Porteous, Mitchell & Braun Co., or simply Porteous, was a mid-market
department storebased in Portland, Maine. Porteous was the largest department store based in Mainein the decades prior to other department store chains locating branches within the state.
The flagship location and headquarters of Porteous was on Congress Street in downtown Portland. After the company closed the store at this location, it was used for warehouse sales. Today the flagship location has been restored and is home to the
Maine College of Art.
Porteous expanded and opened branch locations in Maine,
New Hampshire, and Vermont. The first branch took over another store that had ceased operations. In Newington NH, Porteous opened in the Newington Mall in a location formerly occupied by Sutherland's, the only branch store of a Lawrence MA-based department store that ceased operations in 1976. Other Porteous branches were opened in new shopping malls that opened in the late 1970s and early 1980s including the Auburn Mall in Auburn, ME (1979), ["Porteous to close store at Auburn Mall in July," "Bangor Daily News", May 31, 2002.] Bangor Mall in Bangor, ME (1978), ["Porteous to close store at Bangor Mall," "Bangor Daily News", November 5, 2002.] Burlington Square Mall in Downtown Burlington, VT and the Aroostook Centre Mall in Presque Isle, ME (1993). The former W.T. Grant store in Cooks Corner Shopping Center in Brunswick ME had been taken over by JC Penney, but was subsequently closed when the JC Penney store opened at the expanded Maine Mall in South Portland in 1983. Porteous not only opened in the Maine Mall at this time but also took over the Cooks Corner location. ["Brunswick Porteous closing, others spared," "Bangor Daily News", June 1, 2001.] The downtown Portland flagship store closed not long after the Maine Mall store opened.
Decline and shutdown
Owned by the
DunlapsStore chain based in Texas in its last years (starting around 1993), and operated as "PMB, Inc.--a Division of Dunlaps", the chain found itself flustered with new competition as many regional and national chains started to open units in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont communities where Porteous previously had carved out its niche in the mid-market department store business. The chain started to shut down in the mid-1990s, closing its Newington NH, and South Portland ME stores, and was completely shuttered by 2003 when its last store in Presque Isle closed. ["Presque Isle Porteous store to close in October," "Bangor Daily News," August 28, 2003.]
* Portland, downtown; now Maine College of Art
* South Portland,
Maine Mall, closed 1996; the two floors became Sports Authority(2nd floor) and Filene'sMen's and Furniture departments (1st floor), the latter now closed as well.
* Auburn, Auburn Mall; Now
Steve & Barry's(Opened 2007-12-22) ["Bargain-hunters swarm Steve & Barry's," "Sun Journal," 2007-12-23.]
* Bangor, Bangor Mall, Now
Dick's Sporting Goods
* Presque Isle, Aroostook Centre Mall
* Newington, Newington Mall, now demolished
* Burlington, VT, Burlington Square Mall-Downtown Burlington
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porteous — por·te·ous … English syllables
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