Kuny Schaffer emigrated from Russia in 1908. He began and ran the Knickerbocker Suit Case & Bag Company, Broadway (where Trailways ended up). The fire that closed it prompted Schaffer to open Schaffer’s Bargain Store, 164 Northern Blvd. at Second St., in 1925. It sold discount furniture. At the time he bought it, the building at 640 Central Avenue was a residence; it had previously (1903) been Maher’s Grocery. The grand opening was in 1934. By the 1950’s, Schaffer’s Department Store was humming along nicely, and Kuny and his family lived at 422 Manning Blvd.
Who else would offer pushbrooms as a sales incentive?
A 1962 fire two doors down caused considerable smoke damage to Schaffer’s. A defective heater at Whelan’s Drugs (634 Central) started a fire that spread to Gloeckner’s Florists (636 Central).
Schaffer’s closed in 2001. In its place came Mohawk Army & Navy, Saratoga Army & Navy, Sameth Exterminating Company, and Albany Print. As of this writing (April, 2017), the business is dark.