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Zayre, a Former New England-Based Department Store

Does anyone remember the New England-based department store chain, Zayre? Sort of like an earlier-day Walmart, Zayre sold virtually everything under one roof. Local comedian Norm Crosby was a Zayre spokesperson (his beloved schtick was using big words incorrectly) on local radio and television commercials. I always loved riding the motorized horse in front of the store at Fresh Pond in Cambridge (for the record, I was a kid then, not an adult). "Sports Huddle" Boston radio legend Eddie Andelman had a great spoof in the 70s on Zayre called Zaire ( a region in Africa!).  Great memories of this place, would love to hear your experiences at Zayre!


  1. I not only remember Zayre, just last year I bought a T-shirt with their mid-'70s orange logo on it. The one my family shopped at was in the same shopping center on Rt.1 Saugus that had a Child World, and on those very rare occasions when I couldn't find what I wanted at Child World, I would run over to Zayre and look for it in their toy department, which was pretty extensive for a department store. I loved the giant pink neon letters that spelled out "ZAYRE" on the roof, they made a nice contrast to the blue-green neon squashed globe light that was Child World's logo in the early '70s. I won a coloring contest at Zayre once, and got a $50 gift certificate, all of which was spent in the toy department. $50 was a lot of money back then, especially for a grade-school age kid. I bought one of those slotless slot car race track sets with it - the cars could change lanes. Lots of fond memories of that store. If I recall, the Zayre in Saugus had a lunch counter that was pretty good, as did most department stores back before the '90s.

  2. I still weara nylon polyester winter sports jacket that I got just before the wellington Square MA store closed. Does,anyone know what year that was?


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