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Benny`s retail chain history

In 1924 in Providence, Rhode Island,  Benny Greenwald, a Russian immigrant from Minsk, was running a successful grocery store. In order to expand his business, he opened a wholesale food business next door.

In the late 1920s, there appeared one more "Benny" - Benny Shifrin who had also immigrated from Russia and started as an errand boy in Greenwald`s shop at the age of 14. His three-decades-long work for Benny's company has been rewarded by a partnership in 1933. As a token of appreciation Greenwald presented the young partner with the cherished first name – Benny. 

Both partners were buying goods from different factories all around New England that could offer them low prices due to overproduction or other reasons and then reselling those goods to smaller retailers at higher prices. They were doing it across state lines in Pennsylvania, too.

Benny`s company has become so well-known that not only the retailers have been eager to cooperate with Benny, but also many factories have been offering their goods to Benny`s company. This allowed Benny and his partner to expand their business further by opening wholesale outlets in New Jersey and upstate New York.

In 1944 Benny Shifrin died unexpectedly at the age of 45 leaving behind a wife and three children. Benny Greenwald took the young orphaned family under his wing, even though he had already retired from active management by then because of heart problems. At this point, Charles Shifrin, the eldest son of Benny Shifrin was 21.

Since 1944 Benny Greenwald, now almost 80 years old, was just an adviser for his company. It was under the leadership of Charles Shifrin that the business really began to grow. He created a staff of buyers, negotiated new contracts with manufacturers, and opened new warehouses around New England. 

What is the mission of Benny`s?

Benny Shifrin, the youngest son of Benny Shifrin, was always attending school events and taking part in different sports. But he didn`t excel at anything. He wasn`t good enough for any sport to pursue it further or to get a scholarship. At that time his parents were thinking about buying him a small business where he could work after high school.

When Charles, Benny`s elder brother who had graduated from college with a degree in economics, got married and together with his wife moved back to Providence, Rhode Island – to the same town where his family owned their grocery store – he decided to extend an invitation to Benny as well. The idea was not so much for to work but rather to spend some time with them and see what that business would be like. Benny agreed immediately.

How many locations do they have?

There are 31 stores in the US at the moment and they are located in different states. The store's locations list is not accessible to the public at this moment.

Benny`s big closure

On September 8, 2017, Benny's announced the closing of all stores.

The once-proud Benny's retail stores have fallen into ruin after their close confines. The company that operated them filed for bankruptcy and now only some of those locations remain standing, though they're little more than mere shells of what used to be there--the others were sold off or abandoned altogether by this point in time due perhaps not just too much competition from other companies offering similar products but also because people simply don't need as many clothes anymore (or at least think otherwise).

The company cited increased competition and changing consumer habits as factors in the decision to close the stores. The auctioning of the company-owned merchandise will be held in the main offices in June 2018.

Typical Hours of Operation

Mo 9:00 - 17:30
Tu 9:00 - 17:30
We 9:00 - 17:30
Th 9:00 - 17:30
Fr 10:00 - 15:30
Sa 10:00 - 15:30
Su Closed

Locations: 17 locations in 15 states and 17 cities.


Health Score: Good

Specialties: To-Go Food, Premium Snacks


  • General Merchandise


  • accepts credit cards
  • wheelchair accessible
  • offers delivery
  • contactless delivery

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