Brands John Wanamaker

John Wanamaker

John Wanamaker & Co was an upscale men's clothier. John Wanamaker was born in 1838 (died 1922). He and his brother-in-law first opened Wanamaker & Brown in Philadelphia. Some of the clothing was manufacrured right at the facility.

In 1876, he purchased the old location of the Pennsylvania Railroad and opened up "Grand Depot," his very popular second store which carried both clothing and drygoods. In 1896, he was a marketing pioneer, introducing the "Money Back Guarantee", was the first to have a "White Sale" and an in- store restaurant to spark business and expanding to New York City. The store also had a revolutionary "wheel" or "hub" set up.

Wanaker died in 1922, but not before expanding, opening a bank and becoming Postmaster General of the United States under President Benjamin Harrison (1889-93)

In 1927, the men's store expanded to a second location and at its height, had 16 outlets. No longer able to compete with the low prices of larger retails, the shops were sold by the family in 1978 to Carter Hawley Hale stores, and in 1986 they changed hands again to A. Alfred Taubman, who also bought the Woodward & Lothrop stores which Wanamaker was absorbed into. Two years later Woodward & Lothrop was lost to bankruptcy and two major retail institutions were lost forever.

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