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The Boston Globe

Business

Building #19 owner looks back, ahead

Cofounder ‘Ellis’ reflects on beginnings, bankruptcy, and what the future holds

Building #19 — the discounter that since the 1960s has sold “good stuff cheap” — last week filed for bankruptcy protection, and next month it plans to close all 10 of its stores. The Hingham-based company, like many chains before it, was felled by changing consumer trends and increased competition.

The “semi-lovely emporium,” as Building #19 waggishly called itself, sold goods that merchants wanted to get rid of — salvaged, overstocked, closed out, irregular. Customers never knew what they were going to find, and that was part of the plan.

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