May Department Stores

Infobox Defunct Company
company_name = The May Department Stores Company
fate = Bought by Federated Department Stores
successor =
foundation = 1877
defunct = 2005
location = Leadville, Colorado (1877-1888)
Denver, Colorado (1888-1905)
St. Louis, Missouri (1905-2005)
industry = Retail
key_people = David May (founder)
Morton May (chairman, 1951-1967)
products = Clothing
Beauty products
num_employees =
parent =
subsid = Famous-Barr
The Jones Store
Lord & Taylor
L.S. Ayres
Marshall Field's
Meier & Frank

The May Department Stores Company was a national department store chain in the United States, founded in 1877 by David May. [ [ The Drive to Differentiate - Macy's, Inc ] ] The company ceased to exist in 2005 when it was purchased by Federated Department Stores (now known as Macy's, Inc.).


Founding and early years

1877: Founded in Leadville during the Colorado silver rush.

1888: Headquarters moved to Denver.

1905: Headquarters moved to St. Louis. [ The Drive to Differentiate - Macy's, Inc ] ]

1910: Officially incorporated as The May Department Stores Company.

Early expansions

1911: The Famous Clothing Store (owned by May) and The William Barr Dry Goods Company merged to create Famous-Barr.

1923: May acquires A. Hamburger & Sons Company in Los Angeles and renames it as May Company California.

1946: May acquires the Kaufmann's chain based in Pittsburgh, retaining it as a separate division.

1956: May acquires The Daniels & Fisher Company of Denver, merging it with May stores in the area to create a new May D&F division. [ The Drive to Differentiate - Macy's, Inc ] ]

1959: May acquires The Hecht Company of Baltimore, adding it as a new division.

1966: May acquires the Meier & Frank chain based in Portland, Oregon, adding it as a new division.

David's grandson Morton May became the chairman in 1951 and headed the company for 16 years. Morton May was active in St. Louis civic affairs and was a patron of the St. Louis Art Museum.

Late expansions

1986: May acquires the Associated Dry Goods holding company and its many famous store chains, the largest-ever retail acquisition in history at that time. [ [ The Drive to Differentiate - Macy's, Inc ] ]

1996: May acquires the Strawbridge's chain based in Philadelphia. [ The Drive to Differentiate - Macy's, Inc ] ]

1998: May acquires The Jones Store chain based in Kansas City, Missouri.

1999: May acquires Zions Cooperative Mercantile Institution based in Salt Lake City, folding it into the Meier & Frank subsidiary.

2004: May Department Stores takes over the Marshall Field's chain from Target Corporation. [ The Drive to Differentiate - Macy's, Inc ] ]

Final years

2005: May is purchased by Federated Department Stores for $11 billion in stock, with all former May divisions being folded into Federated's various Macy's branches. [ [ Federated Prepares to Absorb May Department Stores] ]

2006: Over 400 former May stores, with their wide variety of long-standing brand names, are consolidated and renamed as Macy's. In addition, Federated sells off three former May chains (David's Bridal, Lord & Taylor and Priscilla of Boston).

Merger of Federated and May

On February 28, 2005, Federated Department Stores, Inc. announced that they would acquire the May company in a deal that would create the nation's second largest department store chain with over 1,000 stores and $30 billion in annual sales. To help finance the May Company deal, Federated agreed to sell its combined proprietary credit card business to Citigroup as well as May's bridalwear business.

The Federated/May merger was completed on August 30, 2005 after an assurance agreement was reached with the State Attorneys General of New York, California, Massachusetts, Maryland and Pennsylvania. Federated announced plans to close 76 store locations over the ensuing year, having pledged in its anti-trust settlement to sell most of them in the above mentioned states as viable businesses, with preference being given to a group of thirteen competitors.

By September 2006, all of the May regional nameplates, except for the Lord & Taylor chain, ceased to exist as Federated consolidated its operations under the Macy's mastheads — including legendary Marshall Field's. All locations that were not sold off were rebranded as Macy's, except for one Hecht's location in Friendship Heights. That was rebuilt,and rebranded as Bloomingdale's. In advance of the retail consolidation, May's credit call center in Lorain, Ohio, ceased operations on July 1, 2006. Lord & Taylor, the lone department store division not to be largely converted to the Macy's nameplate, was sold to a group of investors at NRDC Equity Partners, LLC for $1.2 billion in October 2006. David's Bridal and After Hours Formalwear were also soon sold thereafter.

Historical department stores incorporated into May Company

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title = Historical department stores incorporated into May Company
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