Macy's

From Academic Kids

Macy's Department Store on Seventh Avenue in Manhattan
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Macy's Department Store on Seventh Avenue in Manhattan
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NY_Broadway_m_2005.jpg
Looking down on Macy's.

Macy's was founded in 1851 by Rowland Hussey Macy as a dry goods store in downtown Haverhill, Massachusetts. The first Macy's parade was held in Haverhill in 1854, but was only attended by about 100 people. In 1858, Macy moved to New York City and founded a new store with R.H. Macy & Company on the corner of 14th Street and 6th Avenue, which later moved to 18th Street and Broadway on the "Ladies' Mile", the 19th century's elite shopping district, where it remained for nearly 40 years.

In 1896, Macy's was acquired by Isidor Straus and his brother Nathan, who had previously sold merchandise in the store. Isidor and his wife Ida died April 15, 1912 on board the RMS Titanic.

The flagship store moved uptown to Herald Square at 34th Street and Broadway in 1902. Beginning with one building, and through expanded new construction or merging, eventually it grew into the world's largest department store, with 198,500 m² (2,150,000 ft²) of selling floor (some claim that the GUM store is Moscow, Russia is larger). Macy's now occupies the entire block from 7th Avenue to Broadway and 34th to 35th Streets—except for one small brownstone on the corner of 34th and Broadway, which remains a separate property, though rented by Macy's annually for a legendary figure, and camouflaged with giant signs.

The same property problem presented itself when Macy's built a store on Queens Boulevard in Jackson Heights, Queens, New York, This resulted in a architecturally unique round department store on 90% of the lot, with a small privately owned house on the corner. It was a case literally of the "little lady who wouldn't sell".

Macy's has entered the popular psyche of the United States in a number of ways:

  • The movie Miracle on 34th Street is set in Macy's, and remains a holiday season staple on US television.
  • The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, the most famous and most watched Santa Claus Parade, has been sponsored by Macy's for over 75 years. Among New Yorkers it is often referred to as "The Macy Day Parade".
  • The phrase "Does Macy's tell Gimbel's?" used in the USA as a put-off to inquiring people. Gimbel's was the other large department store, directly across 34th Street from Macy's. It has since folded.
  • Macy's has also been sponsoring fireworks displays in New York for decades.

Macy's underwent a period of expansion during the 1920s and 1930s. The company went public in 1922, and began to open up stores outside of the New York region. Competitors in Toledo, Ohio, Atlanta, Georgia, and Newark, New Jersey, were purchased during this time, followed by San Francisco's O'Connor Moffat and Company in 1945.

R.H. Macy & Co. merged with Federated Department Stores on December 19, 1994, after which a number of stores already owned by FDS took on the Macy's name.

Macy's has 431 stores in Alabama, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, and Wyoming. As of March 6, 2005, Bon-Macy's, Burdines-Macy's, Goldsmith's-Macy's, Lazarus-Macy's, and Rich's-Macy's stores are now simply Macy's.

On February 28, 2005, Federated agreed to terms of a deal under which it will acquire May Department Stores for $11 billion in stock, which would create the nation's second largest department store chain with over 1,000 stores and $30 billion in annual sales.

External links

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