The Denver Dry Goods Company

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The Denver Dry Goods Co.
Former subsidiary of Allied Stores
Industry Retail
Fate Merged with May D&F
Successor May D&F (1987-1993)
Foley's (1993-2006)
Macys (2006-present)
Founded 1879
Defunct 1987
Headquarters Denver, Colorado
Products Clothing, footwear, bedding, furniture, jewelry, beauty products, and housewares.
Website None

The Denver Dry Goods Company, also known as "The Denver", was established in Denver, Colorado in 1879 by Michael. J. McNamara and L.H. Flanders as M.J. McNamara & Company and later The McNamara Dry Goods Company.[1] The beginnings of the company can be traced back to 1876 when they had both worked as clerks at another dry goods store in Denver. In 1877, McNamara left that store and formed a partnership with Edgar H. Drew. After two years, Drew left and L. H. Flanders came on as co-owner. In 1893, McNamara turned the store's ownership over to Dennis Sheedy and Charles Kountz and in 1894, the company was reorganized under the name, "Denver Dry Goods Company".[2] For a while it was claimed to be the largest department store west of Chicago. A description on one postcard from 1916 read: "The Largest Store in the Central West, 400 Feet long-Seven Acres Floor Area, 1,200 Employees, A $1,500,000 Stock, 15th to 16th on California Street Denver Colorado".

The Denver Dry Goods Company later became part of Associated Dry Goods (ADG), and in the 1970s and early 1980s it was considered one of ADG's most profitable operating units, just behind Lord and Taylor.[3] ADG invested in expanding The Denver, both with suburban stores in the greater Denver market and stores in far-flung locales such as Billings, Montana. Also under ADG the downtown Denver store was renovated. Many Colorado residents fondly recall the stores' motto, "Where Colorado Shops With Confidence"

The store was acquired by May Company as part of Associated Dry Goods Corp. in 1986 (which had acquired it in 1966), 9 of the 12 locations were shut down and sold off and the remaining 3 units were converted to May-Daniels & Fisher stores in 1987. The original downtown store was built in 1889 and was expanded in 1898, 1906 and 1924. It was converted to apartments in 1994. There were 4 additional closed units in Greeley, Billings, Lakeside, and a short lived free standing cosmetics store in Beau Monde (Denver Tech Center).

See also[edit]

  1. ^ Ballenger & Richards Denver City Directory 1878-1910
  2. ^ History of Denver : with outlines of the earlier history of the Rocky Mountain country Evansville, Ind.: Unigraphic, 1901, 1020 pgs.
  3. ^ Annual Reports of the Associated Dry Goods Corporation (ADG), 1979, 1982, 1983, 1984.

Further reading[edit]

  • Ballenger & Richards Denver City Directory 1888-1910
  • Annual Reports of the Associated Dry Goods Corporation (ADG), 1979, 1982, 1983, 1984.