New Bedford has hosted many retail and department stores over the years, but few were as popular with the masses as Cove Discount Center at 1337 Cove Road in the city's South End.

In 1956, Robert Kraig of Dartmouth negotiated a 20-year deal with Bedford Realty to lease 42,500 feet of space at the Page Mill on Cove Road. Kraig called his space Page Mill Discount Center. Kraig served as president, treasurer and general manager of the new department store.

The New Bedford-Standard Times said of the new store at the time, "There is a complete line of groceries and meats, a snack bar, men's, women's and children's clothes, toy and sporting-goods department."

Page Mill Discount Center provided 1,500 parking spaces and planned to hire 150 workers.

Building #19 gave us the advertising slogan, "Good Stuff Cheap," when it opened in 1964, but the folks at Page Mill Discount Center had already coined the motto, "Good for Cheap," years earlier.

New Bedford's Cove Discount Center Drew Shoppers To The South End
Courtesy Spinner Publications

In the late 1950s, Page Mill Discount Center became Cove Discount Center. The store was purchased in 1972 by partners Louis Queen and James Faulk. Both men had previous retail experience with Mars Bargainland and Arlan's Department Stores.

Queen and Faulk sold Cove Discount Center to Cove Development Corp. in 1986. The deal included several other properties that had become known as the Cove Road Complex. The deal was worth $1.65 million.

Cove Development Corp. president Nicholas W. Janikes of Cranston, Rhode Island, also served as president of Janko Inc., a New England franchiser for Burger King.

Queen and Faulk retained the Cove Department Center after the sale and continued to operate the store until it closed in 1998 due to "the rapidly deteriorating condition of the building."

Thanks to Spinner Publications for sharing its files, which include articles from the New Bedford Standard-Times archives, and its research assistance in telling the story.

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