• Babbage’s: Before GameStop
    With computer software and hardware consumers growing consistently and squeezing their way into more and more retail space in department stores and big-box retailers, having this kind of store could be massively successful if they got in early and would initially entail a growth plan of neck-brake speed, opening 20 stores almost immediately…
  • Service Merchandise: The Death of the Showroom
    “Retail” is an incredibly expansive word to describe an ever expanding industry, however, there was a time when a new concept was popping up every other year. One of these relatively new concepts was a “Catalog Showroom,” and one of the most famous and successful of these was Service Merchandise.
  • Famous-Barr: The Best in the Midwest
    Saint Louis, in its day, was a true shopping mecca of North America. The city was once home to three leading department stores. The two-oldest being Stix, Baer & Fuller (founded in 1892) and Scruggs, Vandervoort & Barney (founded 1850.) Both would have a new challenger: a company which remained a cornerstone of St. Louis, and the Midwest as a whole, for nearly a century – The Famous-Barr Co.
  • The Fall of Blockbuster
    This is a continuation of The Rise of Blockbuster Video… At the time of Viacom’s acquisition of Blockbuster, DVD was well on its way into popularity, and, over the last two years, had lost the emerging market to Hollywood Video, their closest competitor…
  • Caldor: Where Shopping is Always a Pleasure
    For a while, Americans have lived in a country with three dominant discounters: Walmart, Target, and Kmart. However, the industry was once much more diverse than The Big Three. One such retailer, serving in the Northeast, outlived most of their competition as a chain with many revolutionary principles. Chief among which was a focus on selling high-quality hard goods at down to nearly half the manufacturer’s suggested price point. “Where Shopping is Always a Pleasure.”
  • Child World / Children’s Palace
    In a market dominated by Toys R Us, one company stood out as the second largest toy retailer in the United States. Today, we’re talking about Child World. It begins in Massachusetts in 1962. When Sidney Shneider, a Boston-native, would team up with his former coworker Joseph Arnesano to found Child World, Inc in Quincy, with the company headquartered in Avon…
  • Venture Stores: The Forgotten Midwestern Giant
    Let’s go back to a time when retail was much more diverse, when Walmart and Target were just another fish in a greater pond. The year is 1962. John Geisse, a WWII veteran, had retired as a lieutenant commander and worked his way up the ladder to Senior Vice President and General Merchandise Manager at the Dayton Company … Geisse developed and pitched the concept of upscale discount retailing…
  • The Rise and Fall of Toys R Us
    Toys R Us, the company that has been in the news a lot lately for its shocking Chapter 11 filing and subsequent closures — but how shocking was it, really? In this article, I take a look at the history of TRU and what went wrong…
  • The Rise of Blockbuster Video
    Today I’m talking about Blockbuster Video, the store most people immediately think of when the topic of video rental comes to mind. However, the story of Blockbuster begins in an industry far from rental or film as a whole…
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