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 and aficionado Michael Lisicky (ML) will try to answer your questions ABOUT DEPARTMENT STORES. Also, if you are on Facebook consider joining the group called Department Store Memories.


Click and type in a question or comment

Was there a store on 14th street NYC called Norton's ? Thanks

Record store Cincinnati Ohio on Queen City ave 197(

In an ancestor's obituary from 1900 it mentions as follows: "Mr. Ryder then went to New York and was for some time in the large wholesale house of Chas. B. Roos. Three years ago this summer he went to Plainfield, N.J., and at the time of his death was at the head of the gents' furnishing department of one of the best stores in the city." Could you tell me names of the department stores in Plainfield at that time and anything about Chas. B. Roos (Ross?) in New York? -- I don't know anything about Roos but according to the 1914 Plainfield directory (as close as I can find to 1900) there were the following department stores: Tepper Bros., A. E. Force & Co., and Woodhull & Martin Co. There were also two larger dry goods stores: Rosenbaum Bros. and F. H. Schaefer & Co. All except Schaefer were on Front Street. -- JW
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Can you tell me what the term "check girl" meant in the late 1890's in a department store? my email is vallierea@link75.org -- I'm not so familiar with "check girl" as with the more commonly used "cash girl" (or boy). Young people, often children in fact, were hired to assist department store clerks by taking the customers check and money to the cashier and returning with the change. When the clerks needed a cash girl they would loudly yell out "Cash." The children were expected to move quite speedily. Many customers objected to the system, especially since the children should have been in school. Many stores, of course, did not use the cash runners but instead had mechanical systems that conveyed payments and change. Eventually cash registers came into widespread use. -- JW
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I was looking for information on Universal dept store in Tampa. Corner of Broadway and Hwy 41 (50th st). It's long gone, but have been trying to find pics of it. -- I find a Universal Department Store in 1940s city directories of Jacksonville FL but nothing in Tampa. The name associated with the store was Louis Katz and its address was 403 W Bay. -- JW
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I notice that Tapp's Department Store in Columbia, SC is on your list of "missing" stores. I worked at Tapp's on weekends when I was in high school in the late 1959 and 1960 and for the summer of 1961 following my freshman year in college. Interestingly, my mother also worked there when she was 20 about years old, which would have been in 1936, and that is where she and my father met! If you will tell me what you would like to know about Tapp's, I will do my best to provide that information. -- The James L. Tapp Co. opened in 1903 and was a Columbia landmark until 1995. The familiar Main Street location was built in 1938 and was the first department store in the country "built around central air-conditioning." The 4th and 5th floors were added in 1952. "Meet Me at Tapp's" expanded to Woodhill Mall and Dutch Square before it served its last Fountain Room corn sticks in October 1995. Speaking of corn sticks, I have a recipe but I'd like to reduce it. I only want 2 dozen but my recipe, from the store files, makes approximately 448 corn sticks. Could you help me? It calls for 6 quarts of plain corn meal, 15 eggs, one gallon of milk, a cup of salt…..(The recipe comes from Lilly Pearson who estimates that over her 23+ career she made over 9,582,720 corn sticks.) -- ML
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The building that housed Value City Department Store on Clyde Park Avenue was originally built for Yankee Discount Department Stores.
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What was the original department store at 4550 Clyde Park SW, Wyoming MI? It would be before Value City Department Store.
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Walker's (in its last decades, Walker Brothers was simply called Walker's) carried on until 1981 before going out of business. You are correct, Walker's was by far the smallest of Wichita's department stores, but I considered it to be a department store since it had (very small) domestics and housewares departments. -- Thanks!
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I looked through this whole feed hoping that someone had already asked about Walker Brothers Department Store. I managed to find some pictures in Wichita's Archives but no background information. Thanks. -- In 1969, the latest date I could find information about the store, it was Wichita's oldest family-owned downtown department store. It was established in 1886 by William Chapman and English-born David Valentine Walker as a small dry goods store. A few years later Walker bought out Chapman's interest. Walker then married into a family that co-owned a large Kansas dry goods wholesale house that supplied small stores throughout the state. When David Walker died in 1929 his two sons, David Jr. and Insley G., took over and the name became Walker Brothers. I believe it was a smaller department store than competitors Innes, Buck's, or Hinkel's. -- JW
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Good morning, I am most interested in finding information concerning a dept. store / retail outlet in NYC with the sole name "Woodward". I have a piece of Steuben Blue Aurene Glass with a circular paper label which reads: "AURENE / WOODWORTH / NEW YORK " I know that Steuben glass sold items through Woolworth in the 1920's. Any help on information concerning this store name would be greatly appreciated. Sincerely, David P. Donaldson, MFA -- So sorry, I know of no major NY store with that name.
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Hello. I have a "Howland" department store employee handbook. It states the group had stores with the names Fowlers (not Fowler Dick and Walker), Emmons, Mungers, Sheridan's, Genungs and Howland's. I have a copy of an article about Howland dry goods in Bridgeport Ct that bought Grieves of Hamden (any info on Grieves). All the stores changed their name to Howland in 1970. Would you have any information on the stores behind these other names? -- I don't have any information about those stores per se, but must say that I find the process of acquiring stores and creating a chain which eventually takes on a single name is very characteristic of department store growth and development almost from the start. Of course it gave the stores much greater clout when negotiating price etc with their suppliers, as is of course true of the huge Macy's chain today, as well as the big box stores. I would suggest trying to find digitized newspapers as a source for more information about the specific stores. -- JW
Founded in 1887, the Howland Dry Goods Company a major department store from Bridgeport, CT. It was purchased by Genung's of Mt. Vernon, NY in 1958 but continued to operate under its own nameplate. Howland was a large store but Genung's, located in communities such as Tarrytown, Yonkers, Peekskill, and Meriden, consisted of mostly small or junior department stores. In July 1965, Genung's closed the large downtown Bridgeport store and opened a new, smaller store on the Black Rock Turnpike. That same year, Genung's acquired the former Waterbury-based Grieve, Bisset, & Holland store at the Hamden Mart. Along the way, the company acquired locations from Sheridan's (Quincy, MA), Mungers (Herkimer, NY), and Emmons (Concord, NH). (I'm not sure where Fowlers was but it was not part of FDW. I would bet it was located in NY or CT.) I am not sure of the date of your handbook? By 1969, Supermarkets General purchased Genung's, who also operated Steinbach (Asbury Park) and Hochschild's (Baltimore). At the time, Genung's also owned Millers (Stamford), and Goerke's (Plainfield and Elizabeth). In 1987, all remaining stores, clustered as part of a Howland-Steinbach division, assumed the Steinbach nameplate. Regardless, your handbook sounds like a great piece of ephemera that documents an important regional chain of important small department stores. -- ML

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My name is Randy Herndon, who is a grandson of a former Woodies employee who worked in the window and interior display at Woodies from 1915 to the early 60s. In the 20s, he was named head of these departments. Recently, I have been collecting photos on ebay, and was wondering if you have anyone who I can contact to get some additional photos of Woodies during these periods. In addition, my grandfather, whose name was Dudley LeRoy Herndon, decorated the White House during the Eisenhower administration for special holiday events. Do you have access (or know of a source) to photos of these things? We have some thank yous from the First Lady discussing his work, but no photos. Thanks, Randy Herndon at RandolphHerndon@gmail.com -- Have you seen Michael Lisicky's new book Woodward & Lothrop: A Store Worthy of the Nation's Capital? He indicates the source of all the photos he used in the book, with many of them coming from the Washingtoniana Division of the D.C. public library. Otherwise, I would think e-bay is your best source, though it requires much patience waiting for things to appear. As for White House photos, I would have no idea. -- JW
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I have an old blonde maple dining room set with cane back chairs (possibly 1950's) with the name "Fine Furniture from America's Foremost Creators certified by Harry H. Baron, Inc. Seattle, WA". Can you please tell me something about the type of furniture he manufactured, dates, department stores that sold his furniture and information about Harry Baron. Thank you. Mark -- Harry H. Baron was the name of a furniture store in Seattle, at Aurora and Harrison. It looks like it closed in the late 1950s upon Harry's death. I don't believe he was a manufacturer. -- JW
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Hi, my name is Robert Daniel Wyatt. I'm looking for any information on a store named Haber's (1942) in the City of Poughkeepsie, NY I believe it burned down in the 70s. I posted a pic on Facebook it was one of the best toy stores around. Thanks for any help. You can also message me at nyny0553@yahoo.com -- Even though we try to restrict inquiries to department stores on this site, I do have an answer on Haber's. Haber's was destroyed in an early morning fire on June 1, 1970. It raged out of control for hours and a local 17 year old boy was eventually charged with 3rd degree arson. It was operated by David Haber and Ettie Fershlisser. -- ML
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A few months ago I'd asked for a lead on how to find out if a former WT Grant store had run an automotive shop. Your suggestion to look in the local paper's Sunday ad section was spot on and confirmed the inquiry for me. Thanks!
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Any information on the Great Eastern Department Store? I know they were around in the 60's in New Jersey and New York. Can't find any info on them online, though. -- In 1956, Great Eastern Mills opened its first discount store on Route 17 in Paramus, NJ. In addition to its popular self-service format, Great Eastern's success was based on its large usage of leased departments or "retailer-tenants". In 1961, its 3 stores, Paramus, Little Falls, and Elmont, L.I., were acquired by Diana Stores. In 1972, Great Eastern jumped from seven units to fourteen in one day, with locations now spread from New Brunswick, NJ to Port Jefferson, NY, to Brooklyn, to Jersey City. Increased competition and out-of-state ownership (Daylin's Stores) forced Great Eastern into Chapter 11 bankruptcy and all were finally closed by October 1975. -- ML
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I just bought a beautiful plaid jacket which has a label marked Millers, New York. The two ls in the name are in the shape of boots. Could you tell me anything about this store? -- Not sure whether you are referring to a vintage item, or whether it's a man's or woman's jacket, but I don't know of a Miller's department store in New York past or present, plus it sounds to me as though it's more likely to be a manufacturer's label than a store label. -- JW
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Did department stores have in-store photography studios during WWII? -- Good question. I strongly associate in-store photography studios with the decades before the First World War. By WWII, many Americans had their own cameras, and I'd say department stores were far more likely to have photography departments than studios. I've found only one actual example, the Meyer's department store in Greensboro NC. Undoubtedly there were some others, but not many I'd guess. -- JW

Department store photo studios were indeed very popular during the early part of the 20th century. Once personal cameras came to be, the store's studios became less necessary, more formal. However I can find instances where the studios continued forward. In 1941, Kaufmann's in Pittsburgh asked customers if they wanted to "be glamorized in color?" Gimbels in Milwaukee advertised two "splendid pictures" for a dollar, a fine photo as a fine gift for mother in 1938, and Pomeroy's in Reading said they were equipped to do all kinds of photography, any place, any time, in 1934. -- ML

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What were the department stores in Brockton MA besides Edgar's? Were Fraisers and Ganley's department stores? -- In a 1961 Brockton directory, the most recent date I could locate, I find the following stores listed under Department Stores, most of them located on Main Street: Coats Field Inc; Edgar's; Fraser's; Ganley Joseph Inc; Giant Discount Co; Gilchrist Co; Gorin's; King's; Sear's. Such a listing, of course, does not necessarily mean they were all full-fledged department stores. -- JW

When I think of Brockton, I think of Edgars. How could you not? James Edgar himself was the first department store Santa Claus! (Edgars later became Almy's though the name lived on in Fall River.) But don't count out Fraser's on Main St, “The Store Of Service offering you the lowest prices, the latest styles and the most courteous service.” From its display windows to its assortment of merchandise, Fraser's fits the definition of a department store. Not so much with Ganley's, which was primarily a prominent women's clothing store. -- ML

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I've been reading ML's "Wanamaker's: Meet Me at the Eagle" with lots of fond memories of riding the train from Norristown to shop with Mom at Lit's, Gimble's, Strawbridge's and especially Wanamaker's (1947-1959). I especially remembered the Munkascy paintings, after running across a reproduction in an unrelated app I purchased. Appreciate the pictures, HA!
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Might there be any Wanamaker record of a Plymouth-Whitmarsh singing group, circa 1956, with director Marcellus C. Kuhn? I remember singing "Oh Promise Me" with the organ from the balcony. Skip -- The Wanamaker organ has been providing thousands of concerts to residents and visitors of Philadelphia since 1911. The world's largest pipe organ, the Wanamaker organ is in fine working condition in the store now operated as Macy's. This wouldn't be possible without a financial (and ethical) commitment from Macy's and the amazing support group, the Friends of the Wanamaker Organ. If I needed to inquire about a specific musical event, past and present, held at the store, I would try contacting the group through their website www.wanamakerorgan.com. They would be a very valuable resource for such a search. A tedious search process could be had at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, home of the valuable John Wanamaker Corporate Archives but I'd start with the Friends and see where that goes. -- ML
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Where was Calverts store in Massachusetts? -- Calvert's department store was located on Highland Avenue in Needham Heights. -- JW
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A Bon Marche sign is still painted on the wall of the old store in downtown Lowell Mass. -- Those old "ghost signs" are great. Bon Marche was one of several department stores and larger clothing stores on Merrimack Street in Lowell, along with Cherry & Webb, Gagnon Co., and A. G. Pollard Co. -- JW

Established in 1878, The Bon Marche of Lowell, MA operated under the same ownership as Boston's Jordan Marsh, Allied Stores Corporation. In 1976, The Bon Marche was merged into Jordan Marsh. Local Lowell officials proclaimed that "an excellent store will give way to a great one" upon the merger's completion. Part of the transition to Jordan Marsh included having The Bon Marche brick storefront painted red with white trim. It is nice to know that not all of The Bon Marche's history has been erased. Over time, the Lowell store became Jordan's smallest revenue producer and was closed in June 1990. -- ML

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I have a white satin Santa figure that my mother gave to her mother as a Christmas gift about 1948-51. Window shopping with my grandmother, we saw these figures ranging in size from my grandmother's 1-ft. size to better than life size throughout one or more of the D.C. department stores -- probably Woodies, Kanns or Lansburghs -- and my grandmother fell in love with them. I accompanied my mother when she went to a store that sold commercial decorator items that was located on 12th or 13th Street to purchase the gift Santa. As I look to passing Santa on to my grandchild, I would like to know a bit more. -- My grandmother had just such a white satin Santa that she bought in St. Louis. Hers was larger, was animated (it waved), and was designed to be placed on a table in a picture window. I would suspect she bought it in a department store but I can't tell you anything more about these figures. If you have access to digitized newspapers from DC you might search them for advertisements. -- JW

Display windows played an important role in the department store experience. Windows were meant to stop a customer, grab the customer's attention, and draw them into the store without walking any further down the sidewalk. At Christmastime, people went downtown with their entire families just to view these windows. It was entertainment, it was tradition. (And there was a reason why children had to drag their parents through floors of merchandise to see Santa and the toy department. It was not designed to be an easy-in, easy-out experience.) Display departments hired workers with exceptional artistic and mechanical skills. They usually designed their windows almost one year in advance. The more sophisticated the animation, the larger the crowd. It is unlikely that any of DC's large stores purchased their Christmas displays from a local, outside source but that doesn't mean that the sight or acquisition of a large animated figure can't open the flood gates of memories. For a good resource and behind-the-scenes workings on display windows, especially at Woodward & Lothrop, I highly recommend William L. Bird, Jr's book, 'Holidays on Display'. -- ML

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Looking for record shops in Dayton Oh in 1979 -- I would suggest looking for city directories for that year. Some have been digitized but you may need to visit a library in Dayton. -- JW
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Hello, I am trying to find a list of Weiner's stores that operated in the 1990s. They were based in Houston, but had stores throughout the Southern USA, including Alabama. Additionally, do you knows where else the clothing brand "Touche LA" may have been sold? I am an amateur "sleuth" trying to identify a female found with that brand of clothing in Alabama in 1995. I have determined that Weiners sold that brand. -- All I can say is that Weiner's was founded in 1926 in Houston. By 1961, the company grew to 21 stores and in 1985 it had 114 stores in Texas alone. When Weiner's filed for bankruptcy in 1995, the company operated 158 stores in Texas and Louisiana. A new 'one-stop' concept called Weiner's Plus was short lived. The 97 mostly inner-city stores, located in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama only lasted seven months in 2001. In the mid 1990s, the company was identified by its super-human mascot, WeinerMan. -- ML

The troubled Weiner's chain of clothing stores closed 44 of its then-141 stores when it declared bankruptcy in 2001 and probably went completely out of business after that. I don't know where the 141 stores were located. The Touché LA brand was also sold in PS stores in Cleveland and at Goody's in Augusta GA and, very likely, many others. -- JW

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I am trying to determine whether a certain WT Grant store had an automotive center. Any ideas on where I might look? Thanks! -- I would look for city directories for the period you are interested in and look under automotive. If you are in the city in question it would be best to go to the main library, or call to see if they have directories. If not, many have been digitized and are available with a subscription to Ancestry.com -- though it is an awkward search process. -- JW

One of the problems with W.T. Grant Co. is that it never developed a prototype for its larger Grant City stores. Very few Grant City stores offered automobile service. Grants usually experimented with automobile service in its earliest Grant City stores, which were established in 1962. That's not to say that some of the later stores didn't occasionally offer it. If the store was open prior to 1968 and had at least 90,000 square feet of space, I would only then think that it could have been a possibility. In order to help with your search, start looking through local newspaper microfilm and check the ads. It's tedious but it's your best resource. (Auto center ads will usually only be listed/mentioned in the latter Sunday pages.) -- ML

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I have been asked to choose a department store and to consider its development between 1850 and 1939 (as appropriate). How did the owners of the store design their interiors to both draw customers in and encourage them to stay? I have chosen to focus mainly on Harrods. --Good luck with your project -- should be fun. Here's a tip: it would be easier if you chose Selfridge's.
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Morton's, a department store frequented mostly by African-Americans, sold low-end merchandise and was located on 7th Street, N.W., in Washington, D.C.
Q: Is this store related to the Morton Goldenberg group described below? Thanks, Barbara Y. -- Morton Goldenberg was the force behind Washington's Goldenberg's department stores but Mortimer Lebowitz was the leader of Morton's department store. Both stores were located on 7th Street but Goldenberg's called it quits in 1955. Lebowitz was a Washington retail pioneer. He incorporated discount quality merchandise and racial equality into his business. Morton's, founded in 1933, did not have separate dressing rooms and treated customers equally. Lebowitz once told the Washington Post, "Many thought what I did was stupid from the business viewpoint, but I could not see myself discriminating against black customers." From its very first day, Morton's had dressing rooms and restroom facilities that were shared by black and white customers.These unusual practices helped develop a loyal clientele for Morton's. Increased competition and continuous downtown construction projects convinced Morton's to close its five stores in December 1993. -- ML
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What happened to Yieldings, Birmingham, AL? As far as I've been able to learn, based on the last president's (Richard Yeilding) resume, the Yeilding's stores closed in 1996. Yeilding's was a very old store, established in 1876. It operated under a variety of names: Hood & Yeilding, Yeilding Bros., Yeilding's, and finally Yeilding. One of Birmingham's many department stores -- which included Louis Pizitz; Burger-Phillips; Loveman, Joseph & Loeb; and Parisian, the main store was on 2nd Avenue. By the late 1980s there were 7 stores, with 2 in Huntsville AL and the remainder in the Birmingham area. -- JW
Located at the eastern edge of the downtown Birmingham business district, Yeilding's grew from a tractor supply store to a women's apparel business over its 120 years. After expanding to Huntsville in 1982, Yeilding's, operated by the fourth generation of family members, decided "it was time to close" in October 1996. -- ML

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Entertaining, funny Baltimore Sun profile of our favorite oboe-playing, department-store obsessed author, Michael Lisicky.
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I was recently going through my deceased father's closet and came across several ties with a Woodward & Lothrup label in them. Seeing the label got me thinking about how clothing was marketed in the 30s, 40s and 50s versus today. It struck me that before the advent of "national" brands and "designer" labels that a department store could carve out quite a niche for itself by how it selected the wares it sold. But when customers are coming in to the store looking for the brand names they see on tv and in national magazines, very little sets stores apart from each other. So my question is can you briefly describe how stores selected merchandise for sale pre WWII vs today? -- You are absolutely correct that the invasion of national brands, which took place first at department stores located in smaller cities, eroded the "brand" of individual stores. (This is a subject I discuss in Service and Style.) This applied not only only to clothing but to a whole range of merchandise including linens, toys, and toiletries. Department store buyers spent a lot of time going to fashion markets, NY especially, but also Europe, to see the offerings of makers; stores also had American and European manufacturers design clothing and other merchandise to their specifications; and buyers constantly examined samples salesmen/women brought to the stores for inspection. But, of course, the more that manufacturers engaged in national advertising for their brands, the more customers pressured department stores to carry that merchandise -- in much the same way that patients now ask their doctors to prescribe "branded" medicines they see advertised on TV. -- JW
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Can anyone help me with a closing date for a Portland Oregon clothing store named Rosenblatt's? They were in downtown Portland and I believe opened just before 1900. Thanks! --Rosenblatt's was not a department store, but a men's clothing store. In August of 1980 the Rosenblatt stores, of which there were four in OR, became Klopfensteins. Klopfensteins moved out of the Portland store at Sixth and Alder later that year. Both Rosenblatt and Klopfensteins were subsidiaries of Hart, Schaffner, Marx of Chicago. -- JW
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W. T. Grant cafes served a sloppy joe sandwich -- does anyone know the recipe? --By the 1960s, W.T. Grant Co., one of the nation's largest variety store chains, became known for its popular Skillet lunch counters and Bradford House and Bradford Room restaurants. Like its competitor Woolworth's, its restaurants based standard traditional offerings off of one template and added regional and chef specialities to its many stores in different locales. According to a 1975 menu, Grants did not list a sloppy joe sandwich as one of its chain wide offerings. The sloppy joe sandwich recipe that you are looking for would have been a special order for that Grant store, just as the Frito Pie was special to the Santa Fe Woolworth store. -- ML
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When did the Steinbach store in the New Hartford Shopping Center in New York state go out of business? -- Self-regarded as the "largest resort department store in the world", Steinbach was to Asbury Park, NJ as Wanamaker's was to Philadelphia and Macy's was to New York. The Asbury Park store slowly faded and closed up shop in July 14, 1979. By the late 1970s, Steinbach's management and buying staff were merged with its sister Howland stores, based out of White Plains, NY. (Howland, along with Read's, was one of Bridgeport, CT's large department stores. It dwindled into smaller branches when the downtown Bridgeport store closed in 1965.) In 1987, store ownership changed and all Howland store assumed the Steinbach name. In 1994, Value City purchased Steinbach's and sold 18 stores to Crowley Milner, a longtime private Detroit department store. This purchase included 14 Steinbach stores in Connecticut, New Hampshire, New York, and Vermont. Crowley Milner struggled with the new acquisition and Steinbach and Crowley's ended their retail run in April 1999, after filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. -- ML
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Do either of you know much about retailing supply chains? My graduate school classmates and I are trying to research retail overstocks and how these goods may have changed over the last 20 yrs. In your opinion are department stores sending less stock over to off-price retailers and liquidators than they used to? -- I think this is a question that could best be answered by a business analyst who gathers data on contemporary retailing practices. -- JW
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I am in the possession of a very old wooden hanger from Grossman's Men's and Boy's clothing store located @ 1914 Third Ave, N. Y. C . It is stamped with the phone # and name and address of the store in black. It is in perfect condition and I will sell it to the highest bidder. I find your site extremely interesting and will connect with it on Facebook! -- Thank you!
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Where was O'Connor Moffatt & Co located in New York in the 1870s? -- The O'Connor Moffatt I know of was a San Francisco store, acquired and renamed by Macy's in 1945. It was a low-end store, ranked #5 among the city's department stores at that time, trailing behind The Emporium, Hale Bros., The White House, and The City of Paris. It was founded in 1866 and had moved about 6 times when Macy's took it over and expanded it. -- JW
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Was there a store with a name sounding like Himmelhose? -- You must be thinking of Himelhoch's of Detroit. Founded in 1907 by Wolf Himelhoch, Himelhoch Brothers & Co. was a women's specialty store located downtown with entrances on Woodward Ave. and Washington Blvd. It became a prominent business and eventually added some men's wear and multiple suburban branches. The store was predominantly family-operated and was known for its moderate to better merchandise. Time caught up with Himelhoch's, a victim of urban flight and changing fashion styles. The store filed for bankruptcy in 1978 and closed all remaining stores that December. The former downtown store has been converted into an apartment complex. -- ML
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My husband remembers hearing a periodic "bong" type sound at the Boggs & Buhl's store in Pittsburgh as a child. Any idea what it might have been? Thank you. -- At one time department stores used chimes to call managerial personnel who were on the floor back to their offices. Each manager had their own code, so many chimes, so many pauses, that they learned to recognize instantly. -- JW
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He's unstoppable! Michael's 6th book on the grand old department stores, this time Washington, D.C.'s Woodward & Lothrop, will arrive near the end of September. Front cover illustrated in the right hand column.
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Other Best & Co., New Jersey locations included Route 22 in Watchung (near the Blue Star Shopping Center, Route 4 in Paramus (east of the Bergen Mall), and a seasonal summer store was located in the lobby of the Berkeley-Carteret Hotel in Asbury Park. The Route 4 store was scheduled to be replaced with a large, modern 2 level store, next to the Fashion Center Mall, but the company was liquidated before that store could open. That location became a very upscale Britt's for a few years (fixtured and laid out as it was for Best's), then it became a store for homes for B. Altman, and lastly a Toys R Us. Ken --Thanks, Ken.
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Where were the Best and Company stores located in NJ? -- At the time of its closing in October 1970, Best & Co had locations in New York - Fifth Avenue at 51st Street, Abington, Ardmore (PA), Arlington (VA), Boston, Brookline (MA), Eastchester (NY), East Orange (NJ), Manhasset (NY), Garden City (NY), Paramus (NJ), Reisterstown (Baltimore), Washington, Watchung (NJ), and White Plains. -- ML
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Was there a J.W. Woolworth's in West Virginia? If so, when and where was the first one established? -- Certainly there were Woolworth 5 & 10 stores in West Virginia. (I'm assuming you mean F. W. Woolworth.) They were in Wheeling, Parkersburg, Morgantown, Clarksburg, Huntington, and Roanoke -- and maybe other cities and towns. I don't know that much about the history of variety stores (as distinguished from department stores) so I can't tell you when the first one opened, but the Wheeling Woolworth's at 1211-15 Market Street was in business at least by 1913. -- JW
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Someone on your site had a question about the location of the Whites Dept. Store in Yorktown, NY. After it closed, it sat empty for at least 10 years (long enough ago that I don't remember when the building got refurbished and repurposed). There's currently a Staples (http://storelocator.staples.com/stores/en_US/NY/Yorktown/0402), Michaels, & Party City at the site and had been a Linens 'n' Things before the chain closed. There were additions built on either end of the building (expanding Staples and adding Party City). As I say, I don't remember how long the building had been empty; it seemed a long span at the time, but I was much younger then (it would have been probably by 1978). -- James
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Neiman Marcus opened their downtown Houston branch at 917 Main Street in 1955. When did that downtown Houston store close? -- In 1955 Neiman-Marcus merged with Ben Wolfman, Inc., which owned the store then occupying that site, The Fashion. It furnished Neiman's entry point into Houston. In 1969 the Galleria Neiman's opened, and in 1983 another store opened in Town and Country Mall. That one closed in 2005. -- JW
Neiman Marcus came to downtown Houston in June 1955, when it purchased the fashion retailer Ben Wolfman, Inc.. It closed the downtown store in 1969 and moved its business to the new Galleria. -- ML

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I purchased a mink stole and the label reads New Williams. This was a dept store in downtown Birmingham AL that closed in the early 80's. I've looked online but can't find any information on the store. Would like to give mink to my daughter with some history. thanks, rhonda -- Originally called the S.A. Williams & Co., New Williams was founded in 1906, 1917, or 1918; there are many conflicting reports. By at least the early 1930s, the store was renamed "New Williams" and became one of Birmingham's largest women's stores. (It never was a department store but, because of its size, the name 'New Williams Department Store' occasionally appeared in print.) The store carried moderate to higher women's clothing and accessories and enjoyed a very loyal customer base. It appears that New Williams closed in 1983, just as downtown Birmingham was experiencing its exodus of merchants. The building was later the home of Debbie's Alabama Beauty College. -- ML
I can add only that by 1973 there were two branches, one of which was in Mobile AL. -- JW

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What department stores were in or around Jersey City NJ and Dallas TX in the 1950s? -- Besides the signature flagship Neiman-Marcus store (still open), downtown Dallas was home to three prominent department stores in the 1950s; Sanger Brothers, A. Harris & Co, and the Titche-Goettinger Company. Both Sangers and Harris began as small outposts in a new Texas town; Sangers in 1857 and Harris in 1887. 1951 was a big year for Sanger Brothers. Federated Department Stores purchased Sanger Brothers as it focused its future growth in the Southwestern part of the country. In 1961, Sangers purchased its rival A. Harris. By 1965, the newly created Sanger-Harris store opened a brand new flagship store in downtown Dallas. That store, later renamed Foley's in the mid 1980s, closed in 1988. Titche's was founded in 1902 and eventually became part of the Allied Stores Corporation. The prominent large store was renamed Joske's, another Allied store based in San Antonio, in 1979, That store did not survive the Campeau merger and closed in 1987. Residents in Jersey City shopped in a massive variety of smaller storefronts but traveled to Newark and Manhattan for department store excursions. The only "major" retailer out of Jersey City was Kleinhaus. Kleinhaus, founded in 1885, served as Jersey City's largest store for the early part of the century but its exact history and dates of existence are difficult to document. -- ML
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What did department stores use to have that they no longer do? -- It differed from store to store and, of course, changed over time, but to compile a list: free delivery, free alterations, gift wrap, beauty salons, multiple restaurants and snack bars, Christmas windows and villages, holiday parades, free concerts, lectures, and demonstrations, wedding bureaus, teen clubs, meeting rooms for organizations, art exhibits, post offices, bureaus for paying utility bills, travel agencies, watch repair services, upholstery services, roof gardens, employee clubs, employee newspapers, employee cafeterias, rest rooms with large lounges, free child care playrooms, decorating services, custom dress salons, fur storage, lost & found bureaus, bakeries and candy kitchens, gourmet food shops, stamp collecting departments, concierges, doormen, and fashion shows. I'm sure there are things I've missed. -- JW
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Does Bloomingdales in San Francisco occupy the former The Emporium departments store? Daniel -- Yes, Bloomingdale's and Nordstrom are the two anchor stores in the Westfield Center indoor mall that was created out of remains of the gutted Emporium (consisting mainly of the dome). You can read about it here and see photos. -- JW
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Did the Richard's department store in Miami have a branch in Miami Beach? Did they move into the Art Deco Burdine's building in Miami Beach on Lincoln Road when Burdine's moved to their larger Miami Beach location in 1953? Daniel -- Evidently there was a Richard's store at 425 Lincoln Road in the 1920s, opened in 1924. It may not have been a full department store, and I don't know how long it remained in business. The main store, 7 stories, was located at NE First Street and Miami Ave. In 1946, the store headed by Richard Gimbel (son of Ellis Gimbel), was acquired by City Stores which announced future expansions. In 1957 it opened a branch at the 163rd Street Shopping Center where Burdine's also built a branch. In 1960 only the two stores existed but in 1980 Richard's closed all its stores, then numbering eight. -- JW
On December 9, 1940, Richards, a distant competitor to Burdines, opened a "department store in miniature" at 425 Lincoln Road in Miami Beach. The venture was very short-lived and the store closed within a few years. In November 1953, Burdines opened a brand new Miami Beach store on Meridian Road and vacated its former location at 800 Lincoln Road. In 1954, Franklin Simon acquired the former Lincoln Road Burdines store. By the late 1950s, Lincoln Road was no longer the fashionable destination that it once was. City Stores, Franklin Simon's parent, closed the store because the street was "no longer a promenade for millionaires." City Stores, also the owner of Miami's Richards stores, decided to open a Richards store in the vacated Franklin Simon. The store did not cater to the area's former wealthy customer base and was designed for "local people and tourists who must be careful how to spend." The 12,000 square foot store opened in late 1959 and closed in 1965. -- ML

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Can you find the recipe for the blueberry muffins that the Bon Marche department store made and sold in their bakery in the 1970,s when they still made their own muffins and the company had nut yet been sod to Macy's? -- Thanks, Sara -- I would like to get more clarification about which Bon Marche you are talking about? The Bon Marche store in Lowell, Massachusetts was known for blueberry muffins and it followed the same recipe as its sister-store in Boston, Jordan Marsh. The exact Jordan Marsh blueberry muffin recipe has different variations online but most have just subtle differences within their interpretations. Jordan Marsh and Lowell-based Bon Marche were both units of Allied Stores Corporation. Most people think of Seattle when they think of Bon Marche and that store was also a unit of Allied Stores. I do not have any recipe or articles for a blueberry muffin from Seattle. If I were you, I'd try a Jordan Marsh blueberry muffin recipe posted online and see what you think? Just to make this all the more confusing or all the more pertinent, Allied operated two divisions in Florida, a Miami-based Jordan Marsh group and Tampa's Maas Brothers. Both Florida divisions were known for blueberry muffins, both were Allied stores, and both used the Boston recipe. -- ML
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What does price goods (not piece goods) mean in a 40-year old department store ad mean? -- Price Goods is a very old-fashioned term that refers to off-price, and manufacturer overstock merchandise. The term was used primarily in the 1890s and also during the Depression years. -- ML
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Do you have pictures of the shopping bags used in department stores during the early 20th century? 1900-1910? -- I have never seen any and I doubt that stores provided shopping bags then. As far as I know it was the practice to wrap purchases in paper with string at that time. -- JW
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I was brought up on Cabot St in the early 1960s when all the department store like Grants and Almys were here. I remember being pushed in a carriage as I was with my mother and her best friend heading to the stores, both Grants and Almys I wish we had those stores around now -- nowadays I must take a bus in order to get to the malls and the 451 bus does not even run all day any more. If we had the stores in Beverly it would not make a difference if the bus does not run all day. --How true -- I'd like to see better public transportation too. -- JW
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When I was a kid we had stores in Beverly Mass that were popular and we now do not have anymore by the names of Almys and Grants. What ever happened to them? They were the best stores ever. Of course back then everything cost so much less. :) -- W.T. Grant Co. was once the third largest variety store chain in the country. Founded in 1900 in Lynn, MA, Grants grew to almost 1200 stores by the early 1970s. Like Woolworth and Kresge, Grants built its trade in downtown locations, large and small, but the company was slow to expand into shopping centers. Once it did, it grew tremendously and perhaps too quickly. In 1962, Woolworth opened Woolco and Kresge opened K mart, but Grant fell behind on the discount end. It never developed a prototype large Grant City store and many of its suburban locations ended up in lackluster shopping centers. Grants felt that its future was in extending liberal credit terms to its conservative customers. Grants offered its own line of Bradford large appliances but many customers who couldn’t afford name brand appliances defaulted on their large lower-end purchases at Grants. It was a fatal blow and by 1974 the company was quickly spiraling downward. In October 1975, W.T. Grant filed the nation’s second largest bankruptcy claim and shuttered over 700 stores and fired 50,000 employees. The company tried to continue as a small New England/Mid Atlantic chain but the company, and its 300+ stores, was ordered to liquidate the following February. Mr. Grant entered the retail business as a buyer for the bargain counter at Salem’s Almy, Bigelow, and Washburn store. Almy’s was founded in 1858 and merged with Woburn’s Gorin stores in 1951. Almy’s expanded into Revere, Danvers, Beverly and Burlington while Gorin’s purchased small department stores throughout New England. Almy’s was geared towards a value-oriented shopper and balanced the line between department store and discount store. Its signature store in downtown Salem closed in 1985 when Boston’s Stop & Shop stores purchased the chain. (Several other Almy downtown stores also closed at that time.) Many industry experts questioned Stop & Shop’s purchase of Almy’s, as the stores lacked a clear image. Its customer base was loyal but mature. Stop & Shop gave up on Almy’s two years later in March 1987. (BTW, I'd love to write a book on W.T. Grant. Such a classic and such a part of my childhood!) -- ML
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I am interested in learning about how women's clothing was displayed during the World War I years. Were there mannequins on the floor? Were they in glass cases? --Yes, mostly in glass cases, at least the more expensive items that were being showcased. Things such as shirtwaists might be on a hanger type display on a counter. There weren't a lot of dresses being mass produced then and most women's clothing was still made at home. Corsets, underwear, fancy collars, hats, shirtwaists and some wool suits and coats were available in department stores. Smaller items were inside glass counters and stored in drawers behind the counters to be taken out and shown to customers by clerks. -- JW
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I'm going through old family photos. I came across one I don't know. On the back it says it came from Bon Marche, and there's a number on the front for reprints. Is there any way to access that information, so possibly to find out who this is in the photo? -- The stamp saying 'Bon Marche' could imply that it was taken at a department store from Seattle, to Lowell, Massachusetts, to Ashville, NC. You can add Boise, Idaho to the mix if it was from the 1970s on, or it can stem from a clothing store in Evansville, IN. The possibilities are endless and your search will be extremely difficult, and probably impossible. Many of these photos were taken by in-store photography studios. After closings and mergers, most, if not all, of these records were easily tossed. The only Bon Marche that might have the tiniest glimmer of the smallest hope would be at the former downtown Seattle Bon Marche, now Macy's. This is an extreme long shot and has a 2% chance of success. I would seek another source for identification. Try friends and family. Sorry. -- ML
It is possible you could find out what area that phone number was used in by searching online and then you would know which Bon Marche it was and presumably you could link the place with a particular branch of your family. Does it have an area code, an exchange name, or ... ? More information about the content of the photo and the phone number might help us to give you more of a direction. -- JW

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Bruce Kopytek announces that his new book on department stores in Toledo, Ohio, is about to debut. He expects Toledo's Three Ls: Lamson's, The Lion Store, and LaSalle's (The History Press) to launch around the end of June. In 2011 Bruce published Jacobson's: I Miss It So!: The Story of a Michigan Fashion Institution. -- JW
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What can you tell me about the Drennen Department Stores and where were they located? Thanks, Ed. --Despite the plural name, so far I've only found one Drennen Department Store, on Second Ave. in Birmingham, Alabama. It grew out of a store in Arkadelphia founded in the 19th century by brothers William and John Wesley Drennen. They established a branch in Birmingham that became the primary business. They closed the first store and the family moved to Birmingham. I have found evidence of the store in Birmingham as early as 1888. I believe the Drennen family (of which there were many males: Mac, Walter, Felix, Darlyn ...) was involved in dry goods wholesaling, retailing, and possibly the food and automobile businesses as well. A 5-story building was constructed in Birmingham in 1899. I cannot find mention of the store beyond 1920, at which time Walter Drennen was president. -- JW
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What were some of the department stores in New Hampshire and Vermont. I know of Abernathy's and Magrams in Burlington VT and the Economy store in Rutland. In New Hampshire I remember going to Leavitts in Manchester and O'Shea's in Laconia. Do you know any history on these? Thanks TJ -- Most histories that have been published focus on larger cities and larger stores. As far as I know the history of America’s smaller department stores has not yet been written. That’s where the stores of New Hampshire and Vermont would fall. As such, I have done virtually no research on those stores. Of the three smaller-population New England states, Maine has had the more prominent department stores, notably Porteous, Mitchell & Braun in Portland. Of the stores you mention in VT and NH, neither Magram’s nor O’Shea’s appear in either of my two major sources for US department stores of the 20th century. Other NH department stores that have done business over the years are Harry G. Emmons (Concord); Oscar A. Lougee (Laconia); James W. Hill and the Lynch Corp. (Manchester); and, Speare Dry Goods Co. (Nashua). In VT were A. Drysdale and E. L. Nichols (Bennington); and, Houghton & Simonds and J. E. Mann Co. (Brattleboro). -- JW
MORE from Michael: Two stores dominated the Burlington, Vermont retail landscape, Abernathy's and Magrams. Abernathy, Clarkson, Wright traces its roots back to 1848. Its iconic building, still located at the head of Church Street, was built in 1901. It is noted that certain members of the Ethan Allen family were employed by the store in its early days. The four story structure housed only 40,000 square feet of retailing but was large enough to satisfy the compact Burlington urban customer base. By the mid 1970s, Abernathy's began to experience severe sales decreases. Its board and management was restructured in 1980. A fire, five days before Christmas 1981, certainly created extreme financial woes and the store remained closed for over six weeks. On November 1, 1982, Abernathy's gave up and closed its doors. The Magram name did not get placed on the department store until 1952, even though the Magrams store can trace its beginning back to 1914 as The Fashion Shop. Barney Magram assumed control of the store in 1927 and slowly expanded the store's offerings. Beginning in 1974, Magrams opened branch stores in Plattsburgh, Berlin, Rutland, Glens Falls, and Holyoke, MA. A family run department store, Magrams filed for bankruptcy in October 1989 but announced its final closure in November 1990. -- ML

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The downtown Boston Macy's is not great. I work in the area, and very rarely go there. If you want to go to the housewares and home goods, you take the down escalator and have to go through women's lingerie to get there.The store seems to look messy, esp the lower level, and the selection is not as good as their suburban stores. When I was in Minneapolis, I got to talking to some Macy managers and they referred to the Boston Macy's as the "poor little store." Macy's should have remodeled the old Filene's downtown and moved their store there. John -- I don't know how much work would have been involved in adapting the old Filene's but you are certainly right that the current Macy's is a lackluster store. I'd wonder about its future, quite honestly. -- JW
Macy's chose to keep the former Jordan Marsh store in 2006 instead of the neighboring Filene's store in downtown Boston sheerly because of its age and awkward layout. The present downtown Macy's store began losing its steam, identity, and purpose back in 1992 (if not earlier) when Federated merged Jordan Marsh with Brooklyn-based Abraham and Straus, strictly as a cost cutting measure. Residue remains from the loss of the Filene name in Boston but Macy's officials have confided that they are still trying to deal with customer fallout from the removal of the Jordan Marsh name in March 1996. Maybe bringing back the blueberry muffins and getting rid of Britney Spears perfume might go a little or long way. But in all honesty, it's part of a bigger problem. -- ML

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With the announcement yesterday (May 20, 2013) that Macy's will close its recently renovated and downsized location in downtown St. Louis, another downtown location bites the dust. Not to be morbid, but natural speculation begs the question, which downtown location will be next? One common theme among the downtown locations closed this year is that they all had limited hours by today's standards. There are a couple of remaining downtown Macy's that operate with more limited hours (Pittsburgh, and Miami) so we will have to wait and see. Not all of the current downtown Macy's locations operate with limited hours, as an example the location in Boston at Downtown Crossing stays open till 10:00 p.m. 6 days, and till 9:00 on Sundays, keeping later hours that some of its suburban counterparts. Ken -- Ken, I suspect you'd be a much better guesser re future closures than I would, but I would think that downtown stores almost anywhere would be very much at risk. -- JW
Two downtown stores that have questionable futures are the Macy's stores in Miami and possibly Portland. Macy's has already publicly stated that it wants out of the former Burdines in downtown Miami. There was a time when downtown Miami needed Burdines (Macy's) but now the area has developed and might not need the downtown store's moderate offerings. And it's a bad sign when a downtown store restaurant closed. (What's to keep a loyal shopper or office worker in the store for a period of time?) The store's mainstay Royal Palm Restaurant closed well over a year ago. A real loss. The former Meier & Frank in Portland went through an extensive downsizing in 2007 and away went its Georgian Room. But that was several years ago. It may be holding its own but I think that it was a bad sign when Saks Fifth Avenue closed its downtown Portland store in March 2010. What about former Bon Marche (Macy's) stores in Spokane and Walla Walla? Stay tuned. -- ML

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What happened to the James McCreery department store on 34th street and 5th avenue in New York? -- McCreery’s was one of New York City’s very oldest stores when it closed in 1954. Its origins can be traced to a dry goods store on Canal Street in 1837 (Ubsdell & Peirson). It moved uptown sometime before WWI. In 1903 it opened a store in Pittsburg. Until the Depression it was regarded as a high-class store, but it seems not to have successfully made the transition from conservative dry goods store to modern department store. A survey of shoppers in the 1930s ranked it near the bottom of the big stores in terms of quality of goods and extensiveness of services. (Gimbels and Bloomingdale’s were also ranked low while B. Altman and Lord & Taylor were given high marks.) It became unprofitable and, when it was closed by its owner Associated Dry Goods, was seen as clinging to sales of then-unpopular linens and piece goods. Its closure was one of several big New York department stores in the 1950s, including Wanamaker’s, Hearn’s, and Frederick Loeser, as well as its successor Namm-Loeser, in Brooklyn. -- JW
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What was the big department store in Trenton NJ in the 1960's? -- Trenton was home to two large department stores (at least large for Trenton standards), Dunham's and Swern's, later Lit Brothers. Dunham's was located at the city's major downtown intersection, Broad and State Streets. It operated branch stores throughout the Trenton area, including Lawrenceville, Flemington, Independence Mall, and Willingboro. As downtown deteriorated, Dunham's leased out much of its street-level space in order to boost revenue. The downtown Trenton store closed in June 1983. Its closing made front page headlines in the Philadelphia papers. Dunham's slowly closed its stores, one by one, and the final store, located in the Independence Mall, lingered into 1997. Even though Dunham's had the most centralized location, Swern & Company operated a prominent store just down the street. In 1949, Swern's slowly merged with Philadelphia's Lit Brothers stores. Swern's, and later Lits, was known for its popular Thanksgiving Day Parade, a Trenton tradition. The downtown Lits was quite antiquated and by 1960, the company searched for a new location. At one point, Lits convinced Bamberger's to sign onto a new downtown shopping mall that would include a new Lits store. After Bamberger's backed out of the deal, Lits reevaluated its Trenton division. By 1968, Lits Trenton was permanently closed but the company operated a small branch just across the Delaware River in Morrisville, PA. That store closed along with the entire Lits chain in April 1977. -- ML
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When did Hearns Department Store go out of business in NYC? It may have been located in the Bronx. It opened in 1842 as an off-shoot of Arnold Constable (2 partners of AC went out on their own). -- Once a formidable force in New York retailing, Hearn's is now a distant memory, at best. James A. Hearn opened his first business in 1827 with Aaron Arnold names Arnold & Hearn. That partnership dissolved in 1842 and Hearn Brothers was founded. There are conflicting historical reports that Arnold's nephew, George Hearn, was the partner in the first business. The Aaron and Hearn families were likely related but George's death in 1913 does not fit into that timeline. Hearn's pledged to give shoppers "the best dollar's worth for their money." It became a 14th Street retailing powerhouse and opened two branches in 1937, one in Newark and the other in the Bronx. The Newark store operated until 1949, when it was acquired by S. Klein. The Bronx store took possession of the failing Adams-Flanigan store at 150th Street and 3rd Avenue. Bankers Securities, a subsidiary of the City Stores Corporation, acquired Hearn's in 1949. A small mostly soft goods Hearn's operated in Bay Shore, LI from 1948 into the mid-60s. After moving to a self-serve format in 1951, Hearn's closed its Manhattan location on April 9, 1955 as a result of rising labor costs and falling sales. Its Bronx location continued for many more years. It closed in August 1979, along with 42 Franklin Simon stores, due to City Stores' rapidly deteriorating financial situation. -- ML
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Wow. You got great information on White's Dept store in NY. Do you know where in Yorktown it was located? I am planning a trip up there in June. Thanks. -- The only thing I can add to what Michael discovered below is that the first of the White Department Stores opened in 1955 in Massepequa; then, in Middle Island in 1966; in Yorktown Heights in 1967; in Sayville in 1968; and in Middletown in 1970. About 1968 the chain's president was Murray Nemeroff. -- JW
White's Yorktown store was located at the junction of Route 202 and the Taconic Parkway. It shared the site with a Waldbaum's supermarket. -- ML

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There was a department store that we used to go to when I lived in Yorktown, NY. It was called White's. I am not sure if it was in Yorktown or another town

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







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 - 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.