1890s – 1920s: General Stores to Department Stores
From family shops and general stores to department stores, during the turn of the century, Marshall Field and R. H. Macy recognized that the railroad system and refrigeration enabled shoppers to travel more widely and choose from a greater assortment of merchandise.
Marshall Field and Company (founded 1852), which was the third-largest department store in the world prior to the 1997 demolition of Hudson's
Department store offer more convenient, consolidated locations, longer hours, and better prices.
1920s: Construction of the first shopping center
The first shopping center was built in Missouri. The consumer demands specialized product knowledge, customer service more personal attention and payment ease.
1920s – 1950s: Birth of catalogs
1930s: First shopping mall opened
Highland Park Shopping Village, Dallas
1930s: Introduction of national brands
For example Wonder Bread and Hostess
1956: Department stores to malls
The construction of the first indoor regional mall: Southdale mall, in Edina, Minn.
1962: From Malls to Discount Stores
The next big retail shift comes when Sam Walton opens the first Wal-Mart. Kmart and Target opens their doors. The big three rely on low costs and high turnover to provide customers with lower prices.
1969: First GAP store opens San Francisco, CA
Wal-Mart is the first retailer to integrate computer systems to transform business practices. The mass retailer sets up an independent distribution system to gain the volume necessary to negotiating with suppliers, track inventory, and allow for just-in-time replenishment.
1993: Sears drops its general merchandise catalog.
Regardless, merchants have been responding to rising distribution costs, and alternatives for die-hard catalog shopping fans have recently started popping up. Applications for tablet computers such as the Apple iPad allow users to browse all their favourite catalogues without actually receiving one in the mail. Not only is this a greener more ecologically friendly alternative, but many catalogue merchants who previously relied on mail order are finding that this alternative is just as if not even more financially effective. The most important part of all of this though, is that the style of mail order is preserved, as it provides a more brand oriented shopping experience.
1995: Amazon dells its first book.
2000: Gap takes a Fall
Gap Inc. changed their merchandise direction, stopped running TV ads, and saw many top executives leave the company.
Gap’s Drexler reports that he views the company’s online business as a tool that drives traffic into store…sales done in the store themselves are the most profitable, as oppose to online or catalog.
Sears, Roebuck & Co closes 89 stores; Sears announce the restructuring plan for their mall based store to resemble a “Kohl’s format.”
JCPenney Co. closes 50 stores
Gap ends 2001 comparable store sales down 13% but vows to “return to updated-classics-and-basics” in product selection going forward.
2001: Women’s Wear Daily release findings from an exclusive new consumer behavior study entitled “America’s New consumers: How Internet Use id Redefining the Marketplace.”
2003: Weekly online retail sales reaches a record setting $2 billion, growing more than 25% from 2002.
2005: After mergers, Macy's had 424 stores throughout the U.S.
2005: Gap launches Forth & Towne concept, targets older demographic.
2006: Online Apparel Spending in the United States Grows 32% in the Third Quarter.
Before the American Civil War, most of the clothes were made at home in a personalized way. The variety of ready-to-wear was limited. However, this scenario started to change during the Civil War.
At the beginning of Civil War the majority of uniforms were customized. But, during the war (1862 to 1865) the demand for uniforms reached levels that made