Lion Store

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The Lion Dry Goods Co.
Type Department store
Industry Retail
Founded Shortly before 1859
Defunct 1998 (merged with Dillard's through Mercantile Stores)
Headquarters Toledo, Ohio
Products Clothing, footwear, furniture, jewelry, beauty products, and housewares.
Parent Formerly Mercantile Stores Company, Inc.
Website www.dillards.com

The Lion Store is a defunct retailer and department store chain in the city of Toledo, Ohio. The stores were bought by Mercantile Stores and were eventually sold to Dillard's.

History[edit]

In the mid 19th century, New Englander Frederick Eaton opened up a dry goods store in Toledo. The store made $15,000 in its first year of business, prompting the store, then known as Frederick Eaton & Company to move to a larger location in downtown Toledo. Between 1859 and 1865, Eaton purchased two life-size cast-iron lions and placed them outside the doors of his store. The store's customers began referring to the store as "The Lion Store." The store made a move to its final downtown location in 1866, where the lions followed. The Lion Store became part of the H.B. Claflin Company upon the 1890 death of Eaton. Subsequently, the store was acquired by the Mercantile Stores group. The company opened up a store in the Westgate Village Shopping Center in 1957, which would, by the 1990s, become a home store, and briefly a Dillard's Home Store before its closure. Another store was opened at Southwyck Shopping Center in 1972. A second Home Store also opened at Southwyck following the close of the Lamsons store there. Both the Southwyck stores closed in the early-to-mid first decade of the 21st century, after brief conversions to Dillard's stores. In the mid-1980s, Lion Store opened a location at North Towne Square in North Toledo, which was closed in the late 1990s after a brief lapse as a Dillard's store. The downtown store closed in the early 1980s. In 1993, a store was opened at Franklin Park Mall, which serves under the Dillard's name as the only functioning descendant of the Lion Store today. It is at the Franklin Park Dillard's location where one can see the lion statues, who preside in the store's main atrium.

References[edit]

  • The Grand Emporiums, Scarborough House, Hendrickson, 1979.