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Posted on 21 July 2011 | 5,763 views

Hahn Department Stores Stock Price After the October 1929 Stock Market Crash

Ten years as managing director of the National Retail Dry Goods Association gave Lew Hahn intimate knowledge of department stores, plus a reputation, of which he had almost none when he began wrapping up shoes in Andrew Alexander’s shop.

Largest store in the Hahn combine is Jordan Marsh Co. of Boston. For 78 years Boston shoppers have been going to Jordan Marsh’s, which, during the U.S. Civil War, did a large cotton business through the energy and shrewdness of a young employe named James Fisk. When the war was over, the Jordan Marsh Co. found that Fisk’s temperament was not adapted to peacetime merchandising, ousted him. Fisk went on to a career of high finance, became the Jim Fisk of Black Friday and similar notoriety.

Friday, Sept. 24, 1869, when Jim Fisk and Jay Gould tried cornering the gold market.

Hahn Department Stores was organized by Lew Hahn in December 1928. It was created as a holding company for the purpose of acquiring and operating large, well-known department stores throughout the United States. Hahn went public in early 1929 with a $22,700,000 offering of 6 percent convertible preferred stock and 454,000 shares of common stock.

Using the proceeds from this offering, Hahn initially acquired twenty-two stores nationwide. These companies were chosen because they had annual sales between $1 million and $10 million and because they had a record of achieving good earnings. They were also selected because they were deemed to be “the most important in their respective sections of the country.” These companies included Jordan Marsh of Boston, L.S. Donaldson of Minneapolis, and the Bon Marche of Seattle. The Hahn strategy was that after each acquisition, the newly acquired department store would continue to operate under its own name and under the same management team, who, in turn, would own a substantial amount of the common stock of Hahn. The central organization was presented to prospective investors and the public as a place where “expert executives” would coordinate merchandise purchases and other activities.

By October 27, 1929 Hahn Department Stores was trading at $20.00 per share when the first wave of selling on “Black Monday“, October 28, 1929 brought the shares down ($2.125) to close at $17.875 per share on the day. By August 11, 1932, Hahn Department Stores was trading at $2.50 per share and hit a 1932 low of $0.625 per share.

When “Hahn Department Stores“, Inc., announced the merger of 22 department stores, forming a unit capitalized at $60,000,000 and with aggregate 1927 sales of more than $100,000,000. The 22 stores — the best known of which is Boston’s Jordan Marsh — will form the nucleus of what Lew Hahn hopes to make the largest chain-store organization in the world. President Hahn of the new combination, forsees a billion dollar department chain with annual turnover exceeding F.W. Woolworth, United Cigar, or Atlantic & Pacific. Various units will continue to operate under present managements, President George W. Mitton of Jordan Marsh, for example, continuing at his post and also becoming Chairman of Hahn Department Stores, Inc.

Hahn had grown to twenty-nine stores with the addition of Maas Brothers Inc., of Tampa, Florida, in May 1929. That same month it completed its first full year of operations, earning $6.0 million. The combined annual sales of the twenty-nine department stores under Hahn control were approximately $115 million.

Allied Stores was a department store chain in the United States. It was founded in the 1930s as part of a general consolidation in the retail sector by B. E. Puckett. It was the successor to Hahn’s Department Stores, a holding company founded in 1928. In 1935 Hahn’s was reorganized into Allied Stores.

Resources:

The Pittsburgh Press – October 1929
The Pittsburgh Press – August 1932

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