Powers Dry Goods
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Powers was founded in Minneapolis as the S.E. Olson Co. in 1881, but was acquired and renamed by St. Paul dry-goods merchants Alanzo J. and Fred Powers. It was itself acquired in the 1920s by Associated Dry Goods.
In 1985, it was acquired from Associated Dry Goods by The L.S. Donaldson Company (also of Minneapolis, a unit of Allied Stores Corp.), which gave Donaldson's some breathing room against dominant rival Dayton's. In 1987, after Campeau Corp.'s buy-out of Allied Stores Corp., Donaldson's was purchased by Carson Pirie Scott & Co. of Chicago, Illinois which made the ill-fated decision to rename the stores with its own name.
Carson's in its turn was acquired by P.A. Bergner & Co. of Milwaukee, Wisconsin (and formerly of Peoria, Illinois) in 1989, which in turn filed for bankruptcy in 1991. In 1995 Carson's sold the rump of the former Twin Cities area locations (formerly Powers/Donaldsons) to Dayton's parent Dayton Hudson Corp., which re-opened most of them under its moderate Mervyn's chain, mostly in a move to prevent serious competition in its Twin Cities stronghold. In 2004 when Dayton's successor Marshall Field's was acquired by May Department Stores, it also agreed to buy the former Donaldson/Powers locations operated by Mervyn's, and promptly shuttered them, selling the real-estate piecemeal.
Among those stores, in 1960, was stand-alone department store in the Highland Park neighborhood of Saint Paul, Minnesota, which was converted to a Carson Pirie Scott store and ultimately razed in 1994. The St. Louis Park, Minnesota store in the Knowlwood Plaza mall was razed and rebuilt becoming a Kohl's store. There had been stores in the Blaine, Minnesota Northtown Mall as well as the Maplewood, Minnesota Maplewood Mall. The first store was located in the center of the Minneapolis shopping district at 215 Nicollet Avenue.
- 'Remembering: Powers Department Store in Highland Park' By Tom Webb, Pioneer Press, Updated: 18 July 2009
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