The biggest department stores in the mid-1960s were Macy's, Hudson's, and Marshall Field. Hudson's had 25 floors; two of its four below-ground floors were basement stores, where 60 departments did up to 25% of the store's business. At its peak in mid-century, Hudson's employed over 12,000 employees and welcomed 100,000 shoppers a day. Hudson’s even had its own telephone exchange (Capitol), and the nation's third largest switchboard, with only by the Pentagon and the Bell System larger.
Across all major cities, the downtown department stores were enormous, with elevators and escalators. In Chicago, the Marshall Field's flagship store occupied an entire city block and featured a 13-story sky lit atrium. Many other cities had their own iconic stores: Dayton’s in Minneapolis, Wanamaker’s in Philadelphia, Kaufmann’s in Pittsburgh, Bamberger’s in Newark, The Bon Marche in Seattle, Bullock’s in Los Angeles, The Emporium in San Francisco, Famous-Barr in St. Louis, Filene’s in Boston, Foley’s in Houston, Goldwater’s in Phoenix, L.S. Ayres in Indianapolis, Lazarus in Columbus, Meier and Frank in Portland, Oregon. Eventually many of these stores came under the Macy’s Corporation.
The department store as we know it today, is a large retail establishment that sells a wide variety of personal and household products, got its start in the 19th century. The downtown department store dominated the retail scene throughout the first half of the 20th century. Department stores stocked just about everything from clothing, shoes, cosmetics, jewelry, toys, books, sporting goods, gourmet foods, household appliances, and furniture. They had restaurants and services such as photo studios, post offices, all while having special events like fashion sho...
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...dings over the next few decades. There are many reasons why Americans often prefer online shopping to in-person store browsing: no need to make a trip to the mall, no pressure from salesmen, the appeal of bargain shopping sites and fewer distractions. Online shopping helps consumers focus, and they may even find better deals on the Internet than they'd receive at a mall. The benefits of avoiding malls are still greater than shopping inside the overwhelming, buildings, as some truly like online shopping better. While around a third of malls (and solely the largest and newest of the bunch) are still going strong across the United States, once-appealing mall perks are not just able to persuade customers to leave their homes, not when we can purchase items at a discounted price online from our homes while also browsing the internet, using social medial, or even working.
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