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|Founder||Joseph B. Bloomingdale
Lyman G. Bloomingdale
|Headquarters||1000 Third Avenue
New York, New York, US
Number of locations
16 Bloomingdale's Outlets
|Products||Clothing, footwear, leather goods, bedding, furniture, jewelry, beauty products, housewares, cafe|
|Revenue||US$ 1.072 billion|
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Brothers Joseph and Lyman G. Bloomingdale founded Bloomingdale's in 1861, when they began selling hoop skirts in their Ladies Notions' Shop on Manhattan's Lower East Side. The pair were sons of Benjamin Bloomingdale, a Bavarian-born salesman who had lived in North Carolina and Kansas, and settled in New York City. In 1872, the Bloomingdale brothers opened their first store at 938 Third Avenue, New York City.
As the hoop skirt's popularity was declining, the brothers closed their East Side Bazaar in 1872, in a small row house on Third Avenue and 56th Street, selling a variety of garments such as ladies' skirts, corsets, "gent's furnishings", and European fashions. At the time the East Side was a working class neighborhood with shanty towns, garbage dumps, and stockyards. Most of their customers and competitors were in the Upper West Side, and at that time most "respectable" stores only specialized in one trade.
Within a few years after opening the store, the Metropolitan Museum of Art opened, the new St. Patrick's Cathedral was dedicated near the store after moving from its downtown location, Central Park was completed, and the upper portion of the New York City Subway-operated IRT Lexington Avenue Line began construction. These additions brought to the East Side wealthy customers, who built brownstones that surrounded the new park.
The store moved in 1886 to its current location on 59th Street and Lexington Avenue. It was designed with large plate glass display windows and large merchandising areas. Instead of the common practice of cluttering the display windows with an assortment of the goods they sold, the store featured in each window a couple of products as props on a theatrical mise-en-scène. Many of these products were European imports.
By the start of the 20th century, Bloomingdale's growth had greatly increased, facilitated by its convenient location at a hub of New York City's horse-drawn trolley system. Offerings at the time included ladies' stockings at 10¢ a pair (equivalent to $3.00 in 2016), $10 men's wool suits (equivalent to $285.00 in 2016), and $149 upright pianos (equivalent to $4,245 in 2016). In 1902, the advertising slogan "All Cars Transfer to Bloomingdale's" capitalized on the store's location, and the company commissioned artist Richard F. Outcault to create a series of paintings around this theme. The slogan appeared on billboards and on 5,000 free beach umbrellas which were offered to street vendors and delivery cart drivers.
Around 1905, hard times hit. The popular upper class shopping area moved downtown along Sixth Avenue to between 14th and 23rd Streets. In 1913, the 59th Street Station of the Lexington Avenue subway was constructed in Bloomingdale's basement, further reinforcing the "All Cars Transfer to Bloomingdale's" slogan, and business recovered. By the 1920s, the store covered the whole city block.
In 1930, Bloomingdale's moved to a new location off of Lexington. The building, which had grown to encompass the entire block, had an eleven-story addition and was completely redesigned by architects Starrett & van Vleck in the Art Deco style.
Bloomingdale's also had a full line branch store in New Rochelle, NY and a furniture store in the Vernon Hills shopping center in Eastchester, NY (about seven miles (11 km) away) which they wanted to expand, however, the City of New Rochelle and the surrounding neighborhood were opposed to Bloomingdales being enlarged, for fear of increased traffic congestion and the loss of some other long-time businesses along New Rochelle's Main Street. Subsequently, Bloomingdales built a full line store in White Plains combining its Eastchester and New Rochelle stores. (The White Plains store is now one of the only freestanding suburban stores, as most others are a part of a mall environment.) The same year Bloomingdale's joined Federated Department Stores, now Macy's, Inc.
In 1961, all over in the US the company started using designer shopping bags to promote its "Esprit de France" exhibit. The design, by artist Jonah Kinigstein, was based on French tarot cards in dramatic shades of red, black, and white. In 1973, the iconic "Brown Bag" appeared. These were designed by Massimo Vignelli, who also designed the current store typeface, and they were prominently labeled in three sizes: "Little", "Medium", and "Big". Fashion designer Michaele Vollbracht designed one of the classic shopping bags in red, black, and white of a formally dressed man on one side and a woman on the other. Other artists who have designed shopping bags were fashion illustrator Antonio Lopez, and Mark Kostabi.
In 1969, Bloomingdale's two branch stores opened in Garden City, New York on Long Island, and Jenkintown, Pennsylvania. Bloomingdale's opened home furnishing stores on the East Coast using products from the flagship's home furnishings department.
According to a survey taken around 1972, over 60 percent of the customers lived and worked in the luxury high-rise apartment and office towers near to the main store. Bloomingdale's sold such popular items as pet rocks and glacial ice cubes.
In 1973, the store stamped the name "Bloomie's" on ladies' panties as part of its launch for intimate apparel in 1973. The rising popularity caused the store to become a tourist attraction, and articles stamped with "Bloomie's" became popular as souvenirs.
Expansion from 1974 to present
The Bloomingdale's By Mail catalog launched in 1978 and this expanded the store's reach to households across the United States.
The chain opened two Atlanta locations in 2003, converting the longtime Davison's/R.H. Macy & Co. properties in Lenox Square and Perimeter Mall. In addition, in 2006 and 2007, stores were opened in San Francisco, San Diego, and Costa Mesa, California.
On February 14, 2008, parent company, Macy's, Inc., announced plans to enter the Phoenix market with a 180,000 square foot store by 2009. Arizona would have been the thirteenth state to have a Bloomingdale's store location, with this store being the tenth in the western U.S. and 41st throughout the chain.
On September 10, 2008, Bloomingdale's announced plans to open three stores, two of which will be modeled after the SoHo store: a 3-level, 82,000-square-foot (7,600 m2) anchor store at The Shops at Georgetown Park in Washington, D.C. by August 2011, a 3-level 150,000 sq ft (14,000 m2) store at Westfield Valley Fair in San Jose, CA by Fall 2011, and a 205,000 sq ft (19,000 m2) store in Santa Monica Place, in Santa Monica, CA (which opened on August 6, 2010). The store is reported to be modeled after the chain's concept store in New York's SoHo neighborhood to carry select contemporary men's and women's apparel.
Twelve days later the first proposed overseas locations for the chain were announced. A September 22, 2008, press release from Macy's, Inc. told of plans for two Bloomingdale's locations (a three-level 146,000 sq ft (13,600 m2) apparel and accessories store, as well as a separate one level 54,000 sq ft (5,000 m2) home store) to open in February 2010 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. As is the case for rival Saks Fifth Avenue, the international presence for Bloomingdale's will be operated under license by a local interest — in this case, Al Tayer Group LLC, a leading UAE-based conglomerate. Bloomingdale's CEO announced that the Dubai store will most likely be the only store outside of the US since Bloomingdale's has no further plans to expand to other countries.
In August 2010, Macy's, Inc. opened their first Bloomingdale's outlet at Potomac Mills mall in Woodbridge, Virginia occupying the former space of the Sports Authority outlet. The store is the first of its kind for Bloomingdale's and the company has plans to open several more Bloomingdales Outlets across the country in the near future.
Bloomingdale's had recently celebrated its grand opening of its 43rd full line store at the Glendale Galleria on Friday, November 8, 2013.
Bloomingdale's announced that they replaced the Bloomingdale's store of 229,000 sq ft (21,300 m2) in Stanford Shopping Center in Palo Alto, CA, with a new 120,000 sq ft (11,000 m2) store. The store opened in 2014.
On November 12, 2015 Bloomingdale's opened up their very first store in Hawaii at Ala Moana Center in Honolulu, HI. The three-story, 165,000 sq ft (15,300 m2) store replaced a former Sears, and includes special services, such as smart fitting rooms, charging lounges and dining services at its 40 Carrots restaurant.
Store closures from 2012 to 2013
On January 4, 2012, Bloomingdale's announced it would close four stores. The most significant closure was at the Mall of America in Minnesota, where Bloomingdale's was one of the mall's first tenants. Additionally, a home store in Oak Brook, Illinois and full line stores in Perimeter Mall in Dunwoody, Georgia and at White Flint Mall in North Bethesda, Maryland closed.
Credit card partnerships
Prior to the end of 2010, all Bloomingdale's credit cards (excluding store cards) were co-branded with Visa. In 2010, Bloomingdale's and Macy's began issuing credit cards co-branded with American Express.
Exterior of Bloomingdale's Boca Raton
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