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Building 19 — the discount retailer that since the 1960s has sold “good stuff cheap” — last week filed for bankruptcy and next month plans to close all 10 of its stores. The Hingham-based company, like many chains before it, was felled by changing consumer trends and increased competition.
The “semi-lovely emporium,” as Building 19 waggishly called itself, sold goods that merchants wanted to get rid of — salvage, overstocks, closeouts, and irregulars. Customers never knew what they were going to find, and that was part of the plan.
Building 19 was founded in 1964 by the irrepressible Gerry Elovitz -— who has long been known as Jerry Ellis — along with the late Harry Andler. Globe correspondent Colman Herman caught up with the 86-year-old Elovitz at his Weymouth store.