At some point, the General Store opened in Hawkins's town square, with Donald Melvald acting as shopkeeper. In 1973, Joyce Byers was employed there as a retail clerk, where she would work long hours and on holidays to make ends meet.
On November 7, 1983, Joyce prepared to go to work as usual, but became distracted after discovering that her youngest son was missing; in response, Donald decided to give her some time off, with a man named Jeffrey covering for her.
After her telephone got "fried" during a strange call, Joyce drove out to the store to purchase a replacement. As she was low on cash, Joyce requested a two weeks advance payment, to which Donald reluctantly agreed. The next day, she went back to the store in order to buy more Christmas lights.
On October 30, 1984, Bob visited the store to make out with Joyce in the storage room.
After the opening of the Starcourt Mall in 1985, Melvald's General Store, along with many other businesses in downtown Hawkins, suffered from a consistent lack of customers.
Hopper visited the store to get advice from Joyce on setting up some boundaries in Eleven and Mike's relationship. Joyce helped Hopper write a speech for him to memorize and say to the couple. Hopper planned to give the speech, but his impatience towards the two made him end up threatening Mike instead while driving him home.
The next day, Hopper drives to the store again to proudly boast to Joyce that El and Mike would not be seeing each other that day and that their relationship would be dimmed down. Afterwards Hopper and Joyce plan a dinner date at Enzo's, though she would later end up standing him up. On his way out, Hopper nearly trips on some fridge magnets on the floor, which have lost their magnetism overnight. Joyce examines the magnets and quickly connects it to an earlier instance where her own fridge magnets had lost their magnetism.