Working women who have never heard of a & e stores are more likely to be familiar with its strawberry and bolton's chains. the company operates more than 30 strawberry and 20 bolton's stores that sell junior's and women's career and casual apparel, shoes, and accessories. the stores are concentrated in prime office districts in new york city; however, there are some strawberry locations in pennsylvania, virginia, maryland, massachusetts, and wisconsin. a & e's third chain, pay/half, has about 45 discount family clothing stores in half a dozen northeastern states and the chicago area. a & e stores was formed in 1973 by alan ades and albert and dennis erani; they also run real estate investment firm rugby realty.