers” vividly.

  17. I worked at the TSS Mall which opened in 1973. I worked at TSS for a short spell in late 1978 basically as Christmas help. It was within walking distance of my house. I hung out at the mall with friends from school and dated a few girls working there, burger king and CVS drug store.
    Someone wrote in the freight elevator “TSS = This Store Sucks!” As a customer, I loved the store and was devastated when it closed. The record dept was my 2nd address as a teenager. A lot of kids from my school worked there as well, so I would make “rounds” when I was there. Lots of Great Memories from that store.

  18. I remember the TSS in Levittown. My mom used to get my haircut downstairs and she banked at the dime savings bank inside by the grocery store. Now it’s an abandoned Kmart. What a shame.

    • I basically lived at the TSS in Oceanside as it was right outside our neighborhood. I must have had 3 bikes stolen from there. The thing I remember most was going there and hanging out at the phones booths on the side and calling party line. We thought we were “bad.” I also remember playing hide and seek in there with the other kids. Hey, does anyone remember Morsans, the camping store in the adjacent shopping center. That place was ” futuristic.”

      • Yes. Isn’t that the store that had all those cool tents set up?

      • Totally remember morsans, it was in the corner of the shopping center, Jens chinese, stuff n bagels, a bank, the stationary store was there. I went to boardman with garland jen , her parents owned the Chinese takeout. Whenever I think of a phone booth I think of the ones in the front lobby of tss. We lived behind tss, we used to walk there. Those were great days!

      • In winter 1972-73 the names of the toy department managers were Harvey and Clyde supported by the night managers Paul and Roger. Paul moved on to seasonal in Oceanside and I went to East Babylon. Paul and I dated a couple of cute girls who worked in the restaurant. We called the operations Manager Pineapple Jack because of his bright plaid suits. The marketing manager was a no nonsense guy named Bud. Had a good time working in Oceanside. Didn’t like West Babylon because the store was dead compared to Oceanside.

  19. My daughter worked in the garden shop of tss in 1981, run by Joe Abbolofia. Do you know the name of the shop?

  20. Many memories of the TSS in Levittown. I remember my dad (RIP) getting his haircut there. I remember getting fish for my tank at the pet store, shopping in the record store and sporting goods in the basement level.

  21. Back in the 60s and part of the 70s everything in our house came from the TSS in Levittown . I can remember being 4 years old and my father and I getting hair cuts at the TSS barber shop .

  22. We went to the Levittown one. It had a haircut place and maybe a couple of other side businesses in an un-suburban arcade leading into the store, and the electronics section has one of those tube testers. Way more fun than the Sears outlet across the street.

  23. anyone know what store was across the street from tss in Levittown years ago it is now the home of walmart supermarket it use to be a waldbaums but before that

  24. Grew up in the Levittown store. I used to walk to work (until I bought a Pinto from the manager in electronics) I started as Christmas help left 5 yrs later. Did everything, used Cash registers that didn’t tell you how much change to give, wrapped presents, even the voice of the operator. Fell in love, out of love. Then left to go to College and never looked back, until now. Wow lots of memories.

  25. Worked in the Pet Dept in Oceanside from 1986 till that location closed, then went to levittown location till that one closed. Many good times had as an employee and customer. I remember being able to get anything you needed at TSS. Many of my friends worked there. Even one of the 86 staff was my good friend. Miss the atmosphere of the place

  26. I use to go to the one in Elmont in Queens next to Belmont race track. Before it was TSS it was Great Eastern Mills.

  27. When we lived in East New York (Brooklyn)
    The Linden Blvd store was close by our
    neighborhood. Nice store EXCEPT the Jewelry Dept. Major RIP-OFF. We needed a re-sizing to our engagement ring. That dept. was a square in the middle of the store with the shoppers on the outside of the square and the workers on the inside of the square. We were in our early 20’s in the early 60’s and foolishly trusting. They looked up in a book the price for this re-sizing. We left the ring with them and they kept on staling before we finally got it back months later. The diamond was swapped. It was an INSIDE JOB. We have the paper work to prove everything. Money is the route of all evil. Our youngest child when he saw TSS pronounced it as a TSS sound, funny…

    • I remember that store, too, because my father occasionally shopped there, near his job. He stopped going there when two guys held a gun to his head in the parking lot and threatened to kill him because he only had change in his pocket, not real money–he spent his money in the store. They should have known to rob people on the way into the store.

  28. What is happening with the TSS on Hempstead Tpke in Levittown? It has been vacant for many years.

    • Hi the story is that it’s owned by Home Depot either for a move into it from their location in East Meadow or to keep Lowes out. Pressure is being put on them from the village of Levittown to get rid of all the rats there and develop it or sell it.

  29. I worked at the Middle Village store for a number of years in the mid-1980s while in high school and college. Seasonal, Lawn and Garden and then the Cash Office. Great memories!!

  30. I worked at TSS in Babylon, Melville, Hempstead and Elmont as Giftware Department Manager

  31. Anyone remember Bill Strickland from the Levittown TSS…late 1960’s?

  32. I worked at the the TSS in Babylon in the mid sixties, at the little shoe booth between candy and jewelry. It was fun to watch the families come in on Friday nite. Some would buy their food and push a wagon around the store til closing. It was fun to work there.

  33. Anyone remember Bill Strickland?

    He was a manager at the Levittown TSS in the late 60’s.

  34. I have fond memories of shopping with my family at the TSS store in Elmont, NY. I remember getting my first Cabbage Patch Kid there. Thank you for the sweet memory of this store.

  35. I worked in the housewares department in the Hempstead store from 1970 to 1973. Got hired for Christmas and stayed for 2 and a half years while I was in college. You parked on the roof. We would go up there and hang out on breaks and lunch or dinner.

  36. I worked in TSS Oceanside when I was like 16, I sold outdoor patio furniture, lawnmowers, BBQ grills. It was located next to the bicycles, I remember a Chinese guy working selling them. I worked with a friend of mine by the name if Mike Fruchionne, he now has been working for American Airline baggage in JFK for 20 + years. I fondly remember the entire layout of that store. And the roller skating rink in the plaza, the pizza place.

  37. in the 1970’s and 80’s I designed and supplied store fixtures for every TSS except Peninsula Blvd. Worked mainly with Trent Melara and Tom Galvin. They were great challenges and lots of fun to do. I remember the annual dress up dinners at a NYC hotel meeting George and his ex-secretary wife, Barbara. They lived on Centre Island and I lived in Bayville. Every morning when I woke up I looked right across Oyster Bay and waved hello George, “thank you for helping me send my children to college. “

  38. I remember the TSS in Hempstead. Miss that place… TD Bank stands where TSS store used to be. And before the bank, it was a video store called Hollywood Video.

  39. Hi everyone and Happy New Year,
    I remember TSS very fondly, I bought my first Micronauts there and when I was older I bought my first RUSH album there as well. I went to the store that was closest to Sayville; I miss the store very much. Thank you for all the memories! Go Islanders!!!!

  40. I worked at the TSS in Sayville on Sunrise Hwy. from August ,1985 to April, 1986 in the stationary dept. Anybody know or heard of Terri Tailor, Terry Nardo, Tori Ingram or Jeff Palermo?

    • No but heard about dennis carol passing away nights who are you i worked there too nights in candy with kit lobasso

  41. Tss sayville was a good source for star wars and gi joe action figures. Also had good soft pretzels at snack bar

  42. W Babylon tss best store to shop best pizza miss those days so much

  43. My dad was the Operations Manager for TSS, Jerry Johansen

  44. I still have a 13″ Goldstar color TV I bought from TSS on Rt 110 in Melville. I bought it for my room when I lived with my parents. At the time I think my parents thought I was a little pretentious, buying a color TV for myself. It’s also the first TV I had with a remote. I also have a Nikon 35mm camera that I bought around the same time. I still have the receipts for both and both still work. This was in 1983.

    • I worked in their corporate office located on Foster Avenue in Brooklyn, Does anyone keep in touch with Al Hondares?
      Does anyone know what happened to Billy Doremus?

  45. I thought my brother and I were about the only ones who’d reminisce about our favorite store, TSS. For a long time I hated Home Depot because it replaced my store, the TSS in Elmont. I only had a few years to make any memories here as I was born in 1981 but even in that short time it left an impact that’s remembered to this day. I remember getting toys and candy especially the wax sodas and lips. It was just a happy feeling when we went there. I never realized there were so many of them. I’m glad so many people got to experience the greatness that was TSS and are nice enough to share their experiences. Thanks for this article.

  46. Hi everyone!

    I worked at TSS in West Babylon in TV/Major Appliances from 1981-1986. They gave us an additional small commission for every item we sold in that department. Made a lot of friends, and have fond memories of the people I worked with. We started a softball team and joined a league. The company wouldn’t sponsor us, so our team name was different. Fun times back them. A 20 hr/week employee would get full medical benefits along with dental and optical, and only a few dollars per week would be deducted from our pay. The company would pay us cash (no check) in $10 increments in those little yellow envelopes, (hoping we’d buy something in the store). The people were nice and some of us still keep in touch.

  47. I remained with TSS as an assistant manager from September 1972 to March 1973. I earned $140/week. If the store earned a profit I’d get a bonus. Never saw a bonus. After six months it occurred to me that I was working six days a week a total of 67 hours. Sales clerks were making more than me. Once I figured I was merely an under paid clerk with some authority, I resigned and for a short will tried law enforcement. Within two years I was in California and a year later in graduate school. I gladly confess that whole Oceanside was lots of hard work, we had a blast. At night we would find goodies our friends left for us. We’d go over to the stereo section and bring a unit over to toys and pump up the sounds. We’d all sing at the top of our lungs. Dealing with customers sucked!

  48. Was the present Orlin & Cohen building on Sunrise Hwy in Merrick NY a TSS?

  49. Worked at TSS in late 70s great memories a lot of laughs worked at the Elmont store can still recall the layout of the store

  50. Very cool sharing the memories. I worked at the Sayville store in the mid seventies. First in the giftware dept. then transferred to automotive ( I was a motor head so that was a dream job for me). I remember Tom Grillea asst. man of auto dept. and John Schmidt who managed the marine dept. I drove a 57 Chevy wagon while working there and I used to race one of the shop mechanics in the parking lot at night ! Wish I could remember more names of the people I worked with. Maybe some will respond to this post.

  51. Anyone know what happened to Helen Sembroff who was the record dept manager in babylon and melville? Or Michael Brewer from the Melville record dept?

  52. Wow!!! Great site. I worked in TSS Sayville store around 1980-84. Great memories. Great people worked there. Coffee shop in the front where everyone took there 15 min break. Pizza and pretzels on the other side. I use to walk to work till I bought a car Haven’t seen most of to people since I left there

  53. My friends and I used to call TSS the “Happy Store” because they always had what you needed PLUS other things you didn’t know you needed–all at a great price.

  54. I use to go to the TSS in Oceanside
    It was a great store. It had everything from Lionel Trains tropical fish and my best friends first chiropractic office that was set up near the barber shop if I remember correctly. That was about 1976 or so
    Living in long beach at the time it was the closest dept store to my home.
    Which was a lot better driving to Roosevelt field
    Recently here in Florida I came across an old TSS Montauk fixing rod that” was made by fisherman for fisherman” which was their logo

    I will be refinishing it for my collectio

  55. Someone just placed a game show with commercials included to YouTube days ago, and the very first commercial is a very brief TSS ad:

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=qaidylkfpg8

    Once I saw the boroughs mentioned it caught my attention! I’m so used to A&S, Woolworth, Odd Job, Job Lot, Mays, etc as a child…

  56. I have great memories shopping with my family at the Sayville TSS. Mom would shop at Waldbaums and my three brothers and I would run through TSS for a couple of hours. Many firsts at TSS; first hockey stick, first record purchased (VH Fair Warning), first family photo,etc. OMG…great, great memories of TSS in Sayville. I vividly remember the sports section next to the record store. Ironically, two weeks ago, at a garage sale, I was looking through some records and there was a small bag between two lp’s, I pulled it out and it was a TSS Record World bag with receipt attached to the bag. It brought back a flood of great memories. Long Live TSS!

  57. Made plenty of trips with my fam to the Oceanside location throughout the 70’s. Wasn’t it right across the street from a giant landfill??

    I believe I got my first bicycle there in 1972. Sparkly gold banana seat and all! I can still remember the smell of that lobby when you first walked in. Probably similar to what you smell when you walk into a Target store these days….lol.

    Speaking of that lobby, as a kid I looooved that wall of vending machines. Funny what you remember, but I was fascinated by the candy machine that had a “pot luck” selection. You took a chance of getting anything in the machine. lol

  58. My friends and I used to call TSS in Hempstead “The Happy Store”. You could go in there for one thing and come out with great stuff you didn’t know you needed –all at a great price.

  59. Levittown tss has been torn down this week. No info on what is going there. More long island history lost ….jolly Rogers /tss/pergaments/bohacks/Johns bargain store/waldbaums/Copiague drive in/nunleys/etc etc etc….

  60. Holy Mackerels, TSS! My grandfather used to take me to the location in Hempstead back in the late 70’s early 80’s. I would have been around 4-6 years old! Thank you for this 🙂

  61. TSs Babylon is now kmart.

  62. The grocery department used to sell krasdale if it waz leased by c town.

 Leave a Reply