Ode to Locker Loot

There used to be a store in malls all across this great land called County Seat. You probably can’t tell by the name but it was a store that sold jeans here’s a more accurate description:

The first County Seat store opened in Minneapolis in 1973. Beginning as an offspring of the grocery store chain Super Valu Stores, County Seat was intended as a budget-priced chain of stores offering casual clothes for the entire family, with about 3,500 square feet per store. The stores featured Levi jeans and other Levi apparel and had a distinct country western look with a rustic wood decor. That decor predominated for 12 years, as the chain slowly grew.

First, I have to say that I love the idea of a jeans store that began as an offshoot of a grocery store.

But County Seat carried more than Levis, oh yes, because it was at County Seat where you could get the Locker Loot.

The fact that I cannot find a photo of or fan page dedicated to the wondrous beauty of the Locker Loot is making me re-think my whole “the Internet is the best thing ever” philosophy. Seriously Internet, isn’t your one true purpose having documentation on everything that ever happened or existed? Well, you have failed. FAIL! Epic Fail with double exclamation points. You ought to be a ashamed of yourself, Internet.

But back to the Locker Loot, oh what a thing of glory for any girl aged 10-15 in the early to mid 80s. The Locker Loot was a miniature duffle bag (maybe about eight inches wide, by four inches tall) with “Locker Loot by County Seat” screen-printed on the front of it and inside. . . well, inside you’d find an assortment of sample-sized goodies sure to please the Bonne Belle in your life — Noxzema, Jean Nate, disposable razors in a variety of 80s colors, and most every other beauty aid advertised in the pages of Seventeen. Of course, it also included coupons to buy full-sized versions of all this crap. I’m sure the idea was to fill the bag with all the loot a girl would need while showering after gym class. Marketing at its finest.

Originally, it was sold in a sort of boring green color with khaki stripes that turned into the handles. My Aunt Cathy had one of the green ones she got at the Burnsville Mall and I loved it with my whole heart. I spent the summer before 7th grade pining for a Locker Loot of my very own, despondent that I couldn’t afford one (because any time I had two quarters to rubbed together I dashed off to Snyder’s to procure more Maxi Colors-to-Go eyeshadow).

All my pre-teen moping and whining and sad poetry paid off, because when school shopping rolled around one of the first stops was County Seat in the Northtown Mall. I wheeled right up the counter, where the Locker Loots were sold, and to my great pleasure discovered that they were now offered in pink and turquoise. Turquoise was my very favorite color of all the colors (as you would have been able to guess had you seen my entire back-to-school wardrobe for 7th grade) and I nearly died of joy right there in County Seat.

I wish I could remember what kind of delights filled this turquoise bag of goodness, but alas I cannot. I also wish I still had it so I could take a picture of it and be the holder of the only (so it seems) photographic evidence that such a glorious beast existed. For now, you will have to take my word for it.

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13 Comments

  1. Jenny 25.Aug.11 at 7:39 pm

    I remember the Locker Loot! I came to this post trying to find a picture of it as well. It is something from my childhood I will never forget!

    Reply
    1. Jodi 25.Aug.11 at 7:44 pm

      @Jenny, I cannot believe the Internet has failed to produce photographic evidence of the glory that was Locker Loot.

      Reply
  2. Kandi 18.Aug.12 at 8:39 pm

    I have the turquoise locker loot bag! I still use it all of the time. It doesn’t look the greatest (all of the writing has faded off), but I still love it! I can take a picture and send it to you if you want. Let me know how to get it to you.

    Reply
    1. Jamie 09.Feb.13 at 9:48 am

      I would love to see a picture 🙂

      Reply
  3. Jamie 12.Nov.12 at 10:31 pm

    I just googled locker loot, and found this. I was beyond giddy, because I went to the very same Burnsville and Northtown malls to get MY purple locker loot. Now my kid is 10 and I am just dying to explain how amazing this little bag of crap was – and she doesn’t seem to get it. AaaaaggggR!

    Reply
  4. Patti 17.Feb.13 at 7:22 pm

    I still have and use my tan and red Locker Loot bag. It has to be about 30 years old!

    Reply
  5. Ellen 02.Apr.13 at 11:45 am

    I came here searching for pictures of Locker Loot too. I had a turquoise one. Alas, mine was stolen out of my gym locker on the one day I forgot my padlock. Oh those were the days.

    Reply
  6. Andrea 23.May.13 at 3:46 pm

    I am forever searching for the locker loot. Had to have one every fall for school!

    Reply
  7. Gina 03.Dec.13 at 2:35 am

    OMG…. I had one of these bags, I think it was the khaki green color with navy blue handles….I have a picture holding it from a long time ago – I think I was in 8th grade…. I’m now 45 years old and I still remember it! I used to love it and I can’t remember what came in it either…

    Reply
  8. Kati 05.Feb.16 at 12:35 am

    I had a pale pink one with grey writing and handles, it came from Burnsville Center too.
    I loved it with every ounce of my being, I googled it and came across this post, there is a tan and red one for sale on eBay, 1/2 tempted to buy it even though it’s empty.

    Reply
  9. em 08.Apr.16 at 12:51 am

    I have mine still – type is worn – still love it and use it all the time.

    Reply
  10. Jerry 03.Sep.16 at 7:59 pm

    I found my Locker Loot with notes from a significant other to me back in 6th Grade. It is in decent shape. I re-read the letters, great memories, tossed them, but still have my Locker Loot!!!

    Reply
  11. Mommy Lisa 01.Dec.17 at 11:57 am

    This is crazy. Still no Locker Loot photos???

    Reply

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