Ames Department Stores Inc. was an American chain of discount stores based in Rocky Hill, Connecticut, United States. The company was founded in 1958 with a store in Southbridge, Massachusetts, and at its peak operated 700 stores in 20 states, including the Northeast, Upper South, Midwest, and the District of Columbia, making it the fourth largest discount retailer in the United States.
Despite some success in its later years, Ames was plagued by debt and a slow decline in sales. This resulted in two bankruptcy filings that ultimately put an end to the chain. The company, despite expanding into other markets and taking over many closed stores that had been abandoned by competitors, went out of business in 2002.