The History of Department Stores

Under the clock: Let's talk



Almost every city had one department store with a big corner clock where people met, perhaps to talk over the events of the day. Do you have opinions about department stores, shopping, about the "olden days" -- or about stores now? How has your city changed since the days when there were one, two, maybe three department stores downtown? Did you used to "meet under the clock?"

I, Jan Whitaker (JW), and department store book author Michael Lisicky (ML) will try to answer your questions ABOUT DEPARTMENT STORES. Also, if you are on Facebook consider joining the group called The Golden Age of the Department Store.


Click and type in a question or comment

My mother worked at the corporate headquarters of a department store chain called CHARLES in the 1950's . Her offices were in Manhattan in what used to be Madison Square Garden,but the stores were elsewhere, possibly down south. Does this entity still exist? How can I get more information or photographs? -- There are many stories about the Charles store in Greensboro NC in the local paper there, the Greensboro Record. The 2-story + basement department store opened there in 1940 with much fanfare and a full page of stories about it on Feb. 21. It was said to be the 22nd Charles store in North Carolina at that point. In 1954 there was a total of 35 stores in NC, VA, TN, KY, and PA. I presume they were all similar to Greensboro's, small and mostly selling apparel for men, women and children. It looks as though the chain's business model was to do its own manufacturing, mainly in the South where of course there were no unions and the cost of labor was lower. I cannot determine when the chain went out of business, possibly in the 1970s. For images, assuming there are any, I would try e-Bay, creating an "alert" so that you will be notified if something turns up. -- JW
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Trying to find the name of a very small department store in Highland Park, Illinois, where I had my first job in the mid 1950's. -- The only thing I can come up with is the Edgar A. Stevens store, a women's specialty store that is sometimes referred to as a department store. -- JW
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I was wondering, in general, what happens to the archives of department stores that are closed? Are the archives disposed of, do they go to local libraries and historical societies, or if they are bought out by another store, does that store absorb the archives? Any information that you can provide would be appreciated. Thanks! -- We live in a largely disposable society and many items from soda cans to corporate records were discharged without thought. Department stores records can either be found intact or they can be pieced together through personal collections by former employees. (Remember, employees were often very loyal to these businesses and they can be a great resource. They can be found, with moderate effort. Locate one and the others tend to follow. Find a name off of a news article and try whitepages.com. Be up front and kind. Works for me.) Historical societies will be your best bet but don't just assume that these records still exist. If there is a corporate collection that has been preserved and catalogued, 9 times out of 10 they will be kept at a historical society. But don't discount local history sections at public libraries. Ask for pamphlet files. They often have them and you can found all types of ephemera and photos. Larger stores had employee magazines, always a good resource. If you have a store in mind, never forget eBay. Most department stores that still exist have fallen into the Macy's nameplate. Those archives are mostly closed. -- ML
I second what Michael has said. BTW he is an extremely talented researcher with all the necessary characteristics: patience, creativity, and perseverance. -- JW

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In a novel written in the 1850s I found a small business type card, black with a large rose and buds and printed in a beige rectangle: ST. JOACHIM. The Largest Fancy Store in America, 329 Washington Street, Boston
Would there be any history some place about this store? -- JB heuschrecke@otimum.net
I'm not sure what to say about the St. Joachim store. All I have is a listing from 1872 for a St. Joachim "One Dollar Store" at 173 Washington Street. But then again, one dollar in 1872 meant a whole lot more than it does at Dollar Tree today. ($1 in 1872 is now worth $24.02.) -- ML
I have found two advertisements for St. Joachim Bazar at 329 Washington, both for Christmas, one in 1876 and the other 1883. The 1883 advertisement boasts "The Largest Toy, Jewelry, Fancy Goods & Novelty Store in Boston." Maybe so, or maybe not. It's quite common to see boastful claims on trade cards such as you have found. There were many such stores of this type in business in the 1870s and 1880s. Some, such as R. H. Macy expanded into department stores, most did not. In addition to jewelry and toys, holiday gifts advertised by the store in 1883 include fans, albums, leather goods, cutlery, and even rocking chairs and Turkish rugs. St. Joachim went out of business in 1889, according to an advertisement selling off the store and its stock. -- JW

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What became of the children's clothing store in the 1940's and 1950's, the "Little Miss Richmond Shop," in Richmond IND. Who was the owner? -- Sorry but this site is unable to answer questions about stores other than department stores, which are our specialty. You might try asking a reference librarian in that city. -- JW
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What became popular in department stores in the civil war times? -- Strictly speaking there were no fully developed department stores until the 1870s. -- JW

Department stores rarely bursted onto the scene on their own, at least as traditionally defined department stores. As you stated, department stores really did not exist during the Civil War. If you want to argue A.T. Stewart, you can. But most were born out of small dry goods stores and the families built the business usually as a retailer and a wholesaler (the wholesale aspect was mostly dropped by the turn of the century for these businesses). The early successful operations offered, at least what we consider the major ones, a depth of merchandise unmatched at other businesses and in other cities. John Wanamaker started off as a mens and boys clothing store but it had an extensive inventory for a business at the time. When they operated their Grand Depot in 1876, Wanamaker's massive amounts of clothing drew the crowds. It didn't expand into other categories until a few years later. So if you are an early business and you want to make your mark, carry a large inventory, back up your merchandise to allow for returns or exchanges, sell it for the same price to everybody, and constantly evolve your business and always seek out your next generation of customer. That formula worked for quite a number of decades. Oh yeah, treat your employees well so that your employees treat your customers and your business well. Seems like we forgot about that lately. -- ML

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Hi! How was the A.T Stewart Dry Goods Store useful? What were the benefits of it? How did it expand and develop our country economically? Thanks! :) -Pepe
Some historians regard A. T. Stewart's as the first department store, but it lacked many of the features of full fledged department stores of the latter 19th century, such as a full complement of departments, restaurants, and even women's restrooms. Stewart, like some other department store originators, was primarily a wholesaler. Much more could be said but I am traveling and have poor internet service. -- JW
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I have a fur type coat marked from a store in Monterey ca? called "Elegance" "a store with a heart"-icon. made exclusively for this store by Dell-Mann.(labeled) I want details about the store, mfg of the coat, and maybe value. it is nice
-- I'm afraid Elegance must have been a specialty shop rather than a department store and I know nothing about it. Perhaps you could find it in a city directory. -- JW
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I have an oriental statute purchased in 1955 made exclusively for L.W. Berinoff in San Francisco, CA but can't find anything on the internet about the store. DD -- This site is devoted solely to department stores, but I can tell you that L. Wallace Berinoff was a designer, importer, and furniture wholesaler in San Francisco. Perhaps he furnished merchandise to department stores, but otherwise I can find no connection. -- JW

L.W. Berinoff & Co. was once the world's largest department store company and, at its peak, operated over 14,000 stores and employed over several million workers. The store was nicknamed "the 1000" because each location employed over a thousand workers. Based in Eau Claire, WI, Lawrence Wilherberton Berinoff was a distant relative to the Shah of Iran. The company carried some of the finest Persian rugs and carpets. L.W. Berinoff & Co. was well known for its apple pie and thousands have tried to duplicate the unique recipe but to no avail. Berinoff's, or "the 1000", fell victim to the Great Green Stamp Collapse of 1967, and most stores were quickly shuttered. However, there is still one Berinoff's still in operation, located just west of downtown Florence, SC. Though the store carried massive amounts of merchandise, I can safely say that it never carried oriental statutes. -- ML, on April 1

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I have a 1912 store calendar plate that says "compliments of J. A. Dillard, People's Store, Bay Saint Louis, Miss" I haven't been successful, finding anything online, I can send a pic if needed. Thanks, teteleelee@gmail.com -- I can't find anything either though this isn't too surprising as there were many stores named People's Store throughout the US around that time. They were stores that emphasized low prices mostly, cousin to dime stores. Or it could have been a grocery store. -- JW

I wanted to see if there was any direct or obvious connection between the J.A. Dillard store and the empire that William T. Dillard built. The answer is a comfortable "no," but a bloodline may still exist. (However, I don't see a Dillard merchant family active in Mississippi at that time.) William Dillard's father opened his business in Mineral Springs, AR back in 1899. Dillard learned his managerial ropes in Texarkana and grew enough support to acquire Mayer & Schmidt in Tyler, TX; Brown-Dunkin in Tulsa, and Pfeifer's in Little Rock. The first store to operate under the Dillard's name, by William Dillard, was in Austin, TX in 1964. -- ML

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I have a hat and hat box with receipt from 1965 from Efird's of Raleigh... can not seem to track this store down, although reading that most of Efirds bought out by Belk--- any insight? Thanks -- Efird's was begun in Charlotte, North Carolina, by three Efird brothers. Next two additional Efird brothers opened a store in Concord NC. At its peak the 5 brothers had 50 stores in the Carolinas (and one in Virginia). The Belk's chain acquired the company in the 1950s. Perhaps they kept the Efird's nameplate on some of the stores. -- JW

Efird's and Belk were almost a matched set in customer-base and operational structure throughout the Carolinas. Efird's, founded in 1907, initially grew quickly but struggled to keep up with Belk's continual growth. Regardless of their financial issues behind the meeting room doors, Efird's played a large role in Carolina retailing. Belk acquired Efird's in September 1956 and, through its acquisition, won a coveted Tryon Street entrance for its flagship store in Charlotte. After the purchase, Belk kept the Efird name but began closing duplicate stores in small towns. Within a year, only 30 of the 50 Efird's stores remained. According to Belk corporate history, the final Efird's store closed in 1979, in Smithfield, NC. -- ML

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I grew up in West Bend, WI, which had its own Sears, but the most frequent memory is of the Milwaukee Sears, which had a person in a tower in the middle of the parking lot, who would say via speaker, "blue Ford, there is a parking space one aisle West". -- That's quite an unusual service! -- JW
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My family is proud to be still operating a small department store in Wellsboro, Pa. It began in 1905 when my great grandparents opened a grocery store. We have grown and evolved over the years, but still remain in the same Main Street address where it all began 110 years ago. If you ever get to North Central PA, stop by! Ann Dunham Rawson -- And I see that the name of the store is Dunham's -- http://www.dunhamswellsboro.com/pages/about_us.php -- JW
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Thanks for the feedback and the references to books on Woodie's and Hutzler's. Roshek's is the Dubuque store that I couldn't recall.
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I just discovered this site thanks to a story about Joske's in today's San Antonio Express-News. I will be "wasting" lots of time exploring it! Here are some questions for starters: are there recipes for the W&L deviled crab and for Hutzler's crab imperial? I grew up in the DC area in the 40s and 50s and the photo of Woody's at Christmas is exactly as I remember it. They had great windows with lots of animation. Another store that I don't see mentioned here was Kann's. They had a store downtown and one in the then-new Virginia Square center in Arlington. That site survives as a college building. I also remember a store in Dubuque IA but don't recall the name. As a kid I was impressed that Dubuque was enough of a big city to have its own department store! Bob Weidman San Antonio TX -- I don't have those recipes unfortunately. Most towns, even ones as small as 10,000 population, had department stores at one time. As for Dubuque, it had Roshek's and Stampfer's. -- JW

As the author of books on Hutzler's and Woodward & Lothrop, I have amassed a fair amount of recipes. (The same goes for many of the country's department store restaurants.) I can say that the crab imperial recipe is in my Hutzler's book. A "deviled crab tea sandwich" recipe from Woodward & Lothrop has survived and is in the W&L book. It is not what you traditionally think of as deviled crab. And as far as a history and picture of the Arlington Kann's, it's already in the W&L book. -- ML

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Can anyone confirm that the Treasure Island department store in Milwaukee circa 1960's sold pet monkeys? I'm trying to convince a disbelieving friend! -- In 1962 J. C. Penney acquired General Merchandise Co. and began to build Treasure Island stores; there were three in Milwaukee in 1964. They were not department stores in the traditional sense but self-service general merchandise stores like Walmart, etc. built along the lines of a supermarket. I can find no mention of monkeys in their advertisements. But they did have a pet department and were meant to be experimental stores where Penney tried out new things, so maybe they sold monkeys at some point. -- JW
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Whatever happened to the laughing Santa displayed in the Hochschild Kohn Baltimore department store? -- The same thing that happened to most department store displays and archives, it was most likely destroyed. After researching Hochschild Kohn, I have never come across any remote piece of evidence that implies that the Santa still exists somewhere. (Strangely, it's hard enough to find a picture of it.) The German-made Santa, which was motion activated, was last used in 1966. As one of my favorite bits of department store trivia, Warren Buffet purchased Hochschild Kohn in 1966 and owned it for 3 years. It was his first private investment. When he came on board, Buffet noticed the aging displays and the worn balloons from the Thanksgiving Parade. His arrival signaled the end to the Laughing Santa and the parade, much to the delight of the display staff but not Baltimoreans in general. -- ML
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It is always possible that I'm incorrect but I believe the first department store that opened in the US was Gimbels in Vincennes, Indiana in the 1840's. -- There are a number of department stores in the US that have traced their origins back to the 1840s, sometimes the 1830s. But actually department stores as a distinctive type of retailing had not developed yet. It is generally agreed that they did not develop until after the Civil War. So the origin businesses were usually small dry goods or general stores that were run by the ancestors of the family members who turned that same store (or business base) into a department store decades later. The Vincennes store was expanded over time, but the first full-fledged, modern Gimbels department store was opened in Milwaukee in 1887. -- JW

It's OK to be occasionally incorrect, it happens to me every so often, but Gimbels "Palace of Trade" in Vincennes was hardly a modern department store. He ran a standard well-stocked dry goods store with ethical business practices. What was the first department store? Who really knows. What is the definition of a department store? That has certainly changed over the years. I'd probably give the honor to A.T. Stewart in New York with his Marble Place in the 1840s. But the first business to be incorporated as a "department store" was ZCMI, Zions Cooperative Mercantile Institution in Salt Lake City back in 1868. The historic facade to ZCMI has be preserved and serves as the street front to the current downtown Macy's. -- ML

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When was the S. Klein department store first opened on Union Square, New York? -- The women's clothing store began in one room upstairs on Bleecker Street in 1906. In 1920 it moved to Union Square and was so popular it was enlarged just two years later. In the depression a big sale there brought out mounted police to keep order. It spread out into a string of 11 connected buildings, short on service but with rock bottom prices, an early discount store. In 1965 the by-then chain of 10 Klein's was taken over by McCrory stores and the chance of finding a gem among the junk became poorer. The chain was closed down in 1975. After remaining vacant for years buildings comprising the Union Square store were razed for a new apartment/retail building finished in 1987. -- JW
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In Washington DC, 1900s, there was a dry goods store -- with a partner named Emerson. Would you happen to know where I could find information? -- Alas, I don't know of this store and can find no trace of it in my sources. What was Emerson's full name and was he a silent partner? -- JW
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I am interested in finding information about Wanamaker's Department store in Paterson, NJ. In looking up my family tree, four of my three times ancestors married Wanamakers, and some of them lived in Paterson where I also grew up. Do you know the name of the founder? Also, if you have any other information about the family. Thank you. -- For a start, John Wanamaker was the founder of the Wanamaker store headquartered in Philadelphia and with many branches established in the 20th century. -- JW
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Hi, my grandmother's sister, Lea, was married to a German man who owned a large furniture store in Manhattan which was confiscated during WWII. Do you have any information? bertsb007@gmail.com -- Sorry, but I don't know. Our specialty is department stores that sell a wide range of merchandise. -- JW
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What type of bags did Montgomery Ward use in 1955? -- for shoppers items that is. I'm imagining they didn't use plastic lol bags but I was looking for a photo of the bags they did use. -- Thanks -- This can be a hard question to answer. By the 1950s, Montgomery Ward had not quite settled on a logo, or an image for that matter. The company had yet to invest in a reasonable suburban expansion. Yes, the bags were paper and they most likely were gray. In 1955, the company mostly used a very indistinct colonial-type script font (leaning right) but by the end of the year, the logo was slightly more stylized but "Ward" was much bigger than Montgomery. Within a few years, the diamond M and Ws were widely used. If you need to see the logo, check out microfilm newspapers in a former Montgomery Ward trading area. But expect the grayish script bags to be slightly underwhelming. -- ML
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Just a word, Michael -- I thoroughly enjoyed your new book on Pomeroy's. It's so full of information that I never knew, and really brings a unique store back alive. Thanks for all the effort to create a tremendously enjoyable, worthy, and valuable book! -- Bruce Kopytek
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Where was Goofs located in the 1980's? -- There were no department stores of this name that I know of, but maybe you are thinking of a clothing store in Mobile AL that sold factory seconds and closeouts in Springdale Plaza. -- JW
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Was Holthausens in Union City New Jersey a full line department store and if so what year did it close ? I came across this name recently but had never heard of it. -- One of the most under appreciated department store websites is run by David Sullivan of the Philadelphia Inquirer. A passionate fan of the department store and newspaper industries, David has documented many former stores in the Mid Atlantic. He did an entry for Holthausen's back in 2008. Yes, it was a department store and yes, it's gone. Read about it at: http://davisullblog.blogspot.com/2008/10/department-store-building-of-week-vol_26.html. -- ML

It was founded in 1877. It was indeed a full-line department store and even sold major appliances in the 1960s, at which time the store's top execs were still from the Holthausen family. -- JW

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I lived in Yorktown Heights, NY in the late 1960s--early 1970s, and we used to shop at White's Department Store, quite often. I know that they had a downstairs with a beauty salon where my mother got her hair done, while I was glued to the book section of the store. Where was the store located and do you have any photos of it? Thanks. -- I'm having trouble finding out much about White's. I can only tell you that there was a White's Department Store in Yorktown Heights on Route 202 just west of the Taconic Parkway which in the 1980s closed and became the Mall for Home Decorating & Remodeling. -- JW
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In the mid 1970s I worked at an Associated Dry Goods store named Stewarts in Louisville, Ky. Is there any information on this department store? -- The Stewart Dry Goods Co. grew out of a Durfee, Heath & Co. store established in 1846. It became part of the H. B. Claflin empire headquartered in NYC in the 1880s and was known as "the New York Store." Louis Stewart acquired it in 1892 and it was renamed Stewart Dry Goods. The building at 4th and Walnut was constructed in 1907. In 1923 it had over 500 employees. In the 1950s and 1960s it established branches in KY and Indiana, totaling 7 stores in all. After shifts in ownership the chain began to be downsized in the 1990s, with the flagship store closing in 1990 and the last Stewart's closing in 1992. You can find out more about Stewart's and other Louisville stores at the site: http://pastperfectvintage.com/louisvillestores.htm. -- JW

There is a perfect book for you but it's a matter getting a hold of it! "Stewart's: A Louisville Landmark" was written by Kenneth L. Miller in 1991 and published by Carraro's Art-Print & Publishing Co., now defunct. It's a nice book with lots of pictures, stories, and recipes. But it is no longer available. (Trust me, I pride myself in my department store book collection and I only have a personal photocopy of it.) But I would go to your local library and do an interlibrary loan. It is relatively simple to use. This book can be found at the main Louisville library and the Indiana University Library Southeast. They will help you. It's the only way to get it (it's how I did it) and well worth it. But don't try the Library of Congress. They've lost their copy. -- ML

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One other suggestion about the ad from Gimbels. As ML noted Gimbels only had 1 store in Northern NJ, and the NJ paper that they would advertise in was the Bergen Record, both before and after the Garden State Plaza store opened. That paper is now known as The Record, you may want to inquire to see if they have digital archives available. 1 Garret Mountain Plaza 8th Floor P.O. Box 471Woodland Park, NJ 07424-0471 (888)-460-5322, for The Record, KA -- Thanks for the suggestion, KA!
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Hello, I'm looking for an ad from the newspaper (Star Ledger ) newark nj around 1955 t0 1960 ..that Gimbels was advertising .. ad went something like this.. A woman was writing how satisfied she was with Gimbels .. and signed her name as Miss F. Collier.. I got to have this.. it's a child memory .. Thanks -- I don't think you'll have much luck finding that newspaper in that period among digitized collections, so your best bet might be calling the main library in Newark to see if they have microfilmed copies of the Star Ledger. If they do and you are not in Newark, you might be able to hire a local researcher. -- JW

You might think about adjusting your search. Gimbels only North Jersey store, located at the Garden State Plaza in Paramus, did not open until September 1960. I would be surprised if Gimbels ran a separate ad in the Star Ledger for its New Jersey customers than from what they ran in the New York Times. Also the Newark Evening News, now defunct, was a much larger paper in circulation than the Star Ledger, which is not digitized, period. However, a New York Times search using "Gimbels" and "Collier" does not provide adequate matches. -- ML

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JC Penney in Big Rapids, MI was still employing sales clerks showing merchandise upon request in 1975. The sale was written up, in pencil, into a sales book. The paper invoice, together with payment, was sent to accounting, which was located on the mezzanine, by pneumatic tube. The tube would return with the invoice/receipt stamped "paid" along with any change due. I bought a pair of gloves there, and the saleslady placed several styles onto the counter for me to inspect. They and most store items were not on general display and available for inspection without help. 'Kind of like the service at Selfridge's in the PBS series. -- Kind of unbelievable, isn't it?" I suppose the company didn't think it merited updating. Seems very charming today, though. -- JW
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Demery's Department Store was at Woodward & Milwaukee in the New Center district of Detroit. I believe they went under in the late 1960s.
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There was a People's Outfitting store in Lincoln Park, MI at the SW corner of Fort St. and Emmons. It opened as the major anchor store of the new Lincoln Park Plaza in the mid-1950s. The chain went out of business around 1960, and the new occupant was JL Hudson's Budget Store. Hudson's closed in the 1970s, and the new tenant was Farmer Jack grocery store. I moved to California in 1989, so I don't know what occupies the site now. People's Outfitting had a store on West Warren in East Dearborn. When the company went out of business, the building became JL Hudson's Warehouse. -- Well, there's not much going on at the SW corner of Fort and Emmons. The building is there but the store is empty. The Park Plaza Shops still exists, to some degree, but the only active business is a Dollar Tree. People's Outfitting filed for bankruptcy in 1969. -- ML
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Names of furniture stores in Schenectady, NY during the 1950's? -- I'm sorry but this site is devoted to traditional department stores that carry a full range of merchandise. I suggest looking in city directories from that decade which would probably be available in the main Schenectady library or you might find them on a subscription website such as Ancestry.com. -- JW
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Besides Macy's, Hudson's, and Marshall Field's, is there a listing of department stores in sales volume in the US before the coming of the suburban branch stores? Say the top 10 in the US? Thanks, Dave -- The only list I know of is in Inside the Fashion Business, Text and Readings, edited by Jeannette A. Jarnow and Beatrice Judelle (John Wiley and Sons, Inc. 1965), which gives the approximate sales of 100 top stores in 1963/64. -- JW

Before the era of the suburban branch boom, most department stores did not release sales figures. It was an in-house secret because competition was becoming tight and stores were cautious about looking vulnerable to changing trends. As a kid, I really enjoyed Robert Hendrickson's book "The Grand Emporiums." Written in 1979, it is a comprehensive yet at times flawed book that chronicles these stores. It was one of the first books to do so. It lists the 10 biggest volume stores as of 1977. In order: Macy's, Hudson's, A&S, Broadway, Marshall Field, Korvettes, Bamberger's, Alexander's, May Co. (CA), and Bloomingdales. Even if you are looking at pre-branch volume stores, you would have to pull out Korvettes and Alexander's and replace it with Rich's and Wanamaker's. Jordan Marsh and Gimbels (NY, Phila) would be close by. But never forget the volume that A&S and Bamberger's produced in Brooklyn and Newark. -- ML

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Where can I find all the dept store pictures of Evansville Ind 60s & 70s? Only found a few. -- If you have already checked with local historical societies, you might need to take the next step, which is slow, and that is to create a want list on eBay for each store by name. Or, if you still have a local newspaper, see if they have a pictures archive and will sell you prints. -- JW
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I will give a talk on the history of department stores for the Greenfield Community College Senior Symposia from 2 to 4 pm on November 20 in Greenfield MA. Preregistration is necessary. -- JW
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The other downtown department store on Monument Circle in downtown Indianapolis was JC Penney. Penny's occupied the northwest quadrant of the circle from the late 1940's until it closed in the late 1970's or early 1980's. -- Thanks for this info!
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What were the flagship department stores in downtown Indianapolis in the 1960's? I remember L.S. Ayres and Wassons, but do not remember the other one or two that were on Monument Circle. Thank you! -- The largest department stores in Indianapolis were Ayres', Wasson's, and Block's, the latter located on the corner of Illinois and Market. Another store in the area, on West Washington, was L. Straus & Co. Outside that area, at 360 West Washington, was Effroymson & Wolf. -- JW
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Need to know what year Miller's Department Store opened in Greeneville, TN and what year they had a grand opening. -- I don't have anything in my sources, but if I were you I would go to the Miller's Department Store page on Wikipedia and check out all the sources given there. Another method might be to contact a reference librarian in the Greeneville public library. -- JW
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Re: bell or gong sound.. this was a paging system for management... the combo of sounds corresponded to the managers employee number. when a manager heard their number ring they would go to the nearest phone and call the switchboard who would then dispatch them tot he appropriate location... this system was the precursor to the paging system we hear now. I personally liked it better, less "chatter," more serene shopping experience. -- I agree. -- JW
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Looking for the correct spelling of a now bankrupt men's clothing store named Vaughn's Men's Clothing. Formerly located on Broadway in Oakland, CA. -- Sorry we do not have the time to research these questions about retailers that are not department stores. I suggest looking in a city directory for the time period in question. -- JW
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What was the name of the men's clothing store in Woodfield Mall, Schaumburg, IL that sold Z. Cavarrici's and had Street in the name? Thanks, TI -- Sorry once again. (see above)
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What new concept became popular with department stores? If you are referring to retailing ideas, one was that of the ensemble costume in which dresses matched shoes, coats, and handbags. --JW

I guess that I could think of the slow emergence of ready-to-wear clothing and the practice of returning and exchanging goods as new concepts. However it wasn't until the early 1970s, if then, that most department stores finally embraced or succumbed to the concept of trading and serving customers regardless of race. Some of this was due to social changes, some of this was due to the need to increase sales figures. --ML

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To answer the question about Sunday openings in New York City, it was not until the late 1970's that blue laws were lifted, and stores could be open in full. Stores in Manhattan and The Staten Island Mall benefited from this as it kept people from traveling to NJ to shop since most Northern and Central New Jersey counties did not repeal blue laws until 1980 and 1981. Bergen County, NJ still has blue laws in place to this day. Ken

Does anyone remember what year department stores first opened on Sundays in New York City. I think it was the late sixties but not sure of the year. > Surprisingly, most large New York City department stores did not have Sunday openings until mid 1976. Macy's, Gimbels, and Korvettes were the first group of stores, followed by A&S and Alexander's to initiate the change. This was in response to the repeal of New York state's Blue Laws in June 1976. The stores were concerned that the Sunday openings would be "an abrupt social change [that] would require a prompt attitude check with unions and employees as to their feelings on working Sundays." Macy's spearheaded the Sunday openings in response to its success with the extra day in San Francisco. Sunday openings were initially scheduled "to start after normal church services were over." Before the stores opened on Sundays, many NYC retailers took Sunday phone orders from 1pm to 5pm since the 1950s. -- ML
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My first job was a H. Leh & Co. (Leh's) in Allentown, PA in 1989. I left the state in 1990 and didn't go back for 21 years. When I did go back I was really sad to see nothing left of Leh's. I would love to see any pictures from the 80's on up. The only picture I have is one of my grandparents sitting in the restaurant on the last day before they closed. I would also love to talk to anyone that worked there in 1989. Thanks, Derek -- Do a quick search of Leh on e-Bay and you will see a couple of news photos that look as though they are from about that time period. -- JW

Back in 2007, I was an active contributor to the website “Labelscar.” It was a great site that documented and featured shopping malls that have struggled over time. Lately, the site has become more of a chat room, to the dismay of some of its founders. However, I had posted some Leh’s images during Labelscar’s own heyday. Check the following addresses for photographs: http://www.labelscar.com/pennsylvania/whitehall-mall and http://www.labelscar.com/retail-stores/merry-christmas-from-labelscar (Image #11). And as Jan said, check eBay. The Morning Call has been selling off its photo archives on eBay during the past several years and Leh’s images frequent show up for sale on that site. -- ML

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Hello. I have a picture of my mom in San Francisco in the late 1930's. Behind her is a store called Benard's Furs. I'm curious to know where Benard's Furs was located, at that time, in San Francisco. Do you know of such a store and its location? Thank you. J. P. -- I don't know of the store. Unfortunately we are unable to conduct research on stores other than department stores, but I think you could find the information by searching through old city directories. You might contact the San Francisco public library and talk with the research librarian. Best of luck. -- JW

I second Jan's statement regarding our ability to answer and address questions outside of department stores. I also second her suggestion to research city directories for specialized questions regarding small businesses. Luckily, the San Francisco Public Library has Polk's City Directories accessible on its free online database. Benard's Fine Furs had an agency during the first half of the 20th century at 704 Market Street and/or 760 Market Store. Its longtime factory was at 3474 Mission. The store eventually relocated to the Stonestown Mall. Never forget the power of a city directory when researching the past. -- ML

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I have a question, I have a piece of Haviland Limoges that has the department store name S.R. James on the bottom. I was told it is for S.R. James co. in Schenectady NY and is dated to the late 1800's. Is there any information on a SR James Co back then? -- S. R. James was not a department store, but a china and crockery store located at 202-204 State street around the turn of the last century. You might learn more by contacting a local historical society. -- JW
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Does anyone remember "stor". It was later reopened as IKEA -- IKEA bought Stor Furnishings International Inc around 1992. Stor then had four locations, three in the Los Angeles area and one in Houston. IKEA, which had entered the US market in 1985 at Plymouth Meeting PA, was then mainly in the East (seven stores) and had only one in the West, in CA, and it wanted to expand into the West. -- JW
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In the '50s and '60s on the east coast (Baltimore, Philly, NYC, Boston, Montreal) in big department stores you would occasionally hear a bell or gong, usually repeated two to four times. I always assumed this was some sort of signaling system (like "Code Blue" in hospitals), but I never knew exactly what it was about. Does anybody know? -- Yes, they were signals. The gongs or bells sounded in patterns, a different one one assigned to each employees who were buyers, department heads, or other store management personnel who often spent time on the selling floor. They recognized when their signals were sounded and responded by going back to their offices, or telephones, etc. -- JW
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What was the name of the men's store in South Park Mall, Charlotte NC, during the mid 70s? -- This site is dedicated to department stores. We would like to answer questions about all kinds of stores but that would take a lot of research since it is beyond our knowledge base. -- JW

For information on shopping malls and their specific in-line stores, check out the website http://mall-hall-of-fame.blogspot.com. Your question MAY be answered here. But if you have a question regarding DEPARTMENT STORES, bring it on. -- ML

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I would like to purchase hardback versions of Michael Lisicky's Hutzlers, Where Baltimore Shops for Gifts, and am having difficulty finding them in stores or online. Only the paperback versions seem to be available. Can someone share a resource for the hardcovers? Thanks. Melanie -- The Hutzler's book never was released in hardback. The only book of mine that was published in hardback by History Press was 'Wanamaker's: Meet Me at the Eagle'. That hardback printing was a limited edition release for Mother's Day 2012 and can be difficult to find. -- ML
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Does anyone remember a clothing store at Great Lakes Mall in Mentor Ohio that had a large tree as part of their decor? They sold children's clothing in the 90s. -- Have you tried calling the mall's office for that information? -- JW
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I am curious what a "rectifier" did in the department stores around 1920. I had an aunt who had this listed as her occupation in a census and I have not been able to get an answer to date. -- I can't say for sure how the position of "rectifier" would fit into a department store, other than being an appliance part. A rectifier is somebody who blended and refined alcohol that was purchased in bulk from a distiller. If the store was large, like R.H. Macy, Gimbels, or Hudson's, there could have been positions that were titled as rectifiers in relation to the liquor department. But if we are talking Prohibition days, then that makes no sense. I wonder if the title of rectifier should have been receiver (of goods, warehousing) instead? -- ML

I have never run across that job description in relation to department stores. If she worked in England (you didn't say), I would take a wild guess and say she worked in the returns department. Otherwise, I have absolutely no idea. -- JW

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I grew up in Kansas City in the '50s and have two cherished memories about the downtown Macy's. I am looking for any pictures of the tea room (I have a receipt for lunch, and the kids' menu was the same as one for another store (the gingerbread man). Also, pictures of Toyland at Christmas. In the floor by floor list I can't even find "toys." I know it was on or near the top floor. I went to a Christmas exhibit a few years ago at the Union Station in KC, but it was a little disappointing in its lack of many photos. Any help, anybody?? Thank you! -- I have not ever seen any photos of Macy's tea room in KC but I would suggest inquiring at the local historical society. -- JW
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This is a great website! What would have been a low end department store in San Francisco around 1939? I found O'Connor Moffatt listed on your site as being a low end one. Just wondering if there were anything lower. Thank you! -- It is a little hard for me to put some of the moderate to lower San Francisco department stores in order. O'Connor, Moffatt certainly received an upgrade when R.H. Macy purchased it in 1945. The solid White House would have been placed higher up the ladder but Emporium usually catered to the masses, but probably higher-up than O'Connor, Moffatt. But if I were to look down market, I would go with Hale Brothers. Hale Brothers was a fairly basic store whose original roots stem from Sacramento. By mid century, Hale's became irrelevant. In 1951, Hale Brothers was purchased by LA's Broadway stores which had already acquired Emporium and Capwell, which eventually morphed into Carter Hawley Hale Stores. Hale's closed its San Francisco store, located besides its sister Emporium store, in January 1963. Confused yet? I kind of am. So I can either continue on a historical rant or I can just say "Hale's." -- ML

I agree with Michael, though I don't think I'd use the term low-end, just middle of the road, unfashionable ... O'Connor, Moffatt came to my mind also but I note that it had a College Shop whereas Hale's did not. That may not indicate a high-fashion sense but it's certainly more "with it." -- JW

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Looking for a photo of a department store called Big Ben in the city of Poughkeepsie NY around the 1960's. -- You can find a picture of Big Ben in the book "Poughkeepsie, 1898-1998: A Century of Change" by Joyce C. Ghee and Joan Spence (Arcadia Publishing). The picture of the "cut-rate discount store" dates from 1977 and is found on page 97. The Dutchess County Historical Society is credited on the photo. -- ML
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What was a popular concept with department stores during the late 1800s? -- Although you hear a lot about the "carriage trade" stores of the late 19th century, most department stores were more similar to today's big box stores in that they emphasized low prices. Giving the customer a lot for their money was the basic concept then. -- JW
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There was a Kings store in Hamden CT. Can you tell me more about the company? -- King's "Self-Service Department Stores" was an industry leader within New England's discount store retail environment. Founded in 1949 by Murray Candib, King's first store was established in an empty motorcycle plant in Springfield, MA. The company grew through its many acquisitions such as Mammoth Mart and Spartan-Atlantic Stores. By the late 1970s, King's consisted of almost 200 stores throughout New England, the South, and Midwest. Even though its was known for its "quality and financial stability," King's fortunes stumbled during the country's economic woes. In 1981, the Newton MA-based company began closing stores and officially filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in August 1982. Most stores were closed by 1983 but Ames Department Stores, along with First National Stores, picked up some of its few remaining locations in 1984. -- ML
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What can you tell me about the Detroit department stores Demery's and People's Outfitting? Did they operate any branches and where; when did they close? Thanks JT -- That's a huge order! We can't perform the amount of primary research it would take to delve into it for you but here are a few tentative bits: Demery's was probably established in Detroit by Michael Demery about 1912, not as a department store but a "Dry Goods and Men's Furnishings" store. By 1941, however, it advertised itself as "A Complete Department Store," president William Demery, and located at 6433 Woodward Ave, outside the major downtown shopping district that housed the big department stores. People's Outfitting was not a department store but a chain of furniture stores (or possibly a loan company in disguise) that dated back at least to 1888. I have found furniture stores with that name in Baltimore, St. Louis, Chicago, Canton & Springfield OH, New Orleans, Detroit, Wilkes-Barre, Kalamazoo MI, and Elkhart & and Evansville IN. Whether all these stores were under the same ownership, etc. I cannot say. In the 1940s the Detroit store, at 150 Michigan Ave., sold an odd assortment of merchandise that ranged from auto accessories to house furnishings to women's shoes. -- JW
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What was the name of the competitor to Service Merchandise? It started with an F. I believe it was on Greenfield between 6 mile and 8 mile. -- Unfortunately, this is a department store site and inquiries outside of our knowledge and comfort zone can prove unfruitful. I'll take a shot and say that it might have been Fretter, which was more of an appliance store than a catalogue showroom. If Fretter is indeed the right answer, the Detroit-based company's stores closed in 1996 and Service Merchandise made it as a retail showroom until 2002. Nationally, Service Merchandise's main competitor was Richmond-based Best Products, which lasted from 1957 to 1997. -- ML
Michael always loves a mystery! I was still wondering Greenfield WHERE? We love to answer questions but it's best if they are about our knowledge base: department stores -- and if you include all the information you have as to dates and location. We're smart but we're not mind readers. -- JW
UPDATE: A helpful reader has answered the question. The competitor to Serive Merchandise was A. J. Foland.

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Correct spelling of a store in Detroit, Michigan that sounds like Himmelhose? --You are thinking of Detroit's Himelhoch's (Himelhoch Brothers), pronounced Himelhoke's. It was primarily a women's specialty store which had 8 stores in Michigan by the end of the 1970s. Michael Lisicky has located this site for you: http://vintagefashionguild.org/label-resource/himelhochs/ -- JW
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Does anyone remember the stores that were located in Thomas Mall, Phoenix, AZ? I used to shop at that mall on the weekends back in the late 1980's as a teenager and only have fond yet vague memories of its stores. I can only remember the big ones such as Diamonds, Montgomery Wards, Tower Records and the Harkins theater. Does anyone remember any of the small chain stores in that mall before its demise in the late 1990's??....AM -- The following information on Thomas Mall was retrieved from the blog "Mall Hall of Fame." Phoenix's second interior mall was completed in late 1963. Built on a 55.7 acre plot, 8.9 miles northeast of the Arizona State Capitol, THOMAS MALL incorporated 639,200 leasable square feet. It was anchored by a 1-level (87,800 square foot) Montgomery Ward and 2-level (212,600 square foot), Phoenix-based Diamond's. This store was dedicated September 23, 1963. The original center was designed by New York City's Copeland, Novak and Israel firm and featured a J.G. McCrory 5 & 10, Lucky Stores (later Fry's) supermarket, Piccadilly Cafeteria, Revco Drug, KarmelKorn, Marc Hopkins, Brothers Hofbrau Deli, National Shirt Shops, Zale's Jewelers and The Photo Shop. The mallway-connected Thomas Mall Theatre was added in 1967. It was a twinplex by the mid-1970s.hh -- More information on Thomas Mall, as well as many other malls, can be retrieved at http://mall-hall-of-fame.blogspot.com/search?q=thomas+mall -- ML
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I would like to comment on Miller's Dept. Store. It was first established in the Midwest with stores in MO, IN, WI and New York. It was founded by my great grandfather David Miller. I am guessing established late 1800s early 1900s. It is still listed on the stock exchange but the business was sold in the 1960s. -- Thanks! Is this the same Miller's that someone found a label for in a jacket a while back? And was it a department store or a clothing store? -- JW
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Who developed the Christmas pictures of children with Santa Klaus for Kann's Dept. Store back in the late 1950's to 1960's?--RB -- It's possible the name of the photographer might be printed on the photos themselves, but other than that I believe the question would be nearly impossible to answer. -- JW
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I'm trying to find information on a Kleinberg's Dept. Store in Brooklyn. I found some old papers with this name on it. Has anyone ever heard of it? -- Brooklyn had many department stores through the decades: Abraham & Straus, Loeser's, Martin's, Namm's, but I am not familiar with Kleinberg's. You might be able to find it by searching through city directories, and if the papers indicate when it existed or what street it's on that will certainly help your search. -- JW
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Looking for the name of the dress shop that was located behind City Hall in Patterson, NJ in 1955. -- Your best bet would be to look through a city directory from that year or earlier. A map might suggest the name of the street it was on. -- JW
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My cousin and I were in a heated debate. Neither could agree on the exclusive department store's name our parents drove to in the 1960s in Pennsylvania. She thought the store was Harrods from England and I Gumps from San Francisco. Can you help? -- Challenging question since you don't mention a city. I assume you mean Philadelphia. I know of no Gump's or Harrod's there. John Wanamaker was certainly the leading store in the state, and in many regards the nation once upon a time. But it sounds as though you are referring to a branch store from another city. There was a Bonwit Teller in Philadelphia. Otherwise, it's anyone's guess. -- JW

Could you be possibly thinking of Hess's in Allentown, PA? You wouldn't necessarily need to drive to Philadelphia or Pittsburgh and there were certainly no Gump's or Harrod's in Pennsylvania. Wanamaker's would have made the biggest impression in Philadelphia but Hess's was a rare bird. It had its own definition of "exclusive." Just as its slogan went, "The Best of Everything", Hess's did carry some extremely unique and exclusive merchandise but it also carried everything, even pin-money dresses. Its gift department carried some items that were similar in quality to those at Gump's and the gourmet food department could rival Harrod's. Hess's was a destination store in a blue-collar city. Max Hess was a true merchant who understood retailing, marketing, and entertainment. I vote Hess's. -- ML

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I'm trying to find out the spelling/history of downtown Washington DC department store that operated in late-50s/60s called Erdons? or Urdongs? My mother used to work there for a Mr & Mrs Kaplan or Caplan -- The name that you are trying to remember is Urdong's. Not a department store, Urdong's was founded in 1902 and was a popular women's dress shop. Located at 1222 F St. NW, Urdong's engaged in a friendly rivalry with its neighbor L. Frank Co. In 1971, Urdong's was forced to leave its F Street store because of the construction of a new subway station. Urdong's returned shortly afterward in a joint operation with French Bootery. Urdong's spread to Rosslyn, Georgetown, and Montgomery Mall before it closed sometime around 1983. -- ML
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Re: the question regarding sales of electronic merchandise in Department Stores. From the late 60's and all of the 70's department stores were a prime distribution channel for all of electronics. This was the golden age of electronics, huge growth in TV's, stereo came of age, small personal electronics began their growth spurt and department stores were instrumental in positioning brands and presenting new electronic concepts. Companies like Sony, Panasonic, JVC, Sharp, etc lived and died with the Macy's, Burdines, Rich's, Foleys, A&S's of the world. Sears and Penney's had their own brands but were boring and sold no brand name merchandise. Outside of the department stores, family independents were the next large distributor of electronic merchandise during this period. During the department store revolution of the mid 80's electronics and most other hardline merchandise categories were dropped by almost all department stores. --Thanks for contributing this. -- JW
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When did Belk and Ivey's close their downtown Charlotte stores? I remember reading an article in Chain Store Age Executive about a bridge that the two stores built to connect each other. -- The "Uptown" Charlotte Belk's closed in June 1988 and the flagship Ivey's closed in August 1990. There was a third department store, which operated in a manner much like Belk, called Efird's. J.B. Efird came to Charlotte in 1902 with his brother Hugh and built a flagship store, and soon expanded to 50 locations throughout the south. Belk bought the Efird name in 1956 but continued to operate the two stores separately until April 1959. The Efird purchase gave Belk's a Tryon Street entrance and the company built enclosed catwalks to connect the buildings. Though it served as the administrative offices for many decades, the Uptown Belk's became foreshadowed by the South Park Mall location. The Overstreet Mall walkway, that connected Belk and Ivey's, was built in 1977. If Belk's served the low-moderate, all-purpose customer and Efird's served the budget-minded shopper, Ivey's catered to customers in search of better merchandise and services and "integrity." Founded in 1900, Ivey's spread throughout the Carolinas (Raleigh, Ashville, Greenville, and others) and Florida (Jacksonville, Daytona, Winter Park, Orlando, Merritt Island, and St. Pete.) Dillard's purchased Ivey's in May 1990 and the Charlotte store "braced for the worst" until the gavel was sounded the following month. -- ML
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I'm trying to remember the name of the department store located on the plaza in Santa Fe, NM -- I think it closed in the 80s and is now an indoor mall with shops and galleries. -- In 1960, the city directory listed several possibilities under department stores: The Guarantee on the Plaza, Hubbard's, and Levine's. All these were on Shelby. Also in business then were, Sears, Penney's, Bell's, and Anthony's. The last two were on San Francisco st. -- JW
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Thanks so much, M.L. That is it! I was sure it had an extra name along with Columbia & you found it -- Eastern. Most of the downtown stores did not go north of 5th or 6th street so this store was out of the way for my family as my Mother did not drive so we took the bus & walked. Seems like it was quite a bit pricier than Penny's & Sears, too. Thanks again, so much!
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We have a photo of the Columbia Department Store located in Long Beach, California taken during the 1930s. I vaguely remember the store & would like to find out more about it but I cannot find any historical information at all. Can you help? Would be greatly appreciated. --I'm not sure if I have the correct answer but I wonder if the store photo belongs to the Eastern-Columbia department store group? Adolph Sieroty came to Los Angeles in the 1890s and eventually created the 5th largest store in LA through the merger of the Eastern Outfitting Co. and the Columbia Outfitting Co. Located at 9th & Broadway, the Eastern-Columbia building is highly identifiable as the bring turquoise Art Deco structure with its clock and tower. Eastern-Columbia closed its large downtown LA store in 1957. At one point, the company grew to 39 stores but in the early 1950s, Eastern-Columbia listed a Long Beach store at Pine and 6th Street as one of its more prominent branches. This is just an educated guess... -- ML
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I remember shopping with my grandmother in Wausau WI in the late 1950s and the department store there had no cash registers, but a sort of line from the salesgirl to the cashier on the second floor, desk overlooking the sales floor, and I recall that when they shot the money back and forth it made a "ding ding ding" sound. Do you have any idea what I am talking about or what this was called? Was Wausau at the time very behind the times (it seemed that everywhere else had cash registers.) -- Yes, those contraptions were often referred to as cash railways and took various forms, sometimes with a "boxcar" riding on two wires, sometimes with a basket hanging from a wire, etc. It would most certainly have been old-fashioned in the 1950s. It's hard to know why the store (The Fair?) retained that system, maybe because they didn't want salesclerks handling the money, or to avoid the cost of modernization, or maybe because the managers thought customers liked the curious old machinery. It might have been a local attraction. -- JW
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What is the name of the nation’s first department store originating in Salt Lake City? -- You are thinking of ZCMI (Zions Cooperative Mercantile Institution), established by the Mormons in 1869. The business used the slogan of "America's First Department Store" but actually was not. Certainly Macy's could make a much stronger claim, along with many other stores in the East that could trace their beginnings back decades earlier, albeit as small dry goods or fancy goods stores rather than full-scale modern department stores. Also, like some other Western stores ZCMI carried a lot of merchandise not traditionally handled by department stores such as hardware, tools, wagons, and groceries. -- JW
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I just came across an 8" x 10" b&w photo ca. 1920's-1930's of the downtown Seattle Bon Marché store taken (from inside the store, perhaps?) at the "Olive Street" entrance (determined by the sign behind the subjects and above the

Clicking on the books below will take you to Amazon.com.





Available directly from Jan for $20 postpaid.




Missing Stores

Abraham & Straus – Adler's -- Addis & Dey -- Alexander's -- B. Altman – AM&A -- Anderson-Newcombe -- Arbaugh's -- Auerbach's -- L.S. Ayres – Bacon's -- Bamberger’s – Battelstein's -- Bendel's -- L. L. Berger -- Bergner's -- Bernheimer-Leader – Best & Co. -- Blach's -- James Black Co. -- Gus Blass -- Block’s – Block & Kuhl -- Boggs & Buhl – Bon-Marche [WA & NC] – Bonwit Teller -- Boston Store -- Boylan-Pierce -- H. H. Bowman -- Brach Thompson -- Brandeis -- Braunstein's -- John Bressmer -- Brett's -- Brintnall's -- The Broadway – Brock's -- Brody's -- John A. Brown -- Brown's -- Buffums -- Bugbee's -- Bullock’s – Burdines – Burger Phillips -- Bush & Bull -- Cain-Sloan -- Calendar, McAuslan & Troupe -- The Carl Co. -- Carlisle's -- Castner-Knott -- Chappell's -- T. A. Chapman -- City of Paris -- Clark's -- M.M. Cohn -- Arnold, Constable -- Craig's -- Crosby Bros. -- Cox's -- The Crescent -- Crowley-Milner -- Dalton's -- Daniels & Fisher – Davidson's -- Davison’s – Dayton’s – De Lendrecie -- DeLoach -- Demery & Co. -- Denholm’s – Denver Dry Goods – Desmond's -- The Diamond -- Donaldson’s – Dunlap's -- Dunnavant's -- Eastman Bros. & Bancroft -- Edgar's -- E.W. Edwards & Son -- Ellis, Stone & Co. -- Emery, Bird, Thayer – Emporium-Capwell – Epstein's -- Espenhain's -- The Fair [multiple] – Famous-Barr – Filene’s – Flah's - Foley’s – Forbes & Wallace -- Fowler, Dick & Walker -- Fowler's -- B. Forman -- Fox – Frank & Seder – Franklin-Simon -- Frederick & Nelson’s – H. Freedlander Co. -- Frost Bros. -- Froug's -- Furchgott's -- Wm. F. Gable Co. -- Gabriel's -- Garfinckel's -- Gayfer's -- John Gerber Co. -- Gertz -- Gilchrist's -- Gilmore Bros. -- Gimbels – Gladdings -- Glass Block -- The Globe Store -- Godchaux's -- Golds -- Goldblatt’s – Goldenberg Co. -- Goldsmith’s – Goldstein-Migel -- Goldwater’s – Gottschalk's -- Goudchaux -- W. T. Grant -- Grieve -- Grossman's -- Gutman's -- Bisset & Holland -- Hahne’s – Hale Bros. -- Halle’s – Halliburton's -- Hamburger & Sons – L.Hammel -- Harris -- Harris-Emery -- Harvey's -- Harzfeld's -- Hearn’s – Hecht’s – Heer's -- S.H. Heironimus -- Hemphill-Wells -- Hengerer's -- Hennessy's -- Hens & Kelly -- Henshey's -- Herberger's -- Herbst -- Herpolsheimer’s – Hink's -- Hinkle's -- Hinshaw's -- Hochschild-Kohn – D.H. Holmes – Hudson’s – Hutzler’s -- Innes – Iszard’s – Ivey's -- Jacobson's -- Jacome's -- Jellefs -- Jenss -- The Jones Store – Jones & Jones -- Jordan-Marsh – Joseph Horne – Joske's -- Joslin's -- Kahn's -- Kann’s – Karroll's -- Katz -- Kaufman's -- Kaufmann’s – Kennington's -- Kerr's -- Kessler's -- Killian's -- Kilpatrick's -- S. Klein -- Kline's -- J.W. Knapp -- Korrick's -- Krauss's -- Lamont's -- Lamson's -- Lane's -- Lansburgh's -- LaSalle’s – F&R Lazarus – Leggett -- H. Leh & Co. -- Leonard's -- Levy's -- J.R. Libby -- Liberty House – Lintz -- Lion -- Lipman's -- Lit Brothers -- Frederick Loeser’s – Loveman's -- B. Lowenstein -- A. W. Lucas -- Maas Brothers – Mabley & Carew -- I. Magnin -- Joseph Magnin -- Edward Malley -- Mandel Brothers – Manchester's -- J. Mandelbaum & Sons -- Maison Blanche – Marshall Field’s – Marston’s – Martin's -- May Company – May-Cohen -- Mays -- McAlpin's -- McClurklan's -- McCreery's - McCurdy's -- G. M. McKelvey -- McRae's -- R.A. McWhirr -- Meier & Frank – Meis -- Meyers-Arnold -- I. Miller -- Miller & Paine -- Miller's -- Miller & Rhoads – Mills Dry Goods -- Edward C. Minas -- Missoula Mercantile Co. -- Monnig's -- Montgomery Fair -- Muller's -- Myer's Bros. -- Namm’s – Neusteter's -- Newman's -- O'Connor-Moffatt -- Ohrbach's -- M. O'Neil -- O'Neill's -- Orr's -- The Outlet -- The Palace -- Palais-Royal -- The Paris -- Parisian Stores -- B. Peck -- Peck's Dry Goods -- Peerless -- Pelletier's -- Penn Traffic -- People's Department Store -- Perkins-Timberlak -- Pfieffer -- Pizitz -- H&S Pogue – Polsky's -- Pomeroy's -- Popular Dry Goods -- Porteous, Mitchell & Braun -- Porter's -- Powers -- H.C. Prange -- Proffitt's -- Walter Pye's -- Quackenbush -- Read's -- J. Redelsheimer -- Regenstein's -- Rhodes -- Rices-Nachmans -- Rich’s – Richard's -- Rike’s – Rines Bros. -- Robeson's -- J.W. Robinson’s – Rogers -- Ronzon's -- Root's -- Rorabaugh-Buck -- Rose's -- Rosenbaum's -- Rosenwald's -- Roshek's -- Rothschild & Sons -- Rubenstein's -- Russell's -- Sage-Allen -- Sakowitz -- Sanger-Harris – Scarborough's -- Scranton Dry Goods -- Schreiner's -- Schuneman & Evans -- Schuster's -- Scruggs, Vandervoort, Barney – Selber Bros. -- Shepard’s – Shillito’s – Shriver’s – Sibley’s – Siegel-Cooper -- Thos. Smiley & Co. -- Smith & Welton -- Smith & Wilkins -- Snellenburg’s – Ben Snyder Co. -- Jos. A. Spiess -- Steiger's -- Steinbach -- R. H. Stearn's -- Steinfeld's -- Steinmart's -- Stekete's -- Sterling-Lindner -- Stern’s – Charles A. Stevens -- Stewart's [MD & TX] -- Stix, Baer, & Fuller -- Stone Thomas – Strawbridge & Clothier – Stripling's -- Strouss-Hirshberg – Swanson's -- Tapp's -- John Taylor Dry Goods -- W. Taylor Co. -- Thalhimer’s – Tichte-Goettinger – Tiedtke's -- Troutman's Emporium -- The Union -- Upton's -- Van Arsdale's -- Vandever's -- Walker's -- Walker Bros. -- Walker-Scott -- John Wanamaker – H.P. Wasson -- Watt & Shand – Week's -- Weichmann's -- Weinstock’s – Chas. V. Weise -- J.B. White -- The White House [CA & TX] -- White & Kirk - R.H. White’s – Whitner's -- Wieboldt's -- Wilkin's -- Wilmington Dry Goods -- Woodward & Lothrop -- Wolf & Dessauer -- Woolf Bros. -- Wolff & Marx -- Edward Wren Co. -- Wurzburg's -- Yetter's -- Young Quinlan -- Younkers -- ZCMI -- Zollinger-Harned

Jacobson's, Dearborn MI

Webers, Zanesville

Stern's, NYC

Miller & Rhoads, Richmond

Snellenburg's, Philadelphia

Loveman's, Birmingham

Forbes & Wallace, Springfield, Mass.

Cain-Sloan, Nashville

Stewart & Co., Baltimore

Rotunda at Hess Brothers, Allentown PA.

Maison Blanche, New Orleans.

The famous Tiffany mosaic dome at Marshall Field's, Chicago.

Schuneman & Evans, St. Paul.

The corner clock at L. S. Ayres, Indianapolis, is barely visible.

Bamberger's -- "Bam's" -- expanded rapidly in the 1920s. Macy's bought it in 1929.

Logo sent by a generous site visitor.

Joske's, San Antonio, billed itself "Largest Store in Largest State."

For more information on department stores, see my other sites listed below.