Ayres developed a discount store format called Ayr-Way in 1961 and opened its first Ayr-Way store on Pendleton Pike in Indianapolis. This subsidiary was one of the first discount store divisions launched by a traditional department store. The Indianapolis Ayr-Way store opened prior to the first Kmart, which opened in Garden City, Michigan, in March 1962, and the first Target store, which opened in May 1962. Ayres also opened Ayr-Way stores in other cities.

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