Famous-Barr was created in 1911 through the merger of The William Barr Dry Goods Co. and previously May-owned The Famous Clothing Store. Famous-Barr was the first air conditioned department store in the United States. In 1991 it took operational control of the L.S. Ayres division in Indiana, and in 1998 took on The Jones Store in Kansas City when May acquired that chain in the aftermath of the Dillard's acquisition of Mercantile Stores Co. Both chains retained their names, but shut down their headquarters.
The Famous-Barr name was retired on September 9, 2006, when Federated converted most of Macy's regional department stores to the Macy's nameplate. The downtown Saint Louis store and headquarters were first shrunk and then closed in summer 2013; the remaining retail employees moved to other stores, while the headquarters staff moved to Earth City.