Jacobson Stores, Inc., Jackson, Michigan



Discover
the fascinating history
of Michigan's own specialty
department store


Jacobsons: I miss it so!

(Click on the book cover to go
to the welcome page for details)


Founded in Reed City, Michigan, in 1868,
 Jacobson's expanded to Jackson, Michigan
in 1904, and in 1920 inaugurated a new
store on Main Street (now Michigan Avenue).

The store expanded to Ann Arbor, and Battle Creek,
and was purchased in 1939 by Nathan Rosenfeld,
a retail and finance specialist who set out to turn
it into one of Michigan's finest stores.

Jake's added a "Men's Shop" on Michigan Avenue; the site would
later house the 1961 store building


The main store was modernized in 1955.
A completely new Jacobson's was opened in 1961,
several blocks to the west of the original store.

Jacobson Stores, Inc. (Jacobson's)
3333 West Sargent Road
Jackson, MI (Corporate Office &
Distribution Center)




JACOBSON STORES (through 1978)



Jacobson's Jackson (1904/1943/1955/1961)
255 West Michigan Avenue
The Cortland Room
Jacobson's store in its home town was situated on the Progress
Place Mall in downtown Jackson (The administrative
headquarters were located at 1200 North West Street).

A new Store for the Home was opened on Cortland
Street in 1969, in quarters formerly occupied by a
downtown Sears store, and renovated in
Jacobson's tradional style.


Jacobson's Ann Arbor (Oct.1, 1924/1941)
612 E. Liberty Street
116,000 sq. ft.

Jacobson's was a fixture on Ann Arbor's Liberty street
since its opening in 1924.  The store was often enlarged
and remodeled over the years, and was connected to the
adjacent Maynard Street parking garage.



Jacobson's Battle Creek (1937/1951)

The original Jacobson's store was a narrow shop
next to a Kresge store in Battle Creek.  After the
1939 change in ownership, this larger store
was occupied, but it remained one of Jake's
smaller stores, and competed with
 the larger Kalamazoo store to the west.



Jacobson's East Lansing (1941/1951/1970)
333 E. Grand River Avenue
The East Room

Jacobson's East Lansing Store served faculty and students of
Michigan State University,as well as Mid-Michigan residents.
This beautiful contemporary facility replaced a store opened in 1940.

After the relocation, Jacobson's expanded and renovated its old
store into a new Store for the Home.



Jacobson's Grand Rapids (1943/1954)
Fulton Street at Sheldon Avenue


Before moving to its own building in 1954, Jacobson's
occupied a 2-story space in the Pantlind Hotel, today's
Amway Grand Plaza; the space currently houses the
Hotel's "1913 Room" gourmet restaurant.

In 1954, Jake's remodeled the Watson Building
at the corner of Fulton and Sheldon Avenues,
and vacated the Pantlind Hotel for a larger,
free-standing space.



Jacobson's Saginaw (1944/1975)
400 Federal Street
200,000 s.f.


Jacobson's large Saginaw store was part of a "superblock" proposal
meant to revitalize the downtown core and attract customers from
all over northern Michigan.




Jacobson's Grosse Pointe (1944/1952/1974)
17030 Kercheval Avenue
22375 Kercheval Avenue (Store for the Home)
The St. Clair Room
Jacobson's, after slowly expanding since 1944, occupied a renovated,
Colonial Williamsburg style structure in
The Village shopping district in Grosse Pointe in 1974.

The Home Decorative Shop, later the Store for the Home, opened on the 
other side of Kercheval Avenue in 1953.


GROSSE POINTE STORE DIRECTORY
Lower Level
Miss J Shop • Miss J Shoes • Customer Service
Street Floor
Stationery • Adult Game Gallery • Jacobson's Book Shop • Pantry and Sweet Shop • Fine Jewelry Salon • St. Clair Room Restaurant • Cosmetics • Jewelry • Handbags • Small Leather Goods • Belts • Scarves • Accessories • Hosiery • Shoe Salon
Store for Men Men's Furnishings • Men's Sportswear • Mr. J Shop • Men's Clothing • Men's Shoes • Men's Hats
Second Floor
Infants' Shop • Children's Shop • Boys' Shop • Girls' Shop • Cannon Shop • Toys • Children's Shoes • Intimate Apparel • Foundations • Patio Fashions • Sportswear • Little Separates • Pin Money Shop • Custom Sizes • Dress Salon • Coat and Suit Salon • After 5 Dresses • Signature Collections • International Collections • Givenchy Nouvelle Boutique • Collection Sportswear • Designer Salon • Bridal Salon • Fur Salon • Styling Salon

Store for the Home 17141 Kercheval Avenue
China • Silver • Glass • Linen Shop • Collector's Gallery • Gift Shop • Kitchen Shop • Lamps • Bedroom Fashions • Bath Shop • Draperies • Closet Shop • Fine Furniture Gallery • Design Studio • Floor Coverings • Area Rug Center



Jacobson's Birmingham (1950/1953/1962/1972)
336 W. Maple Road
325 Old North Woodward (Store for the Home)

Store for Fashions

Store for the Home

Children's Shops and Men's Store

Jacobson's occupied several buildings since it opened in
Birmingham in 1950, later adding a
Store for the Home, Men's Store, Children's Shop,
as well as an expanded main fashion store.



Jacobson's Kalamazoo (1961/1970/1979)
359 South Burdick
209 South Burdick (Store for the Home)(1970)

Jacobson's Kalamazoo store opened in 1961 on Burdick treet,
also known as Kalamazoo Mall - one of the nation's first
downtown pedestrian malls.


A separate Store for the Home was
opened on the mall in the early 1970s.




Jacobson's Dearborn (Oct. 8, 1964)
22201 West Michigan Avenue
22375 West Michigan Avenue (Store for the Home)
The Top of the Fountain

Jacobson's Dearborn store, in the West Dearborn
shopping district, opened to great fanfare in October of 1964
Jacobson's eneterd the furniture business by purchasing
the Daly Brothers furniture store, which was remodeled into
Jacobson's Store for the Home in 1974

DEARBORN STORE DIRECTORY
Lower Level
Kitchen Shop • Lamps • Bedroom Fashions • Bath Shop • Draperies • Closet Shop • Fabric Shop • Yarn Shop
Street Floor
Stationery • Adult Game Gallery • Jacobson's Book Shop • Sweets and Treats Shop • Fine Jewelry Salon • Cosmetics • Jewelry • Handbags • Small Leather Goods • Belts • Scarves • Accessories • Little Separates • Hosiery • Shoe Salon • China • Silver • Glass • Linen Shop • Collector's Gallery • Gift Shop
Store for Men Men's Furnishings • Men's Sportswear • Mr. J Shop • Men's Clothing • Men's Shoes • Men's Hats
Second Floor
Top of the Fountain Restaurant • Infants' Shop • Children's Shop • Boys' Shop • Girls' Shop • Cannon Shop • Toys • Children's Shoes • Miss J Shop • Miss J Shoes • Intimate Apparel • Foundations • Patio Fashions • Sportswear • Little Separates • Pin Money Shop • Custom Sizes • Dress Salon • Coat and Suit Salon • After 5 Dresses • Signature Collections • International Collections • Givenchy Nouvelle Boutique • Collection Sportswear • Designer Salon • Bridal Salon • Fur Salon • Styling Salon • Customer Service

Store for Homes 22375 West Michigan Avenue
Fine Furniture Gallery • Design Studio • Floor Coverings



Jacobson's East Grand Rapids (1966)
2255 E. Wealthy Street

Like many of Jacobson's stores, the East Grand Rapids
store was built of brick



Jacobson's Sarasota, FL (1969)
443 St. Armand's Circle
Sarasota, Florida


Jacobson's began its Florida run by purchasing a shop
called "Yankee Traveler" on St. Armand's Circle in
Sarasota.  The store was enlarged and expanded many
times and eventually became simply "Jacobson's"



Jacobson's Winter Park, FL (1972)
339 N. Park Avenue

Jacobson's purchased The Proctor Shop in exclusive
Winter Park, a suburb of Orlando.  Later, the Proctor
name was dropped and the store became known simply
as Jacobson's










Jacobson's Longwood (1975)
Longwood Village
1855 St. Rd. 434






Jacobson's North Palm Beach (1977)
Oakbrook Fashion Square




Jacobson's in Rochester was the anchor of a small upscale mall
The Walton Blvd. facade of the split-level store is shown.
The Great Oaks store occupied land bought by Jacobson's 11 years earlier in
in anticipation of the grow of this upscale community.

Jacobson's Great Oaks Mall (1978)
Rochester, Michigan
1220 Walton Blvd.
70,000 sq. ft.

In the 1980s and 1990s, Jacobson's expanded in Florida, and later opened stores in Indianapolis, Columbus, Louisville, and Kansas.  Jacobson's also gained a store in Toledo, Ohio, by buying Lamson's Franklin Park branch in 1974.







75 comments:

  1. In the late 1980's Jacobson's opened new flagship stores in Livonia, Michigan (which had an "Hermes" boutique,) Indianapolis, Louisville, Jacksonville, and Kansas City, and they moved from downtown East Lansing (1943) to their new home at the Meridian Mall five miles east in the upscale suburb of Okemos, They also moved their Ann Arbor store from "campus" to the former Lord & Taylor location at Briarwood Mall, five miles south of the city. These stores became the most profitable for the chain, and had designer salons that carried Armani Collezione and St. John, for example, but did not have the "East Room" restaurant as in the past. In the early 1990's they closed their smaller under-performing stores in Jackson, Kalamazoo, Dearborn, Toledo, and Columbus. A few years later they closed all of their free-standing furniture stores, and in 2001 they closed their large store in Saginaw which also had the last remaining and largest furniture department and interior design center that typically catered to the affluent summer-resort home owners of Northern Michigan.

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  2. Thanks for the informative comments about Jacobson's history. The stores, especially the original ones in the downtown areas of Michigan cities, were certainly unique. I personally enjoyed the restaurant in Grosse Pointe, and really miss the stores in general when they were at their zenith.

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  3. Well, Michigan residents miss "Jakes" (as it was affectionately known) desperately! Especially the legendary customer service and the complimentary silver gift boxes with gros-grain ribbons.

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  4. I also liked that well into the 90s, Jake's (at least at the former Lamson's location in Toledo) had charge cards which simply had your name and number typed on them. The clerk would fill out a salesbill, write in the name, address, and account number, and complete the sale. There were no cash registers. If the sale was cash, they had a discreet cash till, but again, the sale was written up in pencil and you were given your copy of the salesbill. Eventually Jakes got modern cash registers, but I enjoyed the personal touch while it lasted.

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  5. I agree with you about Jacobson's sales technique. The salespeople took such care to write out those receipts (and stick a gift-tag to the cover of a box, in case the recipient wanted to return it), not to mention the silver boxes and ribbons that were Jake's Hallmarks.

    One wonders if they could still handle customers that way in this age; In my opinion, the uniqueness of how they did business really set them apart, and when they went to cash registers, malls, etc., they lost their "je ne sais quoi." The rest, as they say, is history.

    Bruce

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  6. The Jacobson's in North Palm Beach was an excellent store. Very low key, but by the 90's Palm Beach Gardens opened. A large mall with good stores...and about one mile away. Jacobson's had great service, fine goods and a good selection of the clothes people in that affluent area would want.

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  7. Sigrid Wolff02 May, 2011 14:22

    Jacobson's didn't want noisey , offensive ambience because our philosophy was to, as much as possible, exude an atmosphere of comfort and calm for our clients.......much like in their own living rooms.We felt cash registers created excess noise(YES!),but sadly resorted to using them for automation and accuracy.UGH!I loved working for them in Florida for 10 happy years.I miss them passionately :(

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  8. Hello Sigrid:

    I am deep in research for a book about Jacobson's I'd love to speak with you . . . please comment again with your e-mail address, and I won't publish it.

    Tomorrow, I am meting with former Jake's employees, to talk about their experiences. I agree with you. It was such a great store; I respect how they stayed true to their philosophy for many years. I also have a nice picture of the Jacksonville store.

    Bruce

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  9. As a former employee to the very end of Jacobson's I truly miss the company and Company itself! It was a great place to work and to shop. They just don't make them like that anymore. Esther Allen

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  10. Many employees loved working for Jakes. Check out Jacobsons alumni on facebook.

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  11. I hear the same thing over and over - from employees and customers. I believe Jake's was the epitome of a store, and it was largely the vision of one man, though he put together an incredible team of people to realize that vision. To say that the store is missed is an understatement of vast proportions.

    One thing in particular, that amazes me, is that Jacobson's believed in the value of a strong central shopping district in the cities in which it was located, definitely against the trend of the times. But this "Neiman's of the North" bucked trends, and became a strong destination for shoppers in these towns. It is a shame to visit them today; empty, rag-taggle places that have seen better days. I cannot believe that we accept this for our lives or for our cities. Judging from the comments I hear, I am not the only one who is ashamed of what's happened.

    That's not to mention the unflinching quality of merchandise, the lovely store interiors with dramatic spiral staircases and home-like atmosphere, or the friendliness of the staff.

    Nathan Rosenfeld, who owned Jacobson's, and made it into what it was, said that customers should be welcomed into the store like a home, and that that home should always be prepared to receive them like guests . . . anyone who shopped or worked at Jake's knew what he meant by this.

    And, if you want to know about "the bull in the china shop," you will be able to read my book after October . . .

    Bruce

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  12. A past co-worker from Jake's posted this link on facebook, it brought a tear to my eye this morning when I read it. I was practically raised in a Jacobson's store. As a child my mother shopped there religiously! As a young adult I started my career there as an art director in the advertising department. The early influence of the store sparked my love of fashion. Once I know I wanted to get into design and advertising I was once again pulled towards fashion retail. What a great combination right? However I truly agree that era is long gone. I am still in the fashion retail business, but oh how it's changed! I am just so fortunate to have experienced those old great stores in their heyday! Thank you so much for putting this together to share with all of us who remember when and those of us that never knew...

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  13. Dear Lori:

    Thanks for your comments; as they say, "you get it!" I hope to convey all of these things in my book about Jacobson's.

    Bruce

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  14. Bruce, worked for Jac's 40 years and enjoyed every second,Started as a Toy Buyer,and worked in just about every dept and office, Was in Birmingham, Jackson C.O., Grosse Pointe, Dearborn,Kalamazoo and saw the company change to be competive,and still keep its famous customer service.It was a pleasure working with the hundreds of employees and great customers The old timers will remember the famous Mens Nites in Grosse Pointe.

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  15. Thank you for your comments, Chuck. Then you will surely know of Mrs. Pete, D'Hondt way in Grosse Pointe, "Si labor faciendus est, hic est bonus locus," and so many fascinating facts that I have uncovered about Jacobson's. It is a tragedy that this most attractive of stores passed from the scene.

    In several months of doing research, I have not found a single person who spoke negatively about their experiences. I just had dinner last week with a bunch of Birmingham employees, and plan a meeting with ones from G.P. as well, and the lady who managed the toy department in Grosse Pointe, has, though she doesn't know it yet, given me the title for the book!

    Bruce

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  16. Peggy Biondi19 May, 2011 21:54

    Hi Bruce
    I worked in the East Lansing store for 7 years, then went to livonia and ended up at our Central Office. It was strange for me because I grew up with jacobson's Dearborn store shopping with my Mom and I was a member of the JBoard in High School. When I moved to East Lansing I was so excited to see they had a store on Grand River across from MSU. I felt at home, and it was by far the best place to work. I have so many stories and great memories. I am still in retail and miss Jacobson's because of the great service we had. If we opened a Jacobson's today it would be back on top because so many people miss it.

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  17. Bruce...my dad worked for Jacobson's for over 30 years as a manager in Grosse Pointe, Kalamazoo, Livonia and Rochester. I'm sure there may be something of interest to you in his "archives". I am very interested in reading the book and am happy to know that you are giving this the attention it deserves!

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  18. Thank you, Jon.
    I am busy at work on the book, which must be finished by the end of the month. I have researched throughout Michigan and Florida and am happy to say that I have uncovered a great, interesting, and entertaining story about a retailer that is sorely missed and rarely, if ever, spoken of negatively.
    There will be chapters on four of the stores you mention above, as well as pictures people haven't seen in years.
    This evening, I am meeting with a group of Grosse Pointe employees to talk about their experiences, as I have already done with the Birmingham store.
    Thanks for your interest!
    Bruce

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  19. Pam Schauffler19 June, 2011 13:14

    Great news that finally we will have a history of Jacobson's. I can't wait to purchase a copy. We should plan parties to celebrate at the time of the book signings! Like many former employees Jacobson's is never far from my thoughts and often in my dreams. It would be fun to get groups of employees together again in each city. I know they do that regularly in Saginaw but how many other communities have reunions?

    Pam Schauffler

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  20. I just stayed at a B&B in Stratford, Ontario where I was attending the Shakespeare Festival with a friend. It turned out the five of us were from Michigan and because my friend and I were from Jackson, the conversation turned to Jacobson's where one of the other women had worked (they were from Ann Arbor). Everyone had memories and cherished items from Jacobson's. The owner of the B&B exclaimed that her sideboard in the dining room was from Jake's. My friend's husband was Treasurer for the store back in the day. That's why I was 'googling' and discovered your site! Thank you for all this wonderful information. I will be watching for your book. (P.S. My daughter worked in the Miss J Shop when she was in high school!)

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  21. Hi! Thanks for your comments. I have great expectaions for the book, because the history and all of the anecdotes, not to mention pictures, that I have uncovered, are fascinating. I undertand that it should appear in February.

    My wife and I were just talking about Stratford; I consider the kindness of your comment to be a marvelous coincidence!

    BAK

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  22. Oops, I meant September for the book!

    BAK

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  23. Yvonne Harrington08 August, 2011 15:49

    The Saginaw Store reunions are always the Monday after Labor Day, every year. Jake's employees and customers. Would be a great place and time for a book signing!

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  24. I just took a walk down memory lane reading all the comments from all the former employees and customers. It would be grossly amiss if we didn't acknowledge the contribution that Keith Houck, Director of Store Planning, made to the visual elegance and shopping comfort of the stores over the 40+ years he worked there. I was his assistant for 28 years and helped him open and remodel stores from 1960 to 1988 including all of the Florida stores and Toledo, the first outstate store up north. I am so looking forward to your book but wish we had made contact before this. Congratulations and good luck, you can't miss with it. Larry Terrill, Jackson resident at Ackerson Lake.

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  25. Hello, Larry!

    Keith is credited for his work in the book, and I do believe I heard of you through Pam Schauffler; and subsequently gave you a notice as well. The book will be out Sept. 12 preliminarily, and widely available in October. Watch this site for details.

    Bruce

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  26. found an old print by j.ptacek of jacobsons on park avenue it has a signature on bottom right and numbered 341/40D on the far left bottom.not sure what year but the cars look older than 70's.
    Is it worth anything to anyone?

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  27. Barbara Baird-Pauli04 November, 2011 22:38

    As my father managed the store in Jackson for many years, Jacobson's has always been held in a special way. The values that Jacobson's held true to remained with me as an employee in Ann Arbor during my last years of college, to the current days of my work life now. The very concepts of service, quality, and courtesy have always been held in high regard and will remain as such. Although Mr. Rosenfeld was often times feared, he wsa all the while respected and very much a father figure for my father. He was genius in understanding the basic needs of people, and being eternally loyal to those beliefs. What a great example he was of knowing what he stood for and believed in, and fearing not ridicule, and was non-compromising in cultivating a workplace and shopping experience consistent with those beliefs.

    On a more personal note, Jacobson's is where my husband and I met. To this day we have fond memories of those that we met and worked with. Consistent with the Jacobson's belief in service, the Gold Room in the Jackson store provided such a wonderful place for our Rehearsal Dinner.

    In a more somber and reflective moment, my father passed away on the anniversary date of his first day of employment with Jacobson's, and the store closing in 1997 was the ten year anniversary date of his passing. Jacobson's will always be a very special place for me.

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  28. Will you be signing copies of your new book in Michigan this fall and winter?

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  29. My next signing is at the Grosse Pointe Historical Society on Saturday, December 10th, 2011, from 1-4 pm. For others, please see my Amazon Author Page. Listed there are a series of lectures and book-signings I am planning to attend in Dearborn, Birmingham, Grosse Pointe, etc.

    Hope to see you at one!

    Bruce

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  30. One store is missing. There was a Jacobson's located at 1350 South Tamiami Trail in Osprey, Florida (just south of Sarasota) until the mid-1990s or so. It was larger than the Jacobson's on St. Armand's Key, as I recall.

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  31. Got the book and devoured - what a pleasure to read! Wish there was more about the Saginaw store. I also made the Cashew Chicken Salad and blogged about it - what memories!
    http://www.cookbookfetish.com/2011/12/i-miss-it-so.html

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  32. An exterior sign from the former Jacobson's in East Grand Rapids, Michigan is being hung in the local library history room. Here is a link to the article from the Grand Rapids Press:

    http://www.mlive.com/east-grand-rapids/index.ssf/2011/12/big_letters_big_piece_of_east.html

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  33. What about the Tampa, FL store on West Swann Avenue in Hyde Park Village? I think I remember a store in Tyrone Mall, St Petersburg, FL that closed and reopened as Dillard's...

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  34. In the Department Store Museum, I cover branch stores up to the late 1970s. The Tampa store opened in 1985. For a picture and information about the store, refer to my book: Jacobson's: I Miss It So! Jacobson's did not have a store in Tyrone Mall. Perhaps it was Robinson's of Florida of which you are speaking?

    Bruce

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  35. Hi! I grew up shopping at Jacobson's in Grosse Pointe. Later, my mother worked for Jacobson's and loved it so much! If you are still interested in speaking to former employees or are having a GP reunion, she would really love it! We really do miss it here so much, it was a fantastic store and I would shop there over any other department store!

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  36. Earlier this evening I gave a lecture at the Birmingham Public Library. It was crowded with people who still miss Jacobson's. Next week, I will be in Dearborn, and later in the year, in Grosse Pointe. See my Amazon author page for details as they unfold.

    Your comments are 100% true, and I bet your mother could herself tell a lot of stories about this truly unique and marvelous store.

    Bruce

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    Replies
    1. Would anyone be interested in some older octagon shaped Jacobson's hat boxes that still have hat's in them? Unsure how old. My mom passed recently and I found the hats in her home. Trying to find out the value of them if any. Any suggestions would be apprecitated. spence.9256@gmail.com is my email

      Delete
  37. TO: BAK
    I watched your video presentation today, great piece. While I am not from Michigan , I knew Jacobson's in my twenty years as a Buyer for SFA. I will take point with one comment you made about the changing landscape of American retailing. I am 56 and I remember the golden age of the department store, when downtown's, either in large cities or smaller ones had their own stores. Several factors contributed to their demise: the crumbling of most larger inner cities (just look at Detroit) and the fact that the middle class would not go there any longer. The fact that by the mid 80's retailers were no longer run by merchants but by corporations. One could argue Federated, Allied, ADG were all corporations and they were, but they were retailers first. The fact that after Campeau made the entire American retail scene go to hell, it was evident there would be fall out. It was become clearer as the major stores were becoming "national" chains that there would be few left. What I was not prepared for was the name change of everything to Macy's. I remember speaking with Terry Lundgren before the Marshall Fields name change and said "no, you can't do this." At the time I thought his comment was arrogant, but after time I realized, he was 100% correct. He stated, and I will paraphrase: The local department store is a dinosaur, it has no place any longer, the American consumer has abandoned it and we have to find new ways to reach out to them. The synergy of having one name will give us greater buying power. That is true, but as you stated what is lost is that local institution. Yes, the staff at Lord and Taylor all know me and treat me well, but it is not the same as having a smaller store in the area with a few branches to cater to the clientele. It is a time none of us will ever see again, and I miss it terribly...but time marches on...I thought vinyl would be the only form for music, now CD's twenty years after their release are obsolete. Time, and change, march on. GREAT WEBSITE (and presentation).

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  38. Thanks for your eloquent comments. Perhaps if someone in a position of such power did not see what was entrusted to him as a "dinosaur" it wouldn't be so easy to destroy. I have, in fact, considered myself a dinosaur because I have more affinity to my past and my heritage than what passes as "culture" in the modern world. I suppose that all as I can do as a dinosaur is to present the past as I experienced it for others to compare and contrast.

    As for Deroit, I have lived here all of my life, and it is a heartbreaking view from my perspective. It is not even the slightest bit viable at this point.

    I don't agree that the Lundgren/Macy's analysis is correct: there was a time when people liked and respected these stores, but they do not any longer, since they have the "buying power" to become nothing more than vending machines for cheap goods (like Nathan Rosenfeld predicted). Did the customers abandon them, or did they abandon their customers? My experience here with Hudson's was that their legendary quality and service, which made them such a powerhouse in local retailing, diminished to the point that it really didn't satisfy people enough to hold on to them. Hence they lost ground to competitors.

    Bruce

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    Replies
    1. Do you have any color photos of Jacobson's

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  39. To: BAK. I think the answer to your question of "abandonment" is a bit of both. We changed as a society...we want elegant goods, but we want them to be "cheap". Cheap as in price not quality. I am stating a generalization, and I know this does not apply to everyone or every circumstance, but I do believe both are at fault. The consumer, who is willing to settle for almost anything and is willing to shop on line; and the retailers...who are no longer run by merchants but by bean counters. I miss the old days...that is why I love this site.

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  40. I have recently found a piece of furniture I believed dates back to the 1940s. I was wondering if I could get some help on the history of it. It is Golden Beryl Maple, made by Consider H. Willett Inc, and has a Daly Bros. Dearborn Mi, emblem on the back. It is a desk with a vanity mirror on it(square). If you could help me out that would be great.

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  41. My entire family grew up shopping at "Jakes". With 5 children, my mother loved that store, and as I grew up, I did too. My brother and I modeled fashions on a runway in the downtown Birmingham store in the 70's. There isn't an old resident of Birmingham that doesn't miss that store. Thank you for all of your work, and I look forward to seeing your book in print!

    M. Degen
    Swansboro, NC

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  42. Does anyone have old photos of Grand River -Greenfield area of Detroit?
    Thanks, (paulmcall@comcast.net)

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  43. I "grew up" being taken shopping at the Jac's in the Village (Grosse Pointe). Later, I obtained my first professional job out of college at that same store, working in the Personnel Office. Thank you for this great website and the walk down memory lane I just had :)
    Rick
    ocmobilexec@hotmail.com

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  44. Jacobson's was also in the upscale "Fashion Mall" on Indianapolis, Indiana's far north side. It morphed into Sak's Fifth Avenue, and from what I have heard, the locals weren't too pleased with this change.

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  45. DID ANYONE WORK AT THE JACOBSON'S STORE IN BIRMINGHAM STORE, IN FURNITURE DEPT IN 1986? PLEASE EMAIL ME, THANKS GAIL galinee1970@yahoo.com

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  46. Jacobson's North Palm Beach at Oakbrook was in my opinion a severe loss for us locales. It reminded me of the old Bonwit Teller we used to have on Worth Avenue, Palm Beach, an elegant, understated retail establishment with a staff that was 100% top-drawer. Jacobson's was in my view true high-end retailing, unlike that overhyped flashy aspirational Gardens Mall down the street, which my family nor any one we know of old Palm Beach patrons.

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  47. My dad's sister was a buyer for the store in Jackson. Marge carr, anyone remember her? She was a pretty lady. E-mail me @ robertalachance@aol.com

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  48. Hello everyone! I grew up in the Grosse Pointe store and would go to the St. Clair Room restaurant with my mom, brother and grandma many times! We would all shop there often as well. I remember the glass elevator housing. It was so cool to watch and go up and down on! Does anyone have any more photos they could share of the restaurant or ANY part of the inside of the Jacobson's in Grosse Pointe? Thank you!! eddie mystscapes@hotmail.com

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  49. I used to go to Jacobsons with my Grandma back in the 70s in Jackson, MI and we used to get her a perfume lotion, we think was called "intimate". Would anyone know how to find if it's still available anywhere else?

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  50. I was not familiar with Jacobsons until I read this blog. I found two incredible mohair 50s/60s coats at a thrift store in New England, and wanted to know more about the store.
    We had some great family owned stores here for years, Steigers Department Store was one of several in my home town.
    I do miss the personal touch given to every shopper. These were people we knew by name. Personable, and professionalism with every purchase. Days gone by for sure. Thanks for all the history here.
    P

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  51. Thanks for the post, its really interesting to see the history of Jacobsons- I I actually was looking for custom jewelry in Dearborn, MI and didn't realize that they went out of business. I am excited for the book to come out!

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  52. Oh, but the book is out! (Has been for a year)

    http://www.amazon.com/dp/1609493249/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_til?tag=thedepstomus-20&camp=0&creative=0&linkCode=as1&creativeASIN=1609493249&adid=1DHF2YSDPXCC7SA72SC6

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  53. I actually stumbled upon this blog and for years have wanted to be able to talk about the store of my deepest fondest memories of my childhood. I was born in Dearborn MI and was raised at Jacobsons. No honestly I modeled there, attended charm school there got to know all of their sales associates as well my parents were good friends with Mr. Bird (I believe the manager at the time). I can hear them now over the intercom "Mr.Bird line 1 Mr..... Bird" I loved to try on the hats. I loved the people, I loved the water fountain in the lobby. It was the only public place as a child I could actually use the bathroom and it felt like home. Clean that is. I even loved the smell. We would eat in the restaurant on Fridays they would have a smorgasboard and my favorive was their Maurice Salad and hamburger boats. I got my wedding dress there and the memories go on and on. There is a place in my heart that will never be the same. I would love a picture of the Dearborn Store if you have one. Very dear to my heart. Thank you. Marie

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  54. I do have pictures of the Dearborn store. You can see them in my book, Jacobson's: I Miss It So!

    You can e-mail me (my addres is on this blog's home page).

    Bruce

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  55. My name is Geoffrey williams. My mom Dorothy williams worked in hand bags and the store for the home in Jackson, Mi.

    Does anyone remember Mrs. Vivian Hudson? She didn't fool around!
    My Mom loved her.
    How about "Mr. Lemon?"

    I wished those that worked at Jakes would open a retail store with the same quality, atmosphere and service. It has all but disappeared in most businesses. I don't want to spend my money anywhere. lol

    Instead of having get together' and talking about old times. Why doesn't someone put together a business plan and human resources and launch a store. There are scores of people that loved Jacobson's legendary service and quality. If People new that the former employees of Jake's where running the store, I believe it would work. At least take the risk and begin a dialogue.
    If you like, I will start the process. I will take the risk. Let me know.

    Best wishes

    Geoffrey Williams

    wgeoffrey7758@yahoo.com

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  56. Does anyone remember the restaurant in the Jackson store? I would dearly love to have their recipe for Maurice salad and their famous cheese soup with home made croutons. We used to eat there all the time and that was always my favorite lunch. Often times my family would meet for lunch after a day of shopping downtown, oh how I miss those days! My son would always have the child's meal served in a little blue boat. Any one else remember that? Any how if anybody has one or both of these recipes, please email me at becreul@yahoo.com, and many thanks for all the memories.

    Rebecca

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  57. Dear Bruce,

    This is a phenomenal site/labor of love. I'm 3/4 of the way through your book on Jakes, and am thoroughly enjoying it.

    In 1988 I moved home after college and worked three jobs (Jake's, Banana Republic and Mailboxes Etc.) to save money for grad school. I was at the Grosse Pointe Jake's for about six months; it was a wonderful experience.

    Trivia question--to which I don't have the answer: who drew the last version of the Jake's logo? I'm assuming it's a unique, hand-draw typeface. Do you know who their agency was---or was it an in-house product? I'm now an graphic designer who specializes in corporate identity, and I've always admired the cheerful personality of the appropriately understated Jake's logo

    Thanks again for this Herculean achievement. It's always a pleasure visiting this site.

    Best regards,

    Greg Gersch

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  58. Hello, Greg!

    Thank you for the comments. It is a big task, and I apreciate that you recognize all that goes into it.

    I am not sure of the source of the last logo. my favorite is the one on the book cover; that, I believe was designed by Larry Terrell, who also developed the classic Jacobson's bag and box design. Perhaps he did the newer one as well; Jacobson's had many talented people on staff. He still lives in Jackson and perhaps you could seek him out.

    Bruce

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    Replies
    1. Bruce, I'm sure the name of your book was stated but I didn't see it, is your book on Jacobson's still available? My mother worked at the Dearborn store and retired in 1976 after being the Coat and Suit Department Manager (#1 department in the chain while she was manager). Store Manager was Charles Bird and Assistt. Mgr. was Bob Garvin. Jerry Negstadt managed the gift and fine china. I worked for a while in Accessories. I'd be interested in your book. I think it's wonderful that you did all this research about Jakes, I pretty much grew up there, still have some of the gold and silver boxes and many fond memories!! Thanks, Barbara I'd be happy to correspond via email, if you tell me how? :O) Don't want to publish my email here...

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  59. I worked for several years in the Saginaw Mi store as a manager. I went on to other retailers and rose through the ranks to a Regional Sales Manger for Jo nes New York. Every thing I learned and held dear as business ethics and customer service I learned from Jacobsons. I was a young rookie when I started so many very very talented sales associates that taught me how to treat the customers. It was by far the job I learned the most valuable lessons and by quite honestly my favorite job.

    Does anyone know what happened to Lenny Lafluer?

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  60. I stumbled onto this website while searching for information for a pair of shoes I bought. They have several Jacobson's price stickers with handwritten prices on the bottom that are in perfect condition since the shoes were never worn.

    Hearing about stores like this closing breaks my heart. I did not grow up with Jacobson's (I'm from PA) but it sounds very similar in spirit to the old Boscov's and even Woolworth's. Woolworth's is sadly also no longer around and Boscov's has managed to survive by becoming just another department store. When I was a child, these stores were like a magical land where sophisticated grownups went to shop and a place where I felt grateful to be allowed to go. Nowadays, every store is just aisle after aisle of screaming children and adults wearing sweatpants, buying substandard merchandise from employees who do their jobs and smile but do not know the first thing about real customer service and human interaction. They say what they are told they must say to make sure the customer feels "welcome" which, in my opinion, always makes me feel the opposite.

    Give me the old department stores any day!

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  61. Great site! Still can't believe Jake's beautiful store in Grosse Pointe village was replaced by a CVS store (Walgreen's I might not be so upset about but CVS??) A beautiful fair-isle sweater dress my mother bought me from Jacobson's "Young Circle" in the 70s still hangs in my closet (and I still wear it on occasion - it was made to last!)

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  62. Wow what a terrific site. I was a jacobson's Designer for 8 years in the 70's how I loved it there. The Kalamazoo Store For The Home ... As it was known was a magical place. The elegance of that store is seldom found today.the celery green predominatly on the first floor gave the store an air of sophistication . The huge crystal chandelier hanging in the china dept was always sparkling and made even cloudy days seem bright. I can see Mrs Murry in her monogrammed shirt waste dresses writing those tickets in china. And no one could forget Rose Barr the mgr. of bath and bedding.... Ray Harrison was the Store Manager ,Jim Beck was head designer , followed by Moi. It was an incredible team in that store we all loved it there and felt protective of the Store like it was ours . The lower level was full of some of the finest furniture and decorative items. One could buy ... One walked down on RED carpet it was very impressive... The furniture floor was very glamorous much more showey than the street floor , Jim and later my self actually supervised all of the sets and displays and we could do pretty much what we wanted...

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  63. The person who wrote

    In the early 1990's they closed their smaller under-performing stores in Jackson, Kalamazoo, Dearborn, Toledo, and Columbus. A few years later they closed all of their free-standing furniture stores...

    has their timeline mixed up. I was in Columbus, Ohio interviewing to staff the new store there when the announcement was made that the furniture stores would be closing. I had just transferred from the Dearborn Furniture Store.

    The Columbus City Center opened in 1989.

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  64. To the person above writing about Jacobson's Dearborn: You may contact me at bakgraphics@comcast.net for an autographed copy - yes, it is indeed available and selling very well!

    Bruce

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  65. which month in 1944 did Jacobsons come to Saginaw ? ?

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  66. Allo, Monsieur Bak !

    LOVED your Jacobson's video.

    We've already corresponded about E.W. Edwards of Syracuse, NY. Now, sadly, being from Upstate NY, I never experienced a Jacobson's.

    But I have a question : you speak of Jacobson's "right hand man, Russ Flowler." Did he have any connection to Fowler's of Binghamton, NY?

    Mark E. Farrington
    East Syracuse, NY

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  67. Worked at the Birmingham Michigan location for years. Loved it. Miss it so. Great memories of Jakes, it's employees and customers.

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  68. I, Michael Xavier Fenn, was a tractor-trailer driver for the wonderful Jacobsons ,for 21 years in Fl. I operated out of the DC on Driggs DR., Winter Park,Fl. along with my fellow drivers,made runs to the various stores in Fl. I was the last driver out of the DC, in 2001,when the co.folded up. I have a lot of great memories,wonderful memories,of the employees in the Dc,and in the stores.Jacobsons, was a great place to work and for this "ole man",i too, miss it so!

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  69. I shopped Jacobsons Longwood VIllage and Winter Park Florida. I took my little girl there 24 years ago for her shoes and clothes. I loved there gift area and Mens clothes. My little one went to a couple of kids book signings too. These stores were the last of old time retail with real customer service and real quality products.. I miss the quality and have such fond memories of my day with my little one, getting new shoes and off to lunch. Thanks for the memories. Just wish I could do the same with my granddaughter.

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  70. You are welcome. I need to update the exhibit since I have more pictures and information.
    - Bruce

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