This timeline shows the history and growth of Thrift Stores Incorporated. While Mr. & Mrs. Cain first opened DAV stores in the late 50's, The AMVETS Thrift Stores first opened in 1971. With Joe Ramsey's help they opened their first store in Texas. They continued opening stores in the Midwest and Northeast through the current day. The history of the stores is often intertwined with the history of America. The Alexandria store is actually on part of George Washington's family farmland. The land at Bank Street was previously used as Baltimore's horse stables and pigsties in the 1800's.
The growth and history hasn't been without trouble though. In order to build the Laurel location, half the hill had to be removed. The dirt was placed under the bridge at the Laurel Racetrack. The Cain's worked with the community and the horses are running on the dirt today. Tragedy struck a number of the stores at different times. The Dallas, Texas store was struck by lighting while the city had severe weather. One night the store on Rhode Island Avenue, Washington DC, was one of a number of stores that fell victim to an arsonist. We believe the Darby, PA store caught fire when some fumes from nearby paint cans ignited. The Nagolitas, TX store caught fire when a child was discovered playing with matches underneath the men's shirts. In Govans, MD, the Value Village caught fire in the basement, causing the equipment to fall through the floor. Our current challenge is taking place during the 3424 Eastern Ave renovations. A community wall collapsed on July 5th, 2007. The collapse and subsequent litigation has delayed the expansion of the Highlandtown store.
It is a miracle that through all of this, no one was injured. Mr. and Mrs. Cain refused to leave the communities that had been so supportive, and looked for locations in the same neighborhood. Like a phoenix reborn from the ashes, this was done with remarkable speed. Nothing is more important to Mr. and Mrs. Cain than keeping her people employed.
It has been a long and interesting journey filled with happiness and triumphs over hardship. Currently there are 19 stores, warehouses, and corporate offices. Thrift Stores Incorporated has over 1200 employees. The future looks bright as the employee's dedication, along with the Cain's direction, keeps the company moving forward.