UA UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH & CREATIVE ACTIVITY CONFERENCE
* Second Place / Humanities
AMERICAN RETAILERS: Industry Icons/Subsidizers of Culture
Kimberly A. Dismuke
General HES (Class of 2013)
Dr. Marcy L. Koontz, Faculty Advisor
Great retailers within the American landscape have been men with vision and extraordinary willpower, who had the ability to tell good stories about their brand. From humble beginnings, many of these men, who started out as peddlers, were able to build retailing empires that existed throughout the 20th Century until most were acquired by Federated Department Stores, Inc., a multinational holding company. From the late 1800s, and throughout the twentieth century, most average-sized American cities had a homegrown department store. Many of these retailers were legendary community builders who invested in the social capital of their cities and developed industry standards still in existence today. This study examines the role of twelve American retailers and documents their contributions on a local and industry level in an interactive, multimedia timeline format. The importance of each of these individual retailers should be remembered. This fact, in part, was echoed by Macy's Group, Inc. CEO Terry Lundgren when announcing the “My Macy’s” strategy in early 2008. It encompasses bringing each of their stores back into the community by giving the locally based executives the power to make more and better decisions in regards to merchandise assortments, visual merchandising, service levels and special events.