Department Stores

Here’s some Jewish history behind several popular department stores, just to name a few.

Barneys New York: Barney Pressman was born to a Jewish family in the Lower East side of Manhattan. He founded the American luxury department store in 1923.

Bergdorf Goodman: Jewish American founder, Edwin Goodman, worked as a tailor for Herman Bergdorf before going into business together. In 1914, Goodman became the first couturier to introduce ready-to-wear.

Bloomingdale’s: The American luxury department store was founded in 1872, by two Jewish brothers, Joseph and Lyman Bloomingdale. An Israeli flag is prominently displayed in front of their flagship store in New York City.

Century 21: Century 21 department store was founded in 1961, in a small storefront on Cortland Street by Syrian Jewish immigrants, Al and Sonny Gindi.

Gimbels: Bavarian Jew, Adam Gimbel, pioneered department store franchising by opening 30 stores by 1910. Gimbels operated for over a century from 1842 until 1987.

Henri Bendel: The Jewish founder of the upscale women’s fashion company bearing his name, was the first retailer to have its own fragrance, offer in-store makeovers and stage its own fashion show.

Macys: The department store chain founded in 1858 by Rowland Hussey Macy, who later died in 1877, leaving the store to his family. In 1895, Bavarian born, American Jewish brother, Isidor and Nathan Straus bought the company.

Neiman Marcus: Born to a Jewish family in Kentucky, Herbert Marcus was one of the co-founders of Neiman Marcus, and later became its CEO.

Saks Fifth Avenue: Andrews Saks was born to a German Jewish family in Baltimore, Maryland. He established a men’s clothing store with his brother Isadore in 1867. In 1902, they opened a store in New York on 34th Street as Saks & Company.