The May Department Stores Company

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
The May Department Stores Company
Public
IndustryRetailing
FateAcquisition
SuccessorFederated Department Stores
Founded1887; 132 years ago (1887) in Leadville, Colorado, U.S.
FounderDavid May
DefunctAugust 30, 2005; 14 years ago (2005-08-30)
Headquarters,
U.S.
Area served
United States
Products
  • Clothing
  • footwear
  • accessories
  • bedding
  • furniture
  • jewelry
  • beauty products
  • housewares
Websitewww.maycompany.com/ Edit this on Wikidata

The May Department Stores Company was an American department store holding company, formerly headquartered in downtown St. Louis, Missouri.[1] It was founded in Leadville, Colorado, by David May in 1877, moving to St. Louis in 1905.[2] After many changes in the retail industry, the company merged with Federated Department Stores (now Macy's, Inc.) in 2005.

This company was only a holding company that bought, sold, and merged regional department stores, such as Foley's and L.S. Ayres. During most of its history, the operations of the various divisions were kept separate and had their own buyers and credit cards; the latter were not accepted at other May-owned stores. At times, two different May's stores operated in the same geographical market, but they were aimed at different customers. Most decisions for each of the regional store companies were made by management at the local headquarters and not by the holding company in St. Louis.

Some of the regional stores shared names that were similar to the parent company, such as Los Angeles-based May Company California. All it had in common with the parent was that these stores were headed by a different member of the May family as the president of their respective regional store chain, they were separate legal entities.

History[edit]

Christmas advertisement for Hamburger's Department Store, Los Angeles, 1905
The 1939 Streamline Moderne style May Company Wilshire building in Los Angeles. It was later adapted for use as The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures

In 1877, The May Department Stores Company was founded in Leadville during the Colorado silver rush. In 1889, the headquarters moved to Denver. In 1899, May acquires the E. R. Hull & Dutton Co. of Cleveland, renaming it The May Company, Cleveland, later named the May Company Ohio. In 1905, the headquarters moved to St. Louis.[3] In 1910, the business was officially incorporated as The May Department Stores Company.[3] In 1911: The Famous Clothing Store (owned by May) and The William Barr Dry Goods Company merged to create Famous-Barr.[3] In 1912, May acquires the M. O'Neil Co. (O'Neil's) department store of Akron, Ohio. In 1923, May acquires A. Hamburger & Sons Co. in Los Angeles and renames it May Company California.[4] In 1946, May acquires the Kaufmann's chain based in Pittsburgh, retaining it as a separate division.[3] In 1947, May acquires Strouss-Hirshberg Co. based in Youngstown, Ohio, retaining it as a separate division and changing the name to Strouss.

In 1956, May acquires The Daniels & Fisher Company of Denver, merging it with May stores in the area to create a new May-Daniels & Fisher division.[5] In 1958, May acquires the Cohen Brothers Department Store in Jacksonville, Florida, turning it into the May Cohens chain.[6] In 1959, May acquires The Hecht Company of Baltimore, adding it as a new division.[5] In 1965, May acquires G. Fox & Co. In 1966, May acquires the Meier & Frank chain based in Portland, Oregon, adding it as a new division.[5] David's grandson Morton May became the chairman in 1951 and headed the company for 16 years. Morton May was active in St. Louis civic affairs and was a patron of the St. Louis Art Museum. In 1968, Venture Stores was founded when Target co-founder John F. Geisse went to work for May Department Stores. Under an antitrust settlement reached with the Department of Justice, May was unable to acquire any more retail chains at the time, and the department store company needed a way to compete against the emerging discount store chains. In the 1970s, May sold the 70-store Consumers Distributing chain of catalog merchants to the Canadian Consumers Distributing Company,[7] it closed its stores in 1996. In 1986, May acquires the Associated Dry Goods holding company and its chains (including Loehmann's, Lord & Taylor, and Caldor), the largest-ever retail acquisition in history at that time.[8] In 1988, May acquires Foley's in Houston and Filene's in Boston from Federated Department Stores.[9] In 1993, May Company California and JW Robinsons merged to form Robinsons-May. In 1995, May acquires the John Wanamaker chain based in Philadelphia. In 1996, May acquires the Strawbridge's chain based in Philadelphia.[10] In 1998, May acquires The Jones Store chain based in Kansas City, Missouri.[10]

In 1999, May acquires Zions Cooperative Mercantile Institution based in Salt Lake City, folding it into the Meier & Frank subsidiary.[10] In 2000, May Department Stores purchases David's Bridal.[11] In 2004, May Department Stores takes over the Marshall Field's chain from Target Corporation.[12] In 2005, May is purchased by Federated Department Stores for $11 billion in stock, with all former May divisions being folded into Federated's various Macy's branches.[12][13] In 2006, over 400 former May stores, with their wide variety of long-standing brand names, are consolidated and renamed as Macy's. In addition, Federated sells off three former May chains (David's Bridal, Lord & Taylor and Priscilla of Boston).[12]

Merger of Federated and May[edit]

On February 28, 2005, Federated Department Stores, Inc. announced that they would acquire the May company for $11 billion.[14] To help finance the May Company deal, Federated agreed to sell its combined proprietary credit card business to Citigroup;[15] the merger was completed on August 30, 2005[16] after an assurance agreement was reached with the State Attorneys General of New York, California, Massachusetts, Maryland and Pennsylvania.[17]

By September 2006, all of the May regional nameplates, except for the Lord & Taylor chain, ceased to exist as Federated consolidated its operations under the Macy's mastheads including the stores most famous names Marshall Field's, Filene's, and Kaufmann's, as well as the last nameplate to still have the May name (Robinson's-May). All locations that were not sold off were rebranded as Macy's, except for one Hecht's location in Friendship Heights; that was rebuilt and rebranded as Bloomingdale's. In advance of the retail consolidation, May's credit call center in Lorain, Ohio, ceased operations on July 1, 2006. Lord & Taylor, the lone department store division not to be largely converted to the Macy's nameplate, was sold to a group of investors at NRDC Equity Partners, LLC for $1.2 billion in October 2006.[18] David's Bridal and After Hours Formalwear were sold in November 2006.[19]

May Centers[edit]

Around the beginning of the twentieth century, the May Department Stores Company created a real estate division that would handled the purchase of land and the construction of the buildings that would house their new stand-alone department stores. Starting in 1947, May decided to enter the new open-air shopping center development business by the construction of what would later became the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza in Los Angeles when they wanted to open a new store for their May Company California division.[20] After that time, May became a major shopping center and later mall developer when they began to developed newly malls to house their new proposed department stores.

During the mid-1980s, the company noticed that their company's stock was vastly undervalued and that the company was at risk of becoming a hostile takeover target,[21][22] May Department Stores needed to re-purchase some of its company's stock to increase the share price. To accomplish this, they needed to obtain cash quickly, which they did by making a deal with Prudential Insurance in which the insurance company gave May $550 million in exchange for 50% ownership of May Centers.[23][24] In 1992, Prudential purchased the rest of May Centers and renamed the company CenterMark.[24][25]


References[edit]

  1. ^ "Federated and May Announce Merger; $17 billion transaction to create value for customers, shareholders. Archived July 16, 2012, at Archive.today" Business Wire, 28 February 2005. Retrieved on August 19, 2009.
  2. ^ The Drive to Differentiate - Macy's, Inc Archived April 8, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ a b c d The Drive to Differentiate - Macy's, Inc Archived March 13, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ "Asher Hamburger & Family". Jewish Museum of the American West. Retrieved April 10, 2018.
  5. ^ a b c The Drive to Differentiate - Macy's, Inc Archived March 13, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ "50 years ago this week". Financial News & Daily Record. November 24, 2008.
  7. ^ Sweetman, Keri; Harrington, Denise (18 November 1981). "600 to lose jobs as Bay closes Shop-Rite stores". Ottawa Citizen. p. 3.
  8. ^ The Drive to Differentiate - Macy's, Inc Archived March 13, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ Foley's INTERVIEW Newsletter, Vol. 19, No. 6 January/February 2006
  10. ^ a b c The Drive to Differentiate - Macy's, Inc Archived March 13, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ |title=32 The May Department Stores Company to Acquire David's Bridal, Inc. |website= PR Newswire |date= July 3, 2000 Archived October 26, 2016, at the Wayback Machine
  12. ^ a b c The Drive to Differentiate - Macy's, Inc Archived January 12, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  13. ^ Sorkin, Andrew Ross; Rozhon, Tracie (February 28, 2005). "2 Big Retailers Agree To Merge For $11 Billion". New York Times.
  14. ^ Byron, Ellen (28 February 2005). "Federated Agrees To Acquire May In $11 Billion Deal". Retrieved 22 August 2018.
  15. ^ "Department store credit business sold to Citigroup". tribunedigital-chicagotribune. Retrieved 2018-08-22.
  16. ^ "FTC Issues Statement on Closure of Federated/May Investigation". Federal Trade Commission. 2005-08-30. Retrieved 2018-08-22.
  17. ^ Sorkin, Andrew Ross; Rozhon, Tracie (2005-02-28). "2 Big Retailers Agree to Merge for About $11 Billion". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2018-12-07.
  18. ^ "Exclusive: Hudson's Bay seeks to revive Lord & Taylor's fortunes". Reuters. 2018-05-08. Retrieved 2019-04-19.
  19. ^ "David's Bridal ties knot in a $750-million deal". Los Angeles Times. 2006-11-18. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 2019-04-19.
  20. ^ Folkart, Burt A. (April 23, 1992). "David May II; Scion Helped Family Store Chain Grow". Los Angeles Times.
  21. ^ Barmash, Isadore (July 20, 1984). "May Stores As A Target". New York Times.
  22. ^ "May Stores Stock Purchased The May Department Stores Company, which has been a rumored takeover target, said the Crown Books Corporation and certain affiliates had purchased fewer than 1% of May's common shares. James Abrams, vice president for corporate communications, said We don't know of any interest by Crown to purchase more of May's shares.". New York Times. February 2, 1985.
  23. ^ Keppel, Bruce (August 18, 1988). "$550-Million Deal to Help May Stores Fend Off Takeovers". Los Angeles Times.
  24. ^ a b Apodaca, Patrice (August 4, 1992). "Making Over Topanga Plaza : Retail: The successful Woodland Hills center undergoes a $45-million renovation now rather than suffer a possible dip in sales". Los Angeles Times.
  25. ^ "May Centers now called CenterMark". Southeast Missourian. May 3, 1992. p. 1D.

External links[edit]