It’s hard to find a Long Islander from decades past who doesn’t remember shopping at Korvette’s. One of the first discount department stores to emerge from the 1950s, they are best remembered for their low prices and, perhaps surprisingly, their outstanding music departments. Once plentiful on the Island, they sadly never made it out of the 1970s.

E.J. Korvette department stores, commonly referred to as Korvette’s, were the brainchild of a WWII veteran named Eugene Ferkauf, who first entered the retail business back in 1948. At the time, due to various fair trade laws, department stores were required to offer goods at the manufactured suggested retail price.

Ferkauf decided to challenge these laws, and as a result, was able to sell products at a significant discount. Sales increased steadily into the 1950s, encouraging the company to open a flagship 90,000 square foot store on Long Island in 1954, in the town of Westbury, only a few miles from bustling Levittown.


The impressive department store carried everything from furniture, housewares and clothing, to sporting goods, electronics and one of the most extensive collections of discounted music available. You may also remember that every Korvette’s location had a pretzel stand out front, which were not only quite tasty, but also made a lot of money.

More locations followed, in places such as West Islip, Hempstead and Lake Grove, eager to lure cost-conscious shoppers from these blossoming suburban communities. The stores were clean and inviting, and soon became a favorite place to shop among middle and working class locals, thanks to prices that were consistently 10-20% lower than the major department stores.


Perhaps most notably, Korvette’s prided itself in offering an extensive collection of records and tapes that rivaled the selection of places like Sam Goody, but at a fraction of the cost. For many a Long Island 70s Kid, Korvette’s was the go-to place when you had a few bucks to spend on a new album or a couple of 45s.

But cracks were starting to show in the business model throughout the 70s. One of the biggest mistakes the company made was partnering with a small local supermarket chain called Hills. They were unprepared to handle the demand from the department stores and made very little profit from the joint venture.

Likewise, the furniture business, which was outsourced to a fledgling manufacturer turned into a major headache for Korvette’s when they were unable keep up with demand, leaving the retailer to clean up the mess.


Besides the record department, the only other area that Korvette’s did quite well in was consumer electronics, especially in regard to their own brand, called XAM, which offered stereo receivers, amplifiers, turntables, etc. Most of the equipment was made by a relatively unknown electronics company in Japan at the time called Roland.

Despite the fact that Korvette’s had over fifty locations in the 1970s, spread out as far as St. Louis and Chicago, and despite their efforts to market extensively on television throughout the decade, the company declared bankruptcy in 1980, closing every single location.

But while the days of discount shopping at Korvette’s came to a close, the memories are still strong among both the millions of former customers on Long Island, and the countless employees that worked there over the years, many of whom count Korvette’s as one of their fondest employers. The impact of Korvette’s on Long Island, and on the retail industry in general, will not soon be forgotten.

If you were a former Korvette’s shopper, perhaps spent countless hours browsing their record department, or a former employee, I hope you’ll take a few moments to share all of your recollections in our comments section below, as we pay tribute to an extinct store that once dotted the landscape across New York.

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122 Responses

  1. john darmiento says:

    I worked there stocking and selling Eve Nelson cosmetics It was a great place to meet girls and buy records

    • Gary says:

      I worked as a stock clerk at the korvettes in west islip from 1974 until about 1979, I was in the small appliance department, linens, ladies langerie and pharmaceutical dept, it was a great first job for a 16 year old.

  2. Dino says:

    I saw a guy run out of the Korvettes by the smithahven mall with a stack of records (even had the metal rack thing and sign attached), he was tackled in the pk lot by security lol, i guess they really needed the loss prevention considering their final outcome..

  3. Barry says:

    When I was a kid, I remember going to the Korvettes store in the Mid Island (Broadway) Mall. The store was originally Kleins, and changed to Korvettes sometime in the mid 70s. When the store closed in 1980, my family and I went to shop around for some close out items. My parents bought me a little orange b&w television set, the first ever in my room. It lasted about 5 or 10 years before the reception started to decline. It wasn’t until the 90s when I finally got a color tv in my room!

    The Korvettes store in the mall remained vacant for a number of decades until IKEA moved in, and it’s still there now. Every time I go to IKEA, all my Korvettes memories come back to me, and I remember my first ever b&w tv set!

    • Al says:

      I remember Kleins.

    • Dominick F. says:

      I remember going there as a kid as well in the late 70’s/early 80’s. There’s one instance that sticks out in my mind when I was there once……….I remember just about to use the elevator with my mother, and seeing on the top where it would show the floor number, there were wires sticking out of that spot, and there was no sign saying it was out of order. Needless to say, we didn’t use it.

      • Page says:

        Oh my god!! I remember that elevator!!! I looked up and saw those wires and freaked out!!

      • Page says:

        I remember that elevator!! I actually got into it with my brother and sister and I didn’t see the wires until we started moving. When I looked up and saw them I freaked out!! When The elevator moved it made a horrible squeaking noise!

  4. Eric says:

    I grew up in the Bronx. I shopped at the Pelham store and the Yonkers store often. My mother, uncle, cousin, and finally I worked for Korvettes over the years. I worked in the Pelham store until just before it went out of business. I have many fun memories both shopping there and working there.

  5. johnny says:

    I browsed, hung & shopped the Korvettes in Pelham Manor, it seemed like we went there for everything, including the Trammps Disco Inferno album, before Saturday Night Fever came out, an older friend of mine, his girlfriend lived behind the pancake house, and i would go browse while he was visiting her, then we used to go bowling at the loyal inn

  6. Ron keeler says:

    Yes, Carle Place was 90,000 square feet, but only 60,000 of it was selling.

  7. Linda says:

    My friend Roni & I saw John Travolta at Korvettes in Levittown NY in 1977..a MOB of screaming girls when he came out on the roof & broke into his famous BARBARINO dance from Welcome Back Kotter..so memorable..

    • Robert says:

      Korvettes never had a store in Levittown.

      • Ron Keeler says:

        and what was called Westbury was actually the Carle Place store. Localities were referred to by the nearest larger town. Bailey’s Cross Roads, VA was often referred to as the Falls Church store.

    • Mary says:

      I remember seeing john travolta on the roof of korvettes doing his barbarino dance. I think he was on the roof cause they didn’t expect so many screaming teens. The actually snuck him out dressed as a police officer and took him to the 2nd precinct in syosset. I saw him dressed and in the back of a police car as he drive down east drive in Woodbury to get to the precinct!!

      • Scott says:

        Someone on another site for the mall claims they waited for hours to see Travolta only to be turned away and the appearance semi-canceled (or totally) due to the massive crowds, or something. But it was definitely Mid Island Plaza, Hicksville.

    • Scott Briggs says:

      I think this was at the Hicksville Korvettes at Mid-Island Plaza Mall (now Broadway Mall), or so I read elsewhere a few years ago. My parents brought me a few years earlier to meet Leonard Nimoy at the same store, had to wait on a pretty long line inside the back of the store, a few thousand people there at least, to my memory, and Leonard Nimoy finally appeared and walked down the line and shook everybody’s hand, including my dad’s and mine. It was a total goof. Nimoy seemed genuinely happy to be there. I cannot recall what he was promoting, if anything, for the appearance. I recall hearing about the John Travolta appearance. I saw Saturday Night Fever in the theater with my mom and aunt in 77 or 78 but it was the lame, censored version. “There’s a bus leaving in ten minutes, Kotter…. be under it”

  8. Bob D. says:

    Remember when stores were actually closed on Sunday! We used to ride our minibikes and go carts in the EJ Corvettes parking lot in Douglaston Queens.

    • Larry says:

      Wow. Remember it well was there every Sunday with my mini bike or go cart..great times..

    • Larry says:

      Wow I also remember riding my mini bike and go cart in korvetts parking lot in dougalston..great times…multi level parking lot was wonderful

    • Larry says:

      Remember it well was there every week also with my mini bike or go cart. Great times

  9. TruthInSound says:

    Our ‘local’ Korvettes was in Port Chester, NY! We’re from southwestern CT. I’m pleading with anyone who has photographs of the Port Chester store – interior as well as exterior – to post them up, either here or on any site devoted to the great American discount department store. They are a dying bread, and Target and Kohls cannot compare to the likes of Caldor, Bradlees, and E.J. Korvettes.

    My folks’ bad habit – cigarettes – was what introduced this little ’70s boy to Korvettes forty years ago, and I still have vague memories of the visual style and layout of the inside of the store. Records and electronics were downstairs, as was the Christmas section in season. I miss it so much, as the quality of merchandise, from clothing to boom boxes to sporting goods and garden and lawn equipment, was better than the made-in-China stuff they sell today.

    After Korvettes, Portchester became home to a Caldor, and finally, Kohls. It’s just not the same now.

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree with this plea .

      I vividly remember the Christmas shoppe on the first level where Ulta now is. ( Cira 1976 ) this was prior to the Mens dept expanding into the vacant Pergament.

  10. Anonymous says:

    I worked in the pelham store also in the 7O’s boy did I have fun

  11. Mark B says:

    I remember shopping the Korvettes in Commack when I was a kid. It seemed nicer than Modells but not as upscale as the larger department stores. I think that location was a Kleins, then a Korvettes, then Gertz, then Sterns and finally Macy’s.

    • Brad says:

      The Commack store was our Korvette’s, and indeed, it had been a Klein’s before that. It certainly wasn’t the most sophisticated looking of places, but the unusual bargains one could find strewn about the shelves! My most vivid memory is from the mid-70’s, when I was nine or ten. One afternoon, a friend’s mom called my mother to say that we had to go with them to Korvette’s right away. My mom got off the phone puzzled, and told me the reason: “She said that Dr. Spock is there, and you’d want to meet him. Why would you want to see Dr. Spock?” That friend and I were avid Trekkies, and of course, it was not the famous pediatrician whom my friend’s mom meant, but rather Leonard Nimoy — as I explained. Indeed, we rushed on over there to get on the long line, and as we were standing there so far back that we couldn’t yet see him, a woman came around saying something like, “This is disappointing! He just looks like a normal guy! He doesn’t even have the ears on!”

      • Robert says:

        I was a newspaper photographer back then and I was there that day to cover Leonard Nimoy being there at the Hicksville store at Mid-Island Plaza.

    • Guy says:

      Thank you, I was wracking my brain out trying to remember where Korvette’s had been in Commack. I think I was confusing it with a store in the Mayfair Shopping Center, maybe a Gimbel’s Department Store?

    • Do you remember if there was a pet Dept? A friend remembers one, but I don’t.

  12. Rick Jack says:

    I loved the Carl Place store. It had the best toy and hobby department. I was always riding my bicycle there to buy models. Then I was buying my first set of golf clubs one at a time, bought a swimming pool, a Beagle mix puppy for $10 which was a wonderful dog. I remember buying sneakers for $1.99 before they became a fad and designer rip off.
    In the later years, there was a Hills supermarket connected to the western side of the store, it was kinda like a super Walmart is today.
    I have great memories from the days before texting and computers, it was sure fun to be alive back in those days. I miss all the old stores like Masters, TSS, Mays, A&S, Gimbles, and the 5&10’s. I grew up in GCP.

    • Robert says:

      The Hills/Korvettes Supermarket wasn’t connected to the Carle Place Korvettes store, but was about 200′ west of it. The Korvettes dept. store building is long gone, but the supermarket bldg. is still there, now occupied by the Ideal Restaurant Supply business, and flip-flopped where the entrance used to face Westbury Avenue now faces Voice Road.

      • Pattie Baker says:

        I loved this store. I rode my bike there, too. I used to get charms soldered onto my charm bracelet in the jewelry department. My friend and I use to sneak dips in the pools in the parking lot on hot summer days. I am about to travel 900 miles to ride my bike throughout Mineola (plus the Carle Place Korvettes location and Roosevelt Field) again for the epilogue to my book, Traveling at the Speed of Bike (travelingatthespeedofbike.com). You may enjoy. The 1st chapter includes those 1970s bike riding memories, which may remind you of some more of yours.

      • JR says:

        Was the now-defunct Waldbaums part of that? And now there are two hotels where Korvettes was.

  13. Steve says:

    I remember the Korvette store in Hempstead in the early 1950’s. It used to be a Grand Union supermarket that closed.

  14. JCJohnsong says:

    I was a child during the 1970s and remember going with my mom to both Korvette’s Dept Store and Hills Supermarkets … but oddly do not remember the two being combined.

    We lived in Valley Stream originally and moved to Seaford as I got a little older and mom would shop at a Hills near both homes. When we moved to Seaford there was a Hills in nearby Massapequa only blocks away. We even met a store owner who used to have a small variety and beauty store near the first Hills we lived near who had opened one in the shopping area near the second Hills we moved near.

    So it was almost like not moving when we went to the new Hills because the other small store owner was at the new location right next door and we could shop at both stores again (she chose the location because her small store always did well near the other Hills near Valley Stream).

    But Hills (and Korvettes were coming to an end I guess as the Hills closed near the end of the 70s) so her store ended up closing around when Hills closed. That Hills was never located near a Korvettes so it never had the combo Hills/Korvette sign outside. I did not shop at the Valley Stream area store after we moved as it was a 30 minute drive away. I do not recall where the Korvette was located that we shopped at … but I cannot remember a Hills attached to it. I still have a couple of small KORVETTE plastic shopping bags as my mom stored things in bags and they were never thrown out over the years. luckily they were not empty … dad was always throwing out empty bags my mom saved … he didn’t se them as sentimental … just garbage. Mom used to have an old Wetsons platic bag in her car (had moved it from glove compartment to glove compartment … but dad threw it out a few years ago. Ahhhhh … I could scream. If I had known he was going to do that I would have taken it out and saved it myself.

    Anyway back to Korvettes …
    It seems Korvettes came up with the idea of having a supermarket BEFORE they merged with Hills and the merger was an attempt to save them after running the supermarket themselves (and it was pulling them down). So Korvettes may have had more to do with killing Hills then Hills did with killing Korvettes. Whatever the case may be … Hills improved the situation but left soon after when Korvettes merged again.

    I miss BOTH stores. My mom died this summer and many memories died with her … I could always remember some little flash of a thing and I would mention it to her and she would add more information …. and then a FLOOD of memories would come to my mind. Without her … all I have are the tiny flashes … no more floods of memories. They are in my mind … but it she seems she always had the keys to open the past memory food gates (and those ‘keys’ died with her).

    Some info about Hills (who it appears was growing and expanding nicely and healthily before the merger) …

    The real downturn seems to come AFTER Hills owner Hilliard J. Coan leaves the company and Korvettes merges with (Charles Bassine and) Spartan Industries.

    Korvette founder Eugene Ferkauf’s decision to merge with Charles Bassine (ie Spartan Industries) when Hills founder Hilliard Coan left … appears to be what put the nail in the coffin for Korvettes … not the Hills merger …

  15. Angelo Cola says:

    My Mother worked for E,J, Korvette so did my sister and brorther but at different times we live in Carle Place the store just down the road I brought my girl a engagement ring back then and gave to her Christmas we got married 1975 we were married 39 years until she pass away in March of 2014 .

  16. Tony from Long Island says:

    I bought way more records there than at Sam Goody’s! Great deals on Tommy by The Who, The Beatles’ Hey Jude album, Alice Cooper –– it was a great time.

    • Steve says:

      Bought my first Alice Cooper album at the one by Smith haven mall when I was 12. Been a fan ever since.

      • Dave says:

        I got my first LP, Who’s Next, at the Lke Grove Korvette’s. I had heard the intro to “Won’t Get Fooled Again” on a TV commercial for WNEW-FM, and I took a guess that that was the song on the record.

  17. tom kerwick says:

    i worked at Korvettes in Lake Grove…around 1969-1971…manager in Sports Dept was Pat Padalino….manager my dept was ronny…store assistant manager was Armand Tommasini..store manager was Mr. Kimmelman…great friends and employees were Dave Detlefson, Cliff in Records, Ronny, Dave in Hardware, Mike , Frank…Bernie in security, Joe in snack bar…great memories and great people….

    • Michelle says:

      Hi Tom,
      My name is Michelle and my mom worked for Korvettes in Lake Grove around that time.. not sure when she started working there. Her name was Lillian Bellavia. Maybe you remember her? Sadly she passed away in 2009. She loved working there. I remember going to work with her and walking across the road to the mall to pass time. She kept merchandise bags from the store and I still have them. Good memories..

      • Tina says:

        Hi Michelle, I certainly remember your mom Lillian, one of the nicest people working there. She was a very sweet lady. I worked at Korvettes in Lake Grove from September 1978 until they closed in October 1980 while attending SUNY Stony Brook. I started as a cashier and then was promoted to Night Office Manager. They still had a coffee shop and an optical store when I started. Good times and great memories from that place. We had a Christmas party at the Water Mill in Smithtown one year and then had a reunion party at the same place after they closed. I hope you are well. I enjoyed reading your post. Tina

  18. tom kerwick says:

    oh yeah…Bill in warehouse…Mike Derosa in Hardware

  19. tom kerwick says:

    and the famous Steve Cascione…i love him

  20. Bill says:

    I remember the Hills supermarket right near Korvettes. My brother and I helped people to their cars with their packages for tips while my mother shopped. We did pretty well. I don’t think kids would be able to do that today or would want to. We can also add Pathmark and Waldbaums to the list of failed supermarkets. who would have thought?

  21. Dan says:

    Bought my first LP in the West Islip store in 1963. Chad and Jeremy’s ” Yesterday’s Gone”! Second purchase “Meet the Beatles”

  22. Richard Mondello says:

    I joined EJ Korvette after high school, at the pilot store on
    44th st. In 1961 in NYC. after just one year I was
    promoted to the West Orange, New Jersey store. I spent
    7 years at Korvette. it was the foundation of my career.
    I later became self employed for 35 years. There will never
    Be another EJ Korvette.
    Mr.Ferkoff was quite a man.

  23. Richard Mondello says:

    Great company.
    Mr. Furkoff was a great man. Thank you, Mr. Fern .

  24. Richard Mondello says:

    The Fifth Ave. store was a milestone accomplishment.
    What a great company.
    At times I get tears in my eyes, thinking back.

  25. Jeannine Regis says:

    Jeannine said
    I brought Save the last dance for me L. P.
    from the Defranco family and I love Tony
    Defranco and the Defranco family and I
    love E J Korvettes because Save the
    last dance for me by the Defranco family
    was 4.99 at the store and I wish E J
    korvette come back to Staten Island
    to stay because I love the store

  26. Anonymous says:

    I remember shopping at the bayshore store on LI,NY. I loved the store and it was such a treat to go.

  27. eileen apple says:

    I remember the Bayshore store. I remember my mom taking me there as a kid. It was just full of stuff. I wish they would come back and come here to Florida.

  28. R C Goad says:

    My father worked for E.J. Korvette in West Orange, NJ during the early 60’s. He lost his job there when they wanted to hire a member of the family that either managed it, owned it – whatever – and replaced my father. He was rather devastated until he found other work and had a real dislike of the place after that.
    I know there’s 2 sides to every story but it taught me a very early lesson about how replaceable you can be at a job, no matter how hard a worker you are.

  29. Amy says:

    We went to the Korvettes right near us all the time in South Huntington in the same plaza as the big mall (and I remember when that was built!) between New York Avenue and Rt 110. I didn’t remember until you mentioned it, but now I can see the music department in my mind. I bought all my records there. They were so cheap! Now I understand why. I remember albums being $4-7 there. I can picture most of the store. I think we spent a lot of time there. I also remember Hills Supermarket I think, though we went a lot to King Kullen across the street. I don’t remember a pretzel stand there, though. Maybe our store didn’t have one.

    One memory I have is being a teenager and being about to pull into a spot out front when a little zippy sports car cut me off and pulled in my spot. The owner dashed out into the store without looking at me. I was so angry. I went in the store, did my shopping, and also bought some paper, tape, and a marker. I checked to make sure the jerk was still in the store. I wrote on the paper in large letters something like, “YOU’RE AN ASSHOLE.” I taped it across his windshield and quickly left. I wish I had a hidden camera to see his reaction!

  30. John L. says:

    Worked at the Douglaston store part time after school and as a second job for 6 years. Made a lot of friends there. One of my best friends was manager of the record department and this pretty girl comes in as Christmas help. He tells me “see that girl, I’m gonna marry her some day”. He did and they’re still married and put two girls through college.

    • Mike Schinasi says:

      I worked in the Douglaston store in the 70’s in the linen dept then on the loading dock. My mother was a cashier their as well

  31. Carl Cruz says:

    I at times worked in the Hills Supermarket where EJ Korvettes was above it on the upper level & lower level in Douglasten Queens NY. Korvettes also opened a store in Main St Flushing Queens NY. I bought alot of Abba albums in their record Dept and electronics. Miss those times. Hills shut down in the fall of 1978.

  32. Dan says:

    And then there’s the rumor – repeated frequently when I was a kid – that the chain got its name because it was founded by “Eight Jewish Korean Veterans.”

    • Anonymous says:

      Rumor yes but Not true. Wiki it. The Founders were Erving and Joe. EJ. The business was started in 1948. Before the Korean War.

    • JR says:

      I remember a High School teacher telling us that fable! Eight Jewish Korean War Veterans – all from wholesale backgrounds partnering and making a retail store.

  33. marianne b says:

    I remember shopping in Korvette’s in Huntington. It was my mother’s go to store for everything. I remember that the television department was right by the front entrance and it had big advertisements for Cinema 100 pay tv (cable) at one point. I know I got toys there and I believe my first pair of glasses.

  34. Michael says:

    Hi, any possibility someone remembers Elsa originally from Baldwin who worked at Westbury ( Old Country Rd. ) store for many years ( 20? ). Would love to find her, not a stalker or anything. Thanks, Michael.

  35. Michael says:

    Grew up in West Hempstead, and the Korvette’s on Hempstead Turnpike was in West Hempstead not Hempstead. And I do remember it being a S. Klein’s store before that. And Yes they did have a great Music (Record) Dept. I remember going throught all the albums ( wow remember those?) We also had a Hills store in West Hempstead that was on Woodfield Road ( Across from Dairy Barn). That store was there intil the early 70’s ( I believe) until it burnt down.

    • Lori Quaresimo says:

      I grew up in West Hempstead too but moved to Elmont when I was almost 11. I lived on Spruce Street off of Hempstead Ave. I also lived on Roy St. off of Nassau Blvd. I only remember Kleins in West Hempstead. I don’t remember Korvettes in West Hempstead. I don’t remember Hills either. I lived in West Hempstead from 1966 to 1973 so maybe that’s why.

  36. Bill says:

    Worked in the toy department in lake grove for a number of Christmas seasons. I remember my first experience with a “toy craze” over the batman alarm clock in 1974. They couldn’t keep them in the store and wrote hundreds of rain checks, once when a case of the elusive toys came in, it caused a near riot in the store.

  37. Lori Quaresimo says:

    I remember Korvettes. I only remember the one in Westbury. My grandmother lived down the road in Carle Place. My Uncle worked at Korvettes. My mother bought furniture from Korvettes and they delivered to our house. This was in 1967. My mother also did some Christmas shopping there. At that time we lived in West Hempstead and at that time Kleins was still there and within walking distance. The last time I visited Long Island I couldn’t believe how much West Hempstead had changed. No more Kleins, no more Wetsons, they put in 2 McDonald’s. What a change. Even the library moved. Hall’s pond was still there but it stank and there was a sign that said you aren’t allowed to feed the ducks anymore. I can remember going to Hall’s pond with a loaf of bread to feed the ducks. I saw Carvelle’s was still there across the street. A&S in Hempstead was being torn down and TSS was gone. So was the old Hempstead Bus Terminal. My sister used to be the supervisor at the Telephone Company in Hempstead. Oh the memories of a better time.

  38. laszlo Szak says:

    In 1969 at the Douglaston Queens store they had a wonderful large
    art gallery. I bought 2 Salvador Dali hand signed lithographs, I paid
    $30 each & I have everlasting gratitude to Korvettes.


    • Jerry Jaffe says:

      The art gallery was short-lived from what I recall. It was located on the roof level of the parking lot of all places . And It also had carpeting !

    • Karl Schnur says:

      Worked part-time in the radio department for awhile during high school. Loved the smell and ambiance of the rooftop art gallery. Seemed out of place, but I would wander thru it for an escape.

    • Lanny says:

      Many of those have been proven fakes since. They still circulate however.

  39. Chris Russell says:

    My father managed the electronics/camera dept in Hicksville, ran promtions & displays in Commack, and was promoted to personnel mgr in the main offices in the city (off 6th Ave, if I remember). He had advance notice of the bankruptcy, so he moved us off the Island in late ’79. I never wanted to leave (I was 11), and always loved my time hanging out in Korvettes. He gave me $5 once to go with him to Huntington and play the new Atari games to drum up sales!

  40. Tracey says:

    My sister worked at the Carle Place location when she was in high school. We lived in Mineola. I remember being enamored of the record department, which I would peruse when I came along for the ride when my parents drove over to pick her up. I distinctly remember Rod Stewart’s “Do Ya Think I’m Sexy” being all the rage and them having a big display with the album. I also vaguely recall in the same building, or close by, was BOCES, where high school kids went to learn trades (hairdressing, auto-repair, etc…).

    • Tom Wolf says:

      I also lived in Mineola and us young teens would ride our bikes there to buy the latest Beatles LPs , I think they cost $2 or $3. It seems they had everything you needed in the store. BOCES came quite a bit later in the same building i believe. Mom and Dad would shop at Hills to the west on Friday night for the weeks groceries.

  41. Andrew A. Fernandez Jr. says:

    the walmart of yesteryear.

  42. Andrew A. Fernandez Jr. says:

    same was tss,modells,whites,billy blake,great eastern,two guys,pergaments of bethpage and woolco.

  43. Ginny (Macias)Gobetz says:

    I worked at the Korvette’s Carle Place store from 1968 to 1977.I started out in the refund/credit/gift wrap department.Then the powers that were decided to move it up to the main office,when That occurred I was given the opportunity to learn how to do the store’s payroll.I was able to use this experience later on in new positions.Working there was like working with family and I loved it.I remember Tommy Watts in the men’s department.Irene in the perfume department Nora Murphy in linens and my “Boss Lady”Ann Ecklund my office manager,and so many,many others.I was young and had a great time there.

  44. Dennjs says:

    I worked at the Korvettes in the Massapequa Mall from 1974 to 1977 in the record department. Loved the job. The dept had a huge wall in alphabetical order of all the albums. The stock room organized albums by record label. So you needed to who recorded on what label. Ended up dating the cashier and now we are married 37years
    Dept had a great selection of music contemporary classic jazz etc…they were great years. And we would get Orange Julius during our breaks…..

    • Jill P says:

      Yippee! Someone remembers the one in the Sunrise Mall in Massapequa! It hadn’t been mentioned prior to your message. I remember buying a 45…my 1st 45 purchase (maybe you or your wife helped me). I road my bike home from the mall, it was real windy & the 45 cracked. Damned if I didn’t go home & play it anyhow. Scary thing…I may still have it.

    • Kevin Clark says:

      I worked in the Sunrise Mall store as well. I started in women’s lingerie. Boss was Mr. Vitale. Good times.

  45. Tim M. says:

    I went to the one in Commack. How could no one mention the GAME ROOM there . Every kid in the world was there playing pinball and. Video games . Didn’t they use to have a ticketron there too ?

  46. Al says:

    I remember going there with my mom, and dad back in the 60’s. It was in, or close to White Plains, NY. The first place I actually bought my mom a Christmas present with my own money. A cuckoo clock. It remained in her living room till the day she died in 2012. Good times!!

  47. Carle says:

    I used to buy all my ABBA albums and 45’s in the Douglasten Korvettes- the Hills Suiermarket was at the lower level of Korvettes & the lower parking lot level. My father at times worked on the Meat Dept of that Hills & I as a part time cashier. There were NO Scanners then- just old push button keyboard registers!!! I also bought my first stereo and record
    player in Korvettes. Good times- today’s stores don’t equate to it!!!

  48. Scott says:

    I spent many hours shopping in the Commack Korvettes with my family. Remember the records section fondly. My best memory was meeting Leonard Nimoy (Spock) there. I was so disappointed that he wasn’t really a Vulcan. But I flashed him the Vulcan greeting and he reciprocated with ” Live long and Prosper” RIP Leonard.

  49. Mark Riendeau says:

    My dad brought me almost every weekend to the Runnemede NJ store. This was in the late sixties and early seventies. Bought dozens of GI Joes, pants, shoes, my first motorcycle helmet, a funky five speed stingrayesque bike with ram’s horn bars, etc etc. Those were definitely the days. I miss Korvettes a lot.

  50. LP says:

    Friday evening (Dad’s pay day) meant our weekly trip out to Five Towns on Rockaway Turnpike to go food shopping at Hills with a stop at Korvette’s for whatever Mom or Dad needed or a toy or record for me. I specifically remember getting the Birthday House album (anybody remember THAT show!?). I loved the ride out, passing by JFK Airport on the way…as long as we were back in time for me to watch The Partridge Family…..

  51. Gabe says:

    My friends and I would walk to Korvettes in the Trumbull CT Mall back in the day best record department a great place to shop you could find almost anything you wanted many great memories

  52. Dan says:

    I worked at the Carle Place store from 1971-1973. My first job was as
    store announcer at 17 years old. We had a great bunch of coworkers at that store. It was a fun store to work at .

  53. Rich G. says:

    I worked in the Westbury store for a few years in the early 70’s. Started out in hardware part-time, then went to manager training and was promoted to smoke shop manager. Did that for a year or two, but retail wasn’t for me and found a job in graphic design. All my memories of working there are wonderful and will be with me the rest of my life.

  54. Mike says:

    I worked in the sporting goods department in the South Huntington Korvette’s in the summer of 1970, shortly after returning from Vietnam. They paid me a bit more because I was a veteran, which was nice. But I got canned for getting in a spat with my girlfriend, who worked the nearby customer service counter. Ah, well. The following summer I worked at TSS/Levittown, also in sporting goods. Fond memories of that era.

  55. I lived in Huntington/Halesite near kitty’s sand hill, I remember the Chicken Coup Resturant & I think it was called the big Apple grocery store, but what I miss the most is my 1st grade classmates in 1968 especially the twin sisters jean n Joan I believe are their names ? Would like very much to reconnect

  56. Joseph Siry says:

    Does anyone remember Joanne Vasallo from the Huntington llcation ?

  57. WH-er says:

    West Hempstead Korvettes is where I spend much of my early teen years. We used to buy 45s for less than a dollar. You’d order it by number from the top 100 list of 45s they stocked.
    There was a fruit stand Caledonia’s ? attached to the building but mom thought it was nasty. Hills was a mile or two west on Hempstead Avenue, that’s where she went food shopping. Never realized the two were related.

  58. I worked at the Korvettes in Douglaston, NY as a Senior in High School and throughout attending Queens College from 1974-1979. I applied at many stores for a part time job at the time, Mays, Gertz, Macys and Korvettes where I got an immediate interview. The Personnel Manager (yes that’s what they were called not HR) said he would like to hire me but I was 16 and didn’t turn 17 until August ( I applied in June) and since the store was open until 10 I would need “Working Papers” to work that late. I told him thank you and rushed to the NYC Dept of Health in Jamaica Queens to get the ” Working Papers” and rushed back to the store at about 4PM. He was shocked that I came back the same day and hired me to work in the Linens Dept. and I could start the next day at 10AM. When I came in the next morning he said “Kevin we have a change of plans”. My heart sank thinking something bad then he sad “We’re going to put you in the Audio/TV Department instead of Linens.” I couldn’t believe it of course. What teenage kid who loves music and hobby was Audio wouldn’t want to work there. I made minimum wage of $2.75/HR PLUS “SPIFFS” which was like commissions on certain merchandise and I can honestly say I came home with $300 pay checks for working 24 hours a week during Christmas, That money financed my hikng trip to Europe the next year. I loved working there. I made lifelong friends that we still get together today working there. With my newly minted Driver’s License and my 1971 Dodge Dart (no it wasn’t sexy but you don’t question your parents when your Mom gets a new car and you get the hand me down.) I loved driving around Long Island a lot of the Employees in Douglaston lived in Nassau because it was close to the city line. I would drive to other Korvetes just to see what they were like. I went to Carle Place which I called the Westbury store I knew that was the first suburban store Ferkauf opened. Then HIcksville, Lake Ronkonkama, Smithtown, Bay Parkway and even Staten Island. When my friend and I went to Washington, D.C. in 1976 to celebrate the bicentennial since he worked for Budget Rent A Car we got a car which I insisted we drive around the Beltway looking for Korvettes stores and found Rockville, MD. When I graduated Colllege I was recruited by Hertz Rent A Car as a manager and could not resist the salary and the company car and left Korvettes still with many of my friends behind. The 1980 bankruptcy hurt me and I went back to visit my store, many of my friends had left already but what killed me was the devotion of the Full Timers that started working in the 1950’s and 1960’s closing down the store. Since leaving Korvettes I’ve worked for Hertz, was a Passenger Relations Manager for Trans World Airlines lost that when TWA merged with American Airlines in 2000 then went to a similar position at Northwest Airlines but also was furloughed when they merged with Delta Airlines in 2008. Believe it or not I went back to Hertz Rent A Car as a manager. Now with the COVID and Hertz’s Bankruptcy I was offered an attractive early retirement buy our which I accepted. One thing I want to make very clear, the best job I ever had was at Korvettes. I learned work ethic, dealing with the public, learned corporate society skills which I used on all my other jobs throughout my life. But most of all is the life long friends I made there.I forget the the name of that Personnel Manager but I owe him a debt of gratitude for hiring me that day. I’m going to let my Douglaston friends about this website. Oh and the most important thing our Record Department rocked! Fortunately Audio was next to Records in Douglaston. We were as good or even better than Sam Goodys!

  59. Ron Keeler says:

    and what was called Westbury was actually the Carle Place store. Localities were referred to by the nearest larger town. Bailey’s Cross Roads, VA was often referred to as the Falls Church store.

  60. Stewart Gooderman says:

    Being a Brooklyn boy, I frequented the downtown Brooklyn store. My first outing alone without my parents was when I was 12 and went to Korvettes to by the cast album of Camelot in 1962. I used to wait for the sales on cast albums and go down and buy a few. The albums were naked with letters: C, D, E, F. Originally when there was a sale, the C albums were $1.99, the D were $2.49, the E were $2.99, and the F’s were $3.49. Of course, as the years went by, the prices went up. But it was the best place to buy records.

  61. Anonymous says:

    Yep. Loved Korvette’s in Commack as a kid. It was a Klein’s first, I have very early memories of that store, but much clearer ones once it became Korvette’s. Saved up my allowance to go and buy records there.

  62. Linda Gambino says:

    I worked at Korvettes in the early ‘70’s as a Pet Advisor in the Pet Department. It would be there that I learned how to make correct change before the advent of digital cash registers that did the math for you. I was 17 at the time. The Pet Department had Macaw parrots and a Rhesus monkey to name a couple of the more exotic animals. I learned to give both cages a wide berth when passing lest I get nipped by the parrot or grabbed by the monkey. Those were the days my friend!

  63. Alice says:

    I grew up in West Hempstead off of Westminster Rd, right around the corner from Korvettes. Walked there all the time. Spent a lot of time in the pet and toy departments. They had a lot of interactive things set up like hockey and pool tables. Loved the record department too. They had lots of great posters to choose from. Still remember them having that iconic Farrah poster. Of course I bought a John Travolta poster. I also remember when a kid got caught in the escalater. And they had a fire too that killed all the animals in the pet department. That was sad. When they closed down, the building was bought/leased by a neighbor of mine. The Kiley’s opened Shoppers Village. I remember the iles were named after family members. The 2 kids, Scott and Courtney had isles named for them. Loved when the Clyde Beaty/Cole Bros Circus came to town and set up in the parking lot in the 80s. Spent way too much of my youth running around Corvettes but it was something to do and so much fun! Miss those days. Great pizza and bagels right across to the street too. I went on to work for Gardner’s Village and Genovese. Loved growing up in West Hempstead!

  64. Alice says:

    I grew up in West Hempstead off of Westminster Rd, right around the corner from Korvettes. Walked there all the time. Spent a lot of time in the pet and toy departments. They had a lot of interactive things set up like hockey and pool tables. Loved the record department too. They had lots of great posters to choose from. Still remember them having that iconic Farrah poster. Of course I bought a John Travolta poster. I also remember when a kid got caught in the escalater. And they had a fire too that killed all the animals in the pet department. That was sad. When they closed down, the building was bought/leased by a neighbor of mine. The Kiley’s opened Shoppers Village. I remember the iles were named after family members. The 2 kids, Scott and Courtney had isles named for them. Loved when the Clyde Beaty/Cole Bros Circus came to town and set up in the parking lot in the 80s. Spent way too much of my youth running around Korvettes but it was something to do and so much fun! Miss those days. Great pizza and bagels right across to the street too. I went on to work for Gardner’s Village and Genovese. Loved growing up in West Hempstead!

  65. Erik gundersen says:

    My dad was the manager there along time ago, his name was Arthur Gundersen…… I was born in 1970 and moved from long island when I was 12 so I dont remember to much other then my dad talked about working there all the time… I remember going to the store and having a good time….. Thats my story….. Lol

  66. Daniel says:

    Thank you all for sharing your memories of Korvettes.
    I remember well the Carle Place store. As a kid, I could walk there and spent a lot of time there. The majority of my record collection came from there. Yes, later the Hills Korvettes supermarket arrive and it was indeed detached and to the west, backing Voice Road. As a lad, we used to wait outside the door and ask ladies if we could help put their grocery bags in their cars, and it was usually worth a quarter or two — good money back then. In more recent years, that grocery store became a Walbaum’s.
    BOCES came later and occupied part of the L-shaped main building (and maybe eventually all of it?). In the vertex of the ell, on the outside of the building, was the food stand, where I consumed many pretzels. It was a great store, which seemed to have everything. Fond memories of simpler times. Now there’s a hotel on that site.
    Off topic (sorry), but does anyone remember Roosevelt Field when it was uncovered? I still remember the black hexagon pavers everywhere. I also remember my mom doing the grocery shopping at the Grand Union supermarket there — it had a tiny Ferris wheel inside the store.

  67. Jeana says:

    I lived within walking distance of the West Islip Korvette’s, and I’m about your age. I probably saw you there! I never realized that the pretzel stand was affiliated with the store, I assumed it was a mom and pop vendor.

  68. Ray Geraghty says:

    I grew up in Brentwood in the 60’s and I remember going to the one out on Sunrise Highway many a time. Dad bought my first sleeping bad there for Boy Scouts.
    Was a great store.

  69. Joe W says:

    I liked playing their pinball games – they had a big selection. Surprised that wasn’t mentioned in the article.

  70. Lanny says:

    The John Travolta Incident: It was Hicksville and he was merely supposed to be signing records for a couple of hours. The crowd got CRAZY out of control (DUH! It’s Long Island ) so they had him get up on the roof where nobody could reach him . I guess that’s when he did the famous dance. The next week in Newsday : there was an APPOLOGY from him printed in the entertainment section. He said something like ” The crowd got out of hand and we wanted everyone to be safe. I’d like to make this up to you , write to this address and we will send you a free record”. Or something to that effect . Later in the mid 1980s Judas Priest was doing a signing at the Walt Whitman Mall in Huntington : same thing happened! They had to cancel .

  71. Lanny says:

    MORE KORVETTES MEMORIES: I remember when the Huntington store (which nobody here mentions; weird) had these small display windows that faced out the north side of the brick building . One window was jewelry , one was whatever the record department thought was “hot”. I remember waiting for a ride home (because I worked at Pergaments across the parking lot ) and looking at a small display for Cheap Trick’s “Dream Police” LP. By summer of 1980 – it was closed. Korvettes also had those soda machines with the cup drops down, then the ice, then the soda. It was 25 cents. We would BEG our mom for a soda and she was always like “No, it’s probably broken”. I miss those soda machines! LOL.

  72. Geri says:

    I remember Korvettes at the Sunrise mall in Massapequa. Wasn’t there for too long- this was back in 1972.

  73. BK says:

    The store in Paramus, NJ had a huge mural attached to it. It became part of the Garden State Plaza which at one time was an outdoor mall.

  74. Peter says:

    Went to the Rockaway/ Lynbrook store. Still have the records I bought there back in 69-70.

  75. Gary R. says:

    I definitely remember the Korvettes on Sunrise Highway in West Islip. My mom was a real devoted shopper there. It also had a really wide staircase that you would walk down into basement area. In the basement was a very small movie theater with wooden benches. Our parents would bring us to shop, leave us in the theater with cartoons that ran continuously and then pick us up a few hours later. The thought of kids being kidnapped never entered anyone’s mind. They also had a pretty large pet store in the basement. I remember they used to sell baby alligators, small ones, maybe 8 or 10 inches long. Crazy times.

    Back on the main level, at the end of the shopping center was a Jahn’s ice cream parlor. That was the bomb if your parents could afford to bring you there. I ate there maybe once.

  76. Willard says:

    At the Carle Place store Hills was originally under the same roof at the one story western end of the store. Later it moved to the separate building a little farther west.

  77. Lucy Lichac says:

    Does anyone know a Gene(Eugene) who worked at the Korvette in Trumbull Ct. back in late 1960’s or early 1970’s. Can’t remember his last name. He worked and may have been manager of the appliance Dept up on the top floor. My name is Lucy.

  78. Henry Kujawa says:

    Growing up in the 60s, Korvette’s was our favorite department store in Audubon, NJ. Each department tended to be bigger than most mall stores these days. When I got my first job, I started splurging on music LPs and 45s for several years (until they went under). They also had a large book department. But as a kid, my favorite was the TOY departrment, which, especially at Christmastime, could take up as much space as a Toys-R-Us! I remember a huge glass display case full of science-fiction toys in the 60s, which, since we couldn’t afford to buy too much, was like a space museum (there’s a similar display of aircraft in Philly’s Franklin Institute!). One other thing that made it stand out was, it was at the far back of the 2nd floor. You had to go thru half the store to get to it. Unlike modern department stores which have small toy displays through the store for “impulse” buying, Korvette’s toy department was a DESTINATION. Any family with kids, the kids wanted to go there– so, the REST of the store became “impulse” buys!! The one Christmas I worked at Penney’s in Cherry Hill, I spent 20 minutes one day actually REMNINISCING with a customer about Korvette’s. (I bet my supervisor would have thrown a fit if he knew that– heh.)

  79. John Quinn says:

    I worked in this store around 1974. I was assistant manager in the cameras.
    I met my wife there 47 years ago.

  80. Gary says:

    My grandmother worked at the Korvettes on Sunrise Hwy in the 1960s. I remember going there all the time as a small child.

  81. Robert says:

    My folks, siblings and I went to the KORVETTES on 5 Towns off Rockaway Blvd in the late 60’s-77. Many wonderful memories of weekends spent there shopping I still own most of the vinyl dad bought there.

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