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Classic Ads  All Classic Ads Vintage Collection - Retail related ads

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Vintage Retail history.

December 13, 1621 - First American furs to be exported from America leave for England aboard the Fortune under the care of Robert Cushman; colonists developed an economic system in which their chief crop, Indian corn, was traded with Native Americans to the north for highly valued beaver skins; sold profitably in England to pay the Plymouth Colony's debts and buy necessary supplies.

May 2, 1670 - King Charles II of England grants a permanent charter to the Hudson's Bay Company, made up of the group of French explorers who opened the lucrative North American fur trade to London merchants. The charter conferred on them not only a trading monopoly but also effective control over the vast region surrounding North America's Hudson Bay; highly successful in exploiting what would become eastern Canada. During the 18th century, the company gained an advantage over the French in the area but was also strongly criticized in Britain for its repeated failures to find a northwest passage out of Hudson Bay; after France's loss of Canada at the end of the French and Indian Wars, Montreal merchants and Scottish traders established the North West Company; 1821 - the two companies merged under the name of the Hudson's Bay Company; ruled a vast territory extending from the Atlantic to the Pacific, and under the governorship of Sir George Simpson from 1821 to 1856, reached the peak of its fortunes. 1867 - Canada granted dominion status, company lost its monopoly on the fur trade, but it had diversified its business ventures and remained Canada's largest corporation through the 1920s.

April 6, 1808 - John Jacob Astor incorporated the American Fur Company; installed himself as the lone stockholder of his New York City-based company and proceeded to make inroads into the fur business; mounted serious challenge to industry leaders like the North West Company; 1810 - created the Pacific Fur Company; 1811 - established the South West Fur Company; 1828 - unrivaled kings of the fur industry.

July 16, 1808 - Meriwether Lewis and William Clark (and other experienced fur traders, businessmen Manuel Lisa, Pierre Choteau, Auguste Choteau) formed the St. Louis Missouri River Fur Company to exploit region's abundant fur-bearing animals; 1825 - dissolved.

June 23, 1810 - John Jacob Astor established the Pacific Fur Company to conquer the Pacific Northwest; 1808 - incorporated American Fur Company which dominated trade in the Missouri River valley, Rocky Mountains and Great Lakes regions; 1811 - used Pacific Fur to found the village, trading post of Astoria, OR;   designed to facilitate exchanges with China (curtailed by War of 1812); 1834 - Astor left the business to manage his fortune.

September 8, 1810 - Pacific Fur Company's first ship, Tonquin, left New York for Oregon with 33 employees on board; arrived six months later at mouth of Columbia River, established town of Astoria, OR, began trading for furs with the Indians; late 1813 -  Astor's mostly Canadian partners decided to sell out to the British North West Company;  British Navy took control of Astoria during the War of 1812. Astor dissolved Pacific Fur Company, focused on American Fur Company (eventually controlled three-quarters of American fur trade). Astor's profits from American Fur Company, War of 1812, large investments in real estate, made him wealthiest American of his day.  

October 23, 1813 - Americans sell the Pacific Fur Company trading post in Astoria, OR (founded in 1811 by John Jacob Astor) to their rivals in the British North West Company (due to threat that a British might seize Astoria as a spoil of War of 1812); December 1813 - Astoria became Fort George; British maintained control of Fort George and the Pacific Northwest fur trade (traders, settlers, Indians) primarily through the royally chartered Hudson Bay Company for the next three decades; 1846 -British agreed to accept American control of the territory below the 49th parallel, ceded to the U.S. the territory encompassing the future states of Washington, Oregon, and Idaho.

November 16, 1821 - Missouri Indian trader William Becknell arrives in Santa Fe, New Mexico (from his base in Franklin, Missouri), sells his goods at an enormous profit, makes plans to return the next year over the route that will become known as the Santa Fe Trail (first businessman to revive the American trade with Santa Fe); known as "Father of the Santa Fe Trail," one of the most important and lucrative of the Old West trading routes.

August 2, 1824 - Fifth Avenue, home to upscale commerce, opened in New York. 1906 - Benjamin Altman moved his store into an empty space near the corner of 34th Street. The appearance of a store in their midst wound the area's inhabitants into a snit, to appease them Altman designed business resemble a Florentine palace *even left the name of his store off the outside of the building). New stores also deigned to mesh with the tony neighborhood - Oppenheim Collins (1907), McCreeery's (1913), Tiffany opened a jewelry store with an entrance that closely echoed the Palazzo Vendramini in Venice, new Lord and Taylor building opened (embraced and even praised. Small stores followed suit, retrofitted swank exteriors with large display windows. By the dawn of World War I, however, Fifth Avenue had arrived as a hot-spot for high-class shopping; rents skyrocketed, small businesses crowded out by big stores able to afford prime real estate.

March 26, 1832 - American Fur Company modernized with steamboats; dispatched company's new steamboat Yellowstone to pick up furs in Montana vs. competitors which continued to rely on small, man-powered keelboats to move their furs and trade goods; helped John Jacob Astor eliminate lesser fur companies and the American Fur Company enjoyed a virtual monopoly over the Far Western fur trade.

April 9, 1869 - The Hudson Bay Company agreed to transfer its territory to Canada.

Timeline

1872 - Aaron Montgomery Ward founded his company
1879 - F.W.Woolworth opends its first five & dime store
1880 - Opening of the first McCrory variety store
1899 - S.S. Kresge Company founded by Sebastian S. Kresge
1902 - JC Penney is founded by James C. Penney
1906 - W.T. Grant opens first store
1906 - George Clinton Murphy opens the first G.C.Murphy's in McKeesport, PA
1911 - Hechinger stores founded
1929 - Kresge Canadian subsidiary S.S. Kresge Company, Ltd. was founded
1934 - Service Merchandise founded
1948 - E.J. Korvette stores founded
1951 - Caldor stores founded by Cal and Dorothy Bennett
1953 - Simpson-Sears founded in Canada
1956 - Zayre department stores founded by Stanley and Summer Fieldberg
1957 - Hills department stores founded
1958 - Gilman Brothers, opened their first Ames store in Southbridge, Mass.
1958 - Bradlees department stores founded in Braintree, Mass.
1959 - W.T.Grant Co. becomes owner of Canada's Zellers discount chain
1961 - Target stores founded
1961 - Jamesway stores founded in Jamestown NY
1961 - Shopko stores founded
1962 - Wal-Mart stores founded by Sam Walton in Arkansas
1962 - Rich's department stores founded by the Rich family
1963 - Kohl's stores founded
1966 - K-mart's founder Sebastian S. Kresge died at age 99.
1969 - Zayre corporation acquires the Hit or Miss chain
1970 - Christmas Tree Shops founded
1970 - Venture department stores founded by May
1975 -
October: W.T.Grant asks court for bankruptcy status
1976 -
Spring: W.T.Grant Co. goes out of business (Grant / Grant City)
1976 - Opening of the first Price Club
1977 - Tj maxx store chain founded in Framingham, Mass.
1977 - S.S. Kresge Company is renamed Kmart Corporation
1977 -
April: Mammoth Mart is acquired bu King's
1978 -
October: Food Fair Inc. (JM Fields)  files for Chapter 11
1979 -
April: Going out of business sale begins at JM Fields (79 stores)
1980 - Closing of the last Korvette store
1981 - Caldor is sold to Associated Dry Goods Corporation (ADG)
1982 - Consolidated Stores open their first closeout store (Odd Lots)
1983 - Last US Woolco stores are finally closed in january
1983 - Costco Wholesale Corporation formed
1985 -
January: Stop & Shop acquires the Almy's chain
1985 - Ames acquires G.C.Murphy stores
1985 - HQ Home Quarters Warehouse is introduced
1986 - Dayton-Hudson(Target)  acquires 51 Gemco stores
1986 -
May: Stop & Shop sells 64 Medi-Mart to Walgreens
1986 - ADG merges with the May Department Stores Company
1987 - Kmart sells most U.S. Kresge and Jupiter stores to McCrory Corp.
1987 -
May: Stop & Shop decides that Almy's will cease operations (19 stores)
1988 - Target acquires 31 Gold Circle stores
1988 - Zayre stores declares bankruptcy
1988 - Ames is acquiring the bankrupt 392 Zayre stores, closing 74 of them
1989 -
May: Mars is going out of business
1989 - Ames sells 130 G.C.Murphy stores and 25 Bargain World stores in September
1989 -
October: May Co. sells the 118-store Caldor chain and spins-off Venture
1990 - Kmart purchases The Sports Authority, a chain of sporting goods super stores.
1990 - Kmart is changing the red and turquoise logo to a large red "K" with a white "mart."
1990 - Ames file to reorganize under Chapter 11 of the US Bankruptcy Code in April.
1990 - Venture and Caldor are spun-off May Company in november
1990 - Stuart's department stores files for chapter 11 in December.
1990 - Wal-Mart becomes the world's largest retailer with $32.6 billion in sales.
1991 - Ames will close 77 of its 448 stores by next year.
1991 -
April: Jamesway is closing 11 unprofitable stores
1992 -
February: McCrory's files for bankruptcy protection.
1992 -
May: Porteous acquired by Dunlap Co.   (6 stores)
1992 -
May: Stop & Shop spins off the 127-store Bradlees chain
1992 -
May: Shop'n save sells 34 of it's 41 Wellby Super drugstore to Rite Aid
1993 -
January: Jamesway is closing 13 stores
1993 -
October: Woolworth wants to close 970 stores in U.S. and Canada
1994 - Wal-Mart enters Canada with the acquisition of 122 of the 166 Woolco stores.
1994 - Rite Aid Buys LaVerdiere's Drug Stores (72 locations)
1994 - Consolidated Stores acquires Toy Liquidators
1994 - Montgomery Ward acquires Lechmere stores.
1994 -
September: Kmart is closing 110 stores.
1995 - Jamesway emerges from chapter 11 protection in January and re-files in October
1995 - T.J. Maxx, buys its biggest off-price rival, Andover-based Marshalls.
1996 - Jordan Marsh Name Changed to Macy's on its 18 stores
1996 - Consolidated Stores acquires KB Toys
1996 -
March 13, Rich's files Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, closes 14 of its 29 stores.
1996 -
March: Grossman's is closing it's 60 stores in 8 Northeastern states
1997 - Rich's department stores closing its last 13 stores.
1997 - Kmart sells the operations of Builders Square and Kmart Canada (127 stores).
1997 -
October: Wards, which is operating under Chapter 11 protection, closes 48 stores.
1998 - The 155 Hills department stores are acquired by Ames.
1998 - Venture stores are going out of business.
1999 - Caldor is going out of business.
1999 -
February: Service Merchandise to close 134 of 347 stores
1999 -
February: Bradlees emerged from Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection.
1999 - Kmart celebrated its 100th anniversary as a retailer.
1999 - ShopKo acquires Pamida Holding Co., a retailer operating 148 discount stores in small rural markets
1999 -
September, Hechinger (HQ) is going out of business, and will close all 117 stores.
1999 - Eaton's declares bankruptcy, Sears Canada buys few stores, name and trademark.
2000 - July 25, Kmart to close 72 stores.
2000 -
December 26th, Bradlees is going out of business, closing 105 stores.
2000 -
December 28th, Montgomery Ward (Wards) is going out of business (227 stores).
2001 - The last 300 McCrory's stores are closed after a century of retail.
2001 -
August, Ames is filling for chapter 11 after the closing of 47 stores.
2001 - Target plans to open 36 new stores in 21 states in the year.
2001 -
January, Sears, Roebuck & Co. will close 89 US. stores.
2001 -
January, JCPenney will close 44 underperforming stores.
2001 - Filene’s Basement files for bankruptcy
2001 - Ames is closing 54 stores, mostly former Hills.
2002 - Sears Canada closing it's Eatons division in february.
2002 -
January: K-mart closing 284 underperforming stores in the U.S.
2002 - Ames & Wal-Mart introducing dollar store sections.
2002 -
August: Ames announces it goes out of business.
2002 -
October: Ames is closing its 327 remaining stores.
2002 - K-mart testing a new prototype store and new logo in White Lake, MI.
2002 - Target plans 94 new stores for 2003, analysts say.
2003 -
January: K-mart closing 326 stores in 44 states.
2003 -
May: Kohl's plans to open up to 100 new stores for 2004.
2003 - Christmas Tree Shops is bought by Bed Bath and Beyond
2003 -
October: The last Porteous department store will close.
2003 - WiseBuys stores is founded un upstate NY.  Joe Ettore is on the board.
2003 - Decathlon USA is closing 14 of it's 18 stores in New England.
2004 - Albertsons to buy 202 Shaw's supermarkets in $2.5B deal.
2004 -
April: JCPenney sells it's Eckerd division to CVS and Jean Coutu(Brooks)
2004 - May Company acquires Marshall's Fields from Target Corp.
2004 - Toys "r" us could split off it's Babies "r" us division and sell toys business
2004 -
August: Target could buy Hudson's Bay of Canada, or just its Zellers division
2004 - Kmart and Sears, Roebuck & Co. to merge to create Sears-Holding Corporation.
2005 - Wal-Mart sales tops 256 billion for fiscal year 2004
2005 - Federated Dept. stores (Macy's)will merge with May Company (Filene's)
2005 -
March: Target to open 26 new stores
2005 -
April: Shopko to be acquired by a private equity firm based in Minneapolis
2005 -
October: Target opens 60 new stores, Kohl's opens 57 new stores and enters Florida
2005 -
October: Wal-Mart announces it wants to open more than 555 new units in 2006
2005 - Sears Holdings wants to acquire Sears Canada
2006 - Hudson's Bay Co. reaches takeover deal with U.S. businessman Jerry Zucker
2006 - Sears Canada rejects bid made by it's U.S. parent Sears Holdings
2006 -
February: Sears Holdings drops the Sears Essenstials store format
2006 - Wal-Mart report sales at year end of $312,4 billion and a net income of $11.2 billion.
2006 -
August: Jean Coutu Group sells it's Eckerd and Brooks pharmacies to Rite Aid
2006 -
September: Filene's name phased out as Federated converted Filene's to Macy's
2006 -
October: Grand opening of 59 Target stores
2007 -
January: Rite Aid shareholders approved the merger with Brooks & Eckerd
2007 -
March: Tweeter is closing 49 stores
2007 -
June: Dunlaps Department Stores goes out of business (38 stores 9 brands)
2007 - CompUSA announces the closing and liquidation of 126 stores
2007 - Levitz Furniture files for bankruptcy
2007 - Seaway Capital acquires Wisebuys and Hackett's and merges the two chains
2008 -
March: Grand opening of 26 Target stores
2008 -
May: Home Depot is closing 15 stores
2008 -
May: Linens'n Things files for bankruptcy protection / closing 120 stores
2008 -
July: Mervyn's files for bankruptcy protection
2008 -
July: Steve & Barry's files for bankruptcy protection
2008 -
July: Dawahare's goes out of business, closing 22 stores
2008 -
July: Tjx Company looking to sell the Bob's Stores chain
2008 -
August: Boscov’s files for bankruptcy protection
2008 -
October 14: Linens'n Things is going out of business
2008 -
October 17: Mervyn's is going out of business
2008 -
November: Tweeter is going out of business, closing all remaining stores
2008 -
November 3: Circuit City is closing 155 stores in the U.S.
2008 -
November 10: Circuit City files for Chapter 11  bankruptcy protection
2008 -
December :  Woolworths UK is going out of business (UK chain formerly part of the U.S. company)
2008 -
December : KB Toys is going out of business
2009 -
January 16: Circuit is Going out of business

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