Goldsmith's

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For the London College, see Goldsmiths, University of London.
Goldsmith's & Co.
Former type Department store
Industry Retail
Fate Merged with Macy's
Founded 1870
Defunct 2005
Headquarters Memphis, Tennessee
Products Clothing, footwear, bedding, furniture, jewelry, beauty products, and housewares.
Website None

Goldsmith's was a department store founded in Memphis, Tennessee in 1870 by German immigrant brothers Jacob and Isaac Goldsmith. With a $500 investment, they opened a dry goods store on Beale Street. It grew into a chain largely located in the Memphis metropolitan area, until 2005, when the nameplate was eliminated and replaced by Macy's. Goldsmith's stores were subsequently folded into Federated's Macy's Central division, reorganized into Macy's South, and today into a differently configured Macy's Central, the current division encompassing the stores.

Goldsmith's original store on Beale Street was relocated in 1895 to a larger facility at Main and Gayoso, which it occupied through most of the 20th century. In 1952 Goldsmiths expanded its downtown location, expanding into the adjoining former Gayoso Hotel. The department store began to build suburban locations in the 1960s, beginning with its Oak Court store at Poplar and Perkins. By 1978 Goldsmiths occupied 800,000 sq ft (74,000 m2) of retail space and 200,000 sq ft (19,000 m2) of warehouse space in the city.[1]

The traditional Goldsmith's logo.
Merged logo

Goldsmith's was acquired by Federated Department Stores in 1959, and added in 1988 to an Atlanta, Georgia-headquartered division led by that city's Rich's chain. The downtown Memphis location was closed in 1993. The division expanded to include Cincinnati, Ohio-based Lazarus in 1995, with all of the division co-branded with Macy's in 2003. At the time of the most recent name change to Macy's, five Goldsmith's-Macy's stores remained in existence. Additional stores were previously operated in the Raleigh neighborhood of northeast Memphis, and in the current Pembroke Square area of downtown Memphis.


Macy's Inc.'s current employee volunteer program, Partners in Time, was founded in 1989 at Goldsmith's (and Rich's) as a way to give back to the community.

Among the popular slogans of the store, one was "Memphis' Greatest Store," words seen prior to the name change on the outside of the store at the Oak Court Mall. Two other widely used slogans were "All about the South" and "A Mid-South tradition since 1870."

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Sigafoos, R.A. Cotton Row to Beale Street: A business history of Memphis. Memphis State University Press, 1979.

External links[edit]

  • Macy's, Inc. History including some information about Goldsmith's
  • An article about the impact of corporate changes at Goldsmith's from Memphis Business Journal