This post is copied from, or based on, the writings of Rick Grenda in his Facebook Group, About South Jersey.
Harry Kaufman, the founder of his iconic Discount Harry’s store, began his journey in the business by purchasing a surplus army truck after World War II. He sold housewares at flea markets such as Columbus and Englishtown. Kaufman’s vision took a leap forward in 1951, when he bought a building on Rt 130, just north of the Airport Circle, and opened his store. To boost sales during slow Christmas periods, he added toys and bikes, followed by garden supplies, outdoor furniture, and pools in the spring, and school supplies in the fall.
Within a few years, Kaufman’s store became famous through word-of-mouth for offering the best prices and operating with a high volume and low overhead. He sold the business in 1976, refusing offers from Kiddie City as he wanted to keep his business away from corporate hands. Despite the change of ownership, the store retained its name and location, continuing to flourish until 1999 under the management of John Lancaster. It then relocated further north on Rt 130 and became known as New Harry’s Discount, which specializes in selling swimming pools and bikes without toys. It is vastly different from the original store that Kaufman had created.
In 2004, Kaufman passed away in Florida after retiring from the business he had built and nurtured for over 25 years.