Vidlers: The Original "Everything" Store

November 9, 2021
Written by
Don Vidler
vidlers storefront 1970

We assume you’ve heard of Amazon, the major online retail store where you can pretty much order anything you want and have it shipped directly to your doorstep. 

Amazon first got its start in 1994 as an online bookseller out of the founder’s own home. It didn't take long before they started selling other products as well.

Nowadays, Amazon is known as “the everything store”, because through their website you can order just about anything.

The Evolution Of The Everything Store 

But wait - a one-stop-shop where you can buy everything you need? Sounds familiar. That’s because this is very similar to the experience of what the local 5 & 10 variety stores were intended to be. 

Vidler’s 5 & 10, like many other 5 & 10 stores that are still in operation across the United States today, started out with the idea of supplying just about anything that the average local American household might need. 

Of course, back in those days, the idea was that you could visit one of these stores to find a variety of products for a uniform price. 

Vidler’s 5 & 10, for example, sold a wide range of products that were priced at either a nickel or a dime. Now, inflation has forced us to change the pricing models a bit, for obvious reasons. But the spirit of this model—the concept of being able to get whatever you needed at one localized location at low prices—is still very much alive and well today. 

And this concept was a powerful driving force for shaping modern retail. 

Vidler’s Is Your Local Everything Store

You know what’s faster than 2-day shipping? Walking out with your purchase in your hand! This whole ‘internet’ thing is great. But here’s the truth: You just can’t beat local.

No matter how fast shipping is, it can’t beat the experience of walking into your local East Aurora ‘everything store’ right here at Vidler’s. 

When you shop online, you can’t get the same feelings that you get when you come into the store, where you can hold products, read the labels, and talk to our friendly sales clerks who all know the products like the back of our hands!

The ‘human factor’ is what you’ll find here. And it’s the part of shopping that our world is desperately missing. 

Instead of combing through 1 to 5 star reviews (are all of those even real?) you can just take a walk down the aisle and check out each and every product yourself and ask a real person questions for real-time answers. 

Plus, we’re just a quick walk or drive away. 

And not to brag or anything—but I think we have Amazon beat on the ‘who’s been in business longer’ front!

The Everything Store As A Historical Landmark 

Of course, nowadays, Vidler’s stands for something a bit different. 

Yes, at one time, we were truly a fixture in the community where you could come in, shop for what you needed, and leave with some delightful penny candy to enjoy on your way home. 

But in 2021, in our modern world, this meaning has changed a bit to reflect a rich heritage of community and togetherness that the world just doesn't always get to experience anymore. 

We also understand the significance of remembering where we came from… long before Amazon, and even long before online shopping.

There aren't that many historic 5 & 10 stores still in operation in the United States. 

Why is the ‘5 & 10’ model considered a historic fixture in the United States? Well, they're a gateway to the past. Stepping into one of these historic stores is truly like stepping inside a time capsule.

Vidler's, like many of the other historic variety stores, still maintains the same decor, still stocks many of the same types of products, and really remains mostly unchanged from how it looked 90 years ago.

It gives you a glimpse into what life used to be like. Our great-grandparents didn't order their candy, flour, wool, or gifts off of a website. Instead, they tied on their bonnets and buttoned up their boots, hiked down to the variety store, dropped a few pennies on the counter, and selected their favorite tasty morsels from the prized candy selection proudly on display. 

It's really a testament to where we came from, and how much life has changed in this country. We still stock all of your favorite 5&10 products!

What Can’t You Buy Online? Vidler’s Has It!

There's definitely a certain amount of pride that comes along with running the world’s largest 5 & 10 store. To this day, Vidler’s is a place you can visit to see some friendly faces and to shop for everyday necessities, interesting oddities, fun knick-knacks, and hilarious gag gifts. 

But perhaps more importantly, when you shop at Vidler's, you're really experiencing a crucial part of American retail history. Vidler’s and the other variety stores that sprang up around the same time period were truly the first ‘everything stores’ of the modern world.

We may not have a massive website where you can order everything under the sun and have it shipped to your door within 2 hours. But we do offer a little taste of the way things used to be. 

When you experience shopping at the Original Everything Store, Vidler’s 5&10, you'll undoubtedly pick up on that feeling of nostalgia—that sense of wonder that comes from stepping into a place that has remained virtually unchanged over the course of the last century. That’s the one thing you can’t buy online.

We’ll see you soon!

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