Even More Steinbach Department Stores!

Steinbach sign at the Red Bank, NJ store, 1999

Last week, after I got all worked into a lather about that Steinbach photo that was sent to us by Michael Lisicky, he wrote me again, saying “You want Steinbach?” Boy, did he mean it.

He dumped this pile of old Steinbach shots on us, and we couldn’t be happier. We hope you enjoy them as much as we do. Michael guided us through each one:

The vacant downtown Asbury Park store, in 1984. It closed in 1979. The store burned in 1989 and lost its top floor and clock tower.

Original Steinbach's store in Asbury Park, NJ, taken in 1984

Steinbach in Red Bank, NJ. This was taken in February 1999 as it was preparing to close. It was 53,000 square feet. It became a Bon-Ton briefly before closing again.

Steinbach in Red Bank, NJ, 1999

The rear of the Red Bank store. The photo at the top of this post is the sign from the parking lot of this same store.

Steinbach in Red Bank, NJ, 1999
Steinbach at the Brick Plaza in Brick, NJ. Taken also in 1999. It opened in 1964. The store was the most profitable branch at the end of the chain’s existence and had just received a $1 million makeover.

Steinbach in Brick, NJ, 1999

Inside of the same store in Brick, NJ. This store also became a Bon-Ton and still is today.

Steinbach in Brick, NJ, 1999

This is a nighttime view of the Manalapan Mall location in NJ. In 1996 it became a Value City, along with the stores at the Shore Mall and the now-demolished Seaview Square Mall outside Asbury Park. This picture was taken in January 1995. It was located in a tiny, tiny mall that was active for most of its existence. It was the only anchor.

Steinbach at Manalpan Mall in Manalpan, NJ, January 1995

The last picture is of Michael’s old credit card, and a gift box from Steinbach from the mid-1980’s. At that time all boxes and bags named the store Howland-Steinbach. Howland was a store based out of Bridgeport, CT that was merged into Genung’s out of White Plains, NY. All of the small Steinbach’s in NY, CT and MA were former Howland stores. By the late 1990s all of those stores took on the Steinbach name. Though the store was named Steinbach those familiar with the Asbury Park area stores called them “Stein-BACK’s”. They were quite upper-moderate stores through the 1970s, but dropped off dramatically by the early 1980s. Former Ohrbach’s stores also became Steinbach in NJ and NY. Crowley-Milner from Detroit bought the stores in the mid-1990s but couldn’t keep them going. They all closed in 1999.

Steinbach Credit Card and Howland-Steinbach gift box from the mid-1980s

30 Responses to “Even More Steinbach Department Stores!”

  1. Wow, I forgot that Steinbach was Howland’s in Fairfield, CT. I think it closed for renovations for a short bit of time and then became Steinbach. Always a great deal there, I was sad to see it go. Fairfield was replaced by an Old Navy and a few smaller stores like The Gap and Marty’s Shoe Outlet.

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  2. A big thank you to Caldor and Michael for this delightful post! However, I must say that it breaks my heart to see the former Asbury Park flagship in such terrible condition just five years after it closed. By the way, what was the cause of the fire that destroyed that building? Was it arson?

    As an added bonus, here’s an incomplete list of former Steinbach locations, cut and pasted from wikipedia. Are any of you aware of any locations that are not on this list? I already know that this list does not mention the location in Waterford, CT at Waterfall Place.

    Connecticut:
    * Hamden – Hamden Mart Plaza (closed late 1990s, now Bon-Ton)

    New Hampshire:
    * Concord – Steeplegate Mall (opened 1990, closed 1999. Now Bon-Ton)

    New Jersey:
    * Asbury Park (closed in 1979, being developed as condos)
    * Brick Township (now Bon-Ton)
    * Egg Harbor – Shore Mall (opened 1974, now Value City)
    * Elizabeth (former Georke’s, now Shoppers’ World)
    * Manalapan – Manalapan Mall (now Value City; rest of mall torn down)
    * Ocean – Seaview Square Mall (now Value City; rest of mall torn down)
    * Paramus – Bergen Town Center (opened 1967 as Ohrbach’s, converted to Steinbach and then to Value City. Currently closed, to become Target)
    * Plainfield (former Georke’s, now closed)
    * Red Bank (later Bon-Ton, now closed)
    * Wayne – Willowbrook Mall (former Ohrbach’s, now Lord & Taylor)
    * Woodbridge – Woodbridge Center (former Ohrbach’s, now Lord & Taylor)

    New York:
    * Albany – Colonie Center (opened 1992, closed 1995, now Boscov’s)
    * Cicero – Penn-Can Mall (opened 1988 in former Sears, closed 1994. Mall converted to an auto mall)
    * Clifton Park – Clifton Park Center (opened 1991 in former Price Chopper, closed 1999, vacant)
    * Cortlandt Manor – Cortlandt Towne Center (mall torn down)
    * DeWitt – Shoppingtown Mall (opened 1991 on one level of former Addis & Dey’s, closed 1995. Both levels of former Addis & Dey’s are now Sears)
    * Glens Falls – Northway Plaza (closed 1999)
    * Ithaca – Pyramid Mall (Opened in 1976, Closed in 1986, now several storefronts and part of Regal Cinemas)
    * Middletown – Galleria at Crystal Run (opened 1992, closed 1995, now Dick’s Sporting Goods)
    * Newburgh – Newburgh Mall (opened 1980, closed 1999, now Old Navy)
    * New Hartford – New Hartford Shopping Center
    * Plattsburgh – Champlain Centre North (opened 1988, closed 1999, now Dick’s Sporting Goods)
    * Saratoga – Wilton Mall (opened 1990, closed 1996, now Dick’s Sporting Goods)
    * Syracuse – Carousel Center (opened 1990, closed 1996, now Circuit City)
    * Utica – Riverside Mall (mall torn down, now a strip mall)
    * Watertown – Salmon Run Mall (opened 1988, closed 1999, now Dick’s Sporting Goods)

    Vermont:
    * South Burlington – University Mall (opened 1992, closed 1999, now Bon-Ton)

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  3. An update on the Red Bank Steinbach: after the Bon-Ton closed, it has become the new location of Garmany, an upscale mens/womens store that was located next door. The old Garmany’s will now be subdivided and part of it will become a Tiffany and Company.

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  4. I wish a saved some of my charge receipts from the mid 1980s from Steinbach’s which listed all locations for Howland, Steinbach and also, let’s not forget its sister branch from Baltimore, Hochschild-Kohn. Many times you would see H-S-H on their price stickers. Hochschild’s was a major Baltimore player that fizzled out by 1984 and disappeared by 1986.
    But locations that are missing from Wikipedia’s list off the top of my head include (as Howland)-
    Massachusetts
    Methuen-Methuen Mall
    Saugus-New England Shopping Center (now Square One Mall)
    Weymouth-Harborlight Mall
    New York
    Peekskill-Downtown (former Genung’s)
    Tarrytown-Downtown (former Genung’s)
    That’s all my 42 year old brain can remember. There were many more in New England, as Howland. (Don’t confuse the Bridgeport, CT-based Howland with Waterbury, CT-based Howland-Hughes which is actually still open in downtown Waterbury in a very strange way. For those department store junkies it’s worth a trip.)
    The Concord, NH store was actually located in a small strip shopping center to the east of downtown before it moved to the mall. Maybe one day I’ll find a receipt and can correctly list all locations of Howland.

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  5. Great pics, as always :) Steinbach had a cool logo as well.

    My old roommate’s sister worked at the Howland-Steinbach in Fairfield, Connecticut. I heard it was a great store, but I never got see one when it was open.

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  6. I remeber steinbach so much,I visited the manalapan and seaview mall stores alot back in the day one of my aunts worked at the seaview square store its taking me back

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  7. I remember the one in Middletown and I was probably in the one in Newburgh as well. The Newburgh Mall is so rundown… but I think the Middletown galleria sucks too. I’ll drive to Paramus if I want good shopping.

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  8. Thank you all for remembering Howland’s/Steinbach! I remember shopping at Howland’s in the Methuen Mall (MA) back in the late 70’s and early 80’s during my toddlerhood and childhood! My mom LOVED that store, and I remember when it went out of business. After it went out of business, we discovered Steinbach (probably something was sent to Howland’s cardholders stating that they could use their cards at Steinbach and listed locations) in Concord, NH. I remember we went to that first plaza location; it was a really nice store, and my parents bought me a very expensive winter coat and charged it on their Howland’s card. Steinbach never sent them a bill, so I got the coat free! Later, they moved to a mall, and again, it was a nice store. I haven’t been to Concord since 1997, and have learned from your site that they’re out of business… so sad :(

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  9. My mom used to take me shopping in the Asbury Park store when I was a kid. Really nice old fashioned department store. They had them things that went ding dong to signal the sales staff. I remember running up and down the big staircase too. They don’t make them like that no more.

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  10. I came across this post while looking up information to renew my resume…what a trip down memory lane! In 1997 I worked for Steinbach in Waterford, CT before the store was remodeled. My former husband was in the Navy and we were transferred before any of the remodel was begun. I only heard about rumors of another company purchasing the name and stores. Obviously, management didn’t want to discuss it. I would like to mention that the building in Waterfall Shopping Plaza was so run-down and decrepit and the Steinbach was only the one downstairs floor then. We actually had so much stock we stored a bunch of children’s clothing up in the attic space on retail racks. It was so hot up there in the summer and just plain creepy. The entire site needed a lot of money dumped into it to bring it up-to-date. Most of the upstirs offices were empty. Mainly the clientell were of the older generation who had lived in the Waterford/New Londo area for years-when the area was still safe, clean and pleasant. There were rumors of the new company planning to install an escalator. We all thought it was a bunch of nonsense. I’m shocked to see in the pictures the escalator was actually installed! Thank you to everyone who took the time to contribute. I had no idea Steinbach was all over the place. Amazing!

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  11. I came across this post while looking up information to renew my resume…what a trip down memory lane! In 1997 I worked for Steinbach in Waterford, CT before the store was remodeled.

    My former husband was in the Navy and we were transferred before any of the remodel was begun. I only heard about rumors of another company purchasing the name and stores. Obviously, management didn’t want to discuss it. I would like to mention that the building in Waterfall Shopping Plaza was so run-down and decrepit and the Steinbach was only the one downstairs floor then. We actually had so much stock we stored a bunch of children’s clothing up in the attic space on retail racks. It was so hot up there in the summer and just plain creepy. The entire site needed a lot of money dumped into it to bring it up-to-date. Most of the upstairs offices were empty. Mainly the customers were of the older generation who had lived in the Waterford/New London area for years-when the area was still safe, clean and pleasant.

    There were rumors of the new company planning to install an escalator. We all thought it was a bunch of nonsense. I’m shocked to see in the pictures the escalator was actually installed! Thank you to everyone who took the time to contribute. I had no idea Steinbach was all over the place. Amazing!

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  12. Ratel, I used to go to Waterfall with my mother all the time in the ’70’s and ’80’s. That Howland’s clothed me well as a child, but my mother insisted on calling it by its previous name…Genung’s maybe? Not sure if that’s right or that’s another renamed store I’m thinking of. Good to see Benny’s is still there, if there’s a nuclear war Benny’s and roaches will be the only survivors.

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  13. This is the Manalapan Mall Location as it looks today. The side looks rundown, and is scarily, but, miraculously, untouched.

    Photos are listed below with link if source code doesn’t work.

    http://i367.photobucket.com/albums/oo114/Acallforaction/Archived%20Manalapan%20Mall%20Photos/100_8351.jpg

    http://i367.photobucket.com/albums/oo114/Acallforaction/Archived%20Manalapan%20Mall%20Photos/100_8365.jpg

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  14. Also, notice in my picture how they, I believe, converted the back of the mall into a Target. Or else, why does it align with the old building, side entrance and all? And is that bump on top of the Target an old skylight, by ANY chance?

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  15. i worked at the Middletown Galleria , NY @ Stienbach for 2 years 1992-1994 I still have my old paystubs nad it said I made 5.35 and hour worked fulltime and I was so young! I still keep in touch with some of the work mates we all have husband and families now but remember the ups and downs working there!

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  16. i found an old gift certificate fron steinbachs what could I do with it now 1-20-09

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  17. This site is awesome. I worked for Stienbachs in 1970’s – 1980’s originally in Asbury Park as a clerk, elevator operator (remember those), maintance, and supervisor. I also worked at Red Bank, Bricktown, and Seaview Square Mall.
    If any of my old friends run across this site and want to say “hi”, hit me at rwcarr@hotmail.com

    Thanks again!

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  18. I was a former Truck Driver for Steinbach, been to every store…..I worked out of the distrubution center in Eatontown NJ. Alot of my deliverys were made at night while the stores were closed, I would leave the loaded trailer and take the empty trailer back to the distribution center, I met alot of great people during that time!

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  19. I watched the fire (1989-90?) of the Asbury Park store from the Ocean Grove side of the lake, was looking for photo’s with the clock tower falling during the fire if anyone out there has some. Proof for 9/11 that a tower can fall from fire alone. Although this was not a free standing structure that fell at free fall speed, it is an example of fire taking down a tower.

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  20. Hello, I have many fond memories of Howland-Steinbach. I worked for 8 years as a buyer in the corporate office in Elmsford.
    We had a wonderful group of people working there, and in all the stores.
    It was more like an extended family back then.
    Love to say hello to any former colleagues.
    -Anita

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  21. As an (corporate) ex-employee I’m finding much of this interesting…and a fair amount simply inaccurate.

    Late 80s-to early 90s this was one of the chains owned by AMCENA – tanding for American C&A, (the secretive huge European retailing family of Brenninkmeyer’s).

    The main office was i White Plains and they ran one fool of an insider or another through as its CEO…each losing more and more, and doing important things like canging the Co colors.

    The store list is essentially correct.
    The original Asbury Park building, which along with that towns resurgance, was sold for a few million and then resolf for amny times that and is now Condos…at many many times that. The Seaview Sq store was a Value City to the end…still has no practical use.

    But, andI’s schocked no one here has mentioned it – if your going to say Stenbach….to most of the world it means “shussh….it’s a SECRET SALE…..” and you got a scrtach off that then told you if you had additional discount of 10-50%. People went wild for that.

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  22. I worked in the display department from 74 until 79. Asbury Park Bricktown and Seaview Square Mall.
    Anyone else work there in that time period?

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    Richard Nodine Reply:

    @Peter Kay, Dear Peter, I worked for the display director Ed Natter in 1964 through 1967. I left shortly after Ed left and Bill Fuchs arrived. I was mainly in Asbury Park, but we traveled to Red Bank and Bricktown occasionally. Ed was an incredibly creative director and we managed to give that poor old store a very positive face.

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  23. I worked out of the White Plains corporate office from March 1987 – December 1995 then to the corporate office of Value City in Columbus, Ohio. Steinbach was a great experience filled with terrific people. I honestly look back with great affection and respect for my co workers there. Value City destroyed it, but then again they are gone now as well. We weren’t the best for sure, but I do miss the people at least most of them. All the best to all my friends. Ed

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  24. I worked at the Steinbach in Fairfield, CT. On my first day I accidentally showed up with 2 different colored shoes; one navy, one black (I got dressed in the dark). Pretty funny though because I didn’t notice until I got there!! My boss was super and she really knew her stuff. She actually showed me how to fold sweaters so they lay flat. I still fold them that way to this day! All the other associates were friendly too. It was a great store and I loved working there…unfortunately, most of my paycheck went right back to the store. I couldn’t resist a bargain, especially with my discount!! I miss it.

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  25. This site is a great trip down memory lane. My mom always used to let me pick the card for the secret sale. I also have an old charge plate that was my grandmother’s. I wonder if it’s a real collector’s item since they are all out of business…

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  26. I managed the restaurant in the Manalapan Store from April, 1978 – April, 1979. I later came back as the General Manager in charge of the restaurants at Manalapan, Seaview, and Shore Mall around 1981 for about a year. The best benefit was the executive discount of 30%. Find a Yves Saint Laurent suit of sale, deduct another 30%, and you picked up a real bargain!

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  27. I worked for Howland-Steinbach from 81-98 . I was in the Fairfield,Hamden and Trumbull store. Yes, there was a short lived Trumbull store in Hawley lane Mall. Then I finally got out of retail I still speak to a few people from good ole Steinbach. I loved it!!! Loved the secret sales and working in the cosmetic dept during the Xmas season. Good times!

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  28. I worked at the Steinbach Distribution Center on Industrial Way in Eatontown, NJ. Started on the loading dock where we would load and unload trucks from all the stores. I guess I started about 1976. I eventually worked as a helper on the furniture delivery trucks and then ended up as a driver by the time I left in 1979 or 80. We used to do deliveries for every Steinbachs in New Jersey. It was, as I recall, lots of fun.

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  29. My first Management position with Marriott was managing the restaurant in the Manalapan Steinbach store. It had about 60 seats and was open for lunch only Mon-Sat. I ran that restaurant for 1 year and was promoted. A few years later I came back and was the General Manager for Manalapan, Egg Harbor, and Seaview Square. Asbury Park has closed. Again, I worked about a year. Shortly after I left, they closed all the restaurants, which were losing money.

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