The Ann & Hope - Curtain & Bath Outlet Internet store is the latest extension of one of the pioneers of discount retailing in America. In 1953, Irwin Chase and his father, Martin, opened their first store in an old textile mill in Cumberland, Rhode Island. The building and store were named after a ship, the Ann and Hope, which was lost at sea off of Block Island, Rhode Island in 1806.
Originally, Martin Chase operated a ribbon manufacturing business on the third floor of the Ann and Hope building. When a lower cost ribbon was developed that would later make the Chase's ribbon style obsolete, the ribbon business was closed, and the remaining ribbon was sold at a discount to tenants in the building. Word of mouth quickly spread, and the Chases added additional lines of merchandise.
The Company was built on the philosophy of buying large volumes of merchandise, and selling it at a discount. Since Ann and Hope's prices were very low, they had to have low operating expenses. As a result, the Chases implemented several innovations. One of those changes was the use of central checkouts that are now commonly found in most discount stores. Another was the use of shopping carts in a discount store setting.
Today, the second and third generations of Ann and Hope's founders operate 12 Curtain & Bath stores in 3 New England states. In addition to these stores the company runs other concepts such as Dollar Outlet and the Garden Outlet. While you may no longer be able to buy everything from food to stereos to sporting goods under one roof, each store has an outstanding selection of products at prices that are the lowest you will find anywhere. Some things never change!