May Company Ohio
|Former type||Department store|
|Fate||Locations rebranded to Kaufmann's|
|Successor(s)||Kaufmann's (1993–2005) Macy's (2006–present)|
|Products||Clothing, footwear, bedding, furniture, jewelry, beauty products, and housewares.|
Front of the building
|Location||158 Euclid Ave. at Public Sq., Cleveland, Ohio|
|Area||1.8 acres (0.73 ha)|
|Architect||D.H. Burnham & Co.; Graham, Anderson, Probst & White|
|NRHP Reference #||74001443|
|Added to NRHP||January 18, 1974|
In 1899, David May, the founder of May Department Stores, acquired E. R. Hull & Dutton Co. of Cleveland on Ontario Street, renaming it May Company, Cleveland. In 1914 May added an additional landmark building on Euclid Avenue, fronting on the southeast corner of Public Square.
In 1939 May Co. acquired majority control of another Cleveland store, William Taylor Son & Co., which maintained a separate identity until 1961. Expansion to the suburbs began in the 1950s, with Sheffield Shopping Center, Lorain in 1953 (originally opened as an O'Neil's store which was a May Company subsidiary and then changed over to a May Company location in 1967) and Cedar-Center Plaza at Cedar and Warrensville Roads in University Heights in late 1956 (known locally as "May's on the Heights"). In 1960 a branch was opened at Parmatown Mall in Parma, and another in 1961 at Southgate Shopping Center in Maple Heights (the Southgate store having been originally opened in 1958 by William Taylor Son & Co.). Several mall stores followed in the 1960s and 1970s, including Great Lakes Mall (1964) Great Northern Mall (Ohio) in North Olmsted (1965), Randall Park Mall in North Randall (1976), Euclid Square Mall in Euclid (1977) and Sandusky Mall in Sandusky (1979).
The company also constructed a nine-story warehouse (six stories tall, with three sub basements) attached to the south side of the Cedar Center Store, designed to handle furniture distribution for Cleveland's eastside. The red brick facility, designed to look like an integrated part of the colossal four story store was used for a short time, but remained empty from 1960 until the University Heights store was demolished and re-built in 2002 by this time it was re-branded as Kaufmann's.
The May Company specialized in mid to higher end fashion merchandise and home furnishings, but target price points placed May Company merchandise at, or below its two major competitors in the Cleveland market Higbee's and Halle's. May Company was the first local department store to issue its own personal charge card in 1965 and break away from being part of the Department Stores Charge Plate (a metal card that was notched for each store and used at all participating members which included William Taylor Son & Co., Bailey's, Sterling, Lindner Davis, The Higbee Company and The Halle Bros. Co.) Higbee's and Halle's continued to remain part of this system until they each issued their own individual plastic charge cards respectively in 1969.
In addition to its merchandise, the company was known for its sponsorship of the Eagle Stamp program. Consumers could earn Eagle Stamps on purchases at The May Company as well as on purchases at Pick-N-Pay Supermarkets, Leader Drug Stores, and participating gas stations and dry cleaners. Completed stamp booklets could be redeemed at May Company for $3 credits toward merchandise purchases at May Company stores. The trading stamp program was administered by the May Company owned Eagle Stamp Company of St. Louis from 1903 to 1987.
In 1989 May Company, Cleveland and O'Neil's, based in Akron were merged to form May Company Ohio, as the May Department Stores began consolidating its regional department store divisions. On January 31, 1993 May Company, Ohio was merged into Kaufmann's of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and its Downtown Cleveland store was closed. Many of its former locations became Macy's in 2006.
As of late 2013, the May Co building is set to potentially house over 350 apartments.
- "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2009-03-13.
- May Company, archived from the original on 2009-04-14, retrieved 2009-08-07
- "Kaufmann's, A Division Of The May Department Stores Co.", The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History. Retrieved 2012-06-03
- "William Taylor Son & Co.". Encyclopedia of Cleveland History. Retrieved 2009-08-07.
- Eagle Stamps, Exploring St. Louis - Eagle Stamps. Retrieved 2012-06-03
- "What's New In Trading Stamps". New York Times, August 16, 1987.
- "Farrell Credited for May's Image as Well-Managed". Los Angeles Times, June 24, 1986.
- "May Department Stores to merge O'Neil's into May Co. Cleveland". Daily News Record. December 14, 1988. Retrieved 2009-08-07.