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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] and Burdines became a part of Federated Department Stores, Inc (now Macy's, Inc.) in 1956. On January 30, 2004 it was renamed Burdines-Macy's, and one year later on March 6, 2005 the Burdines name was dropped altogether and the division as well as its stores were renamed as Macy's Florida. Historically, Burdines was known as the carriage-trade store in Florida and at times 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 which circled the centre of the store. Some of these icons still remain throughout Macy's Fashion stores in Florida today.


The historic Burdines Building in Downtown Miami. This was Burdines' flagship store and today is 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 to replace him William Burdine brought in his son John Burdine as a partner, resulting in the company's name change to W.M. Burdine and Son. In 1898, William Burdine bought a block on South Miami Avenue, one block south of Flagler Street[1] in the then fledgling community of Miami. That year, he opened the first W.M. Burdine & Son store at the location, just two years after the first people had arrived in the area from the newly completed Florida East Coast Railroad to incorporate the city. His tiny store held only a few shelves of clothing, which William Burdine sold to construction workers, soldiers from the Spanish–American War, as well as the local Miccosukee and Seminole Native Americans. William Burdine was amazed with the business that he did in Miami, and decided to close his store in Bartow and move his base of operations to Miami. With this, business also 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, so did the growth of Burdines. Over the next thirty years, four other branches opened across the state of Florida.

In the late 1940s, Burdines opened an international mail order program that serviced the countries of Latin America. This resulted in a rise of popularity for the company, and military personnel stationed in Cuba would send a supply ship to Miami every 6 months with orders for Burdines.

Merge with Federated[edit]

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

In 1991, following the 1988 merge of Federated with the Allied Stores Corporation and subsequent bankruptcy reorganization, Burdines absorbed Allied's Tampa-based Maas Brothers/Jordan Marsh Florida division, converting many of the stores to Burdines and closing the rest. This resulted in there being fifty-eight Burdines stores in the state of Florida.

Celebrating its centenary in 1996, 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, expanding into seven new locations and majorly renovating their existing stores. These new stores were unique with lighter colors and upgraded decor. The most publicly anticipated stores that opened during this period were those located 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).

During this time period Burdines also tried another new layout at their store in St. Petersburg's Tyrone Square Mall, in an attempt to help convenience shoppers. The store was upgraded to use a central checkout system expected to be more popular among shoppers since they would only need to see a cashier once before leaving. However, the design failed as 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. Thus, this convenience plan was quickly abandoned by Burdines, and the company resumed using 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 stores were renamed Burdines-Macy's, and just one year later, on March 6, 2005, the regional names, including that of 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