A. Schwab's

Coordinates: 35°08′22″N 90°03′10″W / 35.139542°N 90.052697°W / 35.139542; -90.052697
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A. Schwab
Image of the A. Schwab building
A. Schwab
A. Schwab's is located in Tennessee
A. Schwab's
A. Schwab's is located in the United States
A. Schwab's
Location163 Beale Street
Coordinates35°08′22″N 90°03′10″W / 35.139542°N 90.052697°W / 35.139542; -90.052697
Architectural styleItalianate (brick) with modified first floor
Part ofBeale Street Historic District (ID66000731)

A. Schwab Dry Goods Store is the sole remaining original business on Beale Street in Memphis, Tennessee.


Schwab's interior

A. Schwab Dry Goods Store was established in 1876 by Abraham Joseph Schwab, an Alsatian Jewish immigrant, who fled to the United States to escape German enlistment during the Franco-Prussian War.[1] After arriving in Memphis, Schwab joined the Hirsch family and opened A. Schwab Dry Goods Store, selling men's shoes and boots under the name "Hirsch, Schwab & Co" at 66 Beale. A. Schwab's was also the retailer of the largest overalls in the world which sold two pair a year. Over the next decade Hirsch, Schwab, & Co would expand its services into clothing, hardware and home appliances before the families split in 1886.[1][2]

Following the split Schwab would continue independently moving to 149 Beale under the current name of A. Schwab. In 1911 the business was passed along to his sons, Sam, Elias, and Leo, who moved the shop to the first floor of its current address at 163 Beale. The new store front was inherited by Sam's daughter, Eleanor Schwab Braslow, and Elias's son, Abram Schwab. Eleanor would keep the books and maintain A. Schwab's stock while Abram would act as the public face of the business. The two expanded the shop to its current size in 1924 buying the second floor of their building and the adjacent storefront, 165 Beale, which had previously been one of the original Piggly Wiggly grocery stores.[2] Elanor and Abram also began a line of Schwab's hygiene products trademarked in 1924 under the name "Schwab's Nature" selling soaps and face wash through their store and other local pharmacies.[3]

Today it is a local tourist attraction. On the balcony mezzanine is the Beale Street Museum, a collection of Beale Street memorabilia, along with several items and records of the Schwab family. The second floor has is an event venue and houses the hoodoo items and musical goods. The first floor sells quirky merchandise and tourist memorabilia while what used to be the next door shop has been converted into a ice-cream bar.[4]

A. Schwab was the oldest store in the Mid-South and is housed in the oldest remaining building on Beale Street. After 136 years of ownership, the Schwab family sold the business at the end of 2011.


  1. ^ a b "Memphis A. Schwab Dry Goods". historic-memphis.com. Retrieved December 7, 2022.
  2. ^ a b "History". a-schwab. Retrieved December 7, 2022.
  3. ^ Billeaudeaux, Brigitte. "Browse Items · A. Schwab Digital Archive". aschwab.omeka.net. Retrieved December 7, 2022.
  4. ^ "A. Schwab Trading Company". MemphisTravel.com. Retrieved December 7, 2022.