The Montgomery Ward company began in 1872 as a mail-order business selling goods from an annual catalog. Facing stiff competition from its catalog sale competitor, Sears Roebuck, it began opening retail stores in 1926, one year after Sears took this step.
From the 1930s through the 1950s, Montgomery Ward had a store in downtown Sandusky on the 200 block of Columbus Avenue, on the west side of the street. In the picture above, taken in 1938, you can see both the Montgomery Ward store and the J.C. Penney store as area residents enjoy the Northwest Territory Celebration parade.
The postwar trend to suburban style shopping centers was followed in Sandusky. From about 1964 through the 1970s, Montgomery Ward had a catalog store in a shopping center location at 208 East Perkins Avenue. At this store, you could order or pick up orders from the Montgomery Ward catalog.
Household appliances were also sold at the Perkins Avenue store.
Televisions sold in 1968 were not nearly as technologically advanced as the television sets owned by most Americans today.
Our region joined the shopping mall era when the Sandusky Mall opened in 1977, and Montgomery Ward soon followed. From 1979 until about 1984, the Montgomery Ward store was one of the anchor stores of the Sandusky Mall.
But as with several other large retail chains, Wards began to struggle financially, and in 1984 closed their Sandusky Mall Store. By 1986 the Sears store had relocated from the Perkins Plaza to the Sandusky Mall, in the former location of the Montgomery Ward store.