Sunday, May 13, 2012

Former Giant Tiger / Gaylord's in Lorain, Ohio

Nicholas Eckhart

     This building was built as a 60,000 square foot Giant Tiger discount store (a now defunct chain that was found in Northeastern Ohio) in 1967 at 2001 Elyria Avenue in Lorain, Ohio. Giant Tiger was acquired by Gaylord's in 1968. This store was only operated under the Giant Tiger name for only a year before it was re-branded as Gaylord's. The Gaylord's chain was acquired by Zayre in 1985, but I do not think this store was ever operated as a Zayre. Someone who used to shop here said this store was later operated as a Fisher's Big Wheel, but I could not find any definite proof of that.

     Since its use as a discount store this has been used as Displays Displays Displays Incorporated (now closed). Currently the 6 acre site seems to be in disrepair, but the site (at least part of it) is being used. It appears this building is being used as some type of warehouse or workshop.

     If anyone does have more information about this stores past please comment below or send an email to

The following photos were taken on April 12, 2012

A newer building is built to the left, but the Giant Tiger is to the right.

I am not sure what was here (maybe a Garden Center), but the bricks look like they were not original.

A facade (looks to me like a Fisher's Big Wheel one) that was added later is peeling off and revealing the old brick facade from Giant Tiger.

This style facade was used on several area Fisher's Big Wheel stores, but I am uncertain if this store was ever one.

The closed-up store entrance

Some Displays Displays Displays Inc. signage

I am not sure what is here, but people were going in and out this door while I was here.

An uncovered up part of the Giant Tiger facade

The road sign currently displays "Displays Displays Displays Inc." signage.


  1. What the story on BIG BEAR my father used to talk about the big bear store in Chilithcofe Ohio

  2. I know Big Bear was a grocery chain (based in Columbus, Ohio). I am not sure when they liquidated, but I think it was 2002 or 2003. My family used to shop there while we visited relatives in West Virginia or southern Ohio. It is sad all of them closed up. I plan to cover this chain and others when I go to southern Ohio, eastern Kentucky, and northern West Virginia for photos. Many of the former Big Bear stores I know of are still well intact.

    1. Biig Bear liquidated in 2004, not an old day called 2002/2003!

  3. I was wrong. The last Big Bear stores closed in 2004. The one I remember the best was a Big Bear Plus in Huntington, WV. It reminded me of a Kmart store, but with a grocery area smashed in. I remember this store was more of a Supercenter compacted into a store that was way too small. I remember the aisles were very close together and it seemed pretty outdated. This store I am talking about was the only store of the type in Huntington and seemed very busy. As of about two years ago it was still vacant, but something may have moved in since I was last down there.

  4. I remember this store being a Hills. A few other people I talked to also remember this, but yet this article doesn't mention it at all.

    1. There was a Hills on Rt. 57, in South Lorain, and one on Cooper-Foster Park Road in Amherst.

  5. My family still lives in the area with my father's work being a block away. I used to shop here with my parents when I was young. I only remember it ever being a Gaylord's. they went out of business and far as I know the bldg just stayed vacant mostly and delapidated from there.

  6. In 1968 four medical students from the UK were externs at St. Joseph Hospital. We were taken to the Giant Tiger and were amazed at the cheap prices compared to Britain. I think most of the clothes were imported, I bought a pair of trousers!

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  10. I remember the Giant Tiger when I was seven and we lived in Lorain. Then we moved out to Avon Lake but my dad volunteered at Neighborhood House not too far away when they switched to the Gaylord's name. I think we only went inside once or twice.

  11. It was a Hills before Giant Tiger, and a Fisher's Big Wheel for a little while right before it closed for good. Rotten area for retail traffic, hard to get to unless you live in Lorain.

  12. This store was never a Fisher's Big Wheel, although there was one in Avon Lake.
    The neighborhood my family lived in from 1932 to 1965 was torn down to build Giant Tiger, everything from 1843 Elyria Avenue to 21st and Elyria; we lived at 1867, which was behind 1861....our driveway was right where 19th Street connected with Elyria Avenue.

    One of ther earliest examples of eminent domain seizure in my hometown, a disgusting process that continues to this day.

  13. There was a dead Big Bear once, but it turned into a Giant Eagle sadly.

    Store: 280 E Whittier St., Columbus, OH, 43206

  14. Wow, I remember Giant Tiger and Gaylord's growing up on the east side of Cleveland in the 70's and 80's. There were so many retail options back then: Gaylord's, Giant Tiger, Zayre's, Uncle Bill's, Cook's, Ames, Gold Circle, Hill's, Kiddie City, Children's Palace, Silverman's, US Merchandise, Value City (the department store which was different from the furniture store)...I'm sure there were others I'm forgetting. Ahhh, the memories.


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