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This article is about a former group of department stores. For the parent company formed by the 1969 merger with Hudson's, see Target Corporation.
Industry Department store
Fate Locations rebranded as Marshall Field's in 2001
Successor Marshall Field's (2001 – 2006)
Macy's (2006 – )
Founded 1902
Defunct 2001
Headquarters Minneapolis, Minnesota
Key people
George Draper Dayton
Parent Dayton-Hudson Corporation
(later Target Corporation)
Subsidiaries Target

Dayton's was an American department store chain founded in Minneapolis, Minnesota in 1902 by George Draper Dayton. In 1969, the Detroit-based J.L. Hudson Company merged with the Dayton Company to form the Dayton-Hudson Corporation, adding 21 Michigan-based stores to the total. In 1990, the department store division of Dayton–Hudson (now Target Corporation) acquired Chicago-based Marshall Field's. Both Dayton's and Hudson's retained their individual store names until 2001, when they were united under the Marshall Field's nameplate. Prior to changing its name to Marshall Field's, Dayton's stores numbered 19, serving communities throughout the upper Midwest.

Dayton's was the parent of Target, opening the first Target in 1962 as the discount store version of Dayton's. Target quickly grew to become the majority of the company's business. In 2000, Dayton–Hudson was renamed Target Corporation. In 2004, Target finally divested their department store division to focus on discount retailing. May Company purchased the stores prior to its own acquisition by Federated Department Stores, which rebranded all the Marshall Field's stores as Macy's. Many Minnesotans have resisted the double name change, and continue to refer to "Dayton's" when speaking of the old stores in Southdale and Rosedale Center and Downtown Minneapolis.[citation needed]


The original flagship Dayton's department store in downtown Minneapolis (now Macy's).
The Dayton Company logo as of 1918.

Dayton's has roots in R.S. Goodfellow & Company, a dry goods business founded as Goodfellow and Eastman in 1878.[1] George Draper Dayton constructed a six-story building at Nicollet Avenue and Seventh Street in 1902 and convinced Goodfellow's, then the fourth-largest department store in Minneapolis,[2] to become the tenant. The Goodfellow's store opened June 24, 1902, and Reuben Simon Goodfellow retired shortly thereafter, selling his interest to Dayton, who financed and partnered with George Loudon and J.B. Mosher. By 1903, Dayton had bought out both partners and renamed the store Dayton's Dry Goods Company, which he ran with his son, Draper Dayton. In 1911, the name was changed again to The Dayton Company.[3]

Like most regional department stores, Dayton's had major annual sale rotations that they became known for; Jubilee Sale, Daisy Sale and their Anniversary Sale, besides the standard White Sale that most department stores had in January.

In 1962, Dayton's rode the wave of a new era in retailing (discounting) by opening the first Target store in suburban Roseville. It would become a national chain that would end up surviving the original business.

In 1966, Dayton's opened the first B. Dalton Bookseller in suburban Edina.[4]



  1. ^ Atwater, p. 757
  2. ^ Rowley, p. 93
  3. ^ Rowley, p. 94
  4. ^ Laura J. Miller. Reluctant Capitalists: Bookselling and the Culture of Consumption. pp. 46–47. Retrieved 2009-10-12. 

External links[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Atwater, Isaac (1893). History of the City of Minneapolis, Minnesota. Munsell.
  • Leebrick, Kristal. Dayton's: A Twin Cities Institution (The History Press, 2013). excerpt
  • Rowley, Laura (2003). On Target. John Wiley and Sons. ISBN 0-471-25067-8