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Posted on 14 April 2011 | 3,886 views

Macy Department Stores Stock After 1929 Crash

Macy’s was founded by Rowland Hussey Macy, who between 1843 and 1855 opened four retail dry goods stores, including the original Macy’s store in downtown Haverhill, Massachusetts. The Stock Market “Crash of ’29” and the following 1929-1932 Bear Market erased over 90% of “Macy’s” stock value.

Established in 1851, Macy’s served the mill industry employees of the area, they all failed, but he learned from his mistakes. Macy moved to New York City in 1858 and established a new store named “R.H. Macy Dry Goods” on Sixth Avenue between 13th and 14th Streets.

On the company’s first day of business on October 28, 1858 sales totaled $11.08, equal to $279.82 today. From the very beginning, Macy’s logo has included a star in one form or another, which comes from a tattoo that Macy got as a teenager when he worked on a Nantucket whaling ship.

Ownership of the company was passed down through the Macy family until 1895, when the company, now called “R. H. Macy & Co.”, was acquired by Isidor Straus and his brother Nathan Straus, who had previously held a license to sell china and other goods in the Macy’s store.

In 1902, the flagship store moved uptown to Herald Square at 34th Street and Broadway, so far north of the other main dry goods emporia that it had to offer a steam wagonette to transport customers from 14th Street to 34th Street.

The company produces the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, a noted parade which has been held in New York City annually since 1924.

By October 27, 1929 Macy Department Stores was trading at $185.00 per share when the first wave of selling on “Black Monday“, October 28, 1929 brought the shares down ($24.00) to close at $161.00 per share on the day. By August 11, 1932, Macy Department Stores was trading at $35.625 and hit a 1932 low of $17.00 per share.

On February 28, 2005, Federated agreed to terms of a deal to acquire The May Department Stores Company for $11 billion in stock, creating the nation’s second largest department store chain with $30 billion in annual sales and more than 1,000 stores. In 2008, Macy’s celebrated its 150th birthday.

Resources:

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

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