- David May founded this department store in Leadville, Colorado, in 1877. In 1905, he moved the headquarters to St. Louis, Missouri, later incorporating the company in 1910 and going public with it in 1911. In the same year, the company acquired the William Barr Dry Goods Company and combined it with Famous Clothing Store to become Famous-Barr. In 1951, David's son, Morton, became the chairman and headed the company for sixteen years. The company became May Merchandising in 1969. In 2005, May was acquired by Federated Department Stores, Inc., making it the second-largest department store chain with more than 1,000 stores and $30 billion in sales annually. From 1923, until just before the Federated acquisition, the company had acquired a long list of other department stores: the Jones Store, Famous-Barr, Marshall Field's, A. Hamburger and Sons, Kaufman's, the Daniel & Fischer Stores Company, Hecht's, G. Fox, Meier & Frank, Associated Dry Goods, Lord & Taylor, Strouss, the Denver Dry Goods Company, Foley's, Filene's, Thalhimers, Robinson's, Hess's, Wanamakers, Woodward and Lothrop, Strawbridge & Clothiers, L.S. Ayres & Co., ZCMI, David's Bridal, After Hours Formalwear, and Priscilla of Boston. Federated's strategy was to divest many of the stores and consolidate the nameplates of these stores under the Macy's and Bloomingdale's mastheads. Mergers of this type highlighted the changing landscape of retailing in the twenty-first century as it adapted to new socioeconomic factors, the Internet, lifestyle shifts, and world events.
Historical Dictionary of the Fashion Industry. Francesca Sterlacci and Joanne Arbuckle.
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