Business History Links
INDUSTRIES: Business History of Retail - Specialty
business biographies  

1698 - Widow Bourne opened The Coffee Mill, grocer's shop, at 3 St James's Street in London, opposite St James's Palace; sold provisions, exotic spices, tea and coffee; 1734 - Elizabeth Pickering (daughter) took over; 1737 - handed grocery, "arms painting and heraldic furnishing" William Junior Pickering and John Pickering (sons); 1754 - William took made John Clarke a partner; first supplied wine to British Royal Family during reign of King George III (1760-1820); 1803 - George Berry (16, Clarke's grandson) joined business; 1810 - took over; 1854 - George and Henry Berry (Clarke's great grandsons) took over; 1896 - sold wine exclusively; 1903 - awarded first Royal Warrant by King Edward VII; 1914 - Hugh Rudd (of R.G. Rudd & Son, Wine Merchants of Norwich, UK) joined Walter and Francis Berry (cousins) in business as junior partner; March 23, 1923 - created Cutty Sark Scots Whisky (at Number Three, St. James's Street), first light coloured whisky of its kind; 1933 - Charles Walter Berry first wine merchant to do extensive tour of wine regions; September 5, 1933 - Berry Bros. & Co. Partnership registered "Cutty Sark" trademark in U.S., first used in January 1923 (whiskey); 1943 - converted to limited liability company; 1948 - John Rudd (son) joined business; 1961-1971 - annual sales of Cutty Sark exceeded 2.5 million cases; 1965 - Anthony Berry took over; 1967 - first independent wine merchant to have temperature-controlled cellars outside London; 1970 - Cutty Sark sold in over hundred countries; 1977 - Simon Berry joined business; 1985 - John Rudd assumed leadership; 1987 - Simon Berry named Marketing Director; 1994 - launched one of first online wine shops (regarded as Britain's leading wine website, awarded Website of the Year at International Wine Challenge in six of last seven years; 2005 - Simon Berry made Chairman; Britain's oldest wine and spirit merchant.

1715 - Silvanus Bevan established Plough Court Pharmacy off Lombard Street, London; Timothy Bevan took over, after his father's retirement; 1792 - William Allen became clerk; 1795 made partner; Bevan passed company to Samuel Mildred and William Allen, renamed Mildred and Allen; 1797 - Allen became sole owner; Luke Howard joined company, became known as Allen and Howard; 1806 - Allen and Howard separated business interests; company renamed William Allen & Co.; 1808 - Daniel Hanbury joined pharmacy (sponsored by his uncle, William Allen); 1824 - made partner; name changed to Allen, Hanbury's and Barry; 1868 - Daniel and Cornelius Hanbury (cousins) became the two active partners in Allen & Hanbury's (on retirement of Daniel's father; renamed Allen and Hanburys; 1958 - acquired by Glaxo.

1737 - Robert Prince, of Flushing, NY, established Prince Garden & Nursery; first major commercial plant nursery in United States; imported plants from Europe, sent American plants abroad; grew fruits, roses, produced many grafted apple, pear, cherry trees found in early Northeastern orchards; William Prince succeeded; September 21, 1767 - nursery's first known advertisement; 1771 - published earliest catalog, broadside featured large selection of fruit trees; grew rapidly until the Revolutionary War; 1789 - George Washington visited nursery; 1802 - William & Benjamin Prince (sons) divided nursery; William (third owner, one of founders of New York Horticultural Society in 1818) introduced foreign trees, plants; created new varieties from seed; 1827 - contained more than hundred species of Australian plants; 1828 - more than 600 kinds of roses; William Prince published Treatise on Horticulture; William Robert Prince took over (fourth owner); devoted his life to grape culture, improvement, distribution of native grapes; nursery operated for 130 years, until about 1865.

March 26, 1752 - Dr. William Hunter, Scottish doctor, opened Dr. Hunters' Dispensary in Newport, RI (specialty - medicine for midwives); formulated Number Six Cologne (sold to George Washington, Marquis de Lafayette); 1833 - new owner, Newport merchant John Rose Caswell, opened branch in New York, as Caswell & Hazard Company, Ltd.; 1876 - formed partnership with New York-based businessman William Massey; renamed Caswell-Massey (two stores, Newport and New York City; found among General Custer's personal effects at "the last stand"); 1906 - Newport store closed; 1926 - opened new shop in fashionable Barclay Hotel; 1936 - acquired by Milton (pharmacist) and Ralph Taylor; 1963 - reintroduced mail order catalog (circulation of 2.5 million by 1997); June 5, 1979 - registered "Caswell-Massey" trademark first used in 1877 (perfumes, colognes, toilet water, soap, and shampoo); 1984 - introduced first new scent in 43 years; 1989 - acquired by Hong Kong entrepreneurs Peter Hsu and Sally Aw Sian (head of Hong Kong publishers Sing Tao Holdings, family developed Tiger Balm ointment) - 35 stores, products sold in 4,000 retail outlets worldwide; 1990 - Barclay Store closed; 1992 - 40% interest acquired by W.R. Grace & Co.; began mass-market strategy, sold to drugstore chains; huge stockpile of merchandise unsold; 1995 - Grace interest acquired by CEO Edward Hung; July 1995 - Anne Robinson (41), former head of marketing for Aphrodisia, Caswell-Massey's Brooklyn-based supplier, named head of wholesale division; named executive director (28 stores, 113 employees); cut costs (added two high-end boutiques, shut more than half stores, trimmed product line by third, released quarter of employees, refined inventory management, streamlined organization structure to one business division from five), redesigned catalog (more old-fashioned feel), repackaged products; returned to profitability after 8 years; September 17, 1999 - acquired in management buyout led by Robinson (24% interest acquired by American Capital Strategies); October 1999 - Robinson sold products on QVC ($11,000 in sales/minute during show); 2002 - 15 U.S. stores, international licensees.

John Rose Caswell, William Massey - Caswell-Massey (

April 1761 - Jacob Knorr purchased plot of land in area originally known as Pomona Grove, PA (intersection of Germantown Ave. and Washington Lane in Germantown, PA); set up joiner shop (carpentry); became major source of furniture making, repairs for inhabitants of small town (small portion of shop's orders was to make coffins - string measured against deceased used to guide carpenter's coffin dimensions); 1805 - George and Jacob Knorr, Jr. (sons) took over; 1813 - acquired by William Johnson (son-in-law of George Knorr); 1830 - acqiuired for $2200 by John Nice (father of twin sons, Samuel and John Jr., apprentices at the shop); 1848 - Benjamin R. Kirk became apprentice; 1869 - acquired by Kirk, Samuel Nice, renamed Kirk and Nice; provided services ranging from carpentry to livery, expanded funeral work to include embalming and "laying out" of deceased; 1861-1865 - Civil War advanced practice of embalming in order to preserve bodies of deceased soldiers; 1865 - funeral of Abraham Lincoln popularized embalming, fashioned trend of mourning in United States (first public figure to be embalmed, transported by train through cities of Philadelphia, Cleveland, Chicago, among others, during two-week period); Benjamin F. Kirk served as president of Undertakers' Association of Pennsylvania , crusaded for Code of Ethics for undertakers, occupational licensing by state; 1917 - John Henderson (Kirk's granson) took over; 1957 - inherited by Malcolm Henderson (great-grandson of Benjamin Kirk); 1993 - acquired from Maryann Henderson (widow of Malcolm, last family owner) by Stewart Enterprises; oldest, continuously operating funeral establishment in United States.

1820 - James Lockwood Belden established Wethersfield Seed Company in Wethersfield, CT; Franklin Comstock, William Comstock (son) succeeded Belden; later joined by Henry Ferre; 1853 - incorporated as Comstock, Ferre & Co.; 1898 - Stephen F. Willard named president (worked at Comstock, Ferre since 1871, one of founders of American Seed Trade Association in 1883, named its president in 1904); 1900s - business un by four generations of Willards; 1958 - began retail seed business, garden center; 1991 - acquired by Pierre Bennerup of Sunny Border Nurseries; oldest continuously operating seed distribution company in United States; supply home gardeners, commercial growers, re-sellers; complete retail plant and garden center; over 2,000 varieties of perennial, annual, specialty plants.

1820s - Alexander Annin made signal flags for sailing ships in sail loft in downtown New York City; 1847 - Edward and Benjamin Annin (sons) incorporated Annin & Co.; oldest, largest manufacturer of flags in United States; official flag manufacturer to United Nations.

1828 - William Rushworth established Rushworth &, Dreaper Ltd., organ building business in Liverpool, UK; quickly branched out, sold musical instruments; became one of largest organ builders in UK (made organs for many churches, cathedrals halls in Liverpool, UK, overseas - Philharmonic Hall, Guildford Cathedral, number of schools, Oxford and Cambridge colleges); 1910 - introduced line of zither-banjos under brand name of "Apollo"; 1944 - established William Rushworth Memorial Trust to make grants for study, appreciation of music; 1960 -retail business moved from Islington to Whitechapel, became ‘largest music house in Europe’ (5 sales floors of musical instruments, televisions, record players, household appliances, sheet music and records); opened branches across North West and North Wales; supposedly sold Paul McCartney’s first guitar; 1962 - James Rushworth presented Gibson J-160E guitars specially imported from Chicago to John Lennon, George Harrison; 2002 - closed.

1830 - James Smith founded James Smith and Sons at Foubert Street in London's West End; 1857 - moved business to New Oxford Street (remains there today, retains original fittings); home of London umbrella; leading umbrella company, first name in sticks, canes; still family owned.

1836 - Leopold Jungmann established Commissionswaarenhandlung (commission business); 1866 - Wilhelm Jungmann (son), Wilhelm Steiner registered Jungmann & Steiner to supply tailors' accessories; 1869 - Jungmann ran business, changed focus to manufactured goods (wool, silk, luxury fabrics); 1873 - founded, with Wilhelm Dukes (nephew) Wilhelm Jungmann & Neffe; 1881 - named 'Purveyor to the Imperial and Royal Austrian Court'; post WW I - moved from womens' fabrics to mens' clothes, ceased tailoring, furrier, hat-making; April 1938 - Paul Stephan Dukes (son) ran business (entered into disastrous partnership with Hans Sobotka, swindler; business almost went bankrupt, part of Sobotka's share acquired by Hotel Sacher, next door; Dukes commited suicide on October 23, 1940); January 13, 1942 - balance of Sobotka;s share acquired by Walter Suchy; 1957 - Marjit Suchy-Gozdecki (daughter) took over; 1977 - Magda Gaugusch-Neunteufel (granddaughter) took over; 2005 - Georg Gaugusch, Andrea Christoph-Gaugusch (brother, sister) assumed control.

1838 - Thomas Codman established manufacturing business in medical, surgical devices in Boston, MA; introduced Ether Pocket Cupping Instrument; 1845 - Dr. Benjamin Codman (son) opened Dental Depot on Tremont Street; 1853 - hired Asahel Shurtleff as assistant; added surgical instruments, anatomical supplies; established Benjamin S. Codman & Company; 1857 -Shurtleff, F.O. Whitney made partners, renamed Codman & Shurtleff; sold line of medical, surgical, dental, veterinary instruments and supplies; ear, nose, throat instruments became major portion of business; 1860 - produced Patented Steam Atomizer; 1894 - partnership dissolved (Codman died), went into receivership; 1896 - acquired by Asahel Shurtleff, Howard Shurtleff (son); 1904 - incorporated as Codman & Shurtleff, Inc.; 1915 - Howard took over; 1925 - Arthur Shurtleff (brother) took over; 1938 - acquired by Frank Ruggles, Codman Sales Manager; specialized in fields of neurosurgery, orthopaedics; 1964 - acquired by Ethicon, Inc. (Johnson & Johnson company); 1966 - made freestanding Johnson & Johnson subsidiary.

1839 - Wesleyan minister opened his living room to his congregation in Halifax, NS so they could buy books; 1925 - became Ryerson Press Book Room; 1949 - fire; Charles Burchell rallied local businessmen, reopened store; 1966 - Charles Burchell (son) joined store; March 2008 - closed, couldn't compete with big box bookstores (huge inventories, deep discounts), ease of ordering books online, competition from book selling pharmacies and grocery stores, pressure to lower prices to reflect stronger Canadian dollar (higher selling prices in Canada than in United States); Canada's oldest trade bookstore.

1843 - Joan Prat Rbira opened clothing shop in Barcelona; 1945 - Jaume Prat Viladoms (son) took over; 1976 - Joana M. Prat assumed control.

May 1844 - Louis Zettler established grocery, pork packing business in downtown Columbus, OH; 1886 - with four sons, established Zettler Hardware Company, oldest hardware business in Columbus, ne central Ohio's oldest continuously run businesses; 1937 - branch broke off from original chain, formed Zettler Ace hardware; 2009 - original business fifth generation family-owned/managed.

February 1847 - William Orgill and RT Lamb established Orgill Brothers & Co. in Memphis, TN; largest independent hardware distributor in U.S.; oldest business in Memphis still owned by same family.

1849 - John Boot opened The British and American Botanic Establishment in Goose Gate, Nottingham, UK (small shop sold herbal remedies, medicines made from plants); 1871 - Jesse Boot (21) made partner, renamed ‘Mary & Jesse Boot' – Herbalists; 1877 - name changed to 'M & J Boot’; 1883 - name changed to ‘Boot and Company Limited’; 1884 - opened first shop outside Nottingham (in Sheffield); 1913 - 560 shops around the country; 1920 - acquired by acquired by Louis K. Liggett (United Drug Company) for $10 million; 1927 - John Boot (Jesse’s son)  became chairman of Boots division; 1933 - 1,000th Boots store opened in Galashiels, Scotland; acquired by group of British financiers for just over $32 million; John Boot chairman and managing director; 1938 - group of retail pharmacists in London formed UniChem group; initial business of wholesaling pharmaceutical products to independent pharmacists; 1968 - Boots acquired Timothy Whites and Taylors Ltd chain (622 stores); 1997 - Alliance UniChem Group when UniChem PLC ("UniChem") merged with Alliance Santé S.A. ("Alliance Santé" - from Alliance Santé Participations S.A., indirectly owned by Stefano Pessina); July 31, 2006 - in £7 billion pound merger Boots Group PLC and Alliance UniChem plc formed Alliance Boots, Europe’s leading pharmacy-led health and beauty group.

September 19, 1849 - First commercial laundry established in Oakland, CA.

1851 - John Kiehl established old-world apothecary in New York’s East Village neighborhood; offered homeopathic, herbal remedies, essential oils, over the-counter drugs, first Kiehl’s brand products; October 23, 1990 - Kiehl's Since 1851, Inc. registered "Kiehl's" trademark first used in 1959 (skin care products).

1851 - Bavarian publisher and book dealer, Anton Roman,  struck gold in Shasta City, CA; established bookstore on Montgomery Street, San Francisco; moved, bought, sold, burned, rebuilt; July 1868 - launched Overland Monthly (Bret Harte, editor), regional literary magazine (West Coast's Atlantic Monthly) with advertising, original news, fiction, poetry by Western writers only (early circulation of 3,000); 1946 - renamed Books Inc. by Lew Lengfeld; early 1970s - 26 stores along West Coast; 1996 - Lengfeld died, left company (2 stores) to employees; filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy in effort to restructure, save company; August 1997 - emerged from Chapter 11, under ownership of Michael Grant, Michael Tucker (4 stores); 1998 - added 5th store; 2007 - 11 stores, over 200 employees; West's oldest independent bookseller.

1852 - George C. Shreve, nephew Samuel S. Shreve opened small jewelry shop, The Shreve Jewelry Store, on Montgomery Street in San Francisco, CA; sold wide range of European fancy goods, California-manufactured jewelry; launched design, manufacture of fine quality silver; September 1857 - renamed Geo. C. Shreve & Co. (Samuel lost at sea on board steamship Central America during hurricane); 1881 - opened jewelry-making factory; 1894 - incorporated as Shreve & Co., George Rodman (George Shreve's son) as president, partner Albert J. Lewis (since 1881) as majority stockholder; 1912 - acquired by George Lewis (Albert's son); 1948 - acquired by Hickingbotham family; 1967 - acquired by Dayton-Hudson Corporation.

1853 - Francois Goyard succeeded Monsieur Morel (La Maison Goyard); 1885 - company renamed E. Goyard Aine ("E" for Edmond, son) at 233 Rue St. Honore; December 3, 1931 - received French patent for a "Malle Bureau" (portable trunk with writing table).

1855 - Beningo Gutierrez opened drug store in Santa Barbara, CA (corner of De La Guerra, State Streets); first in California.

1856 - Charles Orvis opened C. F. Orvis Company, fishing tackle company in Manchester, VT, with sales rooms in a small stone building next to his brother's Equinox Hotel; prospered as trains brought increasing numbers of tourists from New York and other cities; word-of-mouth advertising generated repeat orders by mail; oldest mail order company in the US; May 12, 1874 - received patent for "Fishing-Reels" ("devices for winding up the line of a fishing-rod"); first ventilated narrow spool fly reel to be mounted upright - prototype for modern fly reels; 1885 - glass Minnow Trap launched (sold briskly until 1960s); 1892 - Mary Orvis Marbury (daughter) received national acclaim for "Favorite Flies and Their Histories", world's first illustrated classification, standardization of fishing flies.

1858 - Josef Knize, Czech master tailor for civil and military clothes, took over shop of J. Einsle; established Mode-Atelier Knize in Vienna, Austria; 1885 - Albert Wolff, son of German banker, joined shop; supplied imperial & royal court; 1888 - Albert and Gisela Wolff took over company; 1902 - Gisela Wolff assumed leadership (husband died); 1921 - opened store in Karlsbad; 1924 - Friedrich Wolff (son) took over company; 1927 - introduced Knize Ten, men’s toiletry series; opened store in Berlin Wilhelmstrasze; 1928 - opened store in Paris; 1935 - name changed to Wolff-Knize (used Knize upon entering U.S. market in New York in 1941); 1976 - Rudolf Niedersuesz became general manager; 1978 - merged with C. M. Frank (founded 1838); offered finest ladies’ wear; 1992 - Bernhard Niedersuesz (eldest son) joined company.

1861 - Fred Long, cabinetmaker, and Peter Kroehler began furniture and undertaking business at corner of Washington Street and Jackson Avenue in Naperville, IL; 1911 - acquired by Oliver Beidelman (Long's nephew); 1966 - acqiuired by Owen "Dutch" Beidelman (son); 2000 - acquired by granddaughter and husband.

June 30, 1862 - James Spratt (Cincinnati, OH) developed "Spratt's Patent Meat Fibrine Dog Cakes"; biscuit made of wheat, beet root, vegetables, beef blood (had watched stray dogs eat hardtack thrown away by sailors off ships in port); first processed, manufactured prepared commercial dog food (baked by Walker, Harrison and Garthwaite, packaging company serving English foxhound trade); 1885 - registered  Spratt's Patent, Limited in London, UK; October 6, 1925 - registered "Spratt's" trademark first used (in another form) June 30, 1862 (food substances and preparations for dogs, poultry, and game).

James Spratt -Spratt’s Patent Meat  Fibrine Dog Cakes ( en&sig=ACfU3U0MiWlSOvOvjeVDMz1N2ShgHffg8Q&w=575)

1861 - David Hausmann opened parlor, library mirrors, frame shop on Clay Street, San Francisco, CA; 1863 - Solomon Gump, German immigrant, and brother-in-law, acquired  an interest; 1864 - bought entire business; 1871 - Gustave Gump (brother) joined company, renamed S. &. G. Gump; 1906 - Abraham Livingston ("A. L.") Gump (son) took over; established company as leading dealer in Asian art, antiquities on West Coast; March 1947 - Richard B. Gump (grandson) took over; February 8, 1949 - registered "Gump's" trademark first used April 22, 1919 (bracelets, brooches, earrings, necklaces, and finger rings made of gold and silver, solid and plated hollow ware); July 10, 1989 - acquired from Macmillan by Charterhouse Group International, Tobu Department Store Co. fro $32.75 million; May 1993 - acquired by Hanover Direct Inc. (formerly Horn & Hardart) for $13.2 million; 2005 - acquired by Gump's Holdings, LLC (venture capital firms WaldenVC, Stone Canyon Venture Partners, private investment firm Sand Springs Holdings) for $8.5 million.

1862 - Frederick August Otto Schwarz and his three brothers from Westphalia, Germany opened their first shop in Baltimore, MD; 1870 - opened Schwarz Toy Bazaar on 9th and Broadway in Manhattan; 1876 - FAO Schwarz issued first catalogue exclusively for loyal clientele; 1880 - moved to larger quarters in Union Square; 1931 - moved to 745 Fifth Avenue, heart of Manhattan's most prestigious shopping district; 1963 - acquired by Parent's Magazine; 1970 - acquired by W.R. Grace & Co. Grace; 1974 - acquired by toy retailer Franz Carl Weber International of Zurich, Switzerland; 1985 - acquired by Christiana Companies, Inc., real estate, investment firm for $10.5 million; acquired by Peter L. Harris (42, Christiana Companies president, CEO), Peter C. Morse, Philadelphia-based investment banker; Harris introduced concept of "entertainment retail" (customer should have an experience in store); November 6, 1986 - moved to 767 Fifth Avenue (40,000 square feet at foot of General Motors Building); 1990 - acquired by Dutch retailer NV Koninklijke Bijenkorf Beheer (KBB), for estimated $40 million; 1998 - KBB acquired by Dutch retailer, Vendex International; 2001 -22 of the 40 stores acquired by The Right Start Company,18 unsold stores closed, name changed to changed to FAO Inc.; December 2002 - Right Start filed for bankruptcy; April 2003 - emerged; December 2003 - re-filed for bankruptcy; February 2004 - acquired by D. E. Shaw group, global investment firm.

Frederick August Otto Schwarz - F.A.O. Schwarz (

1866 - Two men, Stultz and Mansur, formed small brass shop in Boston; 1888 - sold shop to Henry McShane (Baltimore, MD) - famous for church bells; Frank W. Webb (McShane's brother-in-law) General Manager of Boston distribution facility; 1900 - Webb purchased Boston facility, changed name to The F.W. Webb Manufacturing Company; produced brass fittings, faucets, accessories; offered china, enameled iron plumbing fixtures (made primarily by Trenton pottery) under F.W. Webb label; 1930 - acquired by Pope family; 1933 - sales less than $350,000; 1945 - Roger W. Pope expanded within, outside  state; 1962 - 7 locations, sales in excess of $5,000,000; 1990s - solidified presence in HVAC business, developed control valve capabilities, legitimacy in more sophisticated world of PVF, furthered involvement in control and safety valve industries; 2006 - over 64 locations in 7 states, employed over 1100 employees, sales exceeded $500,000,000.

1866 - Alexander G. Cash purchased N. O. Bond Hardware in Hyannis, MA from Nathan O. Bond; July, 1886 - Myron G. Bradford became equal partner; renamed Cash & Bradford (business of plumbing and roofing, general hardware); 1892 - fire destroyed store; 1893 - Bradford acquired business; renamed Bradford's Hardware; 1933 - acquired by Harry Bearse, long-time employee; 2010 - operated by Martha and Richard Robinson (granddaughter); affiliated with ACE Hardware co-op.

1867 - Jules Delhaize, professor of commercial sciences, Edouard Delhaize (brother), Jules Vieujant (brother-in-law) opened a warehouse, Delhaize "Le Lion", to revolutionize food retailing in Belgium, create branch network, charge set prices, cut down on succession of intermediaries; chose lion as symbol of strength (emblem of Belgium, motto: unity is strength); 1871 - established in Brussels; 1883-1914 - opened more than 500 branches throughout country; sold best American preserves (Californian salmon, fruit), offered customers best coffees, varied range of wines; branch manager specialized in products he knew, promoted to perfection; 1939 - over 744 branches, 1500 affiliated shops, several shops in Belgian Congo; 1950 - merged with Adolphe Delhaize, brother of founders (had established his own company with multiple branches); December 1957 - set up first fully self-service supermarket in continental Europe; 1962 - went public as S.A. Delhaize Frères et Cie "Le Lion"; 1975 - 80 supermarkets, covered main towns in Belgium; acquired share in Food Town Stores in U.S. (22 supermarkets in North, South Carolina); 1983 - renamed Food Lion; 226 supermarkets by 1993; 1992 - 1,021 supermarkets in United States, 410 outlets in Belgium (108 supermarkets), seven in Czech Republic; sales network of 1,453 retail outlets, staff of 76,000; 1997 - operated 13 supermarkets in Asia; 1999 - sales network of of 2,000 outlets throughout world; July 2000 - acquired Hannaford Bros., Inc., supermarket operator in Northeast U.S. (sales of $3.0 billion, 106 stores).

Jules Delhaize, Jules Vieujant, Edouard Delhaize - Delhaize Group (

1868 - Joseph R. Watkins founded Watkins Incorporated in house in Plainview, MN (had acquired distribution rights to Ward's Celebrated Liniment, created by Dr. Richard Ward, in Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin in 1867); mixed first batch of liniment in wooden barrel in kitchen; specialized in home remedies using natural botanicals (camphor, menthol, herbs) to help people feel better, live healthy lives; sold Liniment using Ward's labels and bottles until the supply was exhausted, then made his own bottles and labels featuring his own name, "Watkins Liniment"; 1869 - introduced Trial Mark™ bottle, America’s first money-back guarantee; 1885 - empire from sales of Liniment; used wagon salesmen to distribute liniments, tonics door-to-door; peak - 135 counter stores in U.S., Canada, manufacturing and distribution centers outside North America in South Africa, New Zealand, Australia; 1911 - Paul Watkins (son), Ernest Leroy (E.L.) King Sr. (son-in-law) took over; Grace Watkins (daughter) became largest shareholder; 1920 - product line of 120 items; 1930s - largest direct sales company in world; 1960s - fourth generation of Watkins family took over; 1977 - sought bankruptcy protection; 1978 - acquired by Minneapolis businessman Irwin Jacobs for $4.1 million; December 1995 - Mark Jacobs (son) took over; 1996 - sales over $100 million; 1997 - Mark Jacobs named President; 1999 - 350 products; 2005 - launched J.R. Watkins Apothecary line into Target stores nation-wide; formed partnership with Chinese Businessman, Wang Chao Bin, offered more than 100 products to Chinese market.

Joseph R. Watkins - Watkins Incorporated (

1870 - Leander Sherman founded Sherman Clay music store in San Francisco, CA; sold music, musical instruments; manufacturers representative for several organ companies (Aeolian, Estey, Kimball); 1892 - authorized as Steinway dealer.

1871 - John Harvey formed John Harvey & Sons, Bristol, UK (had taken over wine importing business on Denmark Street established in 1796); 1882 - Bristol Cream sherry; May 4, 1954 - John Harvey & Sons, Ltd. registered "Harvey's" trademark, in the U.S., first used 1900 (sherry and port wines).

1872 - Joel W. Ellis opened lumber business in Seneca, IL; expanded to hardware, farm machinery and implements; Elmer Ellis (son) succeeded; 1947 - Norbert Ellis (third generation) took over; 1953 - Frieda Ellis (widow) took over; October 2009 - awarded Illinois Historical Society Centennial Award; 2010 - employed six members of Ellis family (fourth, fifth sixth generations); Ellis Ace Hardware, Rental & RadioShack - oldest family-owned hardware store in Illinois.

1873 - Rev. Charles M. Barnes started book business from his home in Wheaton, IL; 1894 - incorporated as C.M. Barnes Company; 1917 - William R. Barnes (son) moved to New York, acquired interest in Noble & Noble, educational bookstore; partnered with G. Clifford Noble; name soon changed to Barnes & Noble; 1929 - Noble left company; 1965 - Leonard Riggio established Student Book Exchange (SBX) in Manhattan's Greenwich Village; 1969 - acquired by Amtel, Inc., a conglomerate; 1971 - Barnes & Noble trade name, flagship bookstore in Manhattan acquired by Riggio; 1974 - Barnes & Noble first bookseller in America to advertise on television; 1975 - first bookseller in America to discount books, offered New York Times bestsellers at 40% off publishers’ list prices; 1986 - acquired  B. Dalton Bookseller chain.


G. Clifford Noble - Barnes & Noble ( 413MH6WPMJL._SS500_.jpg)

1873 - Rev. Charles M. Barnes opened small home-based bookstore in Wheaton, IL (used his private library as initial inventory); 1893 - bookstore floundered in recession; Wilcox family (son's in-laws) large shareholders; 1901 - hired Charles W. Follett (18) for a week to help move bookselling business to another location in Chicago; stayed, worked as stock clerk, salesman;  worked alongside William Barnes (son), learned book business; 1902- William Barnes, John Wilcox (father-in-law) took over; 1917 - William Barnes relocated to New York, formed partnership with G. Clifford Noble; Barnes's shares acquired by Follett (head stock clerk), renamed J.W. Wilcox & Follett Company; 1923 - Wilcox family's shares acquired by Follett, renamed Wilcox & Follett; 1952 - Dwight Follett (eldest son) took over; developing first racially integrated textbooks, first textbook program for educationally disadvantaged children; 1982 - revenues exceeded $13 million; 1983 - publishing division acquired by Esquire Education Group; 1995 - six divisions: Follett Educational Services (dating to 1873; largest El-Hi provider of used textbooks, new workbooks in industry in 1994, more than 23,000 customers nationwide), Follett Library Resources, Follett Software Company catered to elementary and secondary school markets; Follett Campus Resources, Follett College Stores (country's largest operator of college bookstores), Follett Collegiate Graphics served colleges and universities; 1998 - reorganized, grouped into three larger business units: 1) Elementary/High School Group; 2) Library Group; 3) Higher Education Group; 2010 - more than 10,000 employees, more than $2.5 billion in annual sales; family-owned, operates largest chain of college and university bookstores in North America (largest educational bookseller in America).

Charles W. Follett - Follett Corporation (

1876  -W. Atlee Burpee (18) borrowed $1000 dollars from his mother to get started in business of breeding poultry; needed repeat business every year, product that survived shipping well; realized that shipping feed and seed was easier, less costly than shipping animals, and solved farmers' problems with purity and germination of seeds for their vegetable crops; guaranteed satisfaction for one year from date of purchase or a replacement of the seeds; 1888 -  improved and adapted best European vegetables and flowers to American growing conditions at Fordhook Farm (he bought near Doylestown, PA); 1890s - largest seed company in the world; 1915 - sending out million catalogs a year.

W. Atlee Burpee -  Burpee Seeds ( images?q= tbn:o4F9sH5Yr74M1M:http:/ / images/content/legacy/ w_a_burpee_sm.jpg)

1876 - Abraham Joseph Schwab established A. Schwab Dry Goods on Beale St., Memphis, TN; 2010 - managed by Elliot Schwab, Sam Braslow, Marvin Braslow; only remaining original business on Beale Street; oldest family-owned general store in U.S.

1876 - James Porteous established Fresno Agricultural Works in Fresno, CA; manufactured, sold construction and farm equipment; July 25, 1882 -  received a patent for a "Dirt-Scraper" ("...buck-scraper, in which the power of horses is applied to drag along the ground a vertical or slightly-inclined board, which scrapes the dirt and carries it before it to any required place..."); April 3, 1883 - received a second patent for a "Dirt Scraper" ("...simple, light, and effective scraper for leveling land"); January 31, 1889 - acquired 1883 scraper patent from William Deidrick; February 7, 1896 - acquired 1885 scraper patent from Frank Dusy and Abijah McCall; gained sole rights to 'Fresno Scraper' - basis for modern earthmoving equipment, able to scrape, move load of soil, discharge it at controlled depth with blade which ran along bottom of C-shaped bowl, adjustable to alter angle of bucket to soil so that dirt could be dumped into low spots; sold throughout West; developed reputation for efficiency, reliability, ease of operation; shipped to practically every state, South America, India, The Orient, South Africa, Australia, Europe; played vital role in construction of Panama Canal; transformed labor of land leveling, ditch digging, road and railroad building (designated as International Historic Engineering Landmark in 1991 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers); focus shifted to retail hardware; name changed to Fresno Ag Hardware; 2010 - full-service hardware store with 86,000 square feet under roof; largest independently owned hardware store in area.

James Porteous - Fresno Scraper (

February 12, 1876 - Al (Albert) Spalding opened sporting good shop in Chicago (after Hall of Fame baseball career; retired at age 28); eventually named A.G. Spalding & Brothers, emerged as the era's dominant sporting-goods firm.

March 20, 1878 - Queen Victoria Market ('Vic Markets') opened in Melbourne, AU; largest open air market in southern hemisphere (almost one thousand traders who sell everything from exotic Australian fruit and vegetables, local and imported gourmet foods, meat, fish and poultry, to hardware, manchester, clothing, authentic Australian artefacts, souvenirs.

September 15, 1879 - Francis R. Chown opened hardware business in Portland, OR; offered farm implements, logging supplies, construction materials and tools; became industry leader in Architectural Hardware, Commercial Hardware, Hardware and Access Control Services, residential hardware and high-end plumbing fixtures.

1882 - Giovanni Beltramo, from Castel Nuovo di Don Bosco in the province of Asti, Italy, established a wholesale-retail wine and spirits business in Menlo Park, CA; mid-1960s - John R. and Daniel Beltramo (grandsons) took over.

1883 - John James (J.J.) and Henry Hamley established Hamley and Co. in Ashton, South Dakota; 1887 - relocated to Kendrick, Idaho because of regional crop failures and depression; 1905 - J.J. relocated to Pendleton, Oregon, set up shop on Oregon Trail; business developed around saddles; became known throughout west as maker of "the finest saddles man could ride"; 1909 - published first "Hamley Cowboy Catalog"; 1910 - first Pendleton Round up; 1919 - developed, produced modified association saddle as solution to better anchor Round-Up rodeo riders to their horses; 1928 - developed The Hamley Kit (shaving kit); 1961 - David Hamley (grandson) took over business; 1980 - acquired by Portland businessman; 2005 - building, business, trademark rights, Hamley name acquired Parley Pearce and Blair Woodfield; September 2005 - reopened, celebrated "first century".

December 16, 1884 - William H. Fruen, of Minneapolis, MN, received a patent for an "Automatic Liquid-Drawing Device"; automatic liquid vending machine; coin inserted in a slot, measured quantity of liquid released from a reservoir.

1885 - Reginald Turnbull, hosier, Ernest Asser, salesman, opened John Arthur Turnbull store on Church Street in St. James's in central London; 1895 - name changed to Turnbull & Asser; 1986 - acquired by Ali al-Fayed (younger brother of Mohammed Al-Fayed, owner of Harrods); 1997- opened first store in New York.

1888 - Frank Marini, John B. Perata and Virgil Valente established Valente Marini Perata & Co. funeral service in San Francisco's burgeoning North Beach district to serve growing population of immigrants who arrived at end of 19th century; 1906 - horse-drawn livery and transport wagons served double duty as emergency rescue vehicles during earthquake; 2007 - fifth generation of being family owned, operated.

1888 - Fred Leithold established Leithold Music in La Crosse, WI; sold, tuned pianos; succeeced by Harry Leithold (son); 1970s - stopped sales of television sets, radios; 1980s - stopped sales of stereo equipment, records; 2011 - fourth generation family owned full service music store; 10 full-time employees, 21 independent teachers (give music lessons to more than 350 students a week at store), rents about 1,000 musical instruments at any given time to area students.

1889 - Morris A. Modell opened store on Cortlandt Street in lower Manhattan; 1920 - Henry (son) became president; name changed to Henry Modell Company, Inc.; 1963 - four stores; 2007 - 125 stores; nation's oldest, family-owned and operated, retailer of sporting goods, sporting apparel, menswear and brand name athletic footwear.

1889 - Drewes Brothers opened butcher shop in Noe Valley, San Francisco, CA ; 1998 - acquired by fourth owners, Josh and Isaac Epple; thought to be oldest operating butcher shop in California.

1889 - Walter Thomas Weaver, Francis Weaver opened W. T. Weaver & Sons hardware store in Georgetown, DC; fourth generation family owned business; one of country's oldest decorative bath, hardware firms.

1890 - George H. Bartell Sr. (21), pharmacist from Kansas, purchased the Lake Washington Pharmacy at 2711 Jackson Street, Seattle, WA; 1939 - George H. Bartell Jr. became president; 2007 - 55 stores located in Puget Sound neighborhoods; oldest family owned drugstore chain in nation.

Walter T. Weaver (center, top) - W. T. Weaver &  Sons ( en&sig=ACfU3U3EJpIpNL9G2cuKhZuTq9qqtXeGJw&w=575)

1892 - J.C. Pedersen, Danish immigrant and cabinet maker, opened first Pedersen Furniture company at corner of Fourth and A Streets in Santa Rosa, CA (population 6,000); four generations of Pedersen family have owned, operated company.

1893 - George W. Loudermilk Undertaking Company in Dallas, TX; horse-drawn carriages led funeral procession from home or church to nearby cemetery; 1920 - acquired by Will R. Sparkman, name changed to Loudermilk-Sparkman; 1926 - moved to A.H. Belo Mansion; Louis N. and Hal C. Sparkman (sons) joined family business; 1951 - L. N. “Bill” Sparkman, Jr. (grandson) entered family business; 1968 - renamed Sparkman Hillcrest; 2011 - David L. Sparkman (great grandson, fourth generation) part of business.

November 14, 1894 - Adam Clark Vroman, J.S. Glasscock opened book, photographic supply store at 60 E Colorado Street, Pasadena, CA; specialized in scenes of American West, portraits of Native Americans; for many years - largest bookstore west of the Mississippi; still largest independent bookstore in Southern California.

Adam Clark Vroman - Vroman's Bookstore (

1895 - Paul Joseph Bonwit opened store at Sixth Avenue and Eighteenth Street in Manhattan; 1897 - Edmund D. Teller joined company, renamed Bonwit Teller; 1907 - incorporated; 1911 - relocated to corner of Fifth Avenue and Thirty-eighth Street; 1932 - acquired by Atlas Corporation (financier Floyd Odlum); 1938 - Hortense Odlum (wife) named president, first female president of major department store in United States; 1946 - acquired by Hoving Corporation, subsequently Genesco, Allied Stores Corporation; 1987 - acquired by L. J.  Hooker Corporation; August 1989 - filed for bankruptcy; May 1990 - ceased operations.

1896 - Thomas Sperry and Shelly Hutchinson founded Sperry and Hutchinson company in Jackson, MI; offered stamps to U.S. retailers as consumer incentive to pay cash (filling stations, shops, supermarkets bought the stamps from S&H, gave them as bonuses with every purchase); shoppers given stamps based on dollar amount of their purchase; 1906 - Sperry bought out Hutchinson; 1923 - Beinecke family ((married into Sperry family) bought Sperry and Hutchinson Company from Sperry family; 1951 - Edwin Beinecke re-launched S&H Green Stamps; 1964 - single largest publisher of stamps in United States (estimated that 80% of U.S. households collected the stamps), largest purchaser of consumer goods in world; January 30, 1981 - 43 percent of Sperry stock controlled by Beinecke family, agreed to be acquired for $366 million by Baldwin-United Corporation, diversified financial services and musical instruments company.

1897 - Clinton C. Filson, experienced in experience operating small loggers' outfitting store, opened C.C. Filson's Pioneer Alaska Clothing and Blanket Manufacturers in Seattle, WA; specialized in goods to outfit stampeders to Klondike Gold Rush; 1902 - added clothing for timber industry; March 3, 1914 - received a patent for a "Shirt" ("...for the especial use of field engineers, forest rangers, cruisers, prospectors and others requiring a strong, serviceable garment adapted to afford protection from the weather and to furnish the conveniences required in such usage"); Filson Cruiser, best selling item, over half million sold.

1898 - William Betts founded W. B. Mason Co. in Brockton, MA as rubber stamp company serving Brockton shoe industry; 1987 - largest office supplies and office furniture company on southeastern Massachusetts; 2006 - largest privately held office products dealer in U. S.

May 10, 1898 - First vending machine law in U.S. enacted in Omaha, NE.

1899 - Edward and Leonard McRoskey of St. Louis and Chicago, brought mattress making equipment to California to sell, made mattresses instead; 1930s - Leonard and Robert (Edward's sons) joined company; 2007 - Robin McRoskey Azevedo (Robert's daughter) is President; made by hand.

1901 - Charles Walgreen Sr. (registered pharmacist in 1897) paid $6,000 for the pharmacy owned by Isaac W. Blood located in Barrett's Hotel at Cottage Grove and Bowen Avenue on Chicago's South Side; 1910 - two stores; began food service with simple sandwiches, soups, desserts; kept his fountain open during winter, provided customers with affordable, nutritious, home-cooked meals; 1913 - four stores; 1919 - 20 stores; 1929 - 525 stores (locations New York City, Florida, other major markets); formula for growth: superb management team, modern merchandising, innovative store design, fair pricing, outstanding customer service, exceedingly high pharmacy quality and service; 1931 - largest promotion campaign in its history (more than $75,000); became first drugstore chain in country to advertise on radio (legendary Chicago Cubs announcer Bob Elson as "voice" of Walgreens); 1939 - Charles Walgreen Jr. assumed leadership; 1975 - more than 1,500 pharmacists in 633 stores filled close to 30 million prescriptions annually (four times the 7.5 million dispensed in 1962, five million more than in 1972); 1984 - opened 1,000th store; February 2010 - agreed to acquire Duane Reade (250 stores) for $1.1 billion.

1902 - Shojiro Tatsuno (30) opened first Nichi Bei Bussan store on Dupont St. in San Francisco (now Grant Ave. in Chinatown); carried American goods, catered to immigrant Japanese population; April 7, 1942 - closed due to Japanese internment during WW II; July 15, 1946 - re-opened on Buchanan St. in San Francisco; July 11, 1948 - San Jose branch of newly-renamed "N.B. Department Stores" opened in Japantown in "Valley of Heart's Delight", now known as "Silicon Valley"; 1997 - San Francisco store closed with passing of Masateru "Tut" Tatsuno (Shojiro's younger son).

1902 - Jacob Press opened J. Press store on Yale University's campus.

1903 - Louis K. Liggett, drug salesman, organized United Drug Company (40 independent drug stores invested $4,000 in retailers' cooperative, sold products under the Rexall ("king of all') name - individual pharmacists and individual markets brought together into national organization) to manufacture drugs, related products, and to franchise Rexall drug stores with exclusive right to sell those products; December 8, 1908 - United Drug Company registered "Rexall" trademark first used July 1, 1908 (hot-water bags or bottles and fountain syringes); 1909 - gross revenues of $1.4 million; 1914 - $5.6 million; 1920 - $68 million in revenues; acquired Boot’s Drug Company (627 stores); 1928 - merged with Sterling Products; 1933 - Sterling agreement dissolved; on verge of bankruptcy; Boots sold; 1941 - 600 drugstores, nearly 8,000 Rexall franchisees, 16,000 employees, 5,000 products; hired Justin Dart, general manager of Walgreen drug chain (divorced from Ruth Walgreen, daughter of Walgreen's founder); 1944 - Liggett stepped down; Dart (37), new president, renamed UDC the Rexall Drug Co., moved headquarters to Los Angeles; 1958 - Rexall Drug Company largest U.S. drug store chain (11,158 stores); 1969 - company name changed to Dart Industries to reflect diversity (chemicals, plastics, glass, cosmetics, electric appliances, and land development); 1978 - sold Rexall assets to private investors for $16 million; 1980 - merged with Kraft Foods, formed Dart & Kraft Inc.; 1985 - Sundown Vitamins, Inc. acquired Rexall trademark and distribution rights; 1986 - Dart & Kraft demerged into 1) Kraft, Inc. (food operations plus Duracell batteries, 2) Premark International (remaining operations). 

1903 - William and Gilbert Foyle failed civil service exams, started selling their old textbooks from their parents' kitchen table in London, UK; grew into successful, family-run shop on Charing Cross Road; 1906 - "the largest educational booksellers in London", gained international reputation in literary industry; once largest bookshop in world; 1929 - Christina Foyle (William's daughter) joined store; 1945 - took over; 1999 - Christopher Foyle (nephew) took over as Chairman, Bill Samuel (cousin) Vice-Chairman; spent £4 million to refurbish main store, set up website (10% of sales), opened new branches (not done for half century).

1905 - Robert James Wisnom, William Wisnom, Robert Bonner opened Wisnom-Bonner Hardware, friendly general merchandise store, on the corner of Second Avenue and Ellsworth in San Mateo, CA; sold hammers and nails, nuts and bolts, horseshoe nails and barbed wire; 1920s - acquired Dodge dealership; sold, serviced cars, trucks; sold ladders, nail kegs, kerosene, thinners, other supplies; 1925 - partnership dissolved, name changed to Wisnom Hardware; 1940s - added record department, sold 78 rpm records; installed listening booth; 1980s - Robert F. and John D. Wisnom (Robert's sons) joined company; merchandise expanded, included housewares, cookware, garden tools, pet supplies, giftware, fireplace shop; 2007 - Suzi Wisnom (granddaughter, John D.'s daughter), Dick Nelson (her husband) own, operate store.

Robert James Wisnom - Wisnom Hardware  ( ACfU3U0UWF5DwZUWE1iG0FsT2W5TQSr83w&w=575)

April 2, 1905 - Stewart Lake (S.L.) Dennis and P.W. Shepard formed Shepard & Dennis Transfer Company in Raymond, WA; sold firewood, delivered it with wagon and team of horses; 1919 - Dennis assumed sole ownership, renamed S. L. Dennis Transfer Co.; 1940 - began to stock, display merchandise for retail customers; 1968 - incorporating as Dennis Sales Company; 2007 - family owned, managed by great grandsons.

September 1906 - Maurice Moskovitz, 5'2'', founded Rochester Big and Tall in San Francisco as a working man's store to help rebuild the city after the city's April 18, 1906 earthquake; offered brand-name merchandise to the big and tall man (usual minimum: 40" waist, 6'2'', or unusual arm, leg, foot fits); 2006 - over 20 worldwide locations, catalog/ecommerce division. 

1907 - Thomas L. and Frederick H. Bennett organized F. H. Bennett Biscuit Co. in New York City; 1908 - introduced "Bennett's Milk-Bone Dog and Puppy Foods" and Maltoid dog biscuits; first domestically manufactured canine food; January 26, 1909 - Sterling Biscuit Company registered "Maltoid Milk-Bone Brand" trademark first used September 2, 1908 (dog-biscuits); January 24, 1911 - Carleton Ellis, of Larchmont, NY [president of Ellis-Foster Company], received a patent for a "Dog-Biscuit" ("improved form of dog-biscuit having particularly for its object the utilization of the waste milk of slaughter houses ...produced in the shape of a bone, or elongated flattened dumbell"); assigned to Ellis-Foster Company; 1915 - name changed to Milk-Bone; September 28, 1926 - F. H. Bennett Biscuit Co. registered "Milk-Bone" trademark first used September 2, 1908 (animal biscuits); 1927 - F. H. Bennett Company changed to Wheatsworth Inc.; 1931 - acquired by National Biscuits Co. for $5.3 million; 1908 - introduced Milk-Bone dog biscuit; first domestic canine food; January 26, 1909 - Sterling Biscuit Company registered "Milk-Bone Brand" trademark first used September 2, 1908 (dog-biscuits); 1931 - acquired by National Biscuits Co.

1907 - Fabia Pons opened F. Pons clothing store at Carrer Gran de Gracia, 49 in Barcelona, Spain; 1925 - Juan Estrany (son-in-law) took over; 1987 - Isabel Estrany (granddaughter) assumed conrtrol.

1908 - William E. Aubuchon Sr. (23) established hardware store in Fitchburg, MA (arrived in U. S. from Canada in 1900); 2008 - over 130 Aubuchon Hardware stores located throughout Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Vermont; about 1,100 employees; growth attributed to company's treating its customers as friends, always making them number one.

1909 - E.T. Williams, immigrant from Wales, opened Williams’ Book Store in San Pedro, CA; 1940 - Ethel Williams-Smith (daughter) took over; B. Dalton, Crown Books, Borders Books, Bookstar opened in more affluent Palos Verdes peninsula; 1980 - turned the store over to Anne Gusha (customer since 1928 as child); 1990s - downtown San Pedro began to revive (artists flocked to area, new restaurants opened); walk-in traffic increased; book signings on first Thursday of each month launched (art galleries had open houses); chain stores moved out (B. Dalton closed San Pedro/Palos Verdes store; Crown Books filed for bankruptcy in 1999; Bookstar decided not to renew lease; Williams only first-run bookstore in area; 2000 - revenues of  $170,000; 2009 - projected revenues of $240,000 in 2009; outlasted two world wars, recessions, determined runs by three big-chain competitors; oldest, continuously operating bookstore in Los Angeles.

March 10, 1910 - Jesse Shwayder, former salesman for Seward Trunk and Bag Company in New York, established Shwayder Trunk Manufacturing Company in Denver, CO with life's savings of $3,500, work force of ten men (trunk, luggage manufacturing business); 1941 - introduced Samsonite Streamlite (wooden frame with vulcanised fibre upon which a rawhide effect was lithographed, looked like leather, sold for a comparatively low price); June 15, 1954 - Shwayder Bros., Inc. registered "Samsonite" trademark first used October 17, 1938 (trunks, suitcases, traveling bags); 1958 - introduced Silhouette (hardware was recessed to protect from wear and tea; 1965 - name changed from Shwayder Bros., Inc. to Samsonite Corporation; 1969 - introduced Saturn, first polypropylene case fully supported by injection-moulded shells; became world's leading manufacturer of moulded luggage and attaché cases; July 5, 2007 - agreed to be acquired by London-based private equity company, CVC Capital Partners, for $1.11 billion.

Shwayder Brothers (Mark, Maurice, Benjamin,, Jesse, Solomon)- Samsonite Corp.  (

1910 - George J. (Joe) Gross ran Toledo, OH store of Peerless Light Company, Chicago-based manufacturer of gas mantles. for six months for percentage of profits (had been scheduled to close); bought store, established Gross Electric Fixture Company; sold radios, mixers, toasters, small appliances, lamps, lighting fixtures; mid-1950s - expanded showroom products (televisions, large appliances); established separate wholesale electrical supply division; 1959 - opened first suburban location; 1960s - Richard Gross (son) took over business; expanded showroom lighting business, diversified product mix to commercial, industrial markets; 1967 - expanded into Michigan (took over defunct lighting operation in Ann Arbor); 1992 - Laurie Gross (granddaughter) became president; 2000 - third generation family owned, operated business; one of Northwest Ohio & Southeast Michigan’s leading independent electrical, lighting distributors.

1910 - Adoph Goldenberg, Sam Goldstein started American Incandescent Light Co., in Zanesville, OH, as lamp manufacturing company (later became electrical distribution company); 1922 - incorporated as The American Light Co.; 1994 - acquired from Sam Goldstein (son) by employees.

August 18, 1910 - John Valentine (Colorado wholesaler), fourteen American retail florists met at Society of American Florists (SAF) Conention in Rochester, NY, agreed to exchange orders for out-of-town deliveries in effort to grow retail floral industry, still dominated by growers and wholesalers; named "Florists' Telegraph Delivery"; world's first flowers-by-wire service; 1912 - introduced Mercury Man logo; 1914 - adopted figure of 'Mercury' as official logo; 200 florist members; 1916 - 328 FTDA member florists voted to separate from SAF; January 1, 1924 - 3,000 FTD Member Florists  introduced to FTD Clearinghouse, first non-profit international banking operation in commercial history; handled over 460,000 orders worth almost $3 million in first year; 1929 - annual revenues over $6.3 million, number of florists exceeded 5,000; end of 1930s - over 7,000 FTD Member Florists, more than 2.1 million orders processed through FTD Clearinghouse; 1945 - clearinghouse business grew to $25.4 million; 1946 - joined British Unit and Fleurop; named Interflora, Inc.; 1949 - more than 8,650 members; 1959 - FTD Clearinghouse revenue surpassed $63 million, over 8.2 million orders; 1965 - expanded to international transactions; renamed "Florists Transworld Delivery Association"; November 8, 1966 - Florists Transworld Delivery Association registered "FTD" trademark first used December 31, 1965 (indicating associate membership in applicant organization); end of 1960s - Clearings doubled to $132 million, membership increased to 12,000; end 1970s - FTD sales topped $350 million, 18 million orders, membership of 19,000 members; 1980s - membership over 20,000.

1911 - Win Brown launched first Brown's Shoe Fit Co. store, with $1,700, in  9-foot-wide storefront in Shenandoah, IA; displayed 1,100 empty boxes with company label to provide appearance of more shoes on shelves; 1958 - 37 stores in 4 states (much of company owned by employees); 2011 - 80 locations in 11 Midwestern states.

October 1911 - Bertrand Benge opened Benge's Shoe Store in Grand Junction, CO; 1925 - Harry Benge (son) inherited shop; 1975 - Bruce Benge joined company; oldest shoe store in Colorado; three generations of continuous family ownership.

1912 - Leon Leonwood (L. L.) Bean founded L. L. bean in basement of his brother's apparel shop in Freeport, ME; obtained a mailing list of nonresident Maine hunting license holders, sent three-page flyer about Maine Hunting Shoe (leather uppers stitched to workmen's rubber boots - comfortable, functional boot for exploring Maine woods); received 100 orders, got 90 returns (rubber bottoms separated from leather tops); gave full refunds; learned value of personally testing his products, of honest advertising based on firm convictions, of keeping customer satisfied at any cost (service-based philosophy); 1934 - 52-page catalog; 1937 - sales surpassed $1,000,000; 1951 - L.L. Bean opened store 365 days a year, 24 hours a day; 1987 - employed almost 2,000 year-round workers, another 1,000 during peak season; July 2000 - extended retail store presence beyond Maine for first time, opened store in McLean, VA; 2005 - produced 61 catalogs distributed to customers in all 50 US states, more than 140 countries; over 14.5 million customer contacts were received, over 179,000 came on single busiest day of year; December 2005 - over 85,000 orders placed online in single day.

1912 - John Enrico Fattorini opened Grattan Warehouses in Bradford, Yorkshire, UK (had fallen out with his cousin while working in marketing department of Empire Stores); 1986 - acquired by Next plc for £300 million (outbid Otto Versand); 1990 - 13% of U.K. mail-order market; fourth largest mail-order firm; 1995 - name changed to Grattan Plc; 1991 - acquired by Otto Versand for £165 million; April 1999 - Otto Versand acquired Freemans U.K. mail-order business from Sears plc for about £150 million (raised share of U.K. catalog market from 8-15%, third largest mail order UK business).

John Enrico Fattorini - Grattan Warehouse (

December 1, 1913 - Gulf Refining Company opened first U.S. drive-in automobile service station at high traffic intersection of Baum Boulevard, St. Clair Street, Pittsburgh, PA; brick, pagoda-style station featured free air, water, crankcase service, restrooms, lighted sign for "Good Gulf Gasoline"; open all night; first day sales were 30 gallons at 27 cents each; first Saturday - Gulf sold over 350 gallons; 1907 - Standard Oil Company of California opened first service station (little more than shed, near its Seattle kerosene refinery).

1915 - Israel Warshawsky founded The Warshawsky Company, scrap metal yard, in Chicago to mine replacement parts from derelict automobiles; began buying failed auto manufacturers, added new parts to inventory, added retail store; 1934 - wholesale catalog distributed exclusively through Chicago-area gas stations, mechanics; Roy Warshawsky (son) joined company; 1943 - assumed control; 1947 - retail store occupied entire city block, biggest automotive department store in world; 1967 - formed Automotive Parts & Accessories Association.

1916 - Charles and Albert Boni (Washington Square Bookshop) and advertising men Maxwell Sackheim and Harry Scherman founded Little Leather Library Corporation of New York; one of first attempts to mass-market inexpensive books in United States; series of miniature editions of classics for which publisher did not pay any copyright royalties); offered set of 30 imitation leather-bound books at price of $2.98 by mail (headline of an ad said "SEND NO MONEY!"); 1920 - marketed over twenty-five million volumes, many of them by mail; 1922 - Robert Haas joined original Little Leather Library Corporation; 1926 - Sackheim, Scherman, Haas formed Book-of-the-Month Club to sell books on a subscription basis; April 16, 1926 - The Book-of-the-Month Club in New York City chose as its first selection, "Lolly Willowes" or "The Loving Huntsman" by Sylvia Townsend.

1919 - Norton Hinckley, Dave L. Tandy started Hinckley-Tandy Leather Company in Fort Worth, TX; sold leather shoe parts (soles, heels, shoelaces) to shoe repair shops;  1941 -  crippled by WW II shoe rationing (two pairs per adult per year), leather for civilian use virtually disappeared;  1950 - Hinckley-Tandy split: Charles (son) and father formed Tandy Leather Company; Hinckley kept shoe business; 1954 - Tandy Leather Company grew into nationwide chain of hobby and leathercraft outlets (67 stores in 36 states and Hawaii, sales of $8 million); 1955 - acquired by American Hide and Leather (Boston, MA); name changed to General American Industries; suffered operating losses; November 1959 - Tandy reacquired control, elected Chairman of the Board; 1960 - incorporated as Tandy Corporation; 1963 - acquired RadioShack Corporation for about $300,00; 1975 - became exclusively an electronics company, spun off all other operations into Tandycrafts and Tandy Brands; August 1977 - introduced TRS-80 Model I microcomputer, first mass-produced personal computer; (September 1977 - 10,000 sold; 1977-1981 - over 200,000 sold); became "biggest name in little computers"; 1986 - spun off foreign retail operations into InterTAN, Inc.; 1988 - over 7,000 locations; May 2000 - name changed to RadioShack Corporation.

1919 - Charles Doppelt invented toiletries kit ("Doppkit") for travel purposes; February 15, 1955 - Charles Doppelt & Co., Inc. (Chicago, IL), registered "Dopp" trademark (for toilet cases);  1970's - acquired by Samsonite; January 19, 1982 - Samsonite registered "Dopp" trademark.

1919 - Herman Delman opened small shoe salon (looked like 'living room') on Madison Avenue in New York City (backed by relative; had worked in father's Seattle, WA store selling Sunday shoes to fruit farmers and their families; post WW I - buying trip to New York (ordered $30,000-$40,000 of women's shoes, sent them to Seattle, sold out; got job as shoe designer); built shoes that were chic, yet comfortable; December 19, 1950 - Delman, Inc. registered "Delman" trademark first used March 15, 1926 (shoes made of leather, rubber, or fabric or combinations thereof, and on hosiery); one of oldest salon footwear brands in United States; one of first brands sold in department stores to carry its own label.

1920 - Eddie Bauer opened Eddie Bauer's Sports Shop in downtown Seattle; 1934 - company received U.S., Canadian patents on Bauer Shuttlecock (standard for the badminton  today); 1936 - manufactured goose down insulated garment, Skyliner jacket; February 20, 1940 - Eddie Bauer received design patent for a "Jacket" (Skyliner jacket); 1945 - first mail-order catalog; 1963 - outfitted Jim Whittaker, first American to summit Mount Everest; 1968 - company sold to partner William Niemi and his son; 1971 - acquired by General Mills; 1988 - acquired by Spiegel ; 2003 - Spiegel Inc, filed for Chapter 11 reorganization; 2005 - Eddie Bauer Holdings, Inc. formed as result of Spiegel reorganization; stand-alone company for first time in 34 years; June 14, 2009 - filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection; July 17, 2009 - Golden Gate Capital won bankruptcy auction for Eddie Bauer with $286 million cash bid (had teamed with Sun Capital in 2006 in deal to take Eddie Bauer private for $286 million in cash, $328 million in assumed debt; rejected by Eddie Bauer’s shareholders in February 2007 vote).

Portrait Eddie Bauer (

1920 - P. M. Chappel, former horse dealer, horse breeder with connections in packing industry, organized cannery; canned dog food at Rockford, IL, under Ken-L-Ration brand; 1942 - acquired by The Quakers Oats CO.; laid groundwork for nationally recognized Ken-L-Ration, Puss’N Boots brands.

1921 - Theodore and Milton Deutschmann opened one-store retail, mail-order operation downtown Boston; chose name, "RadioShack" to supply the needs of radio officers aboard ships, as well as "ham" radio operators (term for small, wooden structure that housed a ship's radio equipment); become leading electronics mail-order distributor to hobbyists;  1947 - RadioShack entered high-fidelity market, opened nation's first audio showroom; mid-1950s - began selling own private-label product line under Realistic® brand name; early 1960s - 9 RadioShack retail stores (plus mail-order business), leading distributor of electronic parts, products to do-it-yourselfers around world; went bankrupt due to poor operating practices, disastrous credit terms to customers; 1963 - acquired by Tandy Corporation for about $300,00.

July 1921 - British composer, Sir Edward Elgar, opened first HMV store on London’s Oxford Street; first to catch burgeoning demand for recorded music; May 15, 2002 - went public; April 2004 - HMV Group plc operated 366 HMV stores in eight countries across Europe, North America, Pacific Asia as well as 193 Waterstone’s stores principally in the UK, Ireland.

1922 - Max and Clara Fortunoff opened neighborhood housewares store in Brooklyn, NY; opened seven more shops, all located under elevated subway on Livonia Avenue; 1957 - added fine jewelry, watches; 1964 - opened in first superstore in Westbury, LI; opened five more, including Fifth Avenue in New York City; January 2008 - in negotiations with private equity firm NRDC Equity Partners, owner of Lord & Taylor, to be acquired in $100 million dollar deal.

1922 - William H. Brine founded W.H. Brine Company in Boston as small sports equipment, uniform company; sold to private schools, regional camps; grew into major manufacturer of lacrosse, soccer equipment; 1960s - first company to manufacture soccer balls with synthetic leather cover to make it more durable; provided unconditional guarantee; 1970s - developed molding technique, used Surlyn DuPont plastic, as basic draft shape of standard in modern lacrosse sticks; produced its first plastic stick; June 7, 1983 - registered "Brine" trademark first used in 1923 (Soccer Balls, Ball Nets, Lacrosse Sticks, Lacrosse Balls, Lacrosse Ball Bags, Sports Protective Equipment-Namely, Elbow Guards, Knee Guards, Shin Guards); 1987 - named as "Official (soccer) Ball of the NCAA Soccer Championships"; 1990s - expanded into apparel, volleyball equipment, field hockey equipment, lacrosse helmets and goggles, footwear; August 2006 - acquired by New Balance.

1923 - John W. Stacey, skilled botanist and bookseller, quit Emporium book department, opened 216 square foot store in Flood Building on Market Street, San Francisco; 400 books on 240 feet of shelves, Stacey as lone employee; specializing in medical books; 1946 - began to carry comprehensive line of technical and professional titles, including the first computer books ever published; 1959 - second store opened; 1968 - acquired by Brodart company.

1924 - Richard Hesse, E. Gunnard Lindquist, Frank Burke, Oscar Fisher united their hardware stores in Chicago to increase buying power, profits; 1928 - eleven retailers joined Ace Stores, Inc.; 1931 - name changed to Ace Hardware Corporation; 1933 - 38 dealers in mid-west; 1946 - launched 'super' Ace store (wider aisles, departmentalized self-service displays); 1949 - supplied 133 Ace stores in seven states; wholesale sales of $7.26 million; 1952 - first self-service store opened in Merrillville, IN; 1959 - supplied 325 Ace stores, wholesale sales of $24.5 million; 1968 - stores expanded products (beauty aids, candy, greeting cards); September 19, 1967 - registered "Ace" trademark first used March 1, 1928 (supplying advertising, promotional, and marketing services to participating retail hardware stores); 1973 - acquired from Hesse by retailers for $6 million; 1976 - transition to retailer-owned cooperative completed; 1979 - introduced first computer system to track sales, analyze purchase statistics; 1985 - wholesale sales over $1 billion; 2003 - exceeded $3 billion in hardline sales, $100 million in net profits.

Richard Hesse, E. Gunnard Lindquist, Frank Burke, Oscar Fisher - Ace Hardware (

1925 - Clarence Gaines started Gaines Food Co., Sherburne, NY; 1928 - sold empty 5 and 10-pound bags to divide 100-pound bags into more manageable, less costly purchases; showed his pointer breed at field trials across the country where superior quality of his entries nurtured interested, good will for Gaines Dog Meal; 1943 - acquired by General Foods.

1931 - Aaron Hill bought snack stand on Liberty Island (New York, NY), home of Statue of Liberty; table, umbrella set up on pier where ferry docked; named company Evelyn Hill, Inc. (wife); only shopkeeper on island since Park Service took control of statue in 1933; ranks among 10 biggest commercial operations in U.S. national park system ($15 million in annual sales); third generation management.

March 1, 1931 - Thirty farmers, mostly prune growers, considered buying their farm supplies as cooperative, put up $30 each, created Orchard Supply in rented warehouse on Bassett Street, San Jose, CA; 1950's - no longer qualified as cooperative as electronics industry developed, orchards became residential areas, many farmers retired; retail business name changed to Orchard Supply Hardware; 1962 - Albert B. Smith became president; 2004 - OSH is 84 stores strong with locations in California from Redding in the north to Laguna Niguel in the south.

1932 - Max Stern founded Hartz Mountain line of pet products (already largest livestock importer in America); July 15, 1952 - Hartz Mountain Products registered "Hartz" trademark first used January 1930 (pet foods-namely, feeds fro birds, fish, dogs, and turtles); 1959 - Leonard (son) joined company, expanded product lines into goldfish, tropical fish, full line of aquatic supplies; 1960s - expanded with dog and cat products; research, manufacturing facilities built, large sales force formed, strategically located regional distribution centers established; early 1980s - Hartz products sold in more than 40,000 U.S. and Canadian retail outlets; 2000 - acquired by fund managed by J.W. Childs Associates, LP, private equity investment firm; June 2004 - acquired by Sumitomo Corporation of America (SCOA).

Max Stern - Founder,  Hartz Mountain (

1932 - Levi Justin (L. J.) Skaggs, brother of Marion B. Skaggs, co-founder of Safeway, opened first self-service drugstore in Tacoma, WA named PayLess Drug; 1939 - Peyton Hawes and Wiliam Armitage acquired controlling interest in 5 drugstores in OR and WA, founded PayLess Drug Stores.

April 18, 1934 - J. F. Cantrell opened first launderette (called a 'washeteria') in Fort Worth, TX; installed four washing machines, charged by the hour.

1938 - Mountain climbers Lloyd and Mary Anderson joined with 21 fellow Northwest climbers to found Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI). The group structured REI as a consumer cooperative to purchase high-quality ice axes and climbing equipment from Europe because such gear could not be purchased locally; 2005 - 82 retail stores in the U.S., nation's largest consumer cooperative with more than 2.8 million members.

May 12, 1938 - Thomas J. Long (son-in-law of Marion B. Skaggs, co-founder of Safeway Stores), Joseph M. Long (younger brother) borrowed $25,000,  opened Longs Self-Service Drug on Piedmont Avenue in Oakland, CA; introduced idea of self-service in retail drug industry; 1993 - 274-store chain in five states, annual sales of $2.5 billion; October 30, 2008 - acquired for $2.9 billion by CVS Caremark Corporation. Joseph M. Long - one of founders of Long's Drug Stores  (

1938 - Ralph Ostrove founded Paul Stuart Inc. in New York; named for his son, Paul Stuart Ostrove; 1965 - Clifford Grodd, son-in-law, succeeded; remains family-run business.

1939 - Dr. Mark L. Morris Sr., founder in 1928 of Raritan Hospital for Animals in Edison, NJ (second exclusively small animal hospital in United States), believed certain diseases in pets could be managed through carefully formulated nutrition; young blind man named Morris Frank asked Dr. Morris if anything could be done to save his guide dog, Buddy, who was suffering from kidney failure; created Raritan Ration B, nutritional formulation that became first product in Hill's Prescription Diet line of therapeutic pet foods, world's first pet food designed to help dogs with kidney disease; first therapeutic dog food evolved into Hill's® Prescription Diet® k/d®; 1948 - contracted with Hill Packing Company (founded 1906 in Topeka, KS) to can food with new name, Canine k/d®, licensed Hill to produce his pet food formulas; June 7, 1949 - Hill Packing Company registered "Hill's" trademark first used April 7, 1937 (dog food); evolved into Hill's Pet Nutrition, grew, added formulas of therapeutic pet food; 1968 - acquired by Riviana Foods; food line made available through veterinarians, pet professionals as Hill's® Science Diet®; 1976 - acquired by Colgate-Palmolive Company; 1999 - sales of $1 billion.

Dr. Mark L. Morris Sr. - Hill's Pet Nutrition  ( Petfood_Insights/0702PETnewsMM_opt.jpg)

1939 - Arthur Brody, young Columbia University student, invented plastic book jacket cover (used to protect the original paper jackets of library books, giving them a longer shelf life and increasing their circulation); founded Brodart Co.; 1950s - expanded into book distribution; 1954 - began manufacturing complete line of furniture; premier supplier of circulation-ready materials to libraries.

1941 - Miles Cahn founded Manhattan Leather Goods as a family-run workshop in a Manhattan loft; produced heavy unlined leather bags in classic styles, refurbished worn or damaged bags free, priced about 50 percent lower than high-end designer bags, sold in department stores; Lillian Cahn (wife) changed name to Coach Leatherware; 1972 - company introduced Duffle Sac, slouchy oblong bag with a long strap that came in black, brown; 1985 - acquired by Sara Lee Corporation; October 2000 - spun-off, went public.

1942 - Loronzo L. (L. L.) Skaggs (brother of Marion B. Skaggs, co-founder of Safeway) formed partnership with 3 other men, named Owners Service Company (Osco), headquarters in Chicago, IL; 1961 - acquired by Jewel Companies (31 Osco drug stores in 6 states).

1943 - Ingvar Kamprad (17) founded IKEA; formed from the founder's initials (I.K.) plus first letters of Elmtaryd and Agunnaryd, farm and village where he grew up; originally sold whatever need he could fill with product at reduced price (pens, wallets, picture frames, table runners, watches, jewelry, nylon stockings); 1947 - introduced furniture into product range (produced by local manufacturers); 1951 - introduced first furniture catalogue (discontinued all of other products); 1953 - opened furniture showroom in Älmhult (home furnishing products with function, quality and low price; best value for the money); 1955 - began designing own furniture due to supplier boycott (innovative design, improved function at lower prices; design for flat packaging); 1965 - store opened in Stockholm (circular design, inspired by New York’s Guggenheim Museum; opened warehouse, let people serve themselves); 1993 - 114 stores in 25 countries.

1944 - H. Carl Buchan and his brother-in-law, James Lowe, operated the North Wilkesboro Hardware Company; Buchan bought-out Lowe, concentrated on selling only hardware, appliances, hard-to-find building materials; eliminated wholesalers, dealt directly with manufacturers, established reputation for low prices; 2005 - operates more than 1,250 Lowe's stores in 49 states, sales totaled approximately $43.2 billion.

1944 - Allen Products Company, Inc. introduced ALPO dog food; became largest-selling brand of premium-priced, canned dog food; 1964 - acquired by Liggett & Myers for $15 million; January 5, 1965 - Allen Products Company, Inc. registered "ALPO: trademark first used August 22, 1944 (dog and cat food); December 12, 1983 - name changed to ALPO Petfoods, Inc.; 1994 - acquired from Grand Metropolitan Inc. (acquired Liggett Group Inc. in 1980) by Nestle for $501 million.

1947 - Rudolf and Nancy Talbot opened "The Talbots" (became 'Talbots' over time) in in 17th-century colonial frame house in Hingham, MA; 1948 - launched direct mail catalog business, distributed 3,000 fliers to names obtained from The New Yorker; 1950s - adopted "Red Door", "Red T" logos; 1973 - acquired by General Mills for $6 million (5 stores); June 27, 1988 - acquired by Tokyo-based JUSCO Co., Ltd. (now ÆON Co., Ltd.), Japan's fourth-largest retailer, core company of the ÆON Group for $325 million (137 stores); November 19, 1993 - went public (339 stores); 1997 - generated $1 billion in total company sales (603 stores); 2004 - opened 1,000th store in Williamsburg, VA.

1948 - Charles Lazarus (25) started baby furniture store, Children's Bargain Town, in Washington, cater to post-war baby boom era; 1957 - adopted supermarket model for toy store, allowed customers to examine and pick out products on their own, pay for them at checkout stand; with the opening of second store, chose Toys "R" Us with a backward "R" as attention-getter; February 1960 - Geoffrey the Giraffe introduced as mascot; 1983 - expanded into children's clothing (freestanding locations closed in 2003); 1984 - pened first two international stores; 1996 - launched Babies "R" Us; July 2005 - acquired by Bain Capital Partners LLC, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co., Vornado Realty Trust for $6.6 billion.

Charles Lazarus - founder Toys "R" Us  (

1949 - Morris and Paul Secon opened first Pottery Barn store on 10th Avenue in Manhattan; product line - 2,500 pieces of nicked or misshapen stoneware: platters, plates, pitchers, cups, saucers; 1954 - opened second store;1968 - Morris sold share to 2 partners; acquired by Gap; 1986 - acquired for $6 million by Williams-Sonoma; 2006 - 197 stores (furniture, bedding, rugs, lighting products, decorative accessories).

1949 - Samuel S. Wurtzel opened first Wards Company, Inc. retail store in 1,200 square feet of rented space in a Richmond, VA tire store (Wards = acronym for names of family members: Wurtzel, Alan, Ruth, David, Sam; president until 1970, chairman from 1970-1984); 1959 - operated four television, home appliance stores in Richmond with annual sales of about $1 million; 1961 - went public; 1966 - sales of $23 million; Alan Wurtzel (son)joined company as vice president for legal affairs (CEO from 1972-1986, chairman of board from 1984-1994); 1969-1982 - acquired numerous electronics retailers, operated stores from New York to California; 1983 - sales of $246 million; 1984 - renamed Circuit City; 1990 - sales of $2 billion; 1993 - tested CarMax, retail venture selling used vehicles (expanded nationally in 1996); 1999 - sales for Circuit City stores exceeded $10 billion, annual sales for the CarMax superstores exceeded $2 billion; 2002 - CarMax spun-off; 2003 - rejected takeover bid from Mexican financier Carlos Slim Helu; 2005 - rejected unsolicited $3.25 billion cash buyout offer from Boston investment firm Highfields Capital Management LP; April 2008 - Blockbuster Inc. made public a more than $1 billion takeover bid for Circuit City to create huge chain that would sell electronic gadgets, rent movies and games (bid withdrawn in July 2008); September 22, 2008 - Philip J. Schoonover stepped down as CEO, chairman, president (since 2006); James A. Marcum nmed interim president, CEO; November 3, 2008 - announced closing of 155 stores in 55 U.S. markets by December 31, 2008; laid off about 17% of domestic work force; planned further reductions in new store openings, work with landlords to renegotiate leases, lower rent or terminate agreements, deal with tightening credit from vendors; November 10, 2008 - filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection; Profiled as one of 11 companies in best selling business book "Good to Great" (Jim Collins): asked, "Can a good company become a great company and if so, how?"; examined "rare and truly great companies with a corporate culture that rigorously found and promoted disciplined people to think and act in a disciplined manner."

Alan Wurtzel - Former CEO, Circuit City Stores (

May 9, 1949 - Britain's first launderette opened in Queensway, London.

1951 - Henry Froehlich acquired United States distribution rights for Konica cameras from Konishiroku Photo Industry Company of Japan; founded Konica Camera Company in Philadelphia; one of the first distributors of high-tech Japanese cameras in the United States; 1961 - merged with Berkey Photo (distributed other lines of Japanese photo products); 1982 - started Froehlich FotoVideo, to meet new demand prompted by era of videotape; packaged projector, transfer lens system, video camera, videotape recorder for easy transferring of home movies from film to videotape; 1987 - acquired distribution rights for Mamiya cameras (used primarily by professional photographers); formed Mamiya America Corporation with two partners; later renamed the MAC Group.

January 1952 - Les and Dorothy Schwab sold their house, borrowed $1,100 from Dorothy's brother, purchased OK Rubber Welders, franchised tire shop in Prineville, OR; grossed approximately $10,000 in sales a month, $150,000 in first year; 1954 - opened two more stores; 1955 - changed name to Les Schwab Tire Centers; developed, implemented idea now called "supermarket tire concept" (turned tire warehouse into showroom that customers could walk through to select exact tires they wanted); 1972 - opened 35th store; 2006 - $1.6 billion in sales.

1953 - Laura and Bernard Ashley produced headscarves as well as tablemats and napkins on kitchen table in a flat in Pimlico; invested £10 in wood for screen frame, dyes, few yards of linen; scarves were an instant success (stores such as John Lewis, Heal's);  1960 - annual sales rose from £2,000 to £8,000; 1970 - sales reached £300,000 per year; July 1, 1974 - first Laura Ashley-store in U.S. opened in San Francisco; 1975 - sales of £5 million per year, company employed 1,000 people worldwide.

Laura Ashley ( ontent/ebiz/lauraashley/page/ origins/img_origins.jpg)

1953 -Architect Ben Thompson founded Design Research (D/R) at 48 Brattle Street in Cambridge, MA; became known as America’s first “lifestyle store"; introduced Iittala, Artek, Marimekko to U.S.; 1959 - arranged exhibition of Finnish design  (Marimekko textiles, dresses showcased); began to import, retail Marimekko’s fabrics, fashions (Jacqueline Kennedy purchased Marimekko dress she wore on cover of Sports Illustrated in 1960); October 24, 1961 - Marimekko Oy (Finland) registered "Marimekko" trademark (Ladies' Dresses, Coats, Jackets, Blouses, Skirts, Suits, Shorts, Scarves, Aprons, Gloves and Mittens, Headgear, Bathing Suits, Underwear-Namely, Slips, Petticoats, Panties, Brassieres, Girdles, Corsets, Nightgowns, Pajamas, Dressing Gowns, Negligee Robes and Bathrobes); 1978 - D/R closed; widespread influence on 20th-century retail design (Crate and Barrel, Jonathan Adler, Murray Moss). 

1955 - Herbert Haft opened first Dart Drug discount store in Washington, DC; February 29, 1960 - landmark federal antitrust case against Parke-Davis & Co. (had threatened to stop supplying Dart Drug because of its rock-bottom pricing policies); Supreme Court decision weakened power of suppliers to influence pricing decisions made by their retail customers (ushered in age of deep-discount retailing); 1984 - sold (more than 75 units).

1956 - Chuck Williams bought hardware store in Sonoma, CA, stocked shelves with cookware (copper sauté pans, huge stockpots, high-quality vegetable peelers, Sabatier knives, French kitchen towels), named Williams-Sonoma; 1958 - moved the store to San Francisco, stocked it with wide variety of French supplies; 1971 - produced first store catalog; 1978 - acquired by W. Howard Lester, former computer software executive, James McMahan; 1983 - went public; 1986 - acquired Pottery Barn chain of stores from The Gap; 1992 - joins with Time-Life Books, created series of Williams-Sonoma Kitchen Library cookbooks; grew into premier specialty retailer of home furnishings; 2007 - 250 Williams-Sonoma stores, Pottery Barn, Hold Everything, Pottery Barn Kids, West Elm, and others.

Chuck Williams - Williams-Sonoma  (

1956 - Dr. Forrest C. Shaklee, Sr. founded Shaklee Products with his sons Forrest, Jr., and Raleigh to produce and sell nutritional supplements; founding philosophy of the Golden Rule and In Harmony with Nature®; more than 45 patents and patents-pending worldwide, operates in Canada, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico and the U.S., has over 700,000 members worldwide.

1956 - Fred and Pat Cody opened small bookstore, in 464-square-foot space (without heat, bathroom) near University of California-Berkeley campus on Euclid Avenue, with $5,000 from family, friends, Fred's life insurance policy; sold paperback books for 50¢ to 95¢, featured Bay Area authors; opening day sales of $42.67; 1977 - acquired by Andy Ross (owner of small bookshop in Sonoma, CA); 1980s - Golden Age of independent bookstores; good Saturday - $25,000 in sales (Saturday during Christmas season could bring in $70,000); 1997 - opened second location at Berkeley's upscale Fourth Street, increased inventory from 35,000 to 150,000 titles; 2005 - revenues dropped by two-thirds from 1980s; good Saturday - sales of $9,000; opened third store on Stockton Street in San Francisco's Union Square; summer of 2006 - closed Telegraph Avenue flagship store, put building up for sale;  acquired by Japanese importer of English language books; April 2007 - San Francisco store closed; June 20, 2008 - announced it was closing.

1957 - Purina Dog Chow, went into national distribution; captured 14.8 percent of dog food market by end of 1957; March 12, 1968 - Ralston Purina Company registered "Dog Chow" trademark first used September 26, 1913 (dog food); August 1958 - market leader in dog food market.

October 23, 1958 - William Amthor, operator of family-owned furniture store, opened first "Cost Plus" store on Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco, CA; devoted exclusively to imported merchandise, imported wicker; named for pricing strategy, "cost plus 10 percent," made clear to customers that prices would be affordable; 1987 - acquired in leveraged buyout by Bechtel Investments (later renamed Fremont Group); 1994 - control acquired by Goldman Sachs, International Nederland Capital Corp.; April 1996 - went public; 2008 - operated 299 stores in 34 states.

1959 - Jay Van Andel, Rich DeVos started Amway in Ada, MI; November 29, 1960 - Amway Sales Corporation registered "Amway" trademark first used November 16, 1959 (Waxes and Polishes, Particularly Furniture Polishes and Floor Waxes); one of world's leading direct-selling companies (450 exclusive products, services); 2005 - worldwide retail sales of $6.4 billion.

September 1, 1959 - W.A. Krause and T.S. Gentle, founded Kum & Go, LLC as small gas station in Hampton, IA with full service gas, infallible customer service; 1963 - Kum & Go, L.C. converted "gas stations" into convenience stores, or "station stores", with fuel and merchandise; 1964 - purchased Solar Transport, flourished in the trucking business; 1977 - 65 convenience stores employing 327 people; end of 1980s -134 stores across the Midwest; 2005 - employs 3000 associates in over 340 Kum & Go stores.

1960 - Abraham, Eli, Jack Cohen brother opned as three-store health-and-beauty chain on Broadway between Duane and Reade Streets in Manhattan; 1992 - acquired by Bain Capital; 1997 - majority interest acquired Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette; February 10,1998 - went public; 2004 - acquired by Oak Hill Partners fro $750 million; February 2010 - agreed to be acquired (250 stores) by Walgreen's for $1.1 billion.stores.

1960 - Bruce T. Halle rented building on Stadium Boulevard in Ann Arbor, MI; opened first Discount Tire store (one man operation, inventory of six tires, portable air tank, necessitated running back and forth to local gas station to fil tires he sold); offered lower prices, superior customer service (remove snow tires in spring, remount them in fall for free); 1964 - opened second store; 1970 - seven stores in Michigan; 2002 - opened 500th store; 2004 - entered "Guinness World Records" with longest-running TV commercial (1975); 2010 - 790 retail tire outlets in 23 states, 13,000 employees, annual revenue of about $3 billion; largest independent tire dealer in U.S.

1962 - Gordon and Carole Segal opened first Crate and Barrel in Chicago to sell contemporary housewares directly from European factories, artists; 1998 - acquired by Otto Group, German mail order company; 2008 - 168 stores, 7,000 employees.

Gordon, Carole Segal - Crate & Barrel ( crate_barrel_carole_gordon_segal.fortune/

1962 - Lawrence Hoyt opened The Walden Book Store, first independently owned bookstore, in Pittsburgh, PA, named in tribute to Henry David Thoreau's literary classic, Walden; 1971 - Tom and Louis Borders opened Borders Book Shop, 800-square-foot used bookstore, in Ann Arbor, MI; 1984 - Kmart Corporation acquired Waldenbook (acquired Brentano's); 1992 - Kmart acquired Borders, formed Borders-Walden Group; 1995 - renamed Borders Group, Inc.; 2001 - formed alliance with, offered online shopping; 2007 - terminated Amazon alliance in restructuring.

1963 - Marty & Jean Nidetch (nutritionist) and Albert & Felice Lippert founded Weight Watchers; December 31, 1968 - Weight Watchers International, Inc. registered 'Weight Watchers' trademark (handbooks and cookbooks).

1963 - Gary C. Comer, with $30,000, started Lands' End Yacht Stores, a sailing equipment company, in a basement apartment in Chicago (intended Land's End but printer misplaced apostrohe); 1966 - distributed first catalog with detailed descriptions of products manufactured by other companies (sailing merchandise, raincoats, cotton shirts, wool sweaters); 1990 - stepped down as president; 2002 - acquired by Sears, Roebuck for $1.9 billion.

May 8, 1963 - Stanley and Sidney Goldstein, partner Ralph Hoagland opened first Consumer Value Stores (CVS) in Lowell, MA; sold health, beauty products; 1964 - 17 stores; original CVS logo introduced; 1967 - opened first stores with pharmacy departments; 1969 - acquired by Melville Corporation; 1970 - 100 stores in New England, Northeast; 1972 - acquired 84 Clinton Drug and Discount Stores; doubled size of company; 1974 - $100 million in annual sales; 1978 - opened small health, beauty aids stores in enclosed shopping malls; 1980 - 15th largest pharmacy chain in U.S. (408 stores, $414 million in sales); 1985 - $1 billion in annual sales; 1986 - CVS co-founder Stanley Goldstein named president, COO of Melville Corporation; 1988 - nearly 750 stores, sales of about $1.6 billion; 1990 - acquired 500-store Peoples Drug; 1993 - completed chain-wide transition to point-of-sale scanning; 1996 - Melville Corporation restructured, CVS Corporation spun-off as independent public company, Stanley Goldstein first chairman; 1997 - acquired of more than 2,500 stores from Revco; largest acquisition in history of U.S. retail pharmacy industry; established CVS ProCare as specialty pharmacy subsidiary; 1998 - store total to 4,100 across 24 states; 2000 - CVS ProCare largest specialty pharmacy in U.S.; 2001 - annual sales exceeding $22 billion; 2004 - acquired 1,268 Eckerd Stores, Eckerd Health Services, Eckerd’s PBM/Mail-order pharmacy business; increased store count to more than 5,000 locations; became America’s leading pharmacy retailer; 2005 - largest pharmacy retailer in America, more than 5,400 locations in 34 states and Washington, D.C.; CVS/pharmacy served more than 400 million customers; March 24, 2007 - merged with Caremark Rx, Inc., created CVS Caremark, nation's premier integrated pharmacy services provider; 2008 - largest integrated provider of prescriptions, health-related services in nation; August 12, 2008 - planned to launch $2.9 billion tender offer for Longs Drug Stores.

Stanley Goldstein - CVS  (

August 11, 1966 - Wilkes Bashford (33) opened luxury menswear store of the same name in downtown San Francisco.

1971 - Roger Horchow launched The Horchow Collection, first luxury mail-order catalog not preceded by brick-and-mortar presence (no stores); offered unique decorative items from around the world; credited with pioneering use of toll-free phone numbers for placing catalog orders; 1988 - acquired by Neiman Marcus.

1971 - Tom and Louis Borders (23) opened Borders Book Shop, 800-square-foot used bookstore in Ann Arbor, MI; 1992 - 21-store chain acquired by Kmart for estimated $200 million), formed Borders-Walden Group; 1995 - spun off as Borders Group Inc., went public; 2001 - formed alliance with to run its e-commerce Web site; 2007 - lost $150 million in 2006, unveiled new strategic plan to turn company around, return to profitability; sold United Kingdom, Ireland subsidiaries, began to aggressively close Waldenbooks stores; 2008 - lost another $150 million in 2007, put itself up for sale, took loan from largest shareholder; later took itself off market, announced $120 million cost cutting plan (included layoffs).

Louis Borders - Borders Books (

1973 - Cyrus I. Harvey, Jr. founded Crabtree & Evelyn Ltd. in Cambridge, MA; March 30, 1976 - Truc International (Connecticut-based soap, toiletries company) registered "Crabtree & Evelyn trademark first used January 4, 1973 (cosmetics and cleaning preparations, etc.); 1996 - acquired by Malaysia-based Kuala Lumpur Kepong Berhad.

1973 - Ed Washburn incorporated Jiffy Lube in Utah; franchised a small number of service centers in Utah; pioneered concept of a speedy oil change; June 22, 1976 - Jiffy Lube, Inc. registered "Jiffy Lube" trademark first used in December 1974; 1990 - acquired by Pennzoil-Quaker State Company.

April 15, 1973 - Walt Disney Store opened; 1996 - more than 450 Disney Stores worldwide; 1999 - 725 stores worldwide.

December 1976 - Grant and Pegge Dowse placed one-inch ad in Yankee magazine, two-inch ad in Country Journal soliciting requests for their new brochure with swatches; called their company Garnet Hill, name of rise of land behind their home outside of Franconia, New Hampshire; created first full-size mail-order catalog dedicated entirely to fine natural fiber merchandise (traditional cotton percales, high-quality wool blankets, cashmere throws, luxurious apparel from classic European companies).

1976 - Richard Thalheimer established Thalheimer Business Systems, sold copier supplies door-to-door to merchants in Financial District of San Francisco; 1977 - changed name to The Sharper Image; negotiated exclusive distribution rights to Seiko's Realtime Watch, billed as first affordable, waterproof, shock-resistant chronograph that could be reliably used by joggers; 1979 - introduced first Sharper Image mail-order catalog; 1981 - opened first Sharper Image store; September 29, 1981 - Thalheimer Company (dba The Sharper Image Corporation) registered "The Sharper Image" trademark first used August 1, 1976 (retail store and mail-order services-namely, gifts and personal accessories); 1991 - opened design lab to produce high-margin items company could produce itself; September 5, 2000 - registered "Ionic Breeze" trademark first used August 8, 1998 (an ion producing air cleaner, namely, an electro-static precipitator for cleaning air) - biggest design lab seller; 2002 - Consumer Reports issued first of several "ineffective' rankings of Ionic Breeze; September 27, 2006 - new board named former Revlon chairman, former American Household Inc. CEO, Jerry W. Levin, chairman, interim CEO; Thalheimer ousted; May 2007 - Thalheimer 20% equity interest acquired for $26 million; February 19, 2008 - filed for bankruptcy protection (187 stores in 38 states).

August 3, 1977 - Radio Shack issued press release introducing TRS-80 computer (25 existed); thousands ordered within weeks; September 9, 1977 - First TRS-80 computer sold; May 8, 1979 - Radio Shack releases TRSDOS 2.3; May 1, 1981 - Radio Shack releases Model III TRSDOS 1.3.

May 5, 1978 - With a $12,000 investment ($4,000 of it borrowed), Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield opened Ben & Jerry’s Homemade ice cream scoop shop in a renovated gas station in downtown Burlington, VT; 1980 - begin packing ice cream in pints to distribute to grocery and Mom & Pop stores along restaurant delivery routes Ben services out of the back of his old VW Squareback wagon; 1981 - first Ben & Jerry’s franchise opened in Shelburne, VT; 1984 - Haagen-Dazs tried to limit distribution of Ben & Jerry’s in Boston, prompted Ben & Jerry's to file suit against parent company, Pillsbury, in famous "What’s the Doughboy Afraid Of?" campaign; sales exceeded $4 million; 1987 - Haagen-Dazs again tried to enforce exclusive distribution, Ben & Jerry’s filed second lawsuit against the Pillsbury Company; sales just under $32 million; 1988 - more than 80 Ben & Jerry’s ice cream scoop shops open in 18 states; 1991 - introduced Low Fat Frozen Yogurt; 1996 - introduced Sorbets; September 1999 - Harris Interactive poll of the public’s perceptions of corporate reputability Ben & Jerry’s ranked #5 in 'Reputation Quotient' (responsibility, emotional appeal, innovation) out of top 30 Most Reputable US companies, earned #1 ranking in "Social Responsibility" category; net sales of $237,043,000; April 12, 2000 - acquired by Unilever for $326 million.

June 29, 1978 - Bernie Marcus, Arthur Blank formed MB Associates, officially incorporated; June 22, 1979 - opened first Home Depot in Atlanta, GA; stocked around 25,000 products,  attached to Treasure Island stores; first year - 3 stores, 200 employees, $7 million in sales.

1979 - John Jeavons, dedicated organic gardener, asked Dave Smith, Paul Hawken to source hand-forged gardening tools from England; 1982 - Smith & Hawken opened first retail store in Mill Valley, CA; December 3, 1985 - registered "Smith & Hawken" trademark first used November 1, 1984 (garden hand tools, namely, shovels, rakes, hose, cultivators, forks, spades, trowels, sickles, shears and pruners); 1993 - acquired by CML group; 1999 - acquired by private investor group; 2004 - acquired by The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company, leading supplier of consumer products for lawn, garden care; 2007 - 58 stores in 23 states.

1983 - Arthur Cinader, his daughter, Emily, mailed first J.Crew catalog; name, J.Crew, derived from influence of rowing ("crew") culture on original design of company's collection; sport included in name; "J" chosen because it looked right; 1989 - opened first store at South Street Seaport in New York City; expanded to 170 retail, 50 outlet stores across country.

1983 - Sid and Genevieve (Jenny) Craig (sold Body Contour, Inc. to NutriSystem in 1982) started chain of weight-loss centers in Melbourne, Australia; 1985 - opened first U.S. center; 1992 - went public (621 centers in 43 states, sales of $412 million); 1997 - settled charges of deceptive advertising claims with Federal Trade Commission; 2001 - de-listed by New York Stock Exchange; 2002 - much of Craigs' 67% interest acquired by private equity firm; 2006 - company (655 locations) acquired by Nestle SA for $600 million.

October 19, 1985 - First Blockbuster Video store opened in Dallas, TX.

July 27, 1988 - Radio Shack announced Tandy 1000 SL computer.

January 13, 2003 - Owners of toy store chain FAO Schwarz filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

March 17, 2005 - Private equity group (Kohlberg, Kravis Roberts, Bain Capital, Vornado Realty Trust) acquired Toys 'R' Us for $6.1 billion.

June 19, 2006 - Nestle announced it has agreed to pay about $600 million for Jenny Craig, operator of weight loss centers, manufacturer of prepackaged meals for weight loss; attempt by Nestle to expand in "functional food" category through its Nutrition unit (PowerBars, baby foods , nutritional enriched products for elderly).

March 17, 2006 - The Body Shop agreed to a £652.3m ($1.2 billion) takeover by the French cosmetics firm L'Oréal; 1976 - started in Brighton, UK as an ethical alternative to traditional approach to cosmetics., 2,085 branches worldwide, including 304 in the UK.

April 24, 2007 - Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. (private equity firm), Stefano Pessina (Italian billionaire, deputy chairman, largest shareholder of Alliance Boots) raised bid for third time, agreed to pay $22 billion for Alliance Boots, Britain's largest drugstore chain = biggest leveraged buyout in European business history.

April 30, 2008 - United Online, owner of social networking site and customer loyalty site My, agreed to acquire FTD Group, online floral delivery business, for $456 million.

April 2, 2009 - Number of independent bookstores plummeted from about 6,000 in early 1990s to 2,200 today (source: American Booksellers Association); overall number continues to fall, rate of decline has slowed substantially (more than 350 shops opened since 2005); bookstore sales in January 2009 virtually unchanged from January 2008, vs. 8% decline in total retail, food service sales (source: Census Bureau); Barnes & Noble's 4Q-2008 store sales dropped 5% vs. 4Q-2007; Borders superstores 4Q-2008 sales plunged 15%, closed 112 Waldenbooks locations in 2008; Amazon's 4Q-2008 sales of books, other media rose 9%, Barnes & Noble's online sales fell 10%.



October 2009 - Average consumer spent $56.31/person on Halloween;  estimated total of $1.52 billion spent on candy (source: National Retail Federation).

(1-800-Flowers), Jim McCann and Peter Kaminsky (1998). Stop and Sell the Roses : Lessons from Business & Life. (New York, NY: Ballantine Books, 244 p.). Founder of 1-800-Flowers. Flowers (Marketing), 1-800-Flowers.

(Adelman Laundry & Cleaners), Ollie Adelman (2004). All Things Are Possible: Those Who Say It Cannot Be Done Are Usually Interrupted by Someone Else Doing It. (Evanston, IL: Wildcat Publications, 284 p.). Chairman of the Board Adelman Travel; Northwestern University Hall of Fame. Adelman, Ollie; Laundry business. 

(AISG), Carter Andress (2007). Contractor Combatants: Tales of an Imbedded Capitalist. (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 320 p.). Co-founder, Manager of AISG (American-Iraqi Solutions Group, supplier of everything from lamb chops to trucks).  Import/export; international trade; private contractors. From handful of jobless Americans to 2,500 employees from 12 countries. Multinational team  delivered vital supplies to coalition forces, helped rebuild Iraq; engaged in deadly firefights with enemy while attempting to fulfill mission, defend their own lives.

(Allen & Hanburys), Compiled by Ernest C. Cripps; with illustrations (1927). Plough Court: The Story of a Notable Pharmacy, 1715-1927. (London, UK: Allen & Hanburys, 227 p.). Allen & Hanburys, ltd.; Pharmacists -- Great Britain. Book was begun by Miss Amy Audrey Locke, carried on by Mr. Arundell Esdaile, rewritten and completed by Mr. E.C. Cripps. cf. Pref.

William Allen - Allen & Hanbury (

Daniel Bell Hanbury Daniel Bell Hanbury - Allen & Hanbury  (

(Allen & Hanburys), Desmond Chapman-Huston and Ernest C. Cripps (1954). Through a City Archway: The Story of Allen and Hanburys, 1715-1954. (London, UK: J. Murray, 336 p.). Allen and Hanburys, Ltd.

(Allen & Hanburys), Geoffrey Tweedale (1990). At the Sign of the Plough: 275 Years of Allen & Hanburys and the British Pharmaceutical Industry, 1715-1990. (London, UK: Murray, 264 p.). Allen & Hanburys; Pharmaceutical industry -- Great Britain.

(Amway), Charles Paul Conn (1977). The Possible Dream: A Candid Look at Amway. (Old Tappan, NJ: Revell, 174 p.). DeVos, Richard M.; Van Andel, Jay; Amway Corporation--History.

Richard M. DeVos - Amway ( img/obl/1983/devos.jpg)


Jay Van Andel - Amway (

--- (1982). An Uncommon Freedom. (Old Tappan, NJ: F.H. Revell, 176 p.). Amway Corporation; Success--Case studies.

--- (1985). Promises to Keep: The Amway Phenomenon and How It Works. (New York, NY: Putnam, 124 p.). Amway Corporation

(Amway), Stephen Butterfield (1985). Amway, The Cult of Free Enterprise. (Boston, MA: South End Press, 185 p.). Amway Corporation.

(Amway), James W. Robinson; foreword by Richard L. Lesher (1997). Empire of Freedom: The Amway Story and What It Means to You. (Rocklin, CA: Prima Pub., 206 p.). Amway Corporation; Amway Corporation--History; Direct selling.

(Amway), Jay Van Andel (1998). An Enterprising Life: An Autobiography. (New York, NY: HarperBusiness, 234 p.). Amway Corporation--History; Van Andel, Jay; Businessmen--United States--Biography.

(Amway), Wilbur Cross (1999). Amway: The True Story of the Company That Transformed the Lives of Millions. (New York, NY: Berkeley Books, 205 p.). Amway Corporation.

(Amway), John Andrews (2001). Ain't It Great: A Look Inside Amway. (Bloomington, IN: Authorhouse, 248 p.). Former Amway Distributor. Andrews, John; Amway Corporation--History.

(Annie's Book Stop), Anne Tryon Adams with Sandra E. Bielawa (1988). All Booked Up: How I Went from Housewife to Successful Entrepreneur on a Shoestring Budget. (Boston, MA: Quinlan Press, 174 p.). Founder, Annie's Book Shop. Adams, Anne Tryon; Booksellers and bookselling--United States--Biography. Barn in backyard to 132 stores, country's seventh-largest bookstore chain in three decades.

(Arp and Hammond Hardware Store), Eleanore Wagner Field, Robert B. St. Clair (2005). From Hardware to Cattle: The Arp and Hammond Story. (Cheyenne, WY: Fleetwood Publications, 133 p.). Arp, Jochim Hinrich, 1849-1934; Hammond, J. W. (James Westly), d. 1921; Hardware stores --Wyoming --Cheyenne --History; Cattle trade --Wyoming --History; Cheyenne (Wyo.) --History. History of Jochim Hinrich Arp, J.W. Hammond, Arp and Hammond Hardware Store, other business interests of their families.

(Laura Ashley), Anne Sebba (1990). Laura Ashley: A Life by Design. (London, UK: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 207 p.). Ashley, Laura;. History of family-based company that started in modest way in Wales in 1953.

(Aubuchon Hardware), Bernard W. Aubuchon, Jr. (2008). Aubuchon Hardware. (Charleston, SC: Arcadia Publishing, 127 p.). Grandson of founder of the W. E. Aubuchon Company; Aubuchon Hardware --History; Hardware stores --Northeastern States --History. 1908 - "The business was founded on the principle of buying economically. We give our customers what they want—high-grade hardware at a price everyone can afford"; 2008 -over 20 family members employed, including fourth generation.

(Bahrisons), Anuj Bahri with Debbie Smith from the narrations of Balraj Bahri (2004). Bahrisons, Chronicle of a Bookshop. (New Delhi, IN: Swankit, 107 p.). Bahri, Balraj; Booksellers and bookselling--India--Delhi--Biography; Book industries and trade--India--Delhi--Biography. Summary: Autobiographical reminiscences of an Indian bookseller brought out on the ocassion of his seventy fifth birth anniversary, and completion of fifty years of his bookshop.

(Baker and Hamilton), David Warren Ryder (1949). A Century of Hardware and Steel, Being the Story of Baker & Hamilton, a Business Institution Which Has Helped To Write the History of California and the Pacific Coast. (San Francisco, CA: Historical Publications, 119 p.). Baker and Hamilton. 

(Barnes & Noble), Betty N Turner (2006). The Noble Legacy: The Story of Gilbert Clifford Noble, Cofounder of the Barnes & Noble and Noble & Noble Book Companies. (Lincoln, NE: iUniverse, 190 p.). Noble's Granddaughter, Former Mayor of Corpus Christi, TX. Noble, G. Clifford; Barnes & Noble; Booksellers and bookselling--United States--Biography; Bookstores--United States--History. 1886 - moved to New York City, worked as clerk for small wholesale, retail bookstore; established Barnes & Noble and Noble & Noble.

(L.L. Bean), L.L. Bean (1960). My Story; the Autobiography of a Down-East Merchant. (Freeport, ME: The Company, 163 p.). Bean, L. L. (Leon Leonwood), 1872-1966; Sporting goods.

A Look Back: The L.L.Bean Timeline Leon Leonwood (L. L.) Bean  (

(L.L. Bean), M.R. Montgomery (1984). In Search of L.L. Bean. (Boston, MA: Little, Brown, 242 p.). Bean, L. L. (Leon Leonwood), 1872-1966; L.L. Bean, Inc.--History; Businessmen--United States--Biography; Mail-order business--United States--History; Camping equipment industry--United States--History.

(L. L. Bean), Leon Gorman (2006). L.L. Bean: The Making of an American Icon. (Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press, 336 p.). Grandson of Founder, Company President (1967 - 2001). L.L. Bean, Inc.; Camping equipment industry--United States; Mail-order business--United States. How to shape powerhouse brand around bedrock beliefs and values, how to balance growth and tradition, how to craft, preserve an authentic corporate identity.

(Best Buy), Elizabeth Gibson and Andy Billings (2003). Big Change at Best Buy: Working Through Hypergrowth to Sustained Excellence. (Palo Alto, CA: Davies-Black, 308 p.). Change Consultants. Best Buy (Firm)--Management; Electronic industries--United States--Management--Case studies; Retail trade--United States--Management--Case studies; Chain stores--United States--Management--Case studies; Organizational change--United States. Industrial management--United States; Corporate reorganizations--United States; Personnel management--United States. 

(Blackwell B. H. Ltd.), A.L.P. Norrington (1983). Blackwell's, 1879-1979: The History of a Family Firm. (Oxford, UK: Blackwell, 181 p.). Blackwell family; B.H. Blackwell Ltd.--History; Booksellers and bookselling--England--Oxford (Oxfordshire)--History; Publishers and publishing--England--Oxford (Oxfordshire)--History.

(Blockbuster), Gail DeGeorge (1996). The Making of a Blockbuster: How Wayne Huizenga Built a Sports and Entertainment Empire from Trash, Grit, and Videotape (New York, NY: Wiley, 354 p.). Huizenga, Wayne; Viacom International; Blockbuster Entertainment Corporation; Businessmen -- United States -- Biography; Sports team owners -- United States -- Biography; Refuse disposal industry -- United States; Video recordings industry -- United States.

Wayne Huizenga (

(Body Shop), Anita Roddick (1991). Body and Soul: Profits with Principles, the Amazing Success Story of Anita Roddick & the Body Shop. (New York, NY: Crown, 256 p.). Founder, The Body Shop. Roddick, Anita, 1942- ; Body Shop (Firm)--History; Cosmetics industry--Great Britain--History; Businesswomen--Great Britain--Biography.

Anita Roddick ( 38435000/jpg/_38435779_roddick150.jpg) 

--- (2000). Business as Unusual. (London, UK: Thorsons, 288 p.). Founder, The Body Shop. Roddick, Anita; Body Shop; Business; Business--Moral and ethical aspects.

(Book-of-the-Month-Club), Compiled by Jerry Major Buchanan and David A. Reecher (1995). Maxwell Sackheim's Billion Dollar Marketing Concepts and Applications: The Man Who Revolutionized 20th Century Direct Response Advertising. (Vancouver, WA: Towers Club USA Press, 225 p.). Direct marketing; Advertising, Direct-mail; Mail-order business. Founder of Book-of-the-Month Club, father of mail order advertising - two of his best-known marketing concepts are the "Book-of-the-Month Club" and the "Negative Option Plan".

(Books & Co.), Lynne Tillman (1999). Bookstore: The Life and Times of Jeannette Watson and Books & Company. (New York, NY: Harcourt Brace, 337 p.). Novelist. Watson, Jeannette; Books & Co.--History; Bookstores--New York (State)--New York--History--20th century; Booksellers and bookselling--New York (State)--New York--Biography; Literature, Modern--20th century--Marketing--New York (State)--New York--History--20th century. 

(Boots Chemists), Stanley D. Chapman (1974). Jesse Boot of Boots the Chemists: A Study in Business History. (London, UK: Hodder and Stoughton, 221 p.). Trent, Jesse Boot, Baron of, 1850-1931; Pharmaceutical industry--Great Britain.

Jesse Boot (

(Boots Company Limited), J. E. Greenwood (1977). A Cap for Boots: An Autobiography. (London, UK: Hutchinson, 254 p.). Greenwood, John Eric, 1891-1975; Boots Company Limited--History; Businesspeople--Great Britain--Biography; Rugby football players--Great Britain--Biography.

(Stuart Brent Bookstore), Brent Stuart (1989). Seven Stairs: An Adventure of the Heart. (New York, NY: Touchstone, 256 p. [Orig. pub. 1962]). Stuart, Brent; Bookstores--Chicago; children's books. 

(British Home Stores), Andy Forester, Stewart Lansley (2005). Top Man: How Philip Green Built His High Street Empire. (London, UK: Aurum Press Ltd., 256 p.). Green, Philip; British Home Stores; Retail Trade--Britain --History. 

Philip Green - British Home Stores  (

(Build-A-Bear Workshop), Maxine Clark with Amy Joyner (2006). The Bear Necessities of Business: Building a Company with Heart. (Hoboken, NJ: Wiley, 326 p.). Founder, Chairman, and Chief Executive Bear of Build-A-Bear Workshop, Former President of Payless Shoes; Former Business Reporter. New business enterprises; Entrepreneurship. How she built global business: one location in 1997, now more than 200 stores.

(W. Atlee Burpee & Co.), Ken Kraft (1963). Garden to Order. (Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 324 p.). Burpee (W. Atlee) Company; Gardening.  

(Cabela's), David Cabela; introduction by Chuck Yeager (2001). Cabela's, World's Foremost Outfitter: A History. (Forest Dale, VT: P. S. Erikkson, 235 p.). Cabela's (Firm) -- History; Sporting goods industry -- United States -- History; Camping equipment industry -- United States -- History; Fishing equipment industry -- United States -- History. 

(Collins Booksellers), Michael Zifcak (2006). My Life in Print. (South Melbourne, AU: Lothian Books, 210 p.). Non-Executive Chairman of Collins Booksellers. Zifcak, Michael, 1918- ; Booksellers and bookselling--Victoria--Melbourne--Biography; Publishers and publishing--Victoria--Melbourne--Biography. Australia’s largest privately owned bookseller. 

(ComputerLand), Jonathan Littman (1990). Once Upon a Time in Computerland: The Amazing, Billion-Dollar Tale of Bill Millard. (New York, NY: Simon & Schuster, 413 p.). Millard, Bill; ComputerLand (Firm)--History; Computer industry--United States--History; Businessmen--United States--Biography.

(Cotter & Company), Edward R. Kantowicz (1986). True Value: John Cotter 70 Years of Hardware. (Chicago, IL: Regnery Books, 270 p.). Cotter, John, 1904- ; Cotter & Company--History; Hardware industry--United States--History; Businessmen--United States--Biography.

(Jenny Craig Inc.), Jenny Craig (2004). The Jenny Craig Story How One Woman Changes Millions of Lives. (Hoboken, NJ: Wiley, 211 p.). Craig, Jenny; Jenny Craig, Inc.; Businesswomen--United States--Biography; Weight loss; Reducing diets. 

Jenny Craig (

(Creative Memories), Cheryl Lightle with Heidi L. Everett (2004). Creative Memories: The 10 Timeless Principles Behind the Company that Pioneered the Scrapbooking Industry. (New York, NY: McGraw-Hill, 201 p.). President and Co-founder of Creative Memories. Creative Memories (Firm); Selling Scrapbooks; Direct selling. 

(Custom Shops Shirtmakers), Mortimer Levitt (2003). Ninety-Six and Too Busy to Die: A Life Beyond the Age of Dying. (Boston, MA: Aspatore Books, 200 p.). Founder and Sole Owner of the Custom Shops Shirtmakers. Levitt, Mortimer; Custom Shops Shirtmakers; Mortimer's.

(Design Research), Alexandra Lange, Jane Thompson, Rob Forbes (2010). Design Research: The Store That Brought Modern Living to American Homes. (San Francisco, CA, Chronicle Books, 192 p.). Journalist and Architectural Historian. Design Research. 1953 - Architect Ben Thompson founded Design Research (D/R) at 48 Brattle Street in Cambridge, MA; became known as America’s first "lifestyle store"; introduced Iittala, Artek, Marimekko to U.S.; 1978 - D/R closed; widespread influence on 20th-century retail design (Crate and Barrel, Jonathan Adler, Murray Moss).

Ben Thompson - Design Research (

(Dial-A-Mattress), Napoleon Barragan with Maxine and Frank Brady (1997). How To Get Rich with a 1-800 Number. (New York, NY: ReganBooks, 284 p.). Founder (Dial-A-Mattress). Telemarketing; Success in business; Toll-free telephone calls.

(DiJulius Group), John R. DiJulius III; foreword by Bill Capodagli and Lynn Jackson (2003). Secret Service: Hidden Systems that Deliver Unforgettable Customer Service. (New York, NY: AMACOM, 172 p.). President of The DiJulius Group, owner of the John Robert's Hair salons. Customer services; Consumer satisfaction; Customer loyalty.  What exceptional companies do behind scenes to consistently surpass customer expectations.

(DiJulius Group), John R. DiJulius (2008). What’s the Secret?: To Providing a World-Class Customer Experience. (Hoboken, NJ: Wiley, 336 p.). President of The DiJulius Group, owner of John Robert's Spa (chain of high-end salons and spas repeatedly selected among top twenty in America). Customer services; Consumer satisfaction; Customer loyalty. What best customer service companies do; how they do it; world-class customer service strategies employed by world's most customer-friendly companies; culture that routinely finds ways to go above, beyond for customer.

(Dirty White Boy), Clayton Littlewood (2008). Dirty White Boy: Tales of Soho. (San Francisco, CA: Cleis Press, 350 p.). Proprietor of Dirty White Boy. Dirty White Boy (Retail store); Gay business enterprises --Social aspects --England --London; Soho (London, England). Mosaic of modern London; wry panorama of Soho's rich, often raucous subcultures.

(Discount Tire Company), Jeffrey L. Rodengen & Richard F. Hubbard (2002). The Legend of Discount Tire Co., Inc. (Fort Lauderdale, FL: Write Stuff Enterprises, 152 p.). Halle, Bruce T.; Discount Tire Company; Tire industry--United States; Dealers (Retail trade)--United States; Businessmen--United States--Biography. 

(Dublin Laundry), Mona Hearn (2004). Thomas Edmondson and the Dublin Laundry: A Quaker Businessman, 1837-1908. (Portland, OR: Irish Academic Press, 236 p.). Edmondson, Thomas, 1837-1908; Dublin Laundry--History; Laundry industry--Ireland--History--19th century; Quaker businesspeople--Ireland--Biography; Quakers--Ireland--Biography; Dublin (Ireland)--Social life and customs--19th century. 

(Duty Free Shoppers), Conor O'Clery (2007). The Billionaire Who Wasn't: How Chuck Feeney Secretly Made and Gave Away a Fortune. (New York, NY: Public Affairs, 352 p.). Former Foreign Correspondent for The Irish Times in London, Moscow, Beijing, Washington, and New York. Feeney, Chuck; Duty Free Shoppers; Philanthropists -- Biography. One of greatest untold retail triumphs of 20th century; 1988 - 23rd on Forbes richest list; secretly transferred all his wealth to  foundation, Atlantic Philanthropies; one of greatest, most mysterious American philanthropists in modern times.

Chuck Feeney (center) - founder Duty Free Shoppers (

(Edwards Books), Suzanne Strempek Shea (2004). Shelf Life: Romance, Mystery, Drama, and Other Page-Turning Adventures from a Year in a Bookstore. (Boston, MA: Beacon Press, 223 p.). Shea, Suzanne Strempek; Edwards Books; Booksellers and bookselling--Massachusetts--Springfield--Biography; Bookstores--Massachusetts--Springfield--Employees--Biography; Authors, American--20th century--Biography.

(Elliott Brothers Ltd.), Edited by John McIlwain (1992). The House of Elliotts: 150 Years, 1842-1992. (Southampton, UK: Elliott Brothers Ltd., 145 p.). Elliotts (Firm) -- History; Do-it-yourself products industry--Great Britain--History; Building materials industry--Great Britain--History.

(Fisher-Ernst Group), Mary Vanderburg Stone (2007). History of the Fisher-Ernst Group. (Hillsboro, OR: Fisher Implement Co., 247 p.). Fisher-Ernst Group; agricultural machinery -- sales; industrial equipment. Histories, oral histories of some of people who have contributed to success of group of stores selling agricultural, grounds care, light industrial equipment in Oregon's Willamette Valley.

(Flammarion), Elisabeth Parinet (1992). La Librairie Flammarion: 1875-1914. (Paris, FR: IMEC editions, 404 p.). Flammarion (Firm)--History; Publishers and publishing--France--Paris--History; Booksellers and bookselling--France--Paris--History; Book industries and trade--France--Paris--History.

(Florists' Telegraph Delivery Association), Marc Williams (1960). Flowers-by-Wire; The Story of the Florists' Telegraph Delivery Association. (Detroit, MI: Mercury House, 430 p.). Florists' Telegraph Delivery Association.

(Foyles), Penny Mountain with Christopher Foyle (2003). Foyles: A Celebration. (London, UK: W.& G. Foyle Ltd, 128 p.). Foyles; Booksellers and bookselling----Great Britain--History--20th century. Affectionate, anecdotal, sometimes candid celebration of first 100 years of bookselling institution.

(Gallery Furniture), Jim "Matress Mac" McIngvale, Thomas N. Duening & John M. Ivancevich (2002). Always Think Big. (Chicago, IL: Dearborn Trade Pub., 243 p.). Gallery Furniture (Houston, Tex.); Success in business.

(Garden Way, Inc.), Roger Griffith (1994). What a Way to Live and Make a Living: The Lyman P. Wood Story. (Charlotte, VT: In Brief Press, 252 p.). Wood, Lyman P.; Businessmen--United States--Biography; Mail-order business--United States; Success in business.

(General Advertiser), Deborah D. Rogers (1986). Bookseller as Rogue: John Almon and the Politics of Eighteenth-Century Publishing. (New York, NY: P. Lang, 151 p.). Almon, John, 1737-1805; Booksellers and bookselling--Great Britain--Biography; Booksellers and bookselling--England--London--History--18th century; Publishers and publishing--England--London--History--18th century; Pamphlets--Publishing--England--London--History--18th century; Great Britain--Politics and government--1760-1820.

(Glacier Park Co.), Don and Eugenia Hummel (1988). One Man's Life: From Wagon Wheels to the Space Age. (Bellevue, WA: Free Enterprise Press, 508 p.). Hummel, Don, 1907- ; Businesspeople--United States--Biography; Politicians--United States--Biography; National parks and reserves--United States--History--20th century; Concessions (Amusements, etc.)--United States--History--20th century; United States--Officials and employees--Biography.

(Goodspeed's Book Shop), Charles E. Goodspeed (1937). Yankee Bookseller; Being the Reminiscences of Charles E. Goodspeed ... (Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin, 325 p.). Goodspeed, Charles E. (Charles Eliot), 1867-1950; Goodspeed's Book Shop (Boston, Mass.)--History; Booksellers and bookselling--Massachusetts--Boston--Biography; Bookstores--Massachusetts--Boston--History; Anttiquarian booksellers--Massachusetts--Boston; Book collecting--Massachusetts--Boston.

(Goodspeed's Book Shop), George Talbot Goodspeed (1996). The Bookseller's Apprentice. (Philadelphia, PA: Holmes Pub., 181 p.). Goodspeed, George T.; Goodspeed's Book Shop (Boston, Mass.)--History--20th century; Antiquarian booksellers--Massachusetts--Boston--History--20th century.

(S. G. Gump Company), Richard Gump (1951). Good Taste Costs No More. (Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 185 p.). President, Gump's. Aesthetics; Design, Industrial; Art --Collectors and collecting.

(S. G. Gump Company), Carol Green Wilson (1965). Gump's Treasure Trade: A Story of San Francisco. (New York, NY: Crowell, 306 p.). S. & G. Gump Company, San Francisco; Art, Oriental.

(Gump's), Editor Gareth Esersky; contributing writers, Nan Birmingham ... [et al.] (1991). Gump's Since 1861: A San Francisco Legend. (San Francisco, CA: Chronicle Books, 136 p.). Gump's (Department store)--History; Department stores--California--San Francisco--History. 

(Habitat), Barty Phillips (1984). Conran and the Habitat Story. (London, UK: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 150 p.). Conran, Terence; Habitat (Firm)--History; House furnishings industry and trade--Great Britain--History; Businesspeople--Great Britain--Biography.

Sir Terence Conran Sir  Terence Conran ( jpg/_44564522_conran_pa226body.jpg)

(Habitat), Terence Conran (2001). Q & A: A Sort of Autobiography. (London, UK: HarperCollins, 256 p.). Interior decorators -- Great Britain -- Biography; Businesspeople -- Great Britain -- Biography.

(Harvard Coop), Norman S.B. Gras (1942). Harvard Co-Operative Society Past and Present, 1882-1942. (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 191 p.). Harvard Co-operative Society (Cambridge, Mass.).

(Hatchards Ltd.), James Laver (1947). Hatchards of Piccadilly, 1797-1947; One Hundred and Fifty Years of Bookselling. (London, UK, Hatchards, 47 p.). Author. Hatchards Ltd. (London); Booksellers and bookselling --England --London --History; Piccadilly (London, England) --History. Hatchards Ltd.

(Heal & Son), Susanna Goodden; foreword by Sir Hugh Casson (1984). At the Sign of the Fourposter: A History of Heal's. (London, UK: Heal & Son, 127 p.). Heal's (Firm) -- History; London Furniture trades.

(Augustine Heard  & Company), Stephen C. Lockwood (1971). Augustine Heard and Company, 1858-1862; American Merchants in China. (Cambridge, MA: East Asian Research Center, Harvard University, 157 p.). Augustine Heard & Company; United States--Commerce--China; China--Commerce--United States.

(Helzberg Diamonds, Inc.), Barnett C. Helzberg, Jr. (2003). What I Learned Before I Sold to Warren Buffett: An Entrepreneur's Guide To Developing a Highly Successful Company. (Hoboken, NJ: Wiley, 242 p.). Former President and CEO of Helzberg Diamonds, Inc. (1962-1995). Helzberg, Barnett, 1933- ; Success in business. 

(Hirsch & Cie), Veronique Pouillard (2000). Hirsch & Cie: Bruxelles, 1869-1962. (Bruxelles, Belgium: Editions de l'Universite de Bruxelles, 130 p.). Harvard-Newcomen Fellow 2008-2009. Hirsch & Cie --History; Women’s clothing industry --Belgium --Brussels --History. Leo Hirsh ran small confection shop in Brussels; 1881 - supplied apparel, accessories to queen of Belgium; never diversified retail stock beyond womens', girls' garments; history of company in economic, social context, history of Jewish immigration to Belgium, Brussels urbanism, Belgian haute couture.

(Hobby Lobby Creative Centers), David Green with Dean Merrill (2005). More Than a Hobby: What I Learned Going from Start-Up to $1 Billion. (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 209 p.). Green, David, 1941 Nov. 13- ; Hobby Lobby Creative Centers; Retail trade--Management; Entrepreneurship. Oklahoma entrepreneur grew company from $600 loan to $1.3 billion in annual sales in 31 years.

(Home Depot), Bernie Marcus and Arthur Blank with Bob Andelman (1999). Built from Scratch: How a Couple of Regular Guys Grew the Home Depot from Nothing to $30 Billion. (New York, NY: Times Books, 332 p.). Marcus, Bernie; Blank, Arthur (Arthur M.); Home Depot (Firm)--History; Businessmen--United States--Biography; Do-it-yourself products industry--United States--History; Building materials industry--United States--History; Entrepreneurship--United States--Case studies. 

Bernie Marcus, Arthur Blank - Home Depot  (

(Home Depot), Chris Roush (1999). Inside Home Depot. (New York, NY: McGraw-Hill, 266 p.). Journalist. Home Depot.

(Hooti Couture), Allison Houtte and Melissa Houtte (2005). Alligators, Old Mink and New Money: One Woman's Adventures in Vintage Clothing. (New York, NY: Morrow, 256 p.). Retail trade --Brooklyn; clothing--vintage. Brooklyn boutique specializing in vintage clothing; visits to country auctions, estate sales looking for perfect items for loyal, eclectic clientele; shopping tips for amateurs, mistakes made through years.

(House of Fine Fabrics), Rose Bente Lee (2000). An American Dream. (Morley Books, 186 p.). Lee, Rose Bente; House of Fine Fabrics; Retail trade--U.S. 

(Italian Wine Merchants), Sergio Esposito (2008). Passion on the Vine: A Memoir of Food, Wine, and Family in the Heart of Italy. (New York, NY: Broadway, 224 p.). Co-founder of Italian Wine Merchants. Wine and wine making--Italy; Wine -- history -- Italy. Italian Wine Merchants, retail shop that exclusively represents fine Italian wine, leading Italian wine source in America; wine/travel narrative; vivid portraits of seductive places, memorable people, diverse and vibrant wine artisans.

(Ivory), Derek Wilson and Peter Ayerst (1976). White Gold: The Story of African Ivory. (New York, NY: Taplinger Pub. Co.,, 184 p.). Elephant hunting --Africa --History; Ivory industry --Africa; Africa --History; Africa --Commerce --History.

(Ivory), Abdul Sheriff (1987). Slaves, Spices, & Ivory in Zanzibar: Integration of an East African Commercial Empire into the World Economy, 1770-1873. (Athens, OH: Ohio University Press, 297 p.). Slave-trade --Tanzania --Zanzibar --History; Spice trade --Tanzania --Zanzibar --History; Ivory industry --Tanzania --Zanzibar --History; Zanzibar --Commerce --History --18th century; Zanzibar --Commerce --History --19th century.

(Ivory), H. Ellert (1993). Rivers of Gold. (Gweru, Zimbabwe: Mambo Press, 194 p.). Gold industry --Zimbabwe --History; Ivory industry --Zimbabwe --History; Zimbabwe --Commerce --Portugal --History --16th century; Portugal --Commerce --Zimbabwe --History --16th century; Zimbabwe --Commerce --Portugal --History --17th century; Portugal --Commerce --Zimbabwe --History --17th century.

(Ivory), John Frederick Walker (2009). Ivory Ghosts: The White Gold of History and the Fate of Elephants. (New York, NY: Atlantic Monthly Press, 304 p.). Elephant hunting --Africa --History; Ivory industry --Africa; Africa --History; Africa --Commerce --History. History of ivory ("jewels of the elephant") as precious commodity (from Paleolithic times to present ); story of human lust for ivory from teeth of elephants, handful of other mammals, its cataclysmic implications for African and Asian elephants; human enslavement, wholesale slaughter of elephants for artistic, religious, industrial uses (sensuous figurines, scientific instruments, pistol grips, piano keys, toothpicks, billiard balls).

(Judy's), Marcia Israel-Curley (2002). Defying the Odds: Sharing the Lessons I Learned as a Pioneer Entrepreneur. (Woodstock, NY: Overlook Press, 270 p.). Founder, Judy's. Entrepreneurship; Women in business; Success in business; Women--Psychology. Judy's specialty fashion stores grew to be a public company with more than 2,000 employees - predates Gap, Limited, Express.

(Archibald Kenrick & Sons), Roy A. Church (1969). Kenricks in Hardware; A Family Business, 1791-1966. (New York, NY: A. M. Kelley, 340 p.). Archibald Kenrick & Sons.

(King’s English Bookstore), Betsy Burton (2005). The King’s English: Adventures of an Independent Bookseller. (Layton, UT: Gibbs Smith, 302 p.). Owner of The King's English Bookshop (Salt Lake City). King’s English Bookstore--History; Bookstores--Utah--Salt Lake City--History--20th century; Independent bookstores--Utah--Salt Lake City--Anecdotes; Best books--Utah. 30 years of bookselling, few tragicomedies, life with partners, author appearances, joy of reading.

(Kitty Litter), Edward Lowe (1987). The Man Who Discovered the Golden Cat: The Life Story of Ed Lowe. (Cassopolis, MI: Tomorrow Press, 295 p.). Lowe, Edward, 1920- ; Businesspeople--United States--Biography; Cat litter industry--United States--History.

(Kroch's & Brentano's), Edited by John Y. Cole (1988). The Bookseller's Art: Carl Kroch and Kroch's & Brentano's. (Washington, DC: Library of Congress, 89 p.). Kroch, Carl; Kroch's & Brentano's; Booksellers and bookselling--Illinois--Chicago--History--20th century; Booksellers and bookselling--United States--Biography; Chicago (Ill.)--Intellectual life--20th century.

(H. K. Louie Co. Ltd.), E. G. Perrault (2002). Tong: The Story of Tong Louie, Vancouver's Quiet Titan. (Madeira Park, BC: Harbour Pub., 191 p.). Louie, Tong; Food industry and trade--Canada--History.

(Longaberger), Tami Longaberger (2010). Weaving Dreams: The Joy of Work, the Love of Life. (Hoboken, NJ: Wiley, 251 p.). CEO of The Longaberger Company. Longaberger, Tami, 1961-; Longaberger Company; Success in business; Quality of life; Corporate culture. Joined company in 1984 (founded 1973) as first marketing director (sales of $6 million); behind scenes; women’s roles in leadership; approach to motivating people, customers (basket weavers, salespeople, entire staff know how important they are to business’s success, management is counting on them to reciprocate with creativity and support); wisdom about life, success, building business; America's premier maker of handcrafted baskets; one of largest direct-selling organizations in United States; 2010 sales estimates of approximately $750 million - $1 billion.

(Red McCombs Automotive Group), Red McCombs with Mickey Herskowitz (2002). The Red Zone: Cars, Cows and Coaches: My Life and Good Times of a Texas Dealmaker. (Austin, TX: Eakin Press, 226 p.). McCombs, Red, 1927- ; Businessmen--Texas--Biography.

(Melaleuca Inc.), Richard M. Barry (1998). Built on Solid Principles: The Melaleuca Story. (Littleton, CO: RM Barry Publications, 121 p.). VanderSloot, Frank; Melaleuca, Inc.--History; Businessmen--United States--Biography; Oil industries--United States--History; Direct selling--United States--History.

(Mitchells/Richards), Jack Mitchell (2003). Hug Your Customers: The Proven Way to Personalize Sales and Achieve Astounding Results. (New York, NY: Hyperion, 272 p.). CEO, Mitchellsl/Richards. Mitchell, Jack; Mitchell/Richards; specialty retail; customer service; family business.

(Mothers Work), Rebecca Matthias (1999). You Can Do It: How a Young Mother Started a Business on a Shoestring and Built It into a Multi-Million Dollar Company. (New York, NY: Doubleday, 268 p.). Founder of Mothers Work: Motherhood, Mimi maternity, a pea in the pod. Mail-Order Business, Home-Based Business, Women Entrepreneurs. 

(MUJI), Jasper Morrison, Naoto Fukasawa, Kenya Hara (2010). MUJI. (New York, NY: Rizzoli, 304 p.). Industrial designer; professor of design at Musashino Art University; graphic designer and curator and the art director of Muji. Ryohin Keikaku Co. Muji brand (Mujirushi Ryohin - 'no brand quality goods'). History of Ryohin Keikaku Co.'s Muji consumer product brand (started in December 1980 to offer cheap good quality products marketed under slogan "Lower priced for a reason"); insight into the company's inspiration,  process, extraordinary lengths to preserve principles.

(Orgill), Clark Porteous (1948). The First Orgill Century: 1847-1947 Merrill Kremer, Inc, 65 p.). Orgill Brothers & Co.; Wholesalers Hardware Stoves Implements.

(Orvis), Leigh H. Perkins with Geoffrey Norman (1999). A Sportsman's Life: How I Built Orvis by Mixing Business and Sport. (New York, NY: Atlantic Monthly Press, 193 p.). Perkins, Leigh; Orvis Company--History; Businessmen--United States--Biography; Fishing tackle industry--United States--History; Fly fishing--Equipment and supplies. 

Charles F. Orvis ( corpimg/CharlesOrvis.gif)

Leigh H. Perkins - bought Orvis in 1965 ($500,000 in sales;

(OSIM International Pte Ltd.), Andy Milligan (2007). Great Asian Brands: Osim. (London, UK: Cyan Communications, 192 p.). Former Director at Interbrand. Sim, Ron; OSIM International Pte Ltd; brand--Asia. Evolution of Ron Sim, OSIM brand, lessons that can be applied to other companies; entrepreneur created something out of nothing. 

Ron Sim - OSIM (

(Paolo Morassutti), a cura di Giorgio Roverato (1993). Una Famiglia e un Caso Imprenditoriale: I Morassutti. (Vicenza, IT: N. Pozza, 271 p.). Paolo Morassutti (Firm)--History; Hardward industry--Italy--History; Household appliances--Italy--History.

(Pentos), Terry Maher (1994). Against My Better Judgement: Adventures in the City and in the Book Trade. (London, UK: Sinclair-Stevenson, 222 p.). Founder of Pentos P.L.C. in 1972. Maher, Terry, 1935- ; Booksellers and bookselling--Great Britain--Biography; Bookstores--Great Britain.

(J. Peterman), John Peterman (2000). Peterman Rides Again: Adventures Continue with the Real 'J. Peterman' through Life and the Catalog Business. (Paramus, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 225 p.). Founder of Catalog Retailer. Industrial management; Success in business; Entrepreneurship.

(Pick 'n Pay Holdings Ltd.), Raymond Ackerman as told to Denise Prichard (2001). Hearing Grasshoppers Jump: The Story of Raymond Ackerman. (Cape Town, SA: D. Philip, 341 p.). Ackerman, Raymond, 1931- ; Businessmen--South Africa--Biography; Retail trade--South Africa--History.

(Polk Bros), Ann Paden (1996). I Bought it at Polk Bros: The Story of an American Retailing Phenomenon. (Chicago, IL: Bonus Books, 360 p.). Polk Bros (Firm)--History; Electric household appliances industry--Illinois--Chicago--History; Stores, Retail--Illinois--Chicago--History.

(The Pot & Bead), Adeena Mignogna (2006). Cute Little Store: Between the Entrepreneurial Dream and Business Reality (Outskirts Press, 140 p.). Quit engineering career in 2002, opened retail store, contemporary paint-your-own pottery studio in Ashburn, VA, to try entrepreneurial way of life; pitfalls along the way, how to not let them get in way of success.

(Precision Tune Inc.), Keith Grimaud (1994). The Tortoise Wins Again!: From Farm Boy to President, the True Story of the Race. (Chapin, SC: Palmetto Productions Corp., 142 p.). Grimaud, Joe, 1938- ; Precision Tune, Inc.--History; Businesspeople--United States--Biography; Automobile supplies industry--United States--History; Automobile repair shops--United States--History; Franchises (Retail trade)--United States--History.

(Quelle Schickedanz AG & Co.), Renate Lüdde (2007). Die Quelle-Story. (Munich, Germany: Bucher C.J, 192 p.). Industrialists -- Germany -- Biography; Schickedanz, Gustav, 1895-1977; Quelle Schickedanz AG & Co. -- History.

Gustav Schickedanz - Quelle Schickedanz AG & Co. ( 3/3b/Gustav_und_Grete_Schickedanz.jpg/180px-Gustav_und_Grete_Schickedanz.jpg)

(Quelle Schickedanz AG & Co.), Gregor Schöllgen (2010). Gustav Schickedanz 1895-1977: Biographie eines Revolutionärs. (Berlin, Germany: Berlin Verlag, 464 p.). Industrialists -- Germany -- Biography; Schickedanz, Gustav; Schickedanz, Gustav, 1895-1977; Quelle Schickedanz AG & Co.; Quelle Schickedanz AG & Co. -- History. Europe's largest mail-order house; 1972 - sales of 5 billion Deutschmarks.

(Rexall), Mickey Smith (2004). The Rexall Story: A History of Genius and Neglect. (New York, NY: Pharmaceutical Products Press, 175 p.). Frederick A.P. Barnard Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Pharmacy Administration (University of Mississippi). Liggett, Louis, d. 1946; Rexall Drug Company--History; United Drug Company--History; United-Rexall Drug, Inc.; Rexall Drug and Chemical Company--History; Dart Industries--History; Drugstores--United States--History.  

(Rexall Sundown), Carl DeSantis, with Donald Michael Platt (1999). Vitamin EnRICHed. (Boca Raton, FL: TransMedia Pub., 303 p.). Founder, Sundown. DeSantis, Carl, 1939- ; Rexall Sundown Company--History; Drugstores--United States--History; Pharmaceutical industry--United States--History; Businessmen--United States--Biography.

  Carl DeSantis - Rexall Sundown  (

(Rexall Sundown), James W. Robinson (1999). Prescription for Success: The Rexall Showcase International Story and What It Means to You. (Rocklin, CA: Prima Pub., 275 p.). Rexall Sundown--History; Drugstores--United States--History; Pharmaceutical industry--United States--History; Businessmen--United States--Biography.

(Harry Rosen), Harry Rosen, Geoffrey Stevens (2004). Ask Harry!: The Harry Rosen Story. (Toronto, ON: McClelland & Stewart, 304 p.). Rosen, Harry; Retail trade--Canada.

(Rosenthal Wine Merchant Ltd.), Neal I. Rosenthal (2008). Reflections of a Wine Merchant. (New York, NY: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 272 p.). Rosenthal, Neal I., 1945-; Vinters--United States--Biography; Wine and wine making; Wine and wine making--Europe; Wine and wine making--Italy. Successful importer of traditionally made wines produced by small family-owned estates in France and Italy; leading exponent of concept of "terroir" (particular vineyard site imparts distinct qualities of bouquet, flavor, color to a wine; into cellars, vineyards, homes of vignerons, encounters, relationships, explorations, what learned along way.

(Leona Rostenberg), Leona Rostenberg and Madeleine B. Stern (1974). Old & Rare; Thirty Years in the Book Business. (New York, NY: A. Schram, 234 p.). Leona Rostenberg (Firm); Antiquarian booksellers--Biography; Rare books--Bibliography--Methodology; Book collecting.

(Sanrio Company, Ltd.), Ken Belson & Brian Bremner (2004). Hello Kitty: The Remarkable Story of Sanrio and the Billion Dollar Feline Phenomenon. (Singapore: Wiley (Asia), 210 p.). Reporter (New York Times, Tokyo); Asia Economics Editor (Business Week). Sanrio; Hello Kitty (Fictitious character). 

(Les Schwab Tire Centers) (1986). Les Schwab Pride in Performance: Keep It Going. (Prineville, OR: Pacific Northwest Books, p.). Founder. Schwab, Les; Tire industry--United States. Value that drives Les Schwab Tire Centers - pride in performance, pride in customer service, pride in employees.

(Schwartz Bookstores), Harry W. Schwartz (1977). Fifty Years in My Bookstore: or, A Life with Books. (Milwaukee, WI: Schwartz, 147 p.). Schwartz, Harry W. (Harry Warren); Booksellers and bookselling--Wisconsin--Milwaukee--Biography; Bookstores--Wisconsin--Milwaukee--History--20th century.

(Shakespeare and Company), Sylvia Beach; New ed. / introduction by James Laughlin (1991). Shakespeare and Company. (Lincoln, NB: University of Nebraska Press, 230 p. [orig. pub. 1959]). Beach, Sylvia--Homes and haunts--France--Paris; Shakespeare and Company--History; Booksellers and bookselling--France--Paris--History--20th century; Authors and publishers--France--Paris--History--20th century; Literature publishing--France--Paris--History--20th century; Americans--France--Paris--History--20th century; Paris (France)--Intellectual life--20th century.

(Shakespeare and Company), Jeremy Mercer (2005). Time Was Soft There: A Paris Sojourn at Shakespeare & Co. (New York, NY: St. Martin’s Press, 262 p.). Former Crime Reporter (Ottowa Citizen). Mercer, Jeremy; Whitman, George, 1913- ; Shakespeare and Company (Paris, France : 1964- ); Booksellers and bookselling--France--Paris--Biography; Bookstores--France--Paris--History--20th century; Authors, Canadian--20th century--Biography; Paris (France)--Intellectual life--20th century. Memoir about living and working in Shakespeare and Company.

(Shaklee), Georges Spunt (1977). When Nature Speaks: The Life of Forrest C. Shaklee, Sr. (New York, NY: F. Fell Publishers, 226 p.). Shaklee, Forrest Clell; Shaklee Corporation--History; Chiropractors--California--Biography.

Dr.Forrest C.Shaklee Dr. Forrest C. Shaklee  (

(Shaklee), Robert L. Shook (1982). The Shaklee Story. (New York, NY: Harper & Row, 188 p.). Shaklee, Forrest Clell; Shaklee Corporation; Businesspeople--United States--Biography; Direct selling--United States.

(Shaklee), Nancy Brenner (1994). The Enduring Dream. (White Plains, NY: Published for Shaklee Corp. by the Benjamin Co., 215 p.). Shaklee, Forrest Clell; Shaklee Corporation--History; Businesspeople--United States--Biography.

(Shelby Williams Industries), Janice Petterchak (2000). A Legacy of Style: Shelby Williams Industries, Inc. (Rochester, IL: Legacy Press, 210 p.). Steinfeld, Manfred, 1924- ; Shelby Williams Industries, Inc.--History; Shelby Williams Industries, Inc.--Officials and employees--Biography; Furniture industry and trade--History; Businessmen--Illinois--Chicago--Biography.

(Shoe Biz), Jerry Miller (1984). The Wandering Shoe. (New York, NY: My Goodfriends, 308 p.). Miller, Jerry, 1927- ; Shoe Biz (Firm)--Biography; Businesspeople--United States--Biography.

(Siemssen & Co.), Maria Moring; [Text, 1961-1996, Guido G. Mo¨ring] (1996). Siemssen & Co. 1846-1996. (Hamburg, Germany: Verlag Hanseatischer Merkur, 196 p.). Siemssen & Co.--History; Hamburg (Germany)--Commerce--China--History; China--Commerce--Hamburg (Germany)--History.

(Shoppers Drug Mart), Frank Rasky (1988). Just a Simple Pharmacist: The Story of Murray Koffler, Builder of the Shoppers Drug Mart Empire. (Toronto, ON: McClelland and Stewart, 359 p.). Koffler, Murray, 1924- ;Pharmacists -- Ontario -- Toronto -- Biography; Businessmen -- Ontario -- Toronto -- Biography; Philanthropists -- Ontario -- Toronto -- Biography.

(W. H. Smith & Son), Charles Wilson (1986). First with the News: The History of W.H. Smith, 1792-1972. (Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 510 p.). W.H. Smith & Son--History; Newspaper agents--Great Britain--History; Book industries and trade--Great Britain--History; Booksellers and bookselling--Great Britain--History; Publishers and publishing--Great Britain--History.

(Smith & Hawken), Paul Hawken (1987). Growing a Business. (New York, NY: Simon and Schuster, 251 p.). Co-Founder, Smith & Hawken. New business enterprises--Management.

Paul Hawken - Smith & Hawken  (

(Smith & Hawken), Dave Smith (2005). To Be of Use: The Seven Seeds of Meaningful Work. (New York, NY: New World Library, 256 p.). Co-Founder, Smith & Hawken. Success in business--Religious aspects; Work--Religious aspects; Professional ethics. Business driven by simple core values (compassion, decency) can make world better place.

(Southland), Allen Liles (1977). Oh Thank Heaven!: The Story of the Southland Corporation. (Dallas, TX: The Corporation, 264 p.). Southland Corporation--History.

(A. G. Spalding Brothers), Arthur C. Bartlett (1951). Baseball and Mr. Spalding; The History and Romance of Baseball. (New York, NY: Farrar, Straus and Young, p.). Spalding, Albert Goodwill, 1850-1915; Spalding (A. G.) and Brothers, inc.; Baseball--History.

(A. G. Spaulding Brothers), Peter Levine (1985). A.G. Spalding and the Rise of Baseball: The Promise of American Sport. (New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 184 p.). Spalding, A. G. (Albert Goodwill); Baseball players -- United States -- Biography; Businessmen -- Biography.

(Sperry & Hutchinson), William S. Beinecke with Geoffrey M. Kabaservice (2000). Through Mem'ry's Haze: A Personal Memoir (New York, NY: Prospect Hill Press, 569 p.). Beinecke, William Sperry; Beinecke family; Sperry and Hutchinson Company--History; Businessmen--United States--Biography; Philanthropists--United States--Biography; Trading-stamps--United States--History. 

(Spiegel), Orange A. Smalley and Frederick D. Sturdivant with an introduction by Harold F. Williamson (1973). The Credit Merchants; a History of Spiegel, Inc . (Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois University Press, 336 p.). Spiegel, Inc.

(Strictly Reptiles), Brian Christy (2008). The Lizard King: The True Crimes and Passions of the World’s Greatest Reptile Smugglers. (New York, NY: Twelve, 241 p.). Van Nostrand, Michael; Van Nostrand, Raymond; Reptile trade --United States; Wildlife smuggling --United States; Animal dealers --United States. Father and son family business suspected of smuggling reptiles (imports as many as 300,000 iguanas each year, over half of total in America; hundreds of thousands of snakes, lizards, frogs, spiders, scorpions), federal agent who tried to take them down. 

(Ann Summers Limited), Merl Storr (2003). Latex and Lingerie: Shopping for Pleasure at Ann Summers. (New York, NY: Berg Publ., 224 p.). Senior Lecturer in Sociology (University of East London). Ann Summers Limited; Direct selling--Great Britain--Case studies; Home-based businesses--Great Britain--Case studies; Lingerie industry--Great Britain--Case studies. Politics of 'post-feminist' culture.

(Tandy), Irvin Farman (1992). Tandy's Money Machine: How Charles Tandy Built Radio Shack into the World's Largest Electronics Chain. (Chicago, IL: Mobium Press, 464 p.). Tandy, Charles, 1918-1978; Radio Shack--History; Tandy Corporation--History; Business people--United States--Biography; Electronic industries--United States--History; Chain stores--United States--History.

Charles Tandy (

(Tandy), Lewis F. Kornfeld; foreword by Clark Johnson (1992). To Catch a Mouse, Make a Noise Like a Cheese. (Fort Worth, TX: Summit Group, 349 p. [Rev. 3rd ed.]). Retired Vice Chairman (Tandy). Advertising; Selling.

(Templecrone Co-operative Society), Lawrence Scanlon (1994). The Story He Left Behind Him: Paddy the Cope. (Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 244 p.). Gallagher, Patrick, 1873-1964; Templecrone Co-operative Society--History; Businesspeople--Ireland--Biography; Consumer cooperatives--Ireland--Rosses, The--History; Autobiography; Biography as a literary form.

(Three Dog Bakery), Dan Dye and Mark Beckloff (1996). Short Tails and Treats from Three Dog Bakery. (Kansas City, MO: Andrews and McMeel, 127 p.). Three Dog Bakery (Kansas City, Mo.)--History; Dogs--Food--Miscellanea. 

(Thrifty Acres), Hendrik G. Meijer (1984). Thrifty Years: The Life of Hendrik Meijer. (Grand Rapids, MI: Erdmans, 246 p.). Meijer, Hendrik, 1883-1964; Meijer Thrifty Acres (Stores); Merchants--Michigan--Biography.

(Toletta), The Store (2003). Librai a Venezia: Settant'anni di Storia Della Toletta. (Venezia, IT: Marsilio, 106 p.). Toletta (Bookstore) -- History; Bookstores -- Italy -- Venice -- History -- 20th century; Booksellers and bookselling -- Italy -- Venice -- History -- 20th century.

(True Value), Edward R. Kantowicz (1986). True Value: John Cotter 70 Years of Hardware. (Chicago, IL: Regnery Books, 270 p.). Cotter, John, 1904- ; Cotter & Company--History; Hardware industry--United States--History; Businesspeople--United States--Biography.

(Tubbs Cordage Company), David Warren Ryder (1954). Men of Rope, Being the History of the Tubbs Cordage Company; Together with an Account of Some of the Collateral Activities in Which Its Pioneer Founders Engaged. With Decorations by Dan Adair. (San Francisco, CA: Historical Publications, 146 p.). Tubbs Cordage Company--History; Cordage industry--United States--History.

(United Consumers Club), James L. Gagan with Robert L. Shook (1991). America's Best Kept Secret. (Chicago, IL: Contemporary Books, 222 p.). United Consumers Club (U.S.)--History; Consumer cooperatives--United States--History.

(Upper Deck), Pete Williams (1995). Card Sharks: How Upper Deck Turned a Child's Hobby into a High-Stakes, Billion-Dollar Business. (New York, NY: Macmillan, 278 p.). Upper Deck (Firm); Baseball cards --United States --Marketing; Baseball players --United States --Finance, Personal. History of card collecting (tobacco cards, beginning of Topps, its eventual monopoly on card industry); hologram technology to prevent counterfeiting, licenses from MLB, players association; 1989 - first cards printed; revolutionized industry.

(Lillian Vernon), Lillian Vernon (1996). An Eye for Winners: How I Built One of America's Greatest Direct-Mail Businesses. (New York, NY: HarperBusiness, 213 p.). Vernon, Lillian, 1927- ; Businesswomen--United States--Biography; Mail-order business--United States--History.

Lillian Vernon Lillian Vernon  (

(Walgreen), Herman Kogan and Rick Kogan (1989). Pharmacist to the Nation: A History of Walgreen Co., America's Leading Drug Store Chain. (Deerfield, IL: Walgreen Co., 288 p.). Walgreen Co.--History; Drugstores--United States--History.

Charles R. Walgreen, Sr.



Charles R. Walgreen, Sr. (

(Walgreen), John U. Bacon (2004). America's Corner Store: Walgreen's Prescription for Success. (Hoboken, NJ: Wiley, 272 p.). Former Sports Writer (Detroit News). Walgreen Co.--History; Drugstores--United States--History. 

(J. R. Watkins Company), Watkins Incorporated (2004). Watkins: Images of America. (Charleston, SC: Arcadia Pub., 128 p.). J.R. Watkins Company --History --Pictorial works; Botanical drug industry --United States --History; Natural foods industry --United States --History; Direct selling --United States --History. Began in back room of small house in Plainview, Minnesota, in 1868; grew through direct selling, innovative ideas into world's largest direct selling company, international corporation spanning North America, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, England; nearly 40,000 sales associates worldwide.

(Weight Watchers International), Jean Nidetch, as told to Joan Rattner Heilman (1979). The Story of Weight Watchers. (New York, NY: New American Library, 164 p.). Weight Watchers International; Weight loss; Low-calorie diet.




Jean Nidetch - founder Weight Watchers ( images/1033/dynamic/GCMSImages/jean_lrg.jpg)

(Weintz Agency), Walter H. Weintz (1987). The Solid Gold Mailbox: How To Create Winning Mail-Order Campaigns / by the Man Who's Done It All, Walter H. Weintz. (New York, NY: Wiley, 268 p.). Circulation Director (Reader's Digest). Mail-order business--United States; Advertising, Direct-mail--United States; Success in business--United States. 

(R. M. Williams Holdings Limited), R.M. Williams with Olaf Ruhen (1984). Beneath Whose Hand: The Autobiography of R.M. Williams with Olaf Ruhen. (South Melbourne, AU: Macmillan, 202 p.). Williams, R. M. (Reginald Murray), 1908- ; Ranchers--Australia--Biography; Businesspeople--Australia--Biography; Leather industry and trade--Australia--History; Mail-order business--Australia--History.

(Wisco Hardware), John A. Fitschen (1954). The Wisco Story: Cutting the Cost of Distribution and Survival of Independent Retailers, 1925-1954. (Madison, WI: Wisco Hardware Co., 152 p.). Wisco Hardware Co. History; Hardware industry Wisconsin Madison History; Industries Wisconsin Madison History.

(Edward Withers Ltd.), Adam Whone (1996). Edward Withers Ltd.: 230 Years of Violin Craft in Soho. (London, UK: Mill Hill, 112 p.). Edward Withers Ltd. -- History; violins. 

Lewis E. Atherton (1949). The Southern Country Store, 1800-1860. (Baton Rouge, LA: Louisiana State University Press, 227 p.). Retail trade--Southern States; Southern States--Commerce.

Barry Berman (2010). Competing in Tough Times: Business Lessons from L.L.Bean, Trader Joe's, Costco, and Other World-Class Retailers. (Upper Saddle River, NJ: FT Press, 239 p.). Walter ‘Bud’ Miller Distinguished Professor of Business and Director of the Executive M.B.A. program (Hofstra University). Retail trade -- Management; Strategic planning. How to plan, execute, win based on cost and differentiation; how some retailers developed low-cost strategies without cutting crucial “muscle,” better rationalized product selection, optimized human relations and service experience; took full advantage of private labeling.

Lewis Buzbee (2006). The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop: A Memoir, A History. (St. Paul, MN: Graywolf Press, 180 p.). Former Bookseller and Sales Representative (Chronicle Books). Bookstores--History--20th century; Booksellers and bookselling. Historical account of bookseller’s trade.

Gary Calamar & Phil Gallo (2010). Record Store Days: From Vinyl to Digital and Back Again. (New York, NY, Sterling, 256 p.). President of Go Music; Music Journalist and Entertainment Editor. Record stores -- history; records -- retail. Record stores served as community centers, information exchanges, clubs, art galleries, launching pads for numerous bands and record labels; retail refuges that enthralled at least three generations of music lovers; special alchemy that makes great record store.

Annie Cheney (2006). Body Brokers: Inside the Underground Trade in Human Remains. (New York, NY: Broadway Books, 240 p.). Procurement of organs, tissues, etc.; Procurement of organs, tissues, etc.--Moral and ethical aspects. Profit, with no regulation, in buying and selling cadavers and body parts.

Thomas D. Clark (1944). Pills, Petticoats, and Plows; the Southern Country Store. (New York, NY: The Bobbs-Merrill Company, 359 p.). Retail trade--Southern States; Country life--Southern States; Southern States--Social life and customs--1865-.

Richard Coopey, Sean O'Connell, and Dilwyn Porter (2005). Mail Order Retailing in Britain: A Business and Social History. (New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 230 p.). Lecturer in History (University of Wales). Mail-order business--Great Britain--History; Mail-order business--Great Britain--Case studies; Teleshopping--Great Britain.  

Ed. Louise Hill Curth (2006). From Physick to Pharmacology: Five Hundred Years of British Drug Retailing. (Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 174 p.). Pharmaceutical industry --Great Britain --History; Retail trade --Great Britain --History; Pharmacy --Great Britain --History; Drug Industry --history --Great Britain; Pharmacy --history --Great Britain.

Thomas S. Dicke (1992). Franchising in America: The Development of a Business Method, 1840-1980. (Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 204 p.). Franchises (Retail trade)--United States--History.

Donna Dickenson (2008). Body Shopping: The Economy Fuelled by Flesh and Blood. (London, UK: Oneworld Publications, 320 p.). Professor Emerita of Medical Ethics and Humanities (University of London). Procurement of organs, tissues, etc.; Procurement of organs, tissues, etc.--Moral and ethical aspects. International organ trade; tissues, genes, organs as 'the currency of the future' (trafficking of women for their eggs to 'beauty junkies'); how body parts are converted into profits; strategies to curb global biotechnology industry.

Jane Evans (1996). From Behind the Counter, 1896-1996: Shopkeeper's View of Northamptonshire Life Over the Last 100 Years. (Cambridge, UK: Lutterworth Press, 184 p.). Harlan family; Watt family; Stores, Retail--England--Northampton--History--20th century; Merchants--England--Northampton--Biography; Northampton (England)--Social life and customs; Northamptonshire (England)--History.

Richard V. Goss (2003). Serving the "Faithful" in Yellowstone: Henry Klamer and the General Store in the Upper Geyser Basin. (Gardiner, MT: R.V. Goss, 45 p.). Klamer, Henry (Henry Ernest), 1858-1914; Merchants --Yellowstone National Park --Biography; General stores --Yellowstone National Park --History; Yellowstone National Park --Biography; Yellowstone National Park --History.

Robert D. Hassold (2009). $67.50, Autobiography of a Life in Retail. (Portsmouth, NH, Tugboat Alley, 177 p.). Author. Hassold, Robert D.; Retail--history; retail--memoir. 1951 - opened first 5&10 (20 years old); owned small chain of variety department stores in suburban New Jersey; created two more successful businesses after retiring (Alley - specialty and gift store in downtown Portsmouth, NH, Tug Alley Too cruises); 64 years in retail.

Kasper Hauser Comedy Group (Rob Baedeker, Dan Klein, James Reichmuth, John Reichmuth) (2006). SkyMaul: Happy Crap You Can Buy from a Plane: The Unauthorized Catalog Parody. (New York, NY: Thomas Dunne Books, 125 p.). Mail-order business--Humor; Commercial catalogs--Humor; Air travel--Humor. Banana-ganizers, Reality-Canceling Headphones coexist with Crack Pipe Chess Sets, Llamacycles.

Kieran Healy (2006). Last Best Gifts: Altruism and the Market for Human Blood and Organs. (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 193 p.). Assistant Professor of Sociology (University of Arizona). Procurement of organs, tissues, etc.; Procurement of organs, tissues, etc.--Economic aspects--United States; Transplantation of organs, tissues, etc.--Economic aspects--United States; Tissue banks--United States. Procurement organizations sustain altruism by providing opportunities to give, producing public accounts of what giving means; success may rest on fairness of exchange.

Gary Laderman (2003). Rest in Peace: A Cultural History of Death and the Funeral Home in Twentieth-Century America. (New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 245 p.). Undertakers and undertaking--United States; Funeral supplies industry--United States. 

Michele de La Pradelle; translated by Amy Jacobs (2006). Market Day in Provence. (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 266 p.). Director of Studies at l'École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales. Markets--France--Carpentras--Social aspects; Fairs--France--Carpentras--Social aspects; Carpentras (France)--Commerce--Social aspects; Carpentras (France)--Economic conditions. Mechanisms of contemporary outdoor market (centuries-old Friday institution at Carpentras, city near Avignon in south of France);  artfully masks fierce commitment to modern-day free-market economics.

Godfrey M. Lebhar (1963). Chain Stores in America, 1859-1962. (New York, NY: Chain Store Publishing Corp., 430 p. [3rd ed.]). Chain Stores

Stan Luxenberg (1985). Roadside Empires: How the Chains Franchised America. (New York, NY: Viking, 313 p.). Franchises (Retail trade)--United States.

David Magee; Introd. by Lawrence Clark Powell (1973). Infinite Riches; The Adventures of a Rare Book Dealer. (New York, NY: P. S. Eriksson, 274 p.). Magee, David Bickersteth, 1905-1977; Antiquarian booksellers--Biography; Rare books--Bibliography--Methodology.

Terry Maher (1994). Against my Better Judgement: Adventures in the City and in the Book Trade. (London, UK: Sinclair-Stevenson, 222 p.). Maher, Terry, 1935- ; Booksellers and bookselling--Great Britain--Biography; Bookstores--Great Britain.

Eds. Alistair McCleery , David Finkelstein, Jennie Renton (2007). An Honest Trade: Booksellers and Bookselling in Scotland. (Edinburgh, Scotland: John Donald Publishers Ltd, 192 p.). Booksellers and bookselling --Scotland -- History -- 20th century. Radical changes during 20th century: 1) creation of more attractive shop interiors to replace gloomy cathedrals of pre-Second World War Era; 2) increasing specialization of outlets (including development of paperback bookshops); 3) growth of chains, dogged persistence of independents; 4) abolition of net book agreement; 5) importance of mass media in promotion of books. 

Ronald D. Michman and Edward M. Mazze (2001). Specialty Retailers: Marketing Triumphs and Blunders. (Westport, CT: Quorum Books, 261 p.). Retail trade--United States; Specialty stores--United States.

Laura J. Miller (2006). Reluctant Capitalists: Bookselling and the Culture of Consumption. (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 328 p.). Assistant Professor of Sociology (Brandeis University). Booksellers and bookselling--United States; Bookstores--United States; Books--Purchasing--United States; Books and reading--United States; Consumption (Economics)--Social aspects--United States; Consumer behavior--United States. Consumer behavior is inevitably political, with consequences for communities, commercial institutions.

Marvin Mondlin & Roy Meador; foreword by Madeleine B. Stern (2004). Book Row: An Anecdotal and Pictorial History of the Antiquarian Book Trade. (New York, NY: arroll & Graf Publishers, 405 p.). Antiquarian booksellers--New York (State)--New York--History--20th century.

Ed. Emma Pettit (2008). Old Rare New: The Independent Record Shop. (London, UK: Black Dog Publishing, 144 p.). formerly of the Institute of Contemporary Arts. Music--selling--history; records--history; records--selling. Homage to holy places of music collecting; account of increasingly rare independent record shop in United States, Britain (killed off by Internet, MP3).

Deborah D. Rogers (1986). Bookseller as Rogue: John Almon and the Politics of Eighteenth-Century Publishing. (New York, NY: P. Lang, 151 p.). Almon, John, 1737-1805; Booksellers and bookselling--Great Britain--Biography; Booksellers and bookselling--England--London--History--18th century; Publishers and publishing--England--London--History--18th century; Pamphlets--Publishing--England--London--History--18th century; Great Britain--Politics and government--1760-1820.

Carrie Shook & Robert L. (1993). Franchising: The Business Strategy That Changed the World. (Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 258 p.). Franchises (Retail trade)--United States--Case studies.

Robert Spector (2009). The Mom & Pop Store: How the Unsung Heroes of the American Economy are Surviving and Thriving. (New York, NY, Walker, 304 p.). Couple-owned business enterprises --United States --History; Small business --Social aspects --United States --History. State, state of mind, of independent retailing in America; “direct connection” people feel as merchants and customers when they do business in neighborhood shops; growing “buy local” movement across country; spirit, tenacity of small business owner, frustration and defeat, triumph and success; history of independent retailing.

Maureen Stanton (2011). Killer Stuff and Tons of Money: Seeking History and Hidden Gems in Flea-Market America. (New York, NY: Penguin Press, 336 p.). Teaches Creative Nonfiction (University of Missouri). Antiques business --United States; Flea markets --United States. Insider's look at antiques, flea-market culture subculture (arcane traditions, high drama); inspiring account of master dealer Curt Avery, self-made man making his way in cutthroat field, treasure trove of tips for those who seek old things.

Vince Staten (1996). Did Monkeys Invent the Monkey Wrench?: Hardware Stores and Hardware Stories. (New York, NY: Simon & Schuster, 234 p.). Winfield Hardware; Hardware industry--West Virginia--Winfield--Anecdotes; Hardware stores--West Virginia--Winfield; Winfield (W. Va.)--Social life and customs.

--- (1998). Do Pharmacists Sell Farms?: A Trip inside the Corner Drugstore. (New York, NY: Simon & Schuster, 204 p.). Staten, Vince, 1947- ; Businessmen--United States--Biography; Drugstores--United States--History; Pharmaceutical industry--United States--History.

Amy Stewart (2007). Flower Confidential: The Good, the Bad, and the Beautiful in the Business of Flowers. (Chapel Hill, NC: Algonquin Books, 320 p.). Winner of 2005 California Horticultural Society's Writer's Award. Cut flower industry--United States--History; Cut flower industry--History. Inside $6.2 billion cut flower trade: 1) hybridizers, 2) growers, 3) Dutch auctioneers, 4)  neighborhood florists; relevance of flowers in lives, history.

Ann Greenleaf Wirtz (2010). The Henderson County Curb Market: A Blue Ridge heritage Since 1924. (Boone, NC: Parkway Publishers, 172 p.). Curb Market (Henderson County, N.C.) -- History; Farmers' markets -- North Carolina -- Henderson County -- History. 1922 - Frank L. FitzSimons, Sr., local historian, wrote letter to editor of Hendersonville (NC) News; proposed centralized marketing location for farmers, area of commerce along curb of downtown street, convenient place for housewives to shop, farmers to sell ''truck crops'' grown on their farms, alternative to peddling; 1924 - Henderson County Farmers Mutual Curb Market established; descendants of early farm families still active; people who made, still make curb market possible through hard work, commitment, creativity; why curb market has always been, remains, essence of Appalachian industry and family.

Mort Zachter (2007). Dough: A Memoir; Remembering a Lifetime of Hard Work in the Family Bakery on Manhattan's Lower East Side. (Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press, 192 p.). Zachter, Mort, 1958- ;Jews--New York (State)--New York--Biography; Jews--New York (State)--New York--Biography. 1994 - Sudden life-altering inheritance at 36 after decades of financial stress - two bachelor uncles (lived like paupers in housing project) had accumulated $5 million in savings (workaholic hoarders), left it to him. He had no idea. 

Frederik J. Zeehandelaar, as told to Paul Sarnoff (1971). Zeebongo; The Wacky Wild Animal Business. (Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 176 p.). Animal dealers.


Business History Links

The Rise and Fall of Cody's Books                                                  

June 2008 - Berkeley (CA)-based bookseller, Cody's Books, cultural institution with an international following, closed after 52 years.

Consumer Electronics Association                                                                  

Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) membership unites 2000 companies within the U.S. consumer technology industry. CEA's mission is to grow the consumer electronics industry. industry authority on market research and forecasts; consumer surveys; legislative and regulatory news; engineering standards; training resources and more.

The Drugstore Museum                                               

William & Joan Soderlund Pharmacy Museum located in Saint Peter Minnesota! This museum is dedicated to my father, a pharmacist from the old school who spent his life helping people. For generations the pharmacy drugstore has been the symbol of every small town in America. This site attempts to explain and show the vital role the pharmacy has played in the American culture. The Pharmacy Museum website contains information about the historic practice of pharmacy of yesteryear. Make sure to check out the Pharmacognosy and "Old Drugs" sections which we are updating all the time. It contains information about historic botanicals and purified drugs.

A History of Concession Development in Yellowstone National Park, 1872-1966                                                                                                               

While millions of people visit Yellowstone National Park each year, very few of them will actually pay detailed attention to the various concessions offered around the area, unless of course they are unable to purchase various sundries or crucial items. In this wholly engaging 153-page work, author Mary Shivers Culpin (writing for the National Park Service's Yellowstone Center for Resources), takes readers on a trip through the many phases of concession provisioning and development within Yellowstone from 1872 to 1966. As she notes in the introduction to the work, "The main to develop a historic context in which to evaluate the significant resources associated with concession development in the park." In twelve well-honed chapters, Culpin explores the competitive concession period that characterized the early 20th century in the park to the problematic years during World War II.

World Retail Hall of Fame                                        

Launched in 2007 to highlight the contribution that key individuals have made to the creation of modern retailing.


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