Von Maur

Infobox Company
company_name = Von Maur
company_
company_type = Private/Department store
foundation = 1872
location = Davenport, Iowa
key_people = Charles R. von Maur, Co-Chairman
Richard B. von Maur, Co-Chairman
James D. von Maur, President
industry = Retail
products = Clothing, footwear, jewelry, handbags, beauty products.
homepage = [http://www.vonmaur.com/ Von Maur website]

Von Maur is an upscale specialty department store chain with virtually all stores located in the Midwestern United States. The chain, based in Davenport, Iowa, sells moderate to upscale brand-name apparel, accessories, cosmetics, gifts, jewelry and shoes. As of September 13, 2008, the chain has 23 stores in nine states. (A planned store opening for 2010 in Missouri will mark the chain's entry into a tenth state.) All of its stores are anchors of shopping malls or lifestyle centers. A hallmark of some of the Von Maur services are a no-interest bearing credit card account, free shipping and free gift wrapping. Another signature element of Von Maur stores is a live pianist who performs for customers during normal business hours. It competes on the same level as Nordstrom, Lord and Taylor, and Bloomingdales.

History

In 1872 German immigrant J. H. C. Petersen and his three sons opened a store in a 20-foot-by-50-foot storefront in downtown Davenport, Iowa. The store would eventually expand and move into the Redstone Building at 2nd and Main Streets in Davenport.

In 1916, the J. H. C. Petersen Company sold their store to a partnership of R.H. Harned, C.J. von Maur, and Cable von Maur. C.J. von Maur, who also came from Germany, established the Boston Store (later renamed Harned & Von Maur) in downtown Davenport in 1887. Despite the common ownership, Petersen's and Harned & Von Maur would continue to operate as separate stores for twelve years, even after C.J. von Maur died in 1926. On May 7, 1928, Harned & Von Maur merged with the Petersen's store in the Redstone Building. The store was renamed Petersen Harned Von Maur, which was often shortened to "Petersen's". The von Maur family assumed complete ownership of the store after R.H. Harned died in 1937.

In the company's centennial year of 1972, Petersen Harned Von Maur opened its first branch store at Duck Creek Plaza in Bettendorf, Iowa. Another branch store opened at SouthPark Mall in Moline, Illinois, in 1974. In 1976, Petersen's opened its first store outside the Quad Cities area at Valley West Mall in West Des Moines, Iowa. The company continued to open new stores in shopping malls throughout Iowa and Illinois during the late 1970s and 1980s; along the way it acquired two former Killian's department stores in Cedar Rapids and Iowa City, Iowa, in 1981. As the company shifted its focus to malls, the Petersen Harned Von Maur flagship store in downtown Davenport closed in 1986. (The Redstone Building is now home to the River Music Experience.)

Petersen Harned Von Maur shortened its name to Von Maur in 1989 to reflect the von Maur family's management of the company. One year later, it moved its corporate headquarters and executive offices from the Redstone Building to a convert|200000|sqft|m2|sing=on building on Brady Street (near the interchange with Interstate 80) in Davenport. The company distributes all of its merchandise from this building using its own fleet of semi-trucks. It also has its own credit union and credit department as well as a print shop.

Von Maur successfully entered the Chicago market in 1994 with a convert|207000|sqft|m2|sing=on flagship store at Yorktown Center in Lombard, Illinois. From there, the company expanded its geographic reach into Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Minnesota, and Nebraska during the late 1990s and early 2000s while closing stores in Bettendorf, Iowa and Muscatine, Iowa, during this period. In 2004 Von Maur expanded into Michigan by taking over two mall locations of the defunct Jacobson chain (The Briarwood Mall in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and Laurel Park Place in Livonia, Michigan). In late 2005 it opened a store at Polaris Fashion Place in Columbus, Ohio, the 23rd store in the chain. On January 31, 2007, Von Maur closed its store at Westdale Mall in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, which brought the store count down to 22. On Saturday, September 13, 2008, Von Maur opened its 23rd store, a 140,000 sq ft store in Phase II of The Greene, a project of Steiner Associates in Dayton, OH.Today, the privately held company remains under the leadership of the Von Maur family. The family members include co-chairmen Charles R. von Maur and Richard B. von Maur, as well as president James D. von Maur. They are proud of their "old fashioned" image. One of their most old-fashioned business practices is their interest-free charging. There are no monthly or annual fees on one's account with Von Maur, always a flexible payment schedule, and there are no interest charges on the account; certainly a business practice long since retired elsewhere. They also still continue to offer complimentary gift wrapping and complimentary shipping within the continental United States.

Von Maur shooting

On Wednesday, December 5 2007, the Von Maur Westroads Mall location in Omaha, Nebraska, was the site of a mass shooting. A sole gunman identified as Robert A. Hawkins, age 19, entered the store, which has three levels, killing eight people and injuring five others before killing himself. The shooting started at 1:42pm. In response to the shootings, the company closed that location and set up a victims fund through the United Way of the Midlands [ [http://www.vonmaurvictimsfund.org Von Maur Victims Fund ] ] . The store reopened on December 20, 2007. [ [http://www.ketv.com/news/14801300/detail.html?subid=10102001 Von Maur Determined To Reopen; Westroads Opens Saturday - Omaha News Story - KETV Omaha ] ] .

Locations

Illinois

*Forsyth - Hickory Point Mall - opened 1989, formerly Carson Pirie Scott
*Glenview - The Glen Town Center
*Lombard - Yorktown Center, Flagship Store - opened 1994, formerly Wieboldt's, convert|207000|sqft|m2|abbr=on; largest Von Maur in chain [cite web |url=http://www.chicagotribune.com/classified/jobs/chi-sun_hiring_1111nov11,0,4201515,full.story |title=Holiday hiring time not joyful |accessdate=2007-12-07 |last=Rose |first=Barbara |date=2007-11-11 |work=Chicago Tribune]
*Moline - SouthPark Mall - opened new in 1974 as Petersen Harned Von Maur, later as Von Maur.
*Normal - The Shoppes at College Hills - opened 1990, formerly Carson Pirie Scott
*Plainfield - The Shops at the Polo Club (opening 2009)
*St. Charles - Charlestowne Mall - formerly JCPenney

Indiana

*Fort Wayne - Jefferson Pointe
*Greenwood - Greenwood Park Mall - formerly Montgomery Ward
*Indianapolis - Castleton Square Mall - formerly Montgomery Ward

Iowa

*Cedar Falls - College Square Mall - opened as James Black Company, then Donaldson's, then Carson Pirie Scott, Von Maur in 1989
*Cedar Rapids - Lindale Mall - formerly Killian's - opened 1981 as Petersen Harned Von Maur, later as Von Maur
*Davenport - NorthPark Mall - opened new August 1981 as Petersen Harned Von Maur, later as Von Maur
*Iowa City - Sycamore Mall - formerly Killian's - opened 1981 as Petersen Harned Von Maur, later as Von Maur
*West Des Moines - Valley West Mall - opened new July 1976 as Petersen Harned Von Maur, later as Von Maur, second largest store in chain convert|184342|sqft|m2|abbr=on

Kansas

*Overland Park - Corbin Park Lifestyle Center (opening Fall 2008)
*Wichita - Towne East Square - formerly Henry's

Kentucky

*Louisville - Oxmoor Center - opened 2003. Originally Stewart's Dry Goods; later L. S. Ayres, then Ben Snyder's; Hess's 1988, Jacobson's 1994

Michigan

*Ann Arbor - Briarwood Mall - formerly Lord & Taylor and Jacobson's
*Livonia - Laurel Park Place - formerly Jacobson's

Minnesota

*Eden Prairie - Eden Prairie Center - opened new in 2001

Missouri

*Lake St. Louis - The Meadows (opening Fall 2010)

Nebraska

*Lincoln - SouthPointe Pavilions - opened 1999
*Omaha - Westroads Mall - opened new 1995, convert|170000|sqft|m2|abbr=on, third largest store in chain
**Location of the shooting that killed eight people on December 5, 2007.

Ohio

*Columbus - Polaris Fashion Place - opened 2005 in former Lord & Taylor
*Dayton - The Greene - Opened new on September 13, 2008

Former locations

Iowa

*Bettendorf - Duck Creek Plaza - opened 1972, closed 1999, torn down, opened as Petersen Harned Von Maur, later as Von Maur
*Cedar Rapids - Westdale Mall - acquired never opened location from Brandeis and opened new in 1980 as Petersen Harned Von Maur, later Von Maur; closed January 31, 2007, vacant
*Clinton - Downtown - store closed in 1985, opened and closed as Petersen Harned Von Maur
*Davenport - Redstone Building (downtown) - closed 1986; now the River Music Experience, opened and closed as Petersen Harned Von Maur
*Muscatine - Muscatine Mall - later Staples, now Elder-Beerman, opened and closed as Petersen Harned Von Maur

References

* cite web
url=http://www.fundinguniverse.com/company-histories/Von-Maur-Inc-Company-History.html
title=Von Maur Inc. Company History
accessdate=2006-07-13
author=FundingUniverse.com

External links

* [http://www.vonmaur.com Official site]


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