The area has had its share of department stores over the years. Who can forget Star Store, Arlens and Mars Bargailand? How about Bradlees, Cove Discount, K-Mart, Atlantic Thrift, Zayre and other stores that came and went?

One department store I recall, perhaps because of its mascot, was Mammoth Mart. Remember Marty, the elephant who wore a name tag on his blazer?

Mammoth Mart was a discount department store chain in the northeast with stores in six New England states, Maryland, North Carolina and New York.

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There were 18 Mammoth Mart locations in Massachusetts, including King's Highway in New Bedford and Route 6 in Fairhaven. There were also stores in Brockton, East Wareham and Raynham.

Rhode Island had Mammoth Mart stores in East Providence, Woonsocket and Johnston.

There were 13 stores in Maine, three in New Hampshire, three in Vermont, five in Connecticut, seven in North Carolina, three in New York and one in Maryland.

When New Bedford And Fairhaven Had Mammoth Mart Stores
Courtesy Spinner Publications

Mammoth Mart was Mammoth Mills when it was founded in Framingham, Massachusetts, in 1956 by Max Coffman and Henry Gornstein because of its location in a mill. It became Mammoth Mart in 1962.

At the height of its success in 1969, Mammoth Mart had 35 locations.

Mammoth Mart acquired the Boston Baby franchise in 1970, but after only a few years, a worsening economy combined with the 1973 energy crisis crippled Mammoth Mart. The company filed for bankruptcy protection in 1974

In 1977, King's Discount Stores acquired Mammoth Mart for a reported $43 million. King's liquidated some stores and rebranded the others as King's Stores.

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