Dayton’s Department Store, grand in scope and company spirit, enjoyed a century in the limelight as one of the nation’s leading retailers. Though it has since shared the fate of many other urban department stores, devotees who shopped there still treasure the memory of Dayton’s. Originally called Goodfellows, the store got its start in 1902 when real estate investor and banker George Draper Dayton became a silent partner in the business. He soon took over the company but had to learn the ropes of retail as he went along, since he had never intended to become a merchant. The early years were not without struggles, but Dayton’s department store nevertheless was an instant hit with its daylight-filled aisles, generous return policies, and quality merchandise. The Minneapolis store became a vibrant self-contained community with a post office, newspaper, infirmary, laundry, bakery, and even a college. “Daytonians” worked and played together around the clock, in baseball and bowling teams, glee clubs, and orchestras. Over time, Dayton’s reach extended far into the upper Midwest, with stores in North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin, including the development of the nation’s first indoor mall.
Softcover, 6 x 9, 128 pgs.
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