Korvettes employees reflect on their years at the Glen Burnie store as they prepared for an uncertain future. Robin Holston, left, worked for six years in the cosmetics department, Bertha Braun, center, had been a salesperson and cashier since the store opened 17 years earlier, and Sue Colonna, right, worked in the jewelry department for 12 years. (Jed Kirschbaum, Baltimore Sun photo, 1980)

Baltimoreans once shopped at the E. J. Korvette discount stores that opened here in the middle 1960s. The stores gained a reputation for offering goods at cheaper prices than its competitors.

There were local branches in Towson on East Joppa Road, Catonsville, Bel Air and Glen Burnie.

Customers loved Korvettes’ LP record department in the great years of vinyl discs. There would be weekly discounts on certain labels, such as Columbia, Verve or RCA.

The electronics and appliances sold by the store were also highly regarded. In early February of 1980 came the surprise announcement that Korvettes was closing. The Sun reported that on February 2, 1980, “thousands of customers” mobbed the stores for an anticipated “close out sale.”


Customers line up to pay for purchases at the Korvettes in Towson, one of four stores that closed. Many patrons expected big bargains, but there were no special sales to be had. (Richard Childress, Baltimore Sun photo, 1980)

What people discovered were no special bargains. They did encounter employees “in a state of shock.”

E.J. Korvette was a national chain and had been founded in New York City.

Click here to see photos from Baltimore of yesteryear.

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