Gimbel Brothers, New York City, New york



Gimbels arrived in New York in 1910, and in one fell
swoop created a famous department store legend
which competed with its rival Macy's, one block away.

Gimbels occupied half of a city block, and faced Greeley
Square on its east side.

An advertising image shows the 33rd street side
of Gimbels as well as the nature of the design
by Daniel Burnham, simpler than his Boston,
Philadelphia, and New York stores.


A view westward from Broadway shows how Gimbels
shared the block with the Hotel Pennsylvania, of
"Pennsylvania 6-5000" fame.


In 1951, Gimbels completed a remodel led by
Raymond Loewy and called this "the most alluring
street floor that walked the ways of beauty."

Nobody but nobody undersells Gimbels!


Read Michael Lisicky's excellent
book about Gimbels
Gimbel Brothers
1275 Broadway at 33rd
New York, New York


PEnnsylvania 6-5100












Upper Level Basement
Foreign Bazaar • The Perch


Street Floor
Costume Jewelry • Fine Jewelry • Cosmetics • Mary Quant Boutique • Slippers • Hosiery • Handbags • Bag ‘n Baggage • Purse Accessories • Scarves • Hat Bar • Wig Bar • Gloves • Accessories • Boulevard Sportswear • Sweaters • Blouses • Boulevard Shoes • The Shoe Tree • Notions • Closet Shop • Stationery • Greeting Cards • Candy Treats • The Roost Restaurant • Snack Bar • Stamp & Coin Center
The Men’s Store Men’s Accessories • Men’s Toiletries • Men’s Furnishings • Men’s Pajamas • Men’s Dress Shirts • Men’s Neckwear • Men’s Sweaters and Knit Shirts • Men’s Sport Shirts
33rd St. Corner Shop Zaro’s Bread Basket • Balducci’s Fresh Produce
32nd & Broadway
Gimbels Liquor Shop


Balcony
Beauty Salon • Parucca di Roma Salon for Men • Optical • Repair Center


Second Floor
Young World Infants • Toddlers • Les Petites • Boys’ Wear • Girls’ World • Jr. Teenery • Children’s Shoes • Nursery Furniture • Old MacDonald’s Farm
The Men’s Store Men’s Suits • Men’s Sport Coats • Men’s Slacks • Winchester Shop • Club Internationale • Men’s Coats • The Cassini Shop • Men’s Sportswear • Today’s Place • Men’s Designer Shop • Custom Shop • Men’s Shoes • Men’s Hats • Travel Service • Luggage


Third Floor
Ms. G Sportswear • Active Sportswear • Ms. G Blouses • Ms. G Sweaters • Ms. G Dresses • au Courant Collection • Individualist Dresses • Contemporary Sportswear • Contemporary Dresses • ‘Cherchez la Femme’ • Designer Dresses • Designer Sportswear • East End Shop • Gracie Square Shop • Town and Country Shop • Attitudes • Viewpoint Dresses • Specialty Corner • Signature Shop • The Common Market • Concept Coats • Contemporary Coats • Skin Game Shop • Sheepskin Factory • White Stag Shop • Misty Harbor Shop • Millinery • Post Office • Mary Quant Boutique
The Place for Juniors Place for Sportswear • Place for Dresses • Place for Coats • Place for Shoes • Place for Accessories • The Very Special Place • Coty Cosmetic Bar


Fourth Floor
Shoe Salon • Ms. G Shoes • Young Casual Shoes • Millinery Salon • Fur Salon • Bridal Salon • Formal Affair • Daywear • Figure Fashions • Sleepwear and Loungewear • Junior Lingerie • For Women Only • Boulevard Casuals • Maternity • Photo Studio • Gift Wrappig


Fifth Floor
Table Linens • Sheets and Pillowcases • Comforters • Bedspreads • Towels • Bath Shop • Gift Shop • Clocks • Gatsby’s Pub (barware) • Silverware • Fine Silver • Fashion Fabrics • Sewing Machines • Notions • Art Needlework • Marcus Jewel Galleries • Photographic Copy and Restoration Studio


Sixth Floor
Lamps • Artwares • Pictures • Television • Stereos • Calculators • Floor Care • Sporting Goods • Indoor and Outdoor Sports • Ski Shop • Cameras • Artist’s Supplies • Toys • Rich Uncle Shop • Books • The Record Center • Auditorium • Snack Bar • The Art Spot


Seventh Floor
Broadlooms • Rugs • Oriental Rugs • Curtains & Draperies • Home Accessories • Lamps • Hassocks • Pictures • Mirrors • Glitter and Glow Shop


Eighth Floor
Epicure Shop • Market Place • Housewares • Gadgeteria • Cookware • Small Electrics • Major Appliances • China • Glassware • Cutlery • Arrangements for Living • Hardware • The Clean Scene • The Bath Scene • Pets • Auto Shop • The Plant Garden Shop • Shelf-Shop • Outdoor Shop • Home Cleaning and Repair Service

Ninth Floor
Furniture • Contemporary Furniture • Colonial Furniture • Bedding • Recliners • Sofa Beds • Summer Furniture • Pianos • Wurlitzer Salon


Tenth Floor
Customer Service • Credit Office
(1,176,000 sq. ft.)











Promenade Level
Stamp & Coin Canter • Epicure Shop • Food Marketplace • Brownies Bake Shop • Liquor Shop • Books • Photo Studio • Stationery • Calculators • Greeting Cards • Luggage • Optical • Repair Center • Artist’s Supplies

Street Floor
Jewelry • Fine Jewelry • Marcus Jewel Galleries • Cosmetics • Slippers • Hosiery • Handbags • Leather Accessories • Scarves • Gloves • Accessories • Boulevard Sportswear • Sweaters • Blouses • Men’s Accessories • Men’s Toiletries • Men’s Furnishings • Men’s Shirts • Men’s Neckwear • Men’s Sweaters and Knit Shirts • Men’s Pajamas • Men’s Sport Shirts • Today’s Place

Second Floor
Men’s Clothing • Custom Shop • Winchester Shop • Men’s Outerwear • Men’s Sportswear • Men’s Designer Shop • Men’s Shoes • Men’s Hats • Boys’ Wear • Travel Service

Third Floor
Ms. G Sportswear • Ms. G Blouses • Ms. Sweaters • Ms. G Dresses • Individualist Dresses • Viewpoint Dresses • Signature Shop • “Cherchez la Femme” • Contemporary Sportswear • East End Shop • Gracie Square Shop • Town and Country Shop • Designer Dresses • Designer Sportswear • The Common Market • Concept Coats • Contemporary Coats • Hide & Hair Shop • Sheepskin Factory • White Stag Shop • Misty Harbor Shop • Fur Salon • au Courant Collection • You’re the Top Boutique • Specialty Corner • Signature Shop • Bridal Salon • Formal Affair • Shoe Salon • Ms. G Shoes • Millinery

Fourth Floor
The Place for Juniors Place for Sportswear • Place for Dresses • Place for Coats • Place for Shoes • Place for Accessories
Boulevard Dresses • Boulevard Shoes • For Women Only

Fifth Floor
Young World Infants • Toddlers • Les Petites • Girls’ World • Jr. Teenery • Children’s Shoes • Nursery Furniture • Old MacDonald’s Farm
Body Things • Figure Fashions • Daywear • Sleepwear and Loungewear • Jr. Lingerie • Maternity

Sixth Floor
Furniture • Bedding and Sleep Furniture • Lamps • Contemporary Furniture • Colonial Furniture • Arrangements for Living • Gatsby’s Pub

Seventh Floor
Broadlooms •  Oriental Rugs • Curtains & Draperies • Home Accessories • Pictures • Lamps • Hassocks • Pictures • Mirrors • Fashion Fabrics • Notions • Art Needlework

Eighth Floor
Gift Shop • China • Silver • Glassware • Table Linens • Sheets • Comforters • Bath Shop • Bedspreads

Ninth Floor
Creative Kitchen • Housewares • Cookware • Small Electrics • Appliances • Floor Care • Hardware • The Clean Scene • Bath Scene • Sewing Machines • The Plant Garden Shop • Shelf-Shop • Pets • Auto Shop

Tenth Floor
Television • Stereos • Record Center • Appliances • Sporting Goods • Ski Shop • Cameras • Toys • Rich Uncle Shop • Summer Furniture

Eleventh Floor
Museum Information and Sales Center • Art Gallery • Artwares • Credit Office • Customer Service • Events Center • Wurlitzer Salon • Pianos • Total Concept Beauty Salon • Parucca di Roma Salon for Men • The Roost Coffee Shop • Penthouse Cocktail Lounge and Restaurant











Westchester
Cross County Center
1954
260,000 s.f
County Roost Restaurant




Valley Stream
Green Acres Center
1956
274,000 s.f.
The Roost


Bay Shore
Great Bay Shore Shopping Center
1957
45,000 s.f.


Paramus
Garden State Plaza
1960
245,000 s.f.
The Roost




Roosevelt Field
Carle Place
1962
250,000 s.f.
The Roost


Massapequa Park
Bar Harbor Shopping Center
1965
40,000 s.f.


Commack
Mayfair Shopping Center
1965
40,000 s.f.




Stamford
Ridgeway Shopping Center
1965
40,000 sq. ft.


Bridgeport, CT
Lafayette Plaza
February, 1970
215,000 s.f.
The Roost



Gimbels East
Lexington Ave at 86th St.
1972
The Roost
Penthouse Restaurant




Coming in due course.







96 comments:

  1. how many nice thoughts of bygone years! i worked at marcus and company on 33rd st from 1972 - 84, as well as gimbels east, which i enjoyed very much, just a fleeting distant memory now,loved working at gimbels, dealing with beautiful estate jewelry, i saw gloria swanson at gimbels east and even spoke to her! oh those were the days, brings tears to my eyes!

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  2. Your comments are both very touching, and important to me personally. The reason I maintain the Museum, is to put this (seemingly insignificant) information in front of the public to encourage the memory of these proud institutions. Your words: "How many nice thoughts," "enjoyed very much," "dealing with beautiful estate jewelry," and "those were the days" encapsulate for me the greatness of our former stores, and how people related to them in so many ways, even to tears as you mention.

    I would've liked to meet Gloria Swanson, too . . . especially since she was of Polish extraction like my own family.

    Thank you for these kind comments. I am currently looking for enough information to include Gimbels Philadelphia stores in the Museum, as well.

    Best wishes to you!

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  3. Gimbels also had a store in Stamford, Conn. at Ridgeway Shopping Center. Don't know the sq. footage.

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  4. I remember shopping as a kid in Gimbels 33rd Street, Valley Stream and Roosevelt Field as a kid with my mom. It was just a nice store to go and shop and I always liked it there.

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  5. Spent 10 of the best years ever working there. Met my wife and made life-long friends. Even my brother worked there and beame a real family to us in many ways. Really miss the fun of a big city retail store-pressure and all

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  6. Gimbels was a nice store. I remeber shopping at the two manhattan stores and garden state plaza in paramus n.j.WE dont have stores like gimbels was anymore.

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  7. Living in Yonkers, my mom and I often visited the Cross County Shopping Ctr.- Gimbels, but the real adventure was a trip to the city and the flagship store, as a kid, it was overwhelming in size and actually fun to run through the furniture section, with the obligatory toy dept. stop...

    In my sales career in the int'l. steamship industry, while doing calls in the garment district, overheard one person speaking to another on the street, "...Imagine, his own people killed him," perked my interest, and made it to Gimbels sixth floor television dept. to 'see' all the commotion over the assasination of Egyptian pres. Anwar Sedet...just as if it was yesterday, similiar to being a student at St. Casimir's School in Yonkers and the day Pres. Kennedy was shot...

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  8. My first credit card was Gimbels back in the mid 1960's. They refunded me for a pair of knit pants that stretched in length when dry cleaned a year later. In the 1960's this was a major event for me. Back in 1964 I walked the Gimbels "underpass" to catch a West Side subway to my job. In the 1970's I ascended Pennsylvania Station to enter Gimbels from a side street to purchase great breads and nuts. My father always shopped at Gimbels at Penn Station and brought the "goods" home on the Long Island Railroad.

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  9. Bill G: I worked as a group manager and then assistant buyer for Gimbels Budget Store located on the subway level of the 33rd street NY store from 1977 to 1981, right out of college. It was a great experience and I learned a lot about retail working there. I made some great friends among the buying staff, Bob D, Charlie B, Paul P, Steve P, Jeannie A and Diane R....you guys were great.

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  10. There were several Gimbels in the Greater Pittsburgh area also. There was a flagship type of store in downtown pittsburgh, South hills Village mall Bethel park/upper st.clair, Century III mall West Mifflin. and several other malls I don,t recall what malls the other locations were in.

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  11. Dear David:

    Please note that the "other" Gimbels divisions are given their own exhibits. The site is designed so that the list on the "Welcome to the Museum" page has links to each store by state and city.

    The exhibit for Gimbels of Philadelphia is not yet up and running.

    BAK

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  12. This site receives many, many requests like yours. Unfortunately, I am not in the resale business, and it is hard for me to direct you to any help with a degree of confidence. The best I can do is hope that another visitor has knowledge in this area, reads your comment, and can assist you. In your favor is the huge traffic that this blog gets. Good luck.

    BAK

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  13. My father worked at gimbels 33ed steet basement for over 30 years. He originally started in the deli center and when they close that and moved him to the bargain basement that was the end all for him..

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  14. I remember when me and my best friend were skipping school and we were browsing at a Gimbels in Bridgeport CT. and my friend got his sneaker caught in the escalator and he wanted Gimbels to pay for his torn sneakers and the manager called our mothers and we ended up in trouble, so funny, my friend was butt of this joke for a long long time.

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  15. BAK,

    Thanks so much for creating this museum site. I was just doing a little research on an album for First Day Covers made for Gimbels Famous Stamp Department NY/Philadelphia (Inherited the album from my father - very old but probably not worth much.) Growing up in a small town in Wisconsin, I really had no knowledge of Gimbels (other than Miracle on 42nd Street) so I found this site fascinating. Thanks for your hard work and dedication!

    Russ

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  16. I worked in Gimbels starting off part time sales in costume jewelry in 1973 and after training in Budget Kids wear,then assistant buyer of Toys, Group manager at 86th St back to 33rd street as senior Assoc buyer. Left after 8 years but made many good friends over the years.
    Maria A.

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  17. Gimbel's back in the day was never as nice as Macy's. But it was a nice store. One of the Gimbel's married a Saks...and we saw the birth of Saks 34th Street (At Herald Square...between Macy's and Gimbels). I guess it was an upscale Gimbels for the time period. Later (about 1920) they opened Saks Fifth Avenue. The 34th street store was eventually closed (it became a Korvettes by the 1970's). Interestingly, the Fifth Avenue store is the only Saks store not to be called (on its building) "Saks Fifth Avenue". It is titled "Saks and Company". In NYC this is the best decorated store at Christmas time. Back in the 90's I purchased one of their famous snow globes (famous NYC scenes including the Saks Building and other important landmarks). In December of 2000 when I took down my Christmas stuff I noticed that the globe had no water (it somehow leaked out). So I threw it away. In December of 2001 by the time I got to Saks, they were sold out. Finally in December of 2002 I went to Saks to replace the snow globe. Unfortunately they removed the twin towers! Ouch!
    What great sadness still exists each year without those towers.

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  18. Thanks for all of your interesting comments. I agree that something seems missing, without "those towers." If I had my choice, they should have been rebuilt as they were, as an act of national defiance against the type of crime that brought them down with such an appalling loss of human life.

    Poor, war-ravaged Poland, under an oppressive communist regime, nonetheless saw the value in reconstructing the beautiful old town of Warsaw and their beloved Royal Castle "as it was." If we took a lesson from this act of heroism, perhaps the "great sadness" so many people feel would become mitigated by a sense of hope . . .

    Sorry that this is off the topic of "The Department Store Museum," but, in a way it isn't, since the department stores we remember were both microcosms of the cities they served, and integral parts of those cities, so real feelings of civic pride, nostalgia, etc., are bound with them, as well as with the people who created, worked at, and shopped in them in many complex and fantastic ways.

    Bruce

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  19. Yes thank you for that introspect. On the same topic, while I agree in principle that the towers should have been rebuilt, the question became where? The footprints of the towers are to become a memorial and museum. The land itself is owned by the Port Authority (combined city, NY state, NJ state), and it is a gov't agency, which leased the land to a private land developer. They all along with a families of the victims group have a say...and so it is slow moving. Eventually the memorial and the freedom tower (not sure about whether that name will still be used)will open.
    Many outside NYC do not realize just how "sacred" that ground is. To best explain...please understand that for several weeks after 9/11 lower manhattan was closed. Little by little sections would open working south. I was in NYC the saturday they opened the world trade center area to the public. I did not want to go...but somehow we were carried with the crowd to the site. No words can describe what we saw and felt. But what you must understand was the soot in the air...the soot all over our clothes............it wasn't just dirt and building parts.....it was also the human remains from those lost on that terrible day. Do you realize that the debris was taken to the Staten Island landfill? Do you realize how that makes New Yorkers feel? It is not so simple to just rebuild. BUT yes rebuild we must do! Btw as terrible as recent natural disasters have been (Australia, New Zealand,Haiti and of course Japan)...it is painful to hear those people say "this is our 9/11. these are natural disasters,,,9/11 was an act of cowardly terrorism.

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  20. I have an old Gimbel's sewing machine and the 50 year warranty certificate that came with it. It still has 9 years left on the warranty. These days we are lucky to get a 3 year warranty on such items.

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  21. I have a Gimbel sewing machine and the 50 year warranty certificate it came with. It still has nine years left on the warranty. These days you are lucky to get a 3 year warranty on such items.

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  22. Hello mrBAK. You did so good job to keep memory of the Department Store -Gimbel Brothers.Thank you so much.I am from Poland . Thank you -Lila

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  23. USA USA USA.... finally the cowardly terrorist is dead............. how heart warming to see so many at Ground Zero and Times Square in NYC as finally there is justice...........soon this area will be rebuilt...maybe some dept stores will come to the area?

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  24. Czy pani Lila dostała e-mail ode mnie? Odpowiedziałem na pani komentarz, ale obawiam się, że pani Lila nie otrzymała.

    Bruce

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  25. Gimbels was a great store. I shopped their two stores in Manhattan and in Paramus. I guess Macys won the fight they took away or beat out Gimbels Abraham and STRAUS sTERNS, Gertz. Thats why i sarely shop Macys anymore.

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  26. If anyone has anecdotes from knowing/meeting Martin S. Kramer I would love to hear them. Thanks!

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  27. The top pictures of gimbels on 33rd from the exterior and interior... what year are those from? I'm doing a research project and I'm trying to figure out if Gimbels had a photo studio in 1966 so if anyone knows please respond! thanks

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  28. I am not certain of the dates on those photographs. I plan to replace the one on the top with a beautiful illustration from 1910, when the New York Store was opened.

    Gimbels did have a "Photograph Studio" on the fourth floor in 1966. It also opened one at Gimbels East, on the Promenade Level. Ads for the studios can be found all over the New York Times.

    Additionally, I understand that a new book about Gimbels will be published this fall, by The History Press. Michael Lisicky is the author.

    I hope this helps with your project.

    BAK

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  29. Thank you that does help a lot - just in terms of citing my information as coming from legitimate sources - is this information about the photo studios in gimbels in 1966 something you know firsthand or etc... just so I can list it accurately. please let me know. Thanks!

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  30. I derived the information from numerous ads in the New York Times for Gimbels Photograph Studio. I could cite dates, if necessary, but just the presence of the ads in the newspaper would seem to be proof of te studio's existence.

    BAK

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  31. What a wonderful site! Thank you for the information. My son and his father were enlisted to help on a clean up job in a nearby twp. While providing most of the heavy lifting he came upon a Gimbles Ladie's Hat. I was fortunate enough to have a receipt and delivery slip in the box with the hat which reads "100% WOOL Glenover HENRY POLLAK, Inc. New York". It is stamped on the inside. The receipt is from October 1968. I have to admit that it is older than me and terribly interesting. So, thank you again for the information and thank you son(who is thirteen) for thinking of your mother! Best wishes for this site.

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  32. My dad worked as a buyer of mens accessories in the fabled Gimbels Basement from 1947 to 1953..the wife of the great musicial Louis Armstrong used to buy boxes of handkerchiefs for her husband in the basement...The store was really hopping during those golden years

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  33. I grew up in Vincennes, Indiana, and I remember shopping for dresses as a child in the Gimbels store on 2nd and Main. I cannot find any pictures on the internet of this store in its heyday, but I'm sure my parents have some.

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  34. Thinking of Gimbels reminds me of when I was a kid (now fifty-one) and how we would only go downtown (Milwaukee, WI) the day after Thanksgiving for their unveiling of their Christmas window decorations. They were amazing and we were in awe at the plethera of fantasy. There was bright and cheery Mechanically-animated "Santa's workshops, toys, angels, as far as ones imagination could be stretched. What a wonderous site and it is a wonderful memory of precious time spent with my Mother...seeing she passed in 1979.

    I was brought to this site by...ask.com . I was initially researching a book to possibly list on Ebay. I cannot find it with the specs anywhere. It states under plastic covering of book that it was property of "Gimbel Brothers, Rental Library." I never knew they had a rental library. This book is in pristine condition/near fine. The Golden Witch, by: Zola Ross, 1955 first edition.

    Unfortunately I cannot find anything about the "Gimbel's Rental Library"...but in the process it gave me a smile on my face and a warm, treasured, precious memory of my Mom. What a gift.

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  35. Hello!

    If my effort helps you remember your mom, then I feel I have done a great thing with this site!

    I appreciate your comments . . . and, thinking of my own mom, I think that the best thing about these stores was that they were settings for occasions in a way that a "run out to Target" never can be.

    God bless your mom, and all the ones like her that remain in our memories!

    Many department stores had lending libraries. They became less popular as the stores expanded out into the suburbs. They were usually part of the book department. Looking for information, you could submit an inquiry at Ja Whitaker's site (see the links) and you may get an answer from her, or from Michael Lisicky, who just wrote a book about Gimbels.

    Thanks for sharing such insightful comments!

    Bruce

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  36. If any one out there worked at the 33 St store during the 1970s and 80s i would like to hear from you,i worked for the jewelry dept MARCUS AND CO. would be fun to share thoughts, you can write me at,,,,,,,,bdp860@yahoo.com thanks Bruce

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  37. I was thinking about Gimbels today and thought I would Google and found this site. My father was an exec VP for Gimbels midwest. In his day he managed 3rd street, Southride, Appleton and Mayfair. He openned the Appleton store and was instrumental in bringing the Christmas parade to Appleton.

    My first job was Gimbels Appleton.... ah what wonderful memories!

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  38. I have a Gimbel Brothers New York sette its splits into 2pc with a padded foot stool does anybody know if it would be worth anything?

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  39. Worked at Gimbels Portrait Studio at Rossevelt Field in the early 80s. The studio was run by PCA, Intl but we still received a fabulous 30 % Gimbels discount. I loved that store.

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  40. I remember the Gimbels in Madison, Wisconsin.
    It had a main floor and an upstairs. Delicious food at The Tasty Town restaurant. Eventually the store opened a basement level. This location was at the Hilldale mall. A second store was added on Madisons East side at East Towne Mall. They had a small Tasty Town on the main floor, which closed shortly after that store opened. I remember going to Gimbels Southridge in Milwaukee with my cousin. We had a sundae at Tasty Town called "chocolate lovers dream". Great memories!

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  41. The Gimbel's Store Building that stood on the corner of 2nd and Main in Vincennes, IN. burned to the ground on Sat. Dec. 17th. It was a grand store in it's day. Remember shopping with my Mother there when I was a child. Ate in lunch in the basement many times. Does anyone know when it closed?

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  42. Hi Im from England and happen to wanted to know where Gimbles was - i did not know that it had closed no wonder i could not find it when we went to NYC in November - just keep thinking of the Film 'Elf' where was it and when did it close shame ...

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  43. Thanks for your comment from all the way across the Atlantic! Gimbels went out of business in 1986; the building today houses a JCPenney store and the "Manhattan Mall" shops, and is located at 33rd & Broadway just a little to the south of Macy's.

    Your interest in Gimbels points up a sad fact - that our commercial institutions, which were known world-wide, have, in many cases, left us. In Detroit, we had Hudson's, which called itself "Detroit's World-Famous Department Store" and people used to say, "I can't imagine Detroit without Hudson's." The same is true of many of the stores illustrated on these pages; they were identified with their cities and regions, and now that they're gone, our urban areas, and the lifestyles once associated with them, have seen far, far better days indeed.

    Thanks, though, for keeping the Gimbels memories alive so far away

    Bruce

    p.s. I would highly recommend Michael Lisicky's book about Gimbels - it would answer any question you might have; and, here's a sad fact that didn't make it into the book: Gimbels was started in Vincennes, Indiana, and the original store, unfortunately, burned to the ground four days ago.

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  44. I was a buyer for a department store on a buying trip to New York during the time that Gimbles was going out of business. I loved the clacking of the old wooden escalators. I have to have sometime to remember such a great era of retail I purchased an oriental rug to put under my coffee table at home. I had the rug rolled up on my lap on the plane all the way home. It is under my coffee table to this day, and always brings fond memories of Gimbles. Don L.

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  45. I just purchased a beautiful dresser at an auction. Taped to the bottom was a Gimbles business card. The sales persons name was Archie Rohlehr, 9th Floor, Longacre 4-3300 :)

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    Replies
    1. Gimbels was a nice store I shopped at the two stores in manhattan and paramus nj now a Nordstrom. There are many memories of stores in the past OHRBACHS, STERNS , ABRAHAM AND STRAUS ALEXANDERS , GERTZ. THERE ISNT MUCH TO CHOOSE FROM AS YEARS AGO. GIMBELS WILL ALWAYS BE MEMORABLE STORE ESPECIALLY BEING A RIVAL WITH MACYS. I WISH THOSE STORES SURVIVED AND MACYS DIDNT MACYS WAS BETTER YEARS AGO IN COMPARISON TO TODAY.

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  46. I have a slip (definition for those of you who have no idea, a undergarment made to wear under a dress to conceal.)of my grandmothers with the label "Gimbelbilt" which is a 36 short, and fits me perfectly. I just wonder how old it is...I am 51 now, and she was born in 1909...who knows?

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  47. Gimbels demise (all of its locations) was a cumulative affect. It was never, in my mind growing up in NY/NJ area a store "to go to" for anything. It was highly pedestrian and not trend setting at all. The fact that the four divisions did not even remotely interact with each other did not help. There wasn't a corporate identity, the credit cards from one division could not be used in another (even Macy's solved that problem by 1979 by placing a prefix code in front of the account numbers , so all 5 divisions could be used nationally...until it all became one big happy family). By the late 70's Gimbels pretty much was through as BATUS pulled the plug on them, and with good cause and reason. They were just not competitive in a retail world which had so changed, they were a dinosaur. Sorry, this is one store I can say I do not miss

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  48. Thomas, I understand your comments, but I think that we are a bit poorer for not having a Gimbels around. A better management could have changed things, and the times that I was able to visit, I enjoyed shopping there. In my opinion there could have been a place for a middle-of-the-road store like Gimbels, and it once had its own form of greatness . . . even though it was in the shadow of its neighbor . . . and if it didn't, it wouldn't have lasted so long.

    I wonder how much of it had to do with the passing of Gimbel family members . . . it seems that leadership transition in family-owned companies always presents problems.

    Bruce

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  49. Macy's has recently announced their intention to spend hundreds of millions restoring their manhattan flagship to it's former period glory and in turn add countless upscale services and posh amenities they intend to wow their customers with. It should be very interesting to see what they come up with. They have very elaborate plans and were likely stung by criticism they have received in the past. Here's hoping grand old stores will have some part in our future !!!

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  50. @ Bruce...well said, and BATUS did do everything they could do try and save them, including movie over successful Sak's management to try and revise the company. In the end, Gimbels was just too far behind any other retailer in the NYC market to survive. Even Stern's, which was highly moderate did a much better job of it tab did Gimbels....they just missed all the "trends."

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  51. I worked for Gimbels for 12 years. Started as a stockmen in Valley Stream then to Group Manager when I graduated college. It was a great place to work and made many friends. Unfortunately the upper management ran it into the ground. Then there was the RJE false truck which pilfered millions of dollars of stock from inventory. Gimbles could have survived but Batus wasn't interested in this dump. Saks was where they focused and invested. By the way worked in boys 8-20 and mens knits as the assistant buyer till I jumped ship in 85.

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  52. I will add to the history of Gimbels from my perspective. Besides the RJE debacle, there was the Macy’s / Gimbels clash. Gimbels tried many times to surpass Macy’s. Well at times it may have looked like Gimbels took the lead on the surface. However, ultimately, Macy’s is still in business surviving. I recall one year we spent millions of dollars in retail for a movie which was destined for the Christmas holiday season release. On the 6th floor, they put in an ice-skating rink an immense production for this movie event. We thought it was a sure thing would be a hit for the retailer and buyers. This would put us over the top. Like everything else they tried to duplicate with the competition the movie sadly bombed. Now we were jammed with this merchandise and had to take markdowns to move it out. This just goes to show you how the mindset of upper management couldn’t get its act together. Everything Gimbels tried to emulate from the guys across the street never materialized. The Super Saturday sales invented by management did move merchandise and helped business but in the end, the chain folded.

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  53. I had never heard of Gimbles Department Store untill today,I live in the Highlands of Scotland and I have been researching information on an artist named Gilbert Provencher. This led me to this site.
    Mrs.Bernard F. Gimble of Gimbles Department Store sponsored Gilbert Provencher's art show during the winter season in Palm Beach. This was in 1964. Do you know if any of his work was displayed in the store?

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  54. IWAS ALWAYS IN GIMBELS AND MACYS AT HERALD & GREELY SQUARE--- IN THE LATE 70'S I WAS IN ALL THE STORES FROM BARNEYS TO LORD & TAYLOR - B.ALTMAN - BONWIT TELLER - BERGDORFS - I DID CHRISTMAS SEASONS - AT GIMBELS EAST- PS A&S-ANDBLOOMINGDALE'S AT 59TH - JUST SOME OF THE GREAT STORES FROM THE PAST- LC

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  55. Anyone know if there is any worth in Gimbles Stock? I have 100 shares of Gimble Brothers, New Your signed by Daniel Gimble on May 1st 1914.and countersigned by the Transfer Agent on
    June 16, 1914. The stock number is D113 It was given to my grandfather then past down to my father and since my fathers passing I have it. Back in 1914 each share was worth $100.00. Anyone out-there can help me?

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  56. I worked in the Gimbels advertising dept as a junior fashion copywriter in 1972-74.I still have my old portfolio full of my Gimbels ads. I met my husband there, he worked in production. I often wonder wonder where my Gimbels co-workers are now.

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  57. In the late 90's I became friends with Stanley J. Gardner who told me many marvelous stories of his days working at Gimbles--especially the wonderful story of the World's Fair and one Christmas with 8 live reindeer. I have pics that I may share at some point. ANyone know anything of Stanley's history?
    I was his care-giver in my 20's at the time. He passed away in 1998. RIP.

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  58. Gimbels in Downtown Pittsburgh was a great store to visit. They always had the best sales. My sister worked in the Candy Department on the Mezzanine during her college years. Everyone in the family fell in love with the Dark Chocolate Anaclaires.I still use the Mason Jar canisters and butcher block cutting board I purchased in Housewares 40 years ago.

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  59. Does anyone know exactly where on Jamaica Ave, Queens NY that Gimbels was located in the late 60s and early 70s? My family and I remember Macys, Gertz, Woolworths, Lamstons, Goodwins and others but can't remember a Gimbels on Jamaica ave yet the internet says there was one...HELP! (LOL)

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  60. I am not aware of a Gimbels ever on Jamaica Avenue. The stores referenced above are a complete list of Gimbels branches in the New York area. I have read through back issues of The New York Times exhaustively, and Gimbels advertisements do not reference such a store.

    Bruce

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  61. It appears that Gimbel's was Macy*s closest competitor. Perhaps, if fate had taken a different turn, we would now all be shopping at a "Gimbel's near you." Instead of the "Magic of Macy*s", it would be "the Glory of Gimbel's" Hmmm!

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  62. I have a wallet from around 1983 that I found at a thrift store...really cool purple velcro type with a unicorn and rainbow on it(I love vintage 80's stuff) and inside there is a tag that says Gimbels. Also, my dad's brother was a buyer for a few of the Gimbels.

    My mom got her wedding rehearsal outfit from there in 1976....I believe it was Mary Quant or Halston. She had a Diana Von Furstenberg wrap dress from back then too. Relatives with employee discounts are good to have.

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  63. gimbels was never in queens on long island roosevelt field massapequa, and bayshore. in jamaica were gertz ,macys,AND MAYS.

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  64. Gimbels had a warehouse in LI City. The warehouse mainly stored furniture, rugs and I believe white goods. I don't recall exactly where it was but I recall it was north of the LIRR and could be seen from the train.

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  65. In response the the person from Scotland looking for information about the painter Gilbert Provencher, I may have some information for you. I am his great-neice and I own several of his paintings. Mrs. Gimbel played such an important role in Gilbert's inspiring story. I'm curious as to how you came to know of him. Please contact me if you'd like to speak further at sacque73505@mypacks.net

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  66. Ah, Gimbel's Basement! Grandma lived in Jersey City. She and Mom loved to window-shop and more often than not our visits to Grandma's included shopping trips. Since she lived right off Journal Square we would take the "tubes" - today's PATH trains. Sometimes we would go west into Newark - Bambergers, Hanes, JJ Kresge - but usually we went east, under the river to New York and the now-PATH terminal at 33rd Street ... and Gimbel's Basement. You would get off the train and quite literally walk into Gimbels. Not too long ago I passed through the PATH terminal and although I didn't see any activity in the old Gimbel's subway-level display windows I did see the red-letter tiled wall signs and arrows are still there pointing the direction and proclaiming GIMBEL'S.

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  67. Carol from New Jersey22 September, 2012 23:28

    How long did Gimbel's have a liquor department? I recently found some bottles of sherry and one of port from my grandfather labelled "Sandringham", "imported exclusively for Gimbels, New York". The port is of the vintage 1944.

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  68. I am helping a friend clean out a basement of an estate, and found a 45 with The GImbel Song - "Walk Right in Feel at Home". Any ideas on rarity or value?

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  69. In the mid-70s I worked as a store manager for the Lerner Shop at Lafayette Plaza in Bridgeport, CT. I frequently went to lunch at the restaurant in the Gimbels at the east end of the mall. They made the best Strawberry Shortcake with real scones I've ever had. Many fond and fattening memories of that Gimbels store.

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  70. Not sure why the Reply function isn't working - but in reply to "Anonymous" on Oct 2 - I remember that jingle and used to own the 45 too! There were 3 different versions of the song on that record (it was one-sided, no "B" side. That jingle was used in radio advertisements for Gimbels Philadelphia (not New York) during the late 1960s. My grandmother worked in the Philadelphia flagship (retired in ~1973) and they gave copies of the record to all employees. I may even still have it in a box at my mother's home.

    Actually, this may help place the year: the song had a lyric "Oh so nice, Six great stores, Gimbels is the place to shop.." So when did Gimbels Philadelphia have 6 stores, and not 7? Between 1966 and 1969....

    Would love someone to digitize that song!

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  71. Thanks for the info on the 45....If I come a across a USB turntable I'll make it into a MP3

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  72. I remember shopping at the Gimbels in Commack, NY in the early 60"s with my parents.After my mom passed in 1966 my dad purchased for me my first Gimbels sewing machine. I was 15 at the time and to this day still have and use it. It is a sturdy and reliable machine.Not like the one they sell today.Hopefully I can pass it down to my daughters.Thanks Gimbels for a real quality product.

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  73. During the late 1950's and early 1960's, Mommy use to take me for an Annual Holiday visit to Gimbels to ride the Carousel and receive a small wrapped gift, which was distributed following the child's ride... Mommy would put me on the carousel "twice," to obtain a gift for my dear cousin. These memories shall live in my soul eternally..... Thanks Mommy, Thanks Gimbles!!!

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  74. Dear BAK,
    I am researching the history of the Wm. H. Vernon family of Newport RI. Along the way we were searching for a sedan chair that according to records from the RI School of Design (RISD) appears to have been sent to Gimbels in 1947 for sale or auction. Is there any remote possibility of tracing this? This is the information I have:

    There is a receipt and letter from Mrs. Robert W. Goelet (note spelling) who deposited 2 sedan chairs here (RISD) in 1941. She instructed the museum in 1946 to do whatever it wished with them. One was accessioned in 1948 and is here in storage, and the other was sent to Gimbel Brothers for sale in 1947. That could be the one you're looking for.

    The chairs are only described as French. Mrs. Goelet's address in 1941 was Narragansett Ave., Newport; in 1946 was East 47th St. - no city listed.

    Anyone having any information or suggestions would be greatly appreciated..
    Thank you.

    Janet Smith
    on behalf of the Wm. H Vernon family

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  75. Hello, Janet!

    I have searched the New York Times through Proquest Historical Newspapers, which you may be able to access through a library. I found no specific reference, but you might like to try some other combinations, or look deeper into classified ads of the time for information.

    All this assumes it was sent to Gimbels in New York, but it could have been to one of the chain's other locations. At any rate, if they just kept it for display purposes, there may never have been any reference to it in papers.(There were probably not been many other uses for a sedan chair at the time).

    Maybe someone will come across your comment and have something else to add.

    Good luck!

    Bruce

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  76. Dear Bruce, Thank you for taking the time to respond to me. It is unfortunate that this Sedan chair is MIA, as it is an important part of our Revolutionary history. The Vernon family was central to the formation of the first US Navy and provided in many ways support for our founding fathers, ie. Ben Franklin as an example. (Franklin was relocating to PA but did not have the funds. Stopping in Newport from Boston he received money from Wm. Vernon for his journey and lodging.)
    I do hope there might be someone else who responds to these posts, but nevertheless, I thank you again for the generosity of your time.
    Best regards,
    Janet

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  77. I have a picture i recently bought on the back it has this logo plus it said it was in the studio number33964 could this be worth money

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  78. i worked at Gimbels for 16 years, Westchester County. They were good years. Need some help, I'm out of town and need to get the phone number of The retirement Pension Plan. I believe they are in Long ISlAND, NY CAN ANYONE HELP ME? MWAL21@AOL.COM

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  79. worked in the green acres store in valley stream while still in school!! loved the store..the mall was nicer and safer then..unfortunately we all had to deal with a witch named Toni B. who acted and looked like one of Hitler's understudies!! my friend worked the cosmetics counter with this stuck up person named Pat M. who thought she was God's gift to man! hilarious!!i was very young and our manager was a lady named Ms. Mann...

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  80. I, too, worked in Gimbles Valley Stream. Started in 1980 right after graducation from Springfield GArdens HS! Worked my way thru college, part-time. Initially started in "Notions" and draperies, occassionally worked in shoes, when someone was out, but spent most of my time in the basement in housewares. Had the best time - remember the "all-nighters" doing inventory - and you were special if were selected to help out. Worked with Doris in housewares - she was the manager's right arm - she ran that department. Bought my first Faberware set and Noritake china with my very generous discount - purchased all on sale and paid nearly a third of what it normally sold for retail. Coming from Queens, right over the border, Gimbels was the store to go to for your Easter/Christmas outfit! Too bad it is gone - loads of memories over the 5 years I was there. Watched the ship go down - it was a mess.

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  81. Here is a "only in retail" story about Gimbels.
    I worked in retail since High School, and after I graduated from college, I took a job in Personnel at Hahne & Co.in Woodbridge and was then promoted to their headquarters in Newark. In 1985 I was recruited by Gimbels to be the Personnel Manager at their Paramus store. I really enjoyed the job at Gimbels, and even though Gimbels NY division stores were union shops, there was good communication between all sides.
    In 1986 when BATUS failed to obtain a buyer for Gimbels as a whole, they started selling off the chain piecemeal, and "my store" in Paramus was being purchased by Associated Dry Goods, for Hahne's (yes, my former employer). Further Hahne's was going to move their headquarters into the building as well. Hahne's was a good company, but when an executive left the company, they did not take you back, no matter what. Needless to say it was bizarre when the Hahne's senior management showed up to see which managers that they may want to retain.

    I did in some ways get the last laugh. Paramus has strict blue laws (that remain today), and besides banning sunday retail sales, it also bans "worldly employment". This does not work when you need to have your computer center, call center, credit center open 7 days. No one at Hahne's realized this, and it threw their plans into a tizzy. After May Co., bought ADG they did open a Hahne's on 2 floors of the Gimbels building, but their offices remained in the old Newark building until they were moved to Woodbridge.

    As an exmaple of the Paramus blue laws, Stern's moved it's headquarters to Paramus in 1969, but their credit, customer service call center and later IT dept., were set up in a building in the next town over, Maywood.

    Ken

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  82. My mother was a saleswoman for Gimbel's at Herald Square in the late forties, early fifties. Her name was Kathryn (Kitty) Shuster (Married name: Shapiro) Anyone remember her?

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  83. The Gimbels building in Commack looks almost the same as it does in that picture above. Today the structure is in use as a shoe store after being used as a Burlington Coat Factory for many years.

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  84. Anyone know if one of the Gimbel family owned a home in Holmdel NJ at one time maybe during the 1930's. Would like to find information on it. Thank you.

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  85. I have from around the 1900 a womens cap made by gimble brothers how would I find out what its worth?

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  86. I have a womens cap from the1900 made by gimble brothers how would I find out what its worth?

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  87. Hi,
    I worked at Gimbels warehouse over at Queens in the 60's. I worked as a fork-lift driver. The trains would run straight into the warehouse and we would unload them and distribute the products throughout the warehouse, using massive lifts that could fit several fork-lift trucks with product at one time.
    Working there was great fun and as a newcomer (from England) I had a fun-filled time with the Queens and Brooklynites. One of the characters I remember was a chap working in the office who could throw his voice, he got me a couple of times sending me outside the office when I heard somebody call my name ("Hey Mal come here")
    I also worked in despatch loading the merchantise for the Manhattan store.

    I live in Australia now, but remember those days very well.

    Happy Days

    Mal

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  88. I have heard that there was a model home constructed by a developer of the Hemklock Farms Community, that was built for sales promotion and situated on the roof of Gimbels NYC. Does anyone know of this or have pictures. The Hemlock Farms Archives Committee in PA is seeking info for its archives in this the community's 50th anniversary season. Contact:mamajoan@ptd.net

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  89. i worked at gimbels nyc from 1972 until 1983. started as an assistant buyer in glassware then spent a few years at gimbels 86 st store then became a buyer brteifly in housewares tehn glassware for the last 7 years. i loved it. best job i ever had

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  90. I have a gray heavy plastic bag 25" x 35" with the name GIMBELS on it. It also has a handle in the middle to carry it with. jggrmtchcv@aol.com

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  91. I am doing some family tree investigating. I am wondering if anyone remembers a Jack Vienna. I am told he often traveled from Milwaukee WI to the New York Gimbels at least during the 50s and possibly later. I am told he was in the dry textile business and sold clothing to Gimbels. If he is still alive he would be in his late 90s. If anyone knows or knew of him please let me know. Any type of information or photos or stories would be greatly appreciated! Amber

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  92. Do anybody remember Patrica M. she was a certified account and she had a daughter.I would love to see her and her daughter.

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  93. I will always remember going to Gimbels in the North Hills Village Mall in Pittsburgh to see Santa as a child. All the great Department store from my childhood are gone..Gimbels, Kaufmann's, and Joseph Hornes..now even the mall's are going away. Progress isn't always progress.

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  94. Thank u for all ur work on this page. As I pulled our my ornaments this year and came acrossed the ones of My late Aunts I racked my brain to recall the name of the massive store I used to visit every Christmas when my mother went back home to visit family in Staten Island. My aunt worked there for many years. I loved the Christmas displays and the escalators. I still have my rocking chair I got when I was 3. Many odds and end items. But those dated ornaments mean so much. I was to young to recall, but I know she worked there up to 1979-80 & did for many years until she because ill with cancer.....if anyone recalls working with Florence Bush at the 33rd street store please let me know!
    Again thank u

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  95. My mother would take me to Gimbel's as a little girl back in the 50’s during the Christmas season. I remember waiting at their corner window for Santa to come out through the chimney. What I can't remember is - was Santa an animated figure or a real human being. Does anyone remember?

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