Woolworth Museum - Oxnard, California
A once thriving Woolworth’s store in Oxnard now houses a museum paying homage to its namesake. The Woolworth Museum takes up a tiny space on the ground floor of the building and is more of a display rather than a museum. It will probably take you all of 10 to 20 minutes to peruse, but it’s enough to stir up nostalgia for anyone who grew up shopping at any of the iconic variety stores (remember the wooden floors?).
Long before dollar stores, F. W. Woolworth pioneered the concept of the five and dime or “dime stores,” selling goods to shoppers for five and ten cents. He opened his first store in New York in 1878 and by 1899 he owned 54 stores, selling items such as toys, housewares, sewing supplies and shoes. By 1913 he had constructed the Woolworth Building in New York, the tallest building in the world at the time. Woolworth’s continued to expand and by 1979 had become the largest retail chain of department stores in the world. Its signature lunch counters made Woolworth the largest seller of restaurant food, too. In the late 80’s and 90’s, increased competition resulted in a decline in sales and Woolworth closed its doors in 1997, focusing its attention on its Foot Locker division, which exists today.
The Woolworth Building in Oxnard, which houses the Woolworth Museum, was built in 1950. Oxnard resident, David Feigin purchased the building in 2002 and developed the idea of the museum. You’ll find a collection of books and photos depicting the history of the retail chain, along with memorabilia such as old vending machines, a vintage cash register, games and items that sold at Woolworth. Menus from the 40’s and 50’s will have you looking back at prices of 25 cents for a sandwich. There’s a real-working dial pay phone, an old-time 1940’s photo booth and an old-style Coca-Cola machine. Videos recounting the history of Woolworth and his family play on an old TV. Other items on display relate directly to this specific building and its employees.
More Information: Woolworth Museum
210 W. Fourth Street, Oxnard, CA 93030
Hours: Monday – Friday: 7:30am – 2:30pm, Saturday: 9am – 2:30pm