It all started in 1930, when Robert S. Vidler, Sr. opened “The Fair Store” in the quaint village of East Aurora. Family legend has it that his mother-in-law complained of having to go all the way to Buffalo (16 miles distant) to buy a spool of thread – and Robert saw the opportunity for a new, local business.
Established, neighboring merchants took bets he wouldn’t last more than 6 weeks as it was the height of the Great Depression. With a great deal of hard work and financial sacrifice, the store survived and business grew. Robert waited 15 years to rename it as “Vidler’s 5 & 10” -- confident now of his success and no longer worried about ‘besmirching’ the family name should he fail!
Not only survived, but prospered! With sons Robert Jr. and Edward working alongside their father, the store continued to grow while maintaining the character and charm it always had – but now at ten times the size of the original! A local, 'hometown' 5 & 10 through the 60's and 70's, the store became more well-known in Western New York when the series of “Bob and Ed” commercials started appearing on regional television in the ‘80’s and running for over 20 years.
The sometimes corny, always humorous ads delighted viewers, and Ed became type-cast as "the Vidler on the Roof!" Today, Ed’s children, Beverly and Don, and their cousin Cliff DeFlyer, uphold the tradition with new commercials, but it's a tough act to follow when trying to match the humor and puns of Bob and Ed! There's also a modern twist: Vidler's TV on YouTube. A series of fun and quirky segments as Don, Bev and Cliff review the practical and whimsical merchandise you'll see in the store.
With the third generation of the Vidler family now running the store, it has become a local landmark and destination point for shoppers near and far. Now over 20x larger than when Granddad first opened, Vidler’s 4 connected buildings are easily recognized by their red and white awnings, ginger bread trim, hand painted gold leaf sign on the front, and hard to miss - the original and colossal ‘Vidler on the Roof’!
Inside, you will see the original wooden floors, big, open counters (the same ones that Grandma… and great-Grandma browsed!) and a store stocked full of every kind of merchandise available from eyelet lace to iPhone® accessories! In today’s hectic world and often times impersonal assistance, return to a simpler time and place where prices are reasonable, the conversation is friendly and customer service a pleasure!
You really have to visit Vidler’s 5 & 10 to believe it! Located just 20 minutes from downtown Buffalo and within 45 minutes of Niagara Falls, Vidler’s offers a unique shopping experience for the whole family!