Stix Baer & Fuller

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Stix, Baer, and Fuller
Former type Company and then division
Industry Retail
Fate Unable to compete with The May Company's Famous-Barr, was later sold to Dillard's
Successors Dillard's
Founded 1892
Defunct 1984
Headquarters St. Louis, Missouri, USA
Owners Associated Dry Goods

Stix, Baer and Fuller (sometimes called "Stix" or SBF or the Grand Leader) was a department store chain in St. Louis, Missouri that operated from 1892 to 1984. Originally called the Grand Leader, the original central downtown store was located on the north side of Washington Avenue between Sixth and Seventh street and by 1920 had grown to encompass the entire city block.

The store was founded in 1892 by Charles Stix, brothers Julius Baer and Sigmond Baer, and Aaron Fuller. It was a public company, with its stock traded on the New York Stock Exchange. The company was a longtime member of the American Merchandising Companies ("AMC"), a trade association of important, locally owned department stores across the United States. For many years the company was known as the leading high-end fashion store in the St. Louis Metropolitan Area, although a smaller competitor, Scruggs, Vandervoort and Barney, also vied for that position.

In 1937 Arthur B. Baer (1895-1970), the only son of Julius Baer (1861-1940), became President. At one point, Stix's largest shareholders were Arthur B. Baer, Sidney Baer and Leo C. Fuller, who were also the senior officers of the company. However, they hired a series of more experienced retailers to run the business as general managers. Those with the longest tenure were first, Morris Jelenko and later, Frank P. Wolff. The last general manager and president was J. Arthur Baer, son of Arthur B. Baer.

In 1966 the company was purchased by Associated Dry Goods (ADG) and eventually expanded into the Kansas City market.

Unable to compete against Famous-Barr, ADG sold the 13-store division in 1984 to Dillard's, which also re-branded the stores to the Dillard's name. The flagship store in downtown St. Louis, designed by John Mauran and built in stages between 1906 and 1991, was briefly closed and reopened in 1985 as part of the St. Louis Centre Mall, but would be shuttered in September 2001, amidst the mall's failure. The River Roads store was demolished along with the rest of shopping center. The fate of vacant Crestwood store is uncertain.

Grand--Leader (Stix, Baer & Fuller Dry Goods Co.) Building
StixBaerFuller.JPG
Stix Baer & Fuller is located in Missouri
Stix Baer & Fuller
Location 601 Washington Ave., St. Louis, Missouri
Coordinates 38°37′57″N 90°11′23″W / 38.63250°N 90.18972°W / 38.63250; -90.18972Coordinates: 38°37′57″N 90°11′23″W / 38.63250°N 90.18972°W / 38.63250; -90.18972
Architect Mauran, Russell & Crowell
Architectural style Early Commercial
Governing body Private
NRHP Reference # 03000650[1]
Added to NRHP July 17, 2003

Athletic sponsorship[edit]

In the early 1930s, the company sponsored a local St. Louis Soccer League team, known as Stix, Baer and Fuller F.C.. This team won the 1933 and 1934 National Challenge Cup national soccer titles.

Radio station[edit]

On April 3, 1922, the firm started a radio station with the call sign WCK. In June 1925 the call letters were changed to WSBF in accordance with the company's initials. The station was sold to the Mississippi Valley Broadcasting Co. in 1927.[2]

Television station[edit]

In 1955 Arthur Baer donated funds toward the construction of the first building that housed Channel 9, the first television studio in the nation built expressly for educational television. The Julius and Freda Baer Building was named in memory of his parents and was located on the edge of Washington University’s campus at 6996 Millbrook BL, (now renamed Forest Park PKWY like the rest of street) the southeast corner of Millbrook and Big Bend. A beautiful new Washington University Dormitory now takes up the entire block. The station building was just to the right of main entrance to Dormitory.

Community Relations[edit]

- The S bar F Scout Ranch in Knob Lick, Missouri is named for Stix, Baer, and Fuller due to their contribution to help buy the property.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2008-04-15. 
  2. ^ Some history of WCK/WSBF

External links[edit]