End of an Era


I took the opportunity to wander through Holiday Land at Macy’s in downtown Portland last week.  This particular Macy’s store is closing in the coming months; the building started as a Meier and Frank’s in 1909.

As I watched the children anxiously waiting to visit with Santa, I could not help but think of the countless other children who made Macy’s a family tradition for Christmas that will soon only be a memory.

Here is a little homage to the store and its logo.



In retail history



On December 25th, 1813, William Debenham joined William Clark at Clark’s drapery shop on 44 Wigmore Street in London.  This partnership was the creation of Debenham’s Department Store.

Clark had been in operation since 1778 meaning that Debenham’s can trace its roots back over 238 years,  The company has grown to over 175 stores operating in the UK, Ireland and Denmark (Mostly though acquisitions).

In retail history

Toad Lane Museum from the outside, first premises of "The Rochdale Pioneers" early successful retail Co-operative, Rochdale England. by Scarletharlot69

Toad Lane Museum from the outside, first premises of “The Rochdale Pioneers” early successful retail Co-operative, Rochdale England. by Scarletharlot69

On December 21,1844, the Rochdale Equitable Pioneers opened their tiny shop at 31 Toad Lane.  After working months to recruit 28 members and collect £28 in capital (£1 from each member), the store had finally opened. Unlike other shops, the Pioneers operated as a cooperative.

The shelves were sparsely stocked with butter, sugar, flour, oatmeal and a few candles. Merchandise was soon expanded to include tea and tobacco and the co-op earned a reputation for providing unadulterated, high quality goods at a fair price.

While certainly not the first cooperative, the Rochdale Pioneers was the first successful modern co-op.  What set the Pioneers up for success was the adoption of the now famous Rochdale Principles.

  • Voluntary and open membership.
  • Democratic control.
  • Member economic participation.
  • Autonomy and independence
  • Education training and information
  • Cooperation among cooperatives
  • Concern for community

The principles continue to guide all modern retail co-ops. From their humble beginning, the co-op movement began and within 10 years there were nearly 1,000 cooperatives operating in Britain.

The Rochdale Pioneers work continues today with 4500 locations, 4.5 million active members, over 70,000 employees and revenue of £9.36 billion. http://www.coop.co.uk


In retail history

Christmas at Galleries Lafayette by Remi Jouan

Christmas at Galleries Lafayette by Remi Jouan

On December 21, 1896, novelty store owner’s Theophile Bader and his cousin Alphonse Bader acquired a shop at the corner of Rue Lafayette and the Chausee d’Atin in Paris and opened the Galleries Lafayette.

The company has since grown into a formidable department store company with stores across Europe.

Lolli and Pops

I forgot that I had taken some shots of the Lolli & Pop shop in Washington Square.  Thought you might enjoy seeing a few.

Lolli & Pops is a San Francisco-based “candy boutique” with locations in 17 states.  The store is part nostalgic, part artisanal, part whimsical and all-around fun.  Free samples are gladly purveyed. Check out a store if you have the chance, it is simply magical.


Happy Anniversary to Us


We published our first blog one year ago today.

Have I accomplished what I set out to do?  Sort of.  I may have not written as many great posts as I would like to.  I may not have gotten the readership I hoped for. I may not have taken the blog in the directions I had originally envisioned.  Regardless, I have enjoyed my year as a blogger and continue to learn and grow.

Thanks for reading.