Bloomingdale’s Retail Fixtures
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SCROLL DOWN FOR PHOTOS AND LINKS…
…to all the brand’s retail merchandising and outfitting.
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Bloomingdale’s Retail Fixtures Backstory: Brothers Joseph and Lyman G. Bloomingdale founded Bloomingdale’s in 1861, when they began selling hoop skirts in their Ladies Notions’ Shop on Manhattan‘s Lower East Side. The pair were sons of Benjamin Bloomingdale, a Bavarian-born salesman who had lived in North Carolina and Kansas, and settled in New York City. In 1872, the Bloomingdale brothers opened their first store at 938 Third Avenue, New York City. This Bloomingdale’s Retail Fixtures index page aggregates links to all post and photos of the brand’s retail merchandising and outfitting.
As the hoop skirt’s popularity was declining, the brothers closed their East Side Bazaar in 1872, in a small row house on Third Avenueand 56th Street, selling a variety of garments such as ladies’ skirts, corsets, “gent’s furnishings”, and European fashions. At the time the East Side was a working class neighborhood with shanty towns, garbage dumps, and stockyards. Most of their customers and competitors were in the Upper West Side, and at that time most “respectable” stores only specialized in one trade.
Within a few years after opening the store, the Metropolitan Museum of Art opened, the new St. Patrick’s Cathedral was dedicated near the store after moving from its downtown location, Central Park was completed, and the upper portion of the New York City Subway-operated IRT Lexington Avenue Line began construction. These additions brought to the East Side wealthy customers, who built brownstones that surrounded the new park.
The store moved in 1886 to its current location on 59th Street and Lexington Avenue. It was designed with large plate glass display windows and large merchandising areas. Instead of the common practice of cluttering the display windows with an assortment of the goods they sold, the store featured in each window a couple of products as props on a theatrical mise-en-scène. Many of these products were European imports.
By the start of the 20th century, Bloomingdale’s growth had greatly increased, facilitated by its convenient location at a hub of New York City’s horse-drawn trolley system. Offerings at the time included ladies’ stockings at 10¢ a pair (equivalent to $3.00 in 2017), $10 men’s wool suits (equivalent to $288.00 in 2017), and $149 upright pianos (equivalent to $4,289 in 2017). In 1902, the advertising slogan “All Cars Transfer to Bloomingdale’s” capitalized on the store’s location, and the company commissioned artist Richard F. Outcault to create a series of paintings around this theme. The slogan appeared on billboards and on 5,000 free beach umbrellas which were offered to street vendors and delivery cart drivers.
Around 1905, hard times hit. The popular upper class shopping area moved downtown along Sixth Avenue to between 14th and 23rd Streets. In 1913, the 59th Street Station of the Lexington Avenue subway was constructed in Bloomingdale’s basement, further reinforcing the “All Cars Transfer to Bloomingdale’s” slogan, and business recovered. By the 1920s, the store covered the whole city block.
In 1930, Bloomingdale’s moved to a new location off of Lexington. The building, which had grown to encompass the entire block, had an eleven-story addition and was completely redesigned by architects Starrett & van Vleck in the Art Deco style.
Bloomingdale’s also had a full line branch store in New Rochelle, New York, and a furniture store in the Vernon Hills shopping center in Eastchester (about seven miles (11 km) away) which they wanted to expand, however, the City of New Rochelle and the surrounding neighborhood were opposed to Bloomingdales being enlarged, for fear of increased traffic congestion and the loss of some other long-time businesses along New Rochelle’s Main Street. Subsequently, Bloomingdales built a full line store in White Plains combining its Eastchester and New Rochelle stores. (The White Plains store is now one of the only freestanding suburban stores, as most others are a part of a mall environment.) The same year Bloomingdale’s joined Federated Department Stores, now Macy’s, Inc.
In 1961, all over in the US the company started using designer shopping bags to promote its “Esprit de France” exhibit. The design, by artist Jonah Kinigstein, was based on French tarot cards in dramatic shades of red, black, and white. In 1973, the iconic “Brown Bag” appeared. These were designed by Massimo Vignelli, who also designed the current store typeface, and they were prominently labeled in three sizes: “Little”, “Medium”, and “Big”. Fashion designer Michaele Vollbracht designed one of the classic shopping bags in red, black, and white of a formally dressed man on one side and a woman on the other. Other artists who have designed shopping bags were fashion illustrator Antonio Lopez, and Mark Kostabi.
In 1969, Bloomingdale’s two branch stores opened in Garden City, New York on Long Island, and Jenkintown, Pennsylvania. Bloomingdale’s opened home furnishing stores on the East Coast using products from the flagship’s home furnishings department.
According to a survey taken around 1972, over 60 percent of the customers lived and worked in the luxury high-rise apartment and office towers near to the main store.Bloomingdale’s sold such popular items as pet rocks and glacial ice cubes.
In 1973, the store stamped the name “Bloomie’s” on ladies’ panties as part of its launch for intimate apparel in 1973. The rising popularity caused the store to become a tourist attraction, and articles stamped with “Bloomie’s” became popular as souvenirs.
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For Bloomingdale’s Retail Fixtures see…
” Bloomingdales Table-Top Topiary Purse Accessory ”
” Charlotte Tilbury Sign Repetition and Frequency ”
” David Yurmam Vertical Museum Case ”
” MCM Teddy Bear Purse Charm Accent ”
” Chrome T-Stand Purse Anti-Theft ”
” Zac Posen Carabiner Clip Purse Clasp ”
” Men’s Designer Necktie Display In-Store ”
” Men’s Wire Body Form Sample Swatch Clips ”
” Suit With Two Trouser Up-Sell Display ”
” #MomBoss Celebratory Wall Display ”
” #MomBoss Heart-Shaped Floral Wreath ”
“Bloomingdales® Foamcore Kiosk In-Store”
“Littlest of Bloomingdale® Brown Bags”
“Soccer Stylin’ at Bloomingdales”
“Bloomingdale’s® Union Jacked”
“Bowler Hats at Bloomingdale’s®”
“Little Pink Bag vs Little Brown Bag Branding”
“Bloomingdale’s® Brown Bag in Vinyl”
“Little Brown Bag Lives On As Card“
“Bloomies Best Bumbershoot Amenity”
“Late Even For Orthodox Christmas“
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For all Bloomingdale’s Retail Fixtures resources see…
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