AGE Department Stores was a small Bay Area chain of membership-based discount department stores. The chain was operated by the non-profit Affiliated Government Employees' Distributing Company. 1 Best remembered locally was the location at 400 Hegenberger Rd. The chain was founded by Paul Godkin, and existed from 1953 to 1976. 6

A 1955 article mentions locations at 3330 Telegraph Ave., 6625 Foothill Blvd., and one in Vallejo. 2 A 1956 article mentions 400 Hegenberger. Initially membership was limited to "any active or retired employee of the Federal, state, or local government," 1 but later was expanded to include current or retired members of the armed forces and widows of disabled veterans.

Harvey Binns, later proprietor of the House of Harvey, and Oakland city council member, was general manager and treasurer c.1957. 3

The CA secretary of state lists the non-profit corporation dates as September 22, 1953 to June 30, 1976, 6 and a 1977 article regarding the transfer of the off-sale liquor license refers to it as the "former AGE department store." 4 There's a 1982 ad for the AGE Mattress Store at the location, but it's unlikely there was any connection besides the name. 5

1962 addetail of 1962 ad

Links and References

  1. Affiliated Government Employees' Distributing Company, a Corporation, Petitioner, v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue, Respondent, 322 F.2d 872 (9th Cir. 1963)
  2. AFL Moves to Boycott Local Discount Houses Oakland Tribune April 15, 1955
  3. G.E. Wins Fair Trade Battle Oakland Tribune June 4, 1957
  4. City Backs License Transfer Oakland Tribune July 13, 1977
  5. AGE Mattress Store ad Oakland Tribune February 18, 1982
  6. Affiliated Government Employees' Distributing Company