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Department store
Industry Retail
Fate Merged with Macy's
Founded 1896 Bartow, Florida
Defunct 2005 (renamed to Macy's)
Headquarters Downtown, Miami, Florida
Products Clothing, footwear, bedding, furniture, jewelry, beauty products, and housewares.
Parent Federated Department Stores, Inc.
Slogan "The Florida Store"

Burdines was a leading department store chain in the state of Florida. The first Burdines store was opened in Bartow, Florida in 1896.[1] Burdines became part of Federated Department Stores, Inc (now Macy's, Inc.) in 1956. On January 30, 2004 it was renamed Burdines-Macy's, and only one year later on March 6, 2005 the Burdines name was dropped altogether and the division and its stores were renamed as Macy's Florida. Historically Burdines was known as the carriage-trade store in Florida and at times it operated with the slogan "the Florida store".[2] Many of its stores were decorated with pink walls, blue ceilings with streaks of clouds, and large plastic palm trees circling the center of the store. These icons still remain throughout Macy's stores in Florida. The Macy's Fashion store 'till today still hosts the large palm trees near the entrance and the flamingo logo in its parking garages keeping its history alive. When you walk through the store today you'll find over 40 types of tiles.


The historic Burdines Building in Downtown Miami. This was Burdines' flagship store and continues today to be one of Macys' primary stores.[3]


In 1896, Henry Payne and William M. Burdine opened a dry goods store in the central Florida city of Bartow.[1] A year later, Payne left the company and William Burdine brought in his son John Burdine as a partner and the company became Burdine and Son. In 1898 the elder Burdine bought an entire block on South Miami Avenue one block south of Flagler Street.[1] William M. Burdine opened the first W.M. Burdine & Son store in 1898 in the fledgling community of Miami, just two years after the first passengers had stepped off the newly completed Florida East Coast Railroad to incorporate the city. His tiny store held only a few shelves of clothing, which he sold to construction workers, soldiers from the Spanish–American War and the local Miccosukee and Seminole Native Americans. William Burdine was amazed at the business he did in Miami, and decided to close the location in Bartow and move his base of operations to Miami and the business changed its name to Burdines and Sons.[1]

By 1912, under the leadership of Roddy Burdine, Burdines had grown into a full-fledged department store and continued expanding. The large land-boom of the 1920s helped the store launch its first branch in Miami Beach. As Florida's population soared, growth of Burdines did too. Over the next 30 years, four other branches opened across the state of Florida.

Burdines prospered in the late 1940s by opening an international mail order program that serviced the countries of Latin America. These actions made it become so popular that military personnel stationed in Cuba would send a supply ship to Miami every 6 months with orders for Burdines.

Merger with Federated[edit]

In 1956, Burdines merged with Federated Department Stores, Inc.. The financial support given by Federated allowed Burdines to push northward and westward in the 1970s and 1980s, entering the Orlando, Tampa, Sarasota, and St. Petersburg markets. The Dadeland store in Miami became the largest volume suburban department store south of New York in 1971.

In 1991, following Federated's 1988 merger with the Allied Stores Corporation and subsequent bankruptcy reorganization, Burdines absorbed Allied's Tampa-based Maas Brothers/Jordan Marsh Florida division, converting many to Burdines and shuttering the rest. After this, there were fifty-eight stores in Florida.

Celebrating its 100th year of operation in 1998, Burdines sold custom-made FIESTAWARE pitchers by The Homer Laughlin China Company. The pitchers held 67.5 ounces of liquid and stood seven inches tall.


In 1999 and 2000, Burdines experienced major growth with seven new locations and major renovations of their existing stores. These new stores were unique with more lighter colors and upgraded decor. The most anticipated stores that opened were at The Florida Mall in Orlando, Aventura Mall in Aventura (a suburb of Miami), Citrus Park Town Center in Tampa, Oviedo Marketplace in Oviedo (a suburb of Orlando), and The Mall at Wellington Green in Wellington (a suburb of West Palm Beach).

Burdines then tried another new layout to test convenience at St. Petersburg's Tyrone Square Mall. The store used a central checkout system that was expected to be more popular among shoppers since they would only need a cashier once before leaving. The design however failed since an employee had to manually apply a coded sticker (identifying who made the sale) to the price tag of each item before customers left the store. Burdines quickly abandoned this plan and resumed with traditional cashier layouts.

Name changes[edit]

In 2003, Federated began co-branding its regional department store chains with its nationally known Macy's. As such, on January 30, 2004, the Burdines store were renamed Burdines-Macy's. Only a year later, on March 6, 2005, the regional names, including Burdines were dropped altogether and converted to Macy's.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "History of Burdines" (PDF). Polk County Historical Association. June 1996. pp. 1–3. Retrieved 2010-09-26. 
  2. ^ "Burdines-Macy's: Will it still be the Florida store?". Retrieved 2009-08-14. 
  3. ^ http://metroatlantic.wordpress.com/2012/09/11/downtown-miami-burdines

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Tallest building in Miami
Succeeded by
Ralston Building