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 The Golden Age of the Department Store.


Click and type in a question or comment

Hello. I have a picture of my mom I'm 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 it's location? Thank you. J. P.

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

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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 row of entrance/exit doors that reads, partially obscured, "Olive Street"). The subjects are believed to be some 38 employees of the Bon, as one is a relative of ours! Is there some way to know who might be able to more fully use/share/wish to own such a photograph? Many thanks, PJ
An interesting p.s., I think, is about our relative who worked at the Seattle Bon Marché and appeared in the group photo ca. 20's 30's...sadly, he was said to have died in 1945 just as he returned from a coffee break and jauntily skipped over the little fence enclosure by his desk in the Bon! He died instantly of an apparent heart attack or stroke. According to living elders of the family, "Mick" was a very nice fellow, a good brother to several other siblings who had all emigrated from Ireland in 1909 and 1910. I wonder if THAT story is written anywhere?!
-- If you were able to find a company newsletter you might find a reference to his death but I imagine it would omit the full circumstances. As for your photograph, I think it would be of greatest interest to a local historical society. Many photos of this type in archives are being digitized and if it was that would make it accessible to others who might have known or been related to people in the photo. Thanks for your message. -- JW
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When did electronics departments first appear in stores? Thanks -- cindoyherman@gmail.com -- I know of no research on this question and can only give you my impressions which are that electronics have had a minor career in traditional department stores with the exception of radio which was prominent in the 1920s. In the late 1930s some of the largest stores -- Macy's, Wanamaker, Abraham & Straus and a few others -- began to put on demonstrations of television. The trouble was that there was very little programming available. Not until the mid 1950s did televisions become at all profitable from what I can tell, but along with stereos, I don't think department stores sold much of this kind of merchandise. Sears and discount department stores probably sold more. JC Penney introduced its own brand of television in 1963, joining its Penncrest brand of phonographs and radios. At some point it began selling computers, but gave them up in 1983. -- JW
I feel that department stores, especially the larger stores, sold electronics as they became available. This was an era of innovation along minimal competition. The selection was smaller and the term "big-box stores" wasn't a part of our vocabulary. Department stores tried to be all things to everybody. In a 1939 brochure, Macy's listed many items including radios, phonographs, records, refrigerators, electric jigsaws, and motion picture projectors in its merchandise list in addition to items like radiator covers, rent signs, simonize for automobiles, insulin, and ovaltine. Another question is when did they abandon electronics? Small electrics tend to still be available but stereo equipment and refrigerators went away as stores like Korvettes undercut the market. -- ML

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Was there a store on 14th street NYC called Norton's? Thanks --I have never heard of it. If it existed it must have been a small store, probably not a department store. With so little information it is just about impossible to find a store on a street that undoubtedly held hundreds, maybe thousands over the course of the 19th and 20th centuries. -- JW
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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
--

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





Available directly from Jan for $25 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 - 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.