Once the largest manufacturer and seller of candy in the world, Loft was once a candy giant. Greater New York, New Jersey and Newark saw them manufacture and diatribe their own products.It was originally in 1860 that William Loft, an English immigrant opened a store for candy in Lower Manhatten. His two sons followed suit. The elder son, upon taking charge of the company in the 1890s, went on to open two more stores and continually added more amenities as the production increased and had to be moved out of domestic kitchens to factories. The famous Happiness Candy Stores, Inc., which was then controlled by Loft soon merged with PepsiCo as per a merger agreement filed by both the parties. It was shortly spun off and acquired by Albert M. Greenfield’s City Stores Company chain, a retail magnate. A rapid expansion soon followed with 2,100 of Loft’s employees making around 350 products and overseeing their subsequent distribution in fifteen states along the Midwest and Eastern Seaboard.A decade of various ownerships and changes in management later, Loft was acquired by the Southland Corporation in 1971. This went on to accelerate the slid.An attempt was made to stem it with a merger with Barricini Candies, Inc., a prominent Northeastern confectioner. This attempt also met with failure. That was the when the layoffs and the mass store closures began. A sell-off was attempted in the year of 1976 which again went on to be disastrous. Only 40 stores were still open by the year 1985. 1988 saw the final closing of all the stores, followed swiftly by the stopping of production and finally corporate dissolution on 1994.
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