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Old 04-06-2011, 09:14 AM
Status: "Winter's Here" (set 20 days ago)
 
Location: Mason, OH
8,717 posts, read 7,021,111 times
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I guess those of us old enough to remember can try and place Rinks, Van Leunans, and Swallens in the Cincinnati area. They are all names I remember very well.

From what I can tell, Gray Drugs bought out the interests of Cook United in Rinks. Then Gray Drugs began to sell off its interests. Apparently Gray Drugs was a predecessor of Rite Aid. I kind of enjoy researching some of the acquisition and sell-off activites over the years. Reminds me of the old Abbott & Costello routine of Who's On First?
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Old 04-06-2011, 02:22 PM
 
Location: A voice of truth, shouted down by fools.
1,086 posts, read 1,411,540 times
Reputation: 847
When I was growing up in Dayton in the 60s, Rinks was a synonym for cheap bargains and low quality.

Comparing it to a gag in the National Lampoon's Sunday Newspaper Parody from 1978, Rinks was sort of the "Swillmart" of the Miami Valley.

I remember my dad buying a UHF converter there that felt like a hollow plastic box, and performed about as well. Even as uber-cheap as my dad was, we almost never bought anything there.

There were urban legends floating around Dayton in the 60s such that the lowest rung retailers like Rinks sold chocolate candies with worms infesting them...
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Old 12-05-2011, 09:57 AM
 
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I worked at Rink's while I was in college and for a while after I graduated. To my knowledge, there were originally two independent companies. One was known as Rink's Bargain City (later known as Rink's Department Stores) that was founded in the Cincinnati area by Hy Ulner (AKA the Bargain City Kid). The name "Rink's" came from the fact that one of the first stores was opened in an old roller rink in Hamilton, Ohio. The corporate offices for Rink's were located on Crescentville Road in northern Hamilton County.

I know very little about the origins of the "Bargain City" chain that arose in the Toledo area. I do know that they operated as "Washington Distributors."

I do know that both chains thrived and grew in the 50's and 60's and that both were purchased by a company from Cleveland known as Gray Drug Strores in the mid 60's. Gray's allowed both Rink's and Bargain City to operate independent of each other until the early 70's when an economic downturn led Gray's to combine both operations under the name of "Rink's Bargain City." (More later)
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Old 12-05-2011, 10:00 AM
 
Location: Cincinnati
350 posts, read 476,549 times
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My Dad worked at Rink's on Hamilton Ave in the early 80's. I remember it being dark and dirty!
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Old 12-05-2011, 10:08 AM
 
2 posts, read 7,631 times
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Rink's Bargain City eventually was operated solely out of Toledo and the Cincinnati operation closed by the mid 70's.

Gray Drug sold its interest in Rink's in the nid to late 70's to Cook United Corporation (also from Cleveland . . they operated various department stores, Cooks and Ontario being the most familiar to me). It was a highly leveraged buyout that left Cooks with a lot of high-interest debt, a lot of stores that were geographically close to each other, and not much cash. The Ontario stores in Ohio were eventually converted to Rink's stores.

Cooks struggled to survive and eventually went bankrupt (chapter 11) in the early 80's. By the later 80's the company liquidated.
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Old 12-05-2011, 05:54 PM
 
198 posts, read 581,809 times
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I remember Rink's sponsored Big Time Wrestling out of Dayton and The Kid and Willie Thall pitched products and interviewed wrestlers between matches. One time The Sheik took a bite out of Willie's trademark hat - the big jerk. LOL
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Old 12-06-2011, 06:19 AM
 
Location: Sunny Florida
6,627 posts, read 6,767,957 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by franke01 View Post
I remember Rink's sponsored Big Time Wrestling out of Dayton and The Kid and Willie Thall pitched products and interviewed wrestlers between matches. One time The Sheik took a bite out of Willie's trademark hat - the big jerk. LOL
Oh yeah, I remember the Big Time Wrestling connection as well. Also remember Willie Thall saying, "Rink - a - dink - a - doo". It's weird the stuff you remember from your childhood.
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Old 12-06-2011, 07:14 AM
 
1,114 posts, read 1,917,274 times
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We had a Rinks in Middletown too, and we went there sometimes after church...lol!!!!!!
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Old 03-22-2012, 12:21 PM
 
8 posts, read 17,903 times
Reputation: 18
Default Rinks bargain city

Yes, I remember the Rinks on Reading Road with fond memories. I grew up in Reading in the sixties and we did a lot of trading at this location including the grocery section. Mom worked down the road at Twin Fair and my dad would stop at the Burger Chef beside the store (Reading Road side) and purchase me those 15 cent hamburgers. Good times!
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Old 03-22-2012, 02:32 PM
 
Location: Cincinnati tri-state area
75 posts, read 25,006 times
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I remember shopping at the Reading Road store to get cheap household stuff. I’ll bet many of you also remember “Kash’s Big Bargain Barn in South Leb-anon Ohio” and his hilarious ads on radio and TV.
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