Longstreth list of service buildings There was a Malone's department store in deKalb IL also one in Tacoma WA , but I don't know anything about it and haven't discovered any sources of information. Australian music fans are in for a real treat.
Current and finalised analyses
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February 19, 0. Totally Workwear A one stop shop for all your workwear needs. Superdry Superdry is an exciting contemporary fashion brand which focuses on high-quality products that fuse Thanks, Jim -- Though Ben Franklin assumes the role as a traditional variety store, its structure and size was vastly different than the larger Woolworth, Kresge, Grant, and other national firms.
Its Boston roots stem from as Butler Brothers, a wholesale firm that began offering franchises in the s. Owners bought the rights to the Ben Franklin name and committed to using Butler as a supplier, especially for large sale events. There was no central marketing system, other than logo design, etc for the member stores.
The Ben Franklin name and logo helped give a nationally recognized name to the largely independent downtown variety stores. Ben Franklin also helped set itself apart by concentrating on craft goods and notions. It celebrated a system wide anniversary in and boasted locations in all 50 states.
Butler was soon batted around with ownership changes that lead to a liquidation. Store count had dropped to The name rights were acquired by Promotions Unlimited who required a hefty name licensing fee. That firm dealt more with special buying events and did not serve as a wholesale supply firm. More longtime franchisees dropped the affiliation but the name still exists in small towns to this day.
It is not easy to find solid information on company history. Computer searches using the names Butler Brothers, City Products Corporation, and Promotions Unlimited centered around and might help. It seems like they were always overshadowed by LS Ayres and Blocks. I know they had a branch store at Eastgate Mall and the main downtown store a 2 W. This building is still standing and shows the sleek Art Deco remodeling Wasson's performed in the 's to keep an up to date look.
What type of merchandise did they sell? High quality or lower quality. The stores were purchased by Goldblatt's in Chicago and were closed in the late s? But that does not mean it was not a serious player or had a loyal clientele.
After evolving into H. Additional branches were opened in the Eagledale and Meadows centers, along with locations in Kokomo, Bloomington, and Anderson. The new mix and substantial decrease in sales staff alienated customers and sales plummeted in the early s. In the s, most downtown stores started their days around 9: A designated shopping nite would keep a downtown store open for possibly one or two nights a week until 8 or 9pm.
At Burdines downtown Miami, the store was open until 9: So there is no standard answer and most cities established a designated night of shopping that lasted well into the 80s and 90s. Just as cities and stores were different, so were their shopping trends.
This included the local small-town department store. The reason for this was that the town's factories paid workers on Thursdays. I wouldn't be surprised if a similar schedule prevailed in many other towns around the U. Was it produce or drink bottles?
I know they owned the Outlet, Sattlers and Edw. Malley and the filed bankruptcy around or The company bought up failed or failing stores, such as The Bullock Co.
Dunham in Trenton NJ. It would be a BIG job to research them all. In the Outlet Corp. I suspect the whole story would be complicated. Do you only write about defunct department stores? It was expensive to operate but the recent plan to reduce it to 3 floors seemed harsh enough. Oh well, so much for being a merchant but Al Boscov was a true merchant, perhaps our last. This time, he trained his family well and the business is poised to survive and thrive, as long as it caters and enhances a loyal customer base.
It is not something that has been written about much in Columbus histories. I know their Downtown store was located on N. The first address was North High Street. Only the two Kobacker stores in Columbus, however, had the name Boston Store. At some point the downtown store either moved to N. High Street -- or that address was the result of renumbering. Near The Boston Store, on N.
High between Broad and Spring, were Woolworth's, W. Grant, Kresge, The Union, and J. The downtown store closed in the early s. My impression of the store is that it carried basic goods, and was not a fashion store. Could you tell me some of the strengths and weaknesses of each of the chains above?
Why did these chains come about? I will simply offer some thoughts about why the chains formed rather than final analyses or histories of each group. As popular is the myth of the successful family-owned department store created and run by the genius initiative of a single man, the fact is that the big department stores that had developed by the end of the 19th century needed a great deal more systematic management if they were to survive.
Economic downturns had a disastrous impact on big stores as was shown in the early years of the 20th century. Federated Department Stores was a response to the need for more sophisticated management. It was almost more of a cooperative arrangement than a public corporation as later developed, and was initially based on sharing information among big stores in non-competing markets.
Manufacturers, too, were growing larger and more organized — and doing direct-to-consumer brand advertising -- and single department stores were losing their power to compel low prices from manufacturers that they had previously enjoyed. These corporations were usually formed as early acquisitions or as holding companies where stores could pool their funds, make volume purchases, expand as necessary, and take risks.
As Jan said, this question can easily form a college thesis. A very important and essential component to dept store success. But as to a quickie on these companies: Federated, some of the biggest that operated under solid financial backing; May, slowly strengthened during the 60s and quietly surpassed its competition; Allied, mostly mid size markets that were successful but not largely cutting edge in fashion; Mercantile, dominant store in smaller markets; Associated, nice but stodgy stores with valuable real estate; City, run by a crazy man who almost purposely operated underperforming store in large markets; R.
Macy, operated successfully under its familiar name with national aspirations that dated back to the 20s and s, Gimbels ran out of family members and were reactive and not proactive I still liked them all.
Many city directories have been digitized. We specialize in department stores, a different type of store that deals in a much wider selection of merchandise than do clothing stores, so your question takes us outside our area of expertise. In some ways, these hours showed the strength of these stores and their surrounding neighborhoods.
As stores suffered challenges, city and suburbs, hours were frequently shortened. Some Sears even open now at 11 am! But the difference may be with the Manhattan stores. As other cities cut back in the 70s, Manhattan stores increased hours as the city polished some of its edges and attracted more immediate residents.
In , Gimbels increased its hours of operation to 9: I just finished "Bygone" with a huge smiles on my face and heart!
Second, it's probably already been pointed out, but the date on the photo on page 51 most likely is in error given the fact that all 7 cars shown are late 40's - early 50's. Finally, while doing your research, did you ever come across anything regarding train gardens as part of the Christmas window displays downtown?
I can remember my father taking the family in the 50's-early 60's several times to see them. Thank you again for a great read related to Smalltimore! They were located in larger towns in Ohio such as Greenville, Wapakoneta, Piqua as well as other towns. They went out of business in the 's.
Uhlman Company, headed by Frederick W. Uhlman  was headquartered in Bowling Green OH. I believe the smaller stores concentrated on clothing and were not full-scale department stores. It's likely that some of the stores had been closed previously, as you mention. Stage Stores operated locations throughout the country but over expanded. Stage ran into severe financial problems which ultimately led to a bankruptcy filing in They announced to their communities that on the next business day, the store would be decorated and stocked with holiday merchandise, the mechanical display windows would be able to be enjoyed, and Santa would be ready for the children.
They created a magical atmosphere for the kids and even the adults. When did the stores begin to start having the parades? When did most of them end? Are there any notable parades that really stand out? It seems like this is a subject that is not covered well in some of the department store histories I have read. With the exception of Eatons Toronto Santa Claus parade, many of the big American holiday parades came into full swing by the mid to late s. Leading the way was Gimbels in Philadelphia which was followed by Hudson's, Macy's, Bamberger's, etc.
But by the s, holiday parades, sponsored by department stores, could be found in Trenton, Reading, Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Houston, etc. These parades usually concluded with Santa either walking into the department store, sometimes by fire ladder, in front of thousands of attendees.
But these smaller parades were costly. Materials, labor costs, and permits were expensive and as downtowns lost their luster by the late s, many stores chose to spend their advertising budgets elsewhere.
In addition, television brought the major parades such as Macy's and Hudson's directly into living rooms. In comparison, local parades seemed almost 'dinky' and the audiences dwindled in size.
But make no mistake, once a department store cancelled an expensive tradition, people became irate, as if something was stolen from them. The average person had no idea what type of burden these events placed on a department store's bottom line. There is no one book specifically about department store parades but a number of books cover these parades quite well, including some of my own!
There are numerous books on the Macy's parade but I love William L. Bird's book, Holidays on Display. Usually we think of holiday parades as being outdoors, but Wanamaker stores held them indoors in the teens, according to William Leach in his classic book Land of Desire. He says that the Wanamaker stores had Christmas parades every day at This sounds truly magical to me. It was converted into the Metropolitan Theater in and again into the current home of The Brooklyn Tabernacle.
The store went into bankruptcy in and failed in , at which time its full name was A. Azel passed away in but his store, that employed upwards of workers, suffered from high debt and estate issues.
By , the store faced liquidation but carried forward under new owners. Its 78th anniversary in April promised a celebration "with due dignity" but just two months later it entered bankruptcy protection. In late December , a bankruptcy trustee ordered an immediate liquidation of the large store. One year later, the building housed a branch of a Georges clothing store but was transformed into Loews Metropolitan Theatre, the largest motion picture house in the world, in September Lisicky for writing back to tell me about the artist at Westview mall What American department stores were characterized by providing a quality shopping experience?
By this I mean stores which sold good quality merchandise, special tea rooms or restaurants, had quality architectural ambiance, and promoted special holiday traditions? Are there any others you or Michael can add? Certainly every major city, smaller city, and even many smaller towns had department stores that people still remember fondly for their merchandise, service, and special events.
Having grown up in St. The firm declared that it was the largest store in the city's shopping district. Eleanor Roosevelt cut the ribbon on opening day, a tradition that Mrs. Roosevelt carried out at other Arnold Constable locations. The new store, located at East State Street and Montgomery Street, replaced a vacant movie theater, the Wilkinson Building, and a series of small shops. Macy purchased the plot of land for a possible Trenton branch but turned the lease over to Arnold Constable about a year later.
Arnold Constable remained in Trenton until I think it was near Park Street Station????? Robert's in Rhode Island around the 's.
My Aunt Mary used to take us there and buy clothing for us. And where was it located? My sister-in-law lives around wayland square and I sensed I recognized the place.
It must have been Edith Roberts store at wayland ave. Thanks so much for clearing up this mystery for me! QU I came across a picture of Albany, NY's shopping district. The photo was dated I noticed a Robinson's and a Leed's department store in the photo. I am certain that the Robinson's store isn't related to the one in California. I have been having trouble finding information on both of the stores in Albany, NY.
Would you be able to help me? Among the stores that are listed are John G. If so are they still in business? I have never really heard anything about the huge Macy's flagship.
Am I missing something? Thanks, Dave -- You have named some of the best known and loved tea room restaurants in American department stores, and you are correct in thinking that Macy's has not been known for its restaurants.
For much of its history it has been a store that emphasized low prices, thanks in part to the lack of expensive frills such as fancy restaurants which typically have lost money. In the last few years it has upgraded its food service but it has no tradition of fond customer memories to build upon, plus the era of the department store restaurant is mostly in the past, so I don't know how well it has done. Do you have any names?
Or stories about any of these women. During the war there was a severe personnel shortage and some Black women were hired in Northern department stores to work as saleswomen during the Christmas rush -- often only at the urging of the Urban League.
The first saleswoman one hired by a large store that I have seen referenced in a newspaper article was in , in Albany NY. In a downtown department store hired the first Black full-time, permanent saleswoman. By the late s there were said to be quite a few Black saleswomen in NYC stores, but for most of the country these gains came in the early s as stores' eating facilities were also integrated -- after protests. I know of no personal stories or accounts, but at Leggett's the women's names were Amanda Spencer and Edith Chambers, both married.
Of course each store has a somewhat different mix of departments, and they changed over time. Was it a cash rail system invented by Lamson? Or was it a pneumatic tube system? Was it installed in the Grand Depot? Finally the Grand Depot was not a department store when it opened in but more of a of men's shop. When did it become a full-fledged department store? John Wanamaker began expanding lines in that store a year after it opened. In he added some women's clothing and shoes and by it was a full department store.
But as I've learned, corporate historical records are not always accurate. Probably numerous stores sold furniture and area rugs, so I can't help you with that. For example, Jordan Marsh is vaguely referenced as having been formed after the American Revolution and then eventually 'departmentalized'.
Do you have anymore details about that? Knowing other 'greats' from the s would be really helpful too. Thank you so much. That may have given you some confusion. But many, many other Boston retailers deserve mention and study. You can best learn who they are and their stories at http: Before the shopping malls became popular, it seems many branches were smaller and sold a limited selection of goods, seemingly not posing a huge threat to the main store.
As the regional malls became popular and anchor stores larger, the flagships suffered and ultimately closed. I read in an interview with a member of the Lazarus family who stated the downtown flagship with one branch store was great, but as more branches were added, sales were negatively impacted not only downtown, but at other branches.
In most cases, department stores had to move to the suburbs because that's where the customer moved. It was easier and safer to shop in the suburbs, at least according to perceptions, and you could take your packages home in your own car. The American dream was based on post-war suburban expansion and optimism.
Downtown stores peaked around , if I had to give a year. One million square feet, operated by a private family, in a rambling sixty year old building, in a town that closes up at 6pm, was not a recipe for the future. Lazarus' answer could have worked for Columbus, but it wouldn't have succeeded in Detroit or Newark. Lazarus had very little competition in Columbus.
Every city had its own economic and social reasons for change and so did every store. And branch stores became bigger as the downtown stores became smaller and suburban competition increased. Downtown stores developed and grew in the era of public transportation; private transportation, i. Also, the downtown stores -- and downtown generally -- often became shabby looking in comparison to the new suburban stores.
And note that it wasn't just shoppers leaving the city; big employers were also moving to corporate and industrial parks on the outskirts so there were fewer daytime shoppers in city centers.
He looked like Cary Grant. It was located at Main Street. Beyond that, I can't find any information. The Mills part was dropped at some point. Location was Route 46 in Totowa NJ. My husband and I shopped there early in our marriage when we lived in West Paterson now Woodland Park.
It was a discount store with general merchandise such as we still have today and was part of a retailing trend of the time in which discount stores located in suburbs and often in old mill buildings, with large parking areas and evening hours, began to become significant retailers. They are not strictly speaking department stores, and in fact they seriously undermined traditional department stores.
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