Department Stores

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    Feb 06, 2013 6:13 PM GMT
    A little bit ago somebody posted a query about favorite shopping malls.

    I never cared for malls because I am such a big fan of the shopping venue they helped destroy: the downtown department store.

    Guys much younger than I am outside of a few big cities won't be able to remember them except in their terminal decline, but into the early 1970s they were present in most American cities above 10,000 or 15,000 people.

    If you're interested in the ones that were in your city see http://departmentstoremuseum.blogspot.com/2010/05/welcome-to-museum.html

    My personal favorites were the Halle Brothers Co. flagship store on Playhouse Square in Cleveland and Bonwit Tellers at the Hancock in Chicago. Halles was such a jewel box of a store that when I moved to Chicago I couldn't understand the fuss about Marshall Fields. Bonwits at the Hancock was austerely elegant and had a small mens store with some surprisingly reasonably priced items.

    Downtown department stores provided employment to many gay men, not only as clerks and window decorators but in management positions as well. They were a safer and more welcoming environment when there weren't a lot of them. The world has changed a great deal for the better, but department stores are a good thing about the past we shouldn't forget.

    Does anybody else have any favorite department stores or department store memories?
  • HottJoe

    Posts: 21366

    Feb 06, 2013 7:57 PM GMT
    I still like going to department stores. My bf and I started shopping at JCPenney to support Ellen, and I actually like all the clothes we bought. We found a lot on sale and in some cases cheaper than Target but much better quality. I think my favorite jeans I own were $14. icon_eek.gif
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    Feb 09, 2013 1:44 PM GMT
    I miss Saks Fifth Avenue...

    circa 1982 lol

    [url][/url]
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    Feb 09, 2013 1:57 PM GMT
    My favorite store is the Neiman Marcus in White Plains NY. Have been going there since I was a little kid. Some of the staff there know our family on first name basis and vis-versa.
    I think the most amazing store has to be Harrods in London. Have only been there a handful of times, but it's been great fun. Also Selfridges & Co. Both of these companies' buildings alone are stunning. Plus they know how to cater to their guests!
    Also Peter Jones in London. Love the men's clothing dept there!

    Tristan
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Feb 09, 2013 2:01 PM GMT
    These days I probably frequent the "Dillards" in Wichita, just because it is convenient and I can get Ralph Lauren polo at a reduced cost at certain times of the year.

    We had a locally owned store that was very high end when I was growing up... "Henry's".. still have a polo shirt that was bought there that I keep since it has their information on it. We also have "Bricks Menswear", but it is a smaller store. "Henry's was considered a department store and had 2 locations in Wichita.
  • Fable

    Posts: 3866

    Feb 09, 2013 2:03 PM GMT
    Selfridges_530x394.jpg

    Selfridges.jpg
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    Feb 09, 2013 2:11 PM GMT
    Internationally:


    images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQpeHgDZBri8YUOF4EQQ02

    Nothing and I mean RIEN compares to the Galeries Lafayette on Blvd Haussman.


    Inside Neiman Marcus in San Francisco is stunning.

    100170_b.jpg


    and I could spennd hours at Macys in New York City.


    macys.jpg
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    Feb 09, 2013 2:11 PM GMT
    Azzarro saidInternationally:


    images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQpeHgDZBri8YUOF4EQQ02

    Nothing and I mean RIEN compares to the Galeries Lafayette on Blvd Haussman.


    Yes to Lafayette!
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    Feb 09, 2013 2:12 PM GMT
    Philadelphia had Strawbridge's and Gimbel's as the two major ones.
  • DCEric

    Posts: 3713

    Feb 09, 2013 2:19 PM GMT
    I remember the old Hecht's in Downtown Baltimore.
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    Feb 09, 2013 2:30 PM GMT
    I'm not a big fan of clothes shopping, and I am easily irritated by fawning salespeople who attack at the door...so I stick to the bigger chain stores, like Kohl's and Burlington Coat Factory (which always has great deals on name brand dress shirts and ties).
  • HottJoe

    Posts: 21366

    Feb 09, 2013 4:31 PM GMT
    I just read that The Macy's in my dowtown area will be closing.icon_sad.gif
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    Feb 09, 2013 4:59 PM GMT
    My hometown had several I remember frequenting as a kid. The old local standard was Rosenberg's and the small chain department store was White House. Though my mom preferred Emporium Capwell's. I spent a good chunk of my childhood at that store with my mom. It was a big deal to get to eat at the department store cafe-back when every department store had one.
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    Feb 09, 2013 5:19 PM GMT
    My favourite is Myer , you can find anything you want from clothes , electronics , home furnishings , electrical and small tools . Finally one opened in late october 2012 , no need to drive to Cairns anymore ...




    townsville-ourvision.jpg
  • roadbikeRob

    Posts: 14360

    Feb 09, 2013 5:38 PM GMT
    I remember AM&As(Adam Meldrum& Anderson) in Buffalo. It was the last remaining department store in the downtown area. It also had many suburban locations in addition to its downtown flagship. In 1994, it was purchased by The Bon Ton of York, PA and a year later the last downtown department store in Buffalo closed for good along with underperforming suburban stores. The name AM&As was also erased and all the remaining stores became The Bon Ton. The vacant downtown flagship store is now facing a very uncertain future since previous attempts to renovate and redevelop it have failed. Demolition is also possible.
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    Feb 10, 2013 1:18 PM GMT
    fable saidSelfridges_530x394.jpg

    Selfridges.jpg


    Wow! Fantastic shot of Selfridges & Co. then and now!!! (Love pics of buildings taken from the same place, but almost a century apart!) Thanks for posting this! icon_cool.gif
    I was there just last year!

    Tristan
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    Feb 10, 2013 1:38 PM GMT
    Belk is the largest privately owned dept store in the south (and maybe the country). Used to have a big store downtown Charlotte AND they bought a big store behind them and doubled the size.....nearly a whole city block, 5 stories or so. The height of the floors of the two buildings were not a matching height, so when you crossed from one to the other, there was a noticeable slope to the walkway.
    Now its banks banks and nothing but banks downtown.
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    Feb 10, 2013 1:41 PM GMT
    HottJoe saidI still like going to department stores. My bf and I started shopping at JCPenney to support Ellen, and I actually like all the clothes we bought. We found a lot on sale and in some cases cheaper than Target but much better quality. I think my favorite jeans I own were $14. icon_eek.gif


    Look for the dress shirts there with top buttons on a tether of elastic (hidden of course) for comfort when you have to button up and wear a tie. Its the only place that has them at "popular prices"
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    Feb 10, 2013 2:00 PM GMT
    DCEric saidI remember the old Hecht's in Downtown Baltimore.


    I remember being younger and going to Hecht's in Roanoke, VA, I think it is a Macy's now. When I was in elementary school my Mom and Dad used to take me to Elder Bearman's in Richmond, IN. It was away from the mall and I used to love to go there. Living in Harlan County, KY it was always a little behind the times and Belk-Simpson used to be downtown, after it moved to the mall when it was built it went out of business because the family that owned the mall charged so much for rent. Now I shop at Dillards, Macys, and Express. Although I have recently begun shopping at JC Penny again, they have really started bringing out nice clothing at reasonable prices.
  • turtleneckjoc...

    Posts: 4685

    Feb 10, 2013 2:01 PM GMT
    We have all the major department stores in Orlando now: Macy's, Dillards, Saks, Nordstrom, Neiman-Marcus, Bloomingdale's, Dillards, and the struggling Sears and JCP places. A few years ago, we lost Lord and Taylor and that is the one I really liked!

    I don't understand why Nordstrom is still here though as the store is always empty. No one shops there and the times I have walked through the place, I'm the only one in the store, save for a salesperson here and there.

    Florida Mall is one of the largest in the state and has Macy's, Saks and Nordstrom, but you'll be surprised at the large number of international tourists that shop there. Tour buses are always dropping off large groups of shoppers there and it's mainly Brazilian tourists helping out our economy. That mall recently closed Dylan's Candy Bar, Harry & David, Williams-Sonoma and Pottery Barn for some other less-interesting retailers.

    Orlando has three malls that are pretty much empty during shopping hours. One of the oldest, Orlando Fashion Square has only a handful of stores there now, Oviedo Mall in East Orlando is awfully quiet and Sanford Town Center in the northern 'burbs started out packed years ago, but is now dying.

    Our upscale mall, Millenia, does well especially with the restaurants and one bar/club there (Blue Martini) is where Tiger Woods used to pick up trashy women before his divorce (and wrapping his Escalade around a tree). Millenia is where you can find Neiman's, Bloomingdale's and the top designer stores.
  • Import

    Posts: 7190

    Feb 10, 2013 3:39 PM GMT
    I like Bloomingdale's. They have a pretty sweet men's department.
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    Feb 11, 2013 1:25 AM GMT
    turtleneckjock saidWe have all the major department stores in Orlando now: Macy's, Dillards, Saks, Nordstrom, Neiman-Marcus, Bloomingdale's, Dillards, and the struggling Sears and JCP places. A few years ago, we lost Lord and Taylor and that is the one I really liked!

    I don't understand why Nordstrom is still here though as the store is always empty. No one shops there and the times I have walked through the place, I'm the only one in the store, save for a salesperson here and there.

    Florida Mall is one of the largest in the state and has Macy's, Saks and Nordstrom, but you'll be surprised at the large number of international tourists that shop there. Tour buses are always dropping off large groups of shoppers there and it's mainly Brazilian tourists helping out our economy. That mall recently closed Dylan's Candy Bar, Harry & David, Williams-Sonoma and Pottery Barn for some other less-interesting retailers.

    Orlando has three malls that are pretty much empty during shopping hours. One of the oldest, Orlando Fashion Square has only a handful of stores there now, Oviedo Mall in East Orlando is awfully quiet and Sanford Town Center in the northern 'burbs started out packed years ago, but is now dying.

    Our upscale mall, Millenia, does well especially with the restaurants and one bar/club there (Blue Martini) is where Tiger Woods used to pick up trashy women before his divorce (and wrapping his Escalade around a tree). Millenia is where you can find Neiman's, Bloomingdale's and the top designer stores.


    I shop at the Florida Mall and the Millenia sometimes. I like to go to JC Penney and Macy's and the smaller stores. Florida Mall has a lot of British tourists too.
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    Feb 11, 2013 1:30 AM GMT
    Yes I was a huge fan of old classic department stores.I am 41 so I remember many of NYC greatest.The one to blame for destroying most of America's greatest stores is Lundgren who is the CEO of Macys.I hope he drops dead.He single handedly closed dozens of classic American chains in his quest to put Macys in every state.He is a total asshole.NYC had some of the most beautiful classic stores both for men and women.Bonwit Teller,Best and CO,Arnold Constable.A Depinna,B Altmans.Of course many of these stores were very overpriced and catered to the wealthy but who wants to shop in the same store in every state.Go to Bergdorf Goodman and you will think Macys is TJ Maxx lol.Ryan
  • Whipmagic

    Posts: 1481

    Feb 11, 2013 1:33 AM GMT
    KaDeWe in Berlin. Certainly before the wall came down. Now it's a bit dated, but still very good. And I love the delicatessen section on the top floor. Also well-known for gay cruising...
  • turtleneckjoc...

    Posts: 4685

    Feb 11, 2013 1:34 AM GMT
    Rockerbaby86 said
    turtleneckjock said
    I shop at the Florida Mall and the Millenia sometimes. I like to go to JC Penney and Macy's and the smaller stores. Florida Mall has a lot of British tourists too.


    Very true. You can also find the Brits and the Brazilians at the outlet malls too.