I’ve spent much of the evening doing research for my ultra-geek website, The Vintage Point of Sale site. Tonight I concentrated on the systems at the long defunct department Store, Zayre. Or, maybe it was spelled *Zayre. Either way, I’m pretty sure *Zayre was using the asterisk long before Wal*mart, which is now *Walmart.

As I browsed through some old *Zayre commercials, I remembered that back in the day they were the stand-out discount department store at the holidays because they were (gasp) open 24 hours a day between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Unheard of in the 1980s!

I know everything is open all ways all the time these days, but back in the 1980s *Zayre would feature these “60 Hour Sales” during the holidays, where everything was specially marked for 60 hours straight, morning to night and back to morning again.

I shopped at *Zayre in the middle of the night during the 1986 Christmas holiday shopping season simply because I was in college and I could. It was around 3:00 a.m. and there were quite a few people in the brand new store in Dunkirk, New York. There was a little bit of a kicker though; you couldn’t check out for about an hour in the middle of the night because the cash register system was doing its close of day. So the staff invited you to browse the specials while they moved the date up a notch.

I don’t think I’d want to walk into a *Walmart in the wee hours of the morning in the 21st century, but back in the day shopping at *Zayre in the middle of the night was kind of nifty.

Ah, simpler times.