Any photos not otherwise credited are from the personal collection of Frank Passic, Albion Historian.
Morning Star, March 15, 2015, pg. 6
Many of the retail businesses we grew up with in downtown Albion are now gone, but one that still remains is FEDCO located at 217 S. Superior St. The name in capital letters sounded like an implied acronym for "Federal Discount Company" or thereabouts. In fact when it opened here in Albion in October, 1963, it was touted as the "FEDCO Discount Center of Albion." No one was fooled however. The Federal government had nothing to do with the store.
FEDCO opened as a discount center for health and beauty aids, and vitamins as well. It sold many other items, however. It was part of a chain based out of Detroit. There were FEDCO stores in Michigan, Ohio, and Florida. When it opened on October 17, 1963 in Albion, it was first located in the old Frost Shoe Store location at 213 S. Superior St. Their first advertisement in the Albion Evening Recorder stated that they were "The Most Modern Discount Store in Michigan," and "We Discount Everything." The first thing they advertised was cigarettes at $2.39 a carton.
The original manager of FEDCO was Lester J. Boes, a field supervisor for the chain. He had formerly been in the grocery business and had worked in National Food, and A & P stores.
FEDCO opened during the "discount center" fad of the early 1960s and hoped to capture on the local market with that theme. They were listed as "FEDCO Cosmetics and Vitamins" in the Albion City directories, but eventually they became more of a party store as the years evolved. Cramped in their original location, FEDCO moved into its present location in the former Weatherwax Drug Store in the late 1970s. There it has remained even to this day. Later this year they will have been in business in Albion for 52 years.
From our Historical Notebook this week we present a photograph of FEDCO at their original location at 213 S. Superior St. Next door of course is Tuchtenhagenís Jewelry, with the historic clock out front. How many of our readers remember FEDCO at this location?
FEDCO at their original location, 213 S. Superior St.
All text copyright, 2021 © all rights reserved Frank Passic