Maywood's Two Guys

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Maywood's Two Guys

Journeys into Maywood

In what may be considered a pre-cursor to the modern day big box store, folks in the area used visit regionally owned and operated “discount stores”.

A mainstay locally was “Two Guys”.

Most folks remember the Two Guys located at the site of the old ---- in Hackensack just north of Route 4. But Before that Two Guys was in Maywood – on the east side of town on Passaic Street just across from the Inter City Bus Lines terminal.

At that time the outfit was known as Two Guys from Harrison.

As was the case with many such stores it started with televisions when they were becoming mainstream and available to the masses. They added other appliances and later a variety of other items (groceries, toys, clothes, appliances, lumber, sporting goods, record albums). Looking back it turns out that Two Guys was the forerunner and first in generation that led to the likes of Korvettes, Kmart, Walmart, The Wiz, Crazy Eddies, Best Buy, Kohls and Target.

Back in 1946, legend has it (at least according to “Hidden New Jersey”) brothers Herbert and Sidney Hubschman were running Herb's Diner across from the RCA factory in Harrison when they saw a business opportunity. RCA was one of the first manufacturers of televisions, and the Harrison plant held old floor samples and sets that had minor blemishes from shipping. I'd venture that the merchandise was equivalent to the "open box" stuff you see at appliance store clearance sales today. The equipment works perfectly well; it's just not pristine, new, in-the-box.

In any case, Sid went to RCA management to propose a deal. They'd take the sets at an agreed-upon price, pay the company for those they were able to sell within a month and return any leftovers. Given that RCA hadn't yet determined another way to dispose of the TVs, the company didn't have much to lose. They delivered the sets to a vacant lot the Hubschmans had located for the purpose, and the fun began.

Sid and Herb figured that if they sold each set for five dollars more than RCA was charging them, they'd add a nice bump to their weekly snack bar earnings. Their overhead apparently was pretty low: their salesroom (the lot) doesn't seem to have cost them much if anything, and their advertising consisted of flyers they printed up and left on the windshields of cars parked along Harrison's narrow streets.

The rest, as they say, is history.

By the way, the Two Guys refers to the way the folks at RCA referred to them, sort of. Actually they were supposedly described as those “Two Bastards from Harrison”.

So, euphemistically it became “Two Guys from Harrison” and it stuck before eventually being shortened to Two Guys.

After a successful run, Two Guys was bought out by a larger outfit who was not as dedicated to merchandising as the brothers. Eventually, the real estate was considered more valuable than the stores. Two guys had a good run while it lasted.

We have a picture attached of the old Two Guys in Hackensack (now home of a Home Depot, Staples, Petco and other stores). But we have not seen any pictures of the Maywood Two Guys from Harrison.

Do you have any pictures of the Maywood store (where I saw color TV for the first time) ?

Even if you don’t, might you have any recollections to share ?

Background Info: Hidden New Jersey

Image: Hackensack Community Page

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