5 Best Quality, Lowest Prices: It’s Got to be Higbee’s

Hower & Higbee Dry Goods began in September 1860 when two young enterprising businessmen John G. Hower (1827-1897) of Burbank, Ohio and Edwin Converse Higbee (1831-1906) of Lodi, Ohio pooled their resources to open their first retail shop at 237 Superior Avenue.[1] Both men believed in “honor, liberality and courtesy backed by efficient capital, experience and good will.”  Initially specializing in broadloom carpets and fine linens, Hower & Higbee quickly expanded its merchandise lines to include affordable clothing.  It also introduced the city’s first dress department.  Knowledgeable sales clerks assisted customers in selecting just the right dress for that very special occasion.

These innovative businessmen took the local shopping experience to an entirely new level when they decided to treat their customers like family.  They also gained a well-earned reputation for their generous contributions to local charities.  This generosity began as early as 1865 when they donated $25.00 to the Huron Road Hospital building fund.  They also supported a host of other worthwhile causes such as the Ladies Temperance League and the American Red Cross.[2]  When news reached Cleveland, in 1871, that a huge fire had consumed much of downtown Chicago, Hower & Higbee sent merchandise to the victims.  The citizens of Chicago publicly thanked them for their generosity.

Hower & Higbee scored a number of retail firsts.  For example, they advertised nearly every day during the Civil War.  No other local retailer did that.  They also set a precedent in 1869 when they eliminated jobbers.  A third innovation involved ordering and picking up merchandise.  Hower & Higbee afforded their customers the opportunity of placing merchandise orders in the morning for pickup later that same day.  Shoppers also greatly appreciated the store’s central sales counter which sped up the procurement of merchandise. These highly resourceful retailers in the mid-1870s became the envy of their competitors when they became the sole agents for the Cheney Brothers of Hartford, CT.  Cheney Brothers manufactured fine quality silk garments.

Hower & Higbee’s achievements did not end there.  It was the first local department store, in the 1880s, to offer customer phone service.  This retailer also led the pack in providing courtesy home deliveries.  However, their success involved much more than outguessing what other retailers might do.  These businessmen knew the importance of honesty and integrity.  They set a good example for others to follow.  Their wholeheartedly support of community-based services such as the Committee on Promotion of the Board of Trade distinguished them from others.  They also gave assistance to other enterprising Clevelanders who wanted to expand their business network.[3]

Following the untimely death, in 1897, of John G. Hower, Edwin Higbee assumed control of the store.[4]  With the assistance of William T. Higbee, Herman Mierke, William Foster and Alexander Caskey, Higbee brought the store into the 20th century.  The company’s cash flow, in 1902, for the first time, exceeded $500,000.[5] Increasing profits and decreasing debt over the next decade enabled officials to expand their clothing and accessories lines.  The board’s decision to cater primarily to Cleveland’s upper middle class definitely produced great financial rewards.

Officials and staff, in 1906, mourned the loss of their founder Edwin C. Higbee.  The store’s new President William T. Higbee authorized further expansion of its clothing lines and specialty items.  His efforts soon paid-off.  Higbee proudly announced, in 1910, that his retail establishment had broken all previous sales records.  With assets of $315,875, board members decided to capitalize on their recent good fortune through several targeted promotions.[6]  They ran the gamut from distributing to customers a 50th anniversary booklet and purchasing hard-to-get tailored women’s suits to carrying fine imported linens and other one of-a-kind items.[7]

Equally important, officials determined that the bulk of their retail trade originated with Cleveland’s upper middle class.  This prompted them to sponsor a re-evaluation of current retail practices with the intention of better serving their new, sophisticated shoppers.  This re-evaluation process began by assessing current pricing practices and, when appropriate, remarking certain items to insure maximum future profit.  However, it did not end there.  In fact, much of the board’s efforts concerned determining which items sold well and which ones did not.  Once they figured out the shelf-life of products then they began the arduous task of eliminating slow moving items and replacing them with the kind of merchandise desired most by their patrons.  Board members remained cognizant of the fact that the future growth and prosperity of Higbee’s depended on the new policies they initiated today.

The board unanimously agreed that one of the most effective ways to counter growing competition was for Higbee’s to build its-own modern department store.  Officials further concurred that their new emporium must be a part of the emerging upper Euclid Avenue retail district called Playhouse Square.  With these thoughts in mind, the Board of Directors, in 1910, authorized the construction of a new modern building at 1331 Euclid Avenue.  Located on the site of the Amasa Stone mansion, this $150,000, nine-story structure included 250,000 square feet of retail space.[8] A popular Cleveland architect and son of a U.S. President Abram Garfield (1872-1958) designed it.  The public loved shopping there.  Needing additional space to meet its expanding customer-base, its legal counsel, in 1919, signed a 10-year $10,000 lease with Bailey Realty to rent an adjacent building located on East 13th Street.  It provided Higbee’s additional floor space totaling 10,184 square feet.

A national promoter and retailer named John Claflin, in 1913, purchased Higbee’s.  As head of the New York-based H.B. Claflin Company, he had controlling interest in a number of well-known department stores.  They included Lord & Taylor, & Company, O’Neill-Adams Company, Stewart & Company and Gunther Sons.  Claflin knew what business steps needed to be taken to guarantee Higbee’s long-term success.  Restructuring its corporate structure represented a formidable challenge requiring immediate attention.  John Claflin discarded the conservative business model first instituted by Hower and Higbee, in the 1870s, and replaced it with his own business form.  This new model not only precisely measured the store’s financial gains and losses; but also, accurately predicted future retail returns based on present trends.

His actions, in 1914, resulted in the formation of the Higbee Company of Delaware.  That new corporation controlled more than $1,000,000 in capital stock.[9]  Created primarily for tax purposes, this model of business efficiency remained in place for twenty years.  Most importantly, it helped to produce impressive year-end results.  For example, Higbee’s earnings from 1917 to 1920 exceeded $322,802 per year.  That incredible figure represented five times the required dividend requirements for the current issue of stock.  Also, all new stock issues were exempted from federal and state taxes.  Claflin’s astute business practices and retail connections served Higbee’s well for the short-term.  Higbee buyers used his business connections to purchase quality merchandise from the same European houses frequented by major New York, London and Paris retailers.  Other Cleveland department stores could not say the same thing.

A major New York business concern for almost a century, H.B. Claflin Company over extended itself financially during the first decade of the 20th century.  Unable to meet its growing financial obligations, it declared bankruptcy in June 1914.  The federal bankruptcy court placed this holding company into receivership.[10] Court-appointed receivers determined that affiliates including Higbee’s could remain open provided they could show that they were profitability.  Higbee’s had no problem and it remained open.

Higbee officials learned a valuable lesson from the Claflin experience.  They realized that their future depended on their ability to anticipate the needs and wants of their shoppers far beyond today.  This realization led the board to introduce a wide array of new departments.  Each sold a specific item or provided a service.  Higbee’s, by 1923, boasted more than sixty departments.[11] They ranged from bedding, cosmetics, furniture and jewelry to radios, record players, toys and travel services.  The store also provided its-own 2,000 car garage, free gift wrapping, Santa Claus at Christmas and an acoustically-sound rehearsal hall for concerts.

Retail innovations were seen everywhere.  For example, during the First World War, executives introduced a new credit system amply called Savings Checks.  Under this arrangement, customers purchased small metal disks of various denominations which they then deposited in participating banks.  Those banks, in turn, would issue them credit slips.  These slips spelled out the amount of funds available for spending at Higbee’s.  Untouched accounts accrued 4% interest.

With credit slips in hand, shoppers purchased merchandise at Higbee’s up to their credit line.  In many ways, this system emulated modern-day debit cards in that payment transfers were deducted automatically from depositors’ accounts at the end of every business day.  Also, like today’s debit cards, depositors received notification of all deposits and payment transfers through -monthly bank statements and store bills.  Participating shoppers received an additional 2% discount on all Higbee’s purchases.[12]

Under the capable leadership of Asa Shiverick (1877-1937), Higbee’s continued to capitalize on its reputation for honesty and integrity.  Hoping to lower overall buying costs, the Board of Directors, in the 1920s, enthusiastically supported a new cooperative venture that called for participating stores to pool their capital to purchase large volumes of merchandise at much reduced cost.  Although only marginally successful, it set the stage for greater cooperation among downtown department stores in the 1930s and 1940s.  Higbee’s also actively participated in the Cleveland Retail Credit Association.  This group regulated local retail activities and promoted ethical business practices.

The phenomenal growth of Higbee’s during the First World War convinced board members to renovate their store.  To illustrate this last point, the First Trust & Savings Company of Cleveland, OH, in April 1920, offered 8% on Higbee’s Cumulative First Preferred Stock.[13]  Total store assets increased from $3,581,252 in 1918 to $4,285,252 by 1919.  This led board members to approve a $1,000,000 expansion and remodeling program in 1922 that included revamping the auditorium, creating additional floor space and improving the annex.  Other improvements such as a new, fireproof terra-cotta exterior veneer, additional elevators, thick soundproof windows and a wider driveway for truck deliveries brought Higbee’s into the modern age.[14]

Nineteen twenty-three proved to be very profitable.  Cleveland’s Union Trust Company issued $1,500,000 in new preferred stock.[15]  The Board of Directors also secured additional capital by retiring $923,000 of its outstanding preferred stock.  Those stocks sold at par with a 7% accrued dividend.  Union Trust proclaimed Higbee’s Department Store to be one of Ohio’s best investment opportunities.  Store earnings from 1920 through 1923 increased from $6,609,869 to $8,038,377.  The dividends paid on $1,500,000 on 1st preferred stock averaged $403,723.  Everyone made money then.

Much of Higbee’s financial success in the “Roaring Twenties” resulted from its-own special promotional activities.  Such things as fashion shows hosted by WJAX-radio gained a big following especially among young women.[16] Free decorating lessons also appealed to a great many. Higbee’s enterprising board received praise from the local press when it donated $500.00 towards the establishment of two new hospitals for unwed mothers.[17] Customers also flocked regularly to Higbee’s circulation library.  The economic catastrophe wrought by the Stock Market Crash, in October 1929, did not dampen store spirits.  In fact, Christmas sales that year topped the previous year.  Higbee’s preferred stock also continued to pay 6% dividends.[18]

Nineteen-thirty was a conundrum for Higbee’s.  Sales of First Preferred Stock opened in 1930 at 101 for 100 shares.  It continued to rise during the first six months of 1930 reaching 105½ for 100 shares.  Through a 3% sinking fund the $1,500,000 authorized issue was reduced to $1,230,000 payable on a 30-day notice at 107½.  It sold in July 1931 for 90 for 100 shares.[19]

A small group of wealthy customers, seemingly unaffected by recent downturns in the economy, continued to purchase the store’s many high quality goods and services at a feverous pace.  Their spending kept Higbee’s financially afloat.  However, as the Depression worsened many of those affluent customers saw their fortunes evaporate.  Their inability to maintain their posh lifestyles adversely affected Higbee’s bottom line.  In its wake, the number of poor grew at an alarming rate.  Many of the unemployed were, in fact, former middle and upper class customers.  Store officials reacted to these hard times in the only way they knew how.  They continued to offer high quality merchandise at standard prices to a dwindling number of shoppers.  They also provided special sales periodically to stimulate business.

Higbee’s Board of Directors initiated some austerity measures, beginning in 1931, when they furloughed many of their full-time employees.  Hoping to soften this economic blow, board members offered full-time employees part-time work during special sales.[20] However, that opportunity lasted briefly as the U.S. economy worsened.  Regarding customer credit, store officials held fast to traditional policies.  No major innovations burst onto the scene to help those less fortunate.

Revising traditional credit and installment buying programs was not an option.  It was not a part of the grand scheme of things.  That did not mean that Higbee’s Board of Directors lacked empathy for those shoppers who had lost their jobs.  They cared very much about their customers.  However, as everyone soon found out, Higbee’s was not a charity.  Store officials remained committed to the bottom line: maximum profit at minimum cost.  That business principle guided Higbee’s in its first seventy years and would continue to do so into the future.

However, worsening economic conditions forced the board to reconsider their earlier harsh action.  Board members, in October 1931, offered their customers some marginal relief through what they called a “Modified Budget Plan.”  Under this initiative, customers made an initial down payment of 10% on all items purchased and then paid-off the balance in 24 equivalent payments, one per month, for the next two years.[21] Promoted as a reasonable alternative to earlier, less lenient credit plans, few utilized it.

Retailers nationwide had no way of knowing, in the 1920s, that the nation’s prosperity was about to end.  Economic forecasts throughout that decade remained optimistic even though mounting inventories and increased business bankruptcies suggested a bleaker economic picture ahead.  Yet, financial experts remained calm throughout.  The majority believed that any-and-all business irregularities occurring within the stock market could be easily handled by competent business leaders, nimble financiers and knowledgeable investors.  Two weeks prior to the Great Stock Market Crash of 1929 the noted U.S. Neo-Classic economist Irving Fisher (1867-1947) proudly proclaimed that the price of stocks had attained what he called “a permanently high plateau.”

Major retail establishments such as Higbee’s saw no reason not to take full advantage of the nation’s expanding economy.  This kind of positive thinking prompted Higbee’s executives, in 1928, to approve plans for a new magnificent department store to be located in the heart of Public Square.  A part of the $160,000,000 office and rail center called Union Terminal, this $10,000,000 department store became an integral part of downtown retailing for the next seventy years.[22]

Higbee’s Board of Directors worked closely with Van Sweringen Development Corporation to make it a reality.  The Metropolitan Life Insurance Corporation (MetLife) financed Higbee’s portion of this project through a special $5,000,000 mortgage bond.[23]  This beautiful department store opened its doors on September 8, 1931.[24] Nearly 360,000 customers visited the new store on opening day.  A twelve–story, 1,035,459 square foot Indiana limestone, marble and terra-cotta clad building it contained more than $5,000,000 worth of merchandise and employed 3,500.[25]  Higbee’s expected to make more than $50,000,000 annually from its investment.[26]

Praised by the local press for its sixty-four dazzling display windows, highly polished white marble floors, wide aisles, and crystal display cases, the new Higbee’s represented the quintessential department store of the early 20th century.  Its nationally-recognized coin and stamp counter and professional art gallery impressed many.  A well-respected New York-based bookseller Brentani opened a branch there.[27] Beautifully detailed elevators and sturdy escalators carried 6,000 to 8,000 persons an hour between floors.  What a beautiful building!  What a fantastic achievement!

A popular Cleveland architect named Phillip Small (1890-1963) designed its 10th floor Art-Deco styled restaurant called the Silver Grille.[28] This award winning, restaurant remained a favorite of Clevelanders for years.  Higbee’s also led its downtown competitors by offering one of the region’s first full-service bargain basement stores.  Known as the Cash Basement, it catered to customers who wanted to purchase either overstocks or inventories at much reduced prices.[29]  Higbee’s also became the new home for the CBS affiliate in Cleveland WHK-radio.[30]

The Board of Directors, in February 1931, approved the dissolution of its original Ohio charter for tax purposes. [31] Store executives, a year later, took customer service to another level when they introduced a full-service car repair and tire shop in Union Terminal.[32] They publicized its grand opening by exhibiting a brand new shiny Ford V-8.  From the day it opened, Higbee’s at Public Square welcomed numerous civic and community communities to use their auditorium and various lounges for special events.  Events covered the gamut from private social gatherings, political debates and intellectual lectures to civics lessons, charity balls and religious retreats.  Higbee’s also provided quality catering services.

Higbee officials along with other prominent business and government leaders worked diligently in the early 1930s to bring the World’s Fair to Cleveland.  They secured it in 1935.  Higbee’s sponsored the Art-Deco Higbee Tower at the Great Lakes Exposition the following two summers.  Bathed in bright light, this 3,600 square foot structure featured six foot lettering spelling Higbee on four of its eight sides.  Flashing red lights surrounded by bright chrome yellow lights, offset by black and silver aluminum shields, complimented this imposing structure.[33] Higbee’s sales staff sold thousands of souvenirs to eager tourists.  They also handled sportswear accessories, hosiery, toys, beach sandals, toiletries, handkerchiefs, candies and men’s accessories.  The public loved the Globe Theatre pageant held in Higbee’s Silver Grille restaurant.[34]

One of the major issues facing the Board of Directors, during the Great Depression of the 1930s, involved disposing of its Euclid Avenue site.   Had the 1930s been a decade of economic growth and prosperity, many retailers would have jumped at the chance to occupy it.  Unfortunately, these were anything but normal economic times.  After much deliberation, Higbee executives authorized a storewide liquidation sale for mid-July 1931.[35]  This sale gave shoppers an excellent opportunity to purchase quality merchandise at much reduced prices and also to say their last good-byes to their beloved store.

This site remained vacant for the next six months.  The Board of Directors announced, in January 1932, that General Motors Corporation planned to display its latest automobile lines on its main floor during the first week of April.  The success of this auto show convinced Detroit’s largest automaker to sponsor several other events there over the next several years.  Higbee’s, that autumn, converted several floors into a new wholesale food distribution center and warehouse.  These same premises housed the Cleveland Auto Show and Ripley’s Believe It or Not Show.  Rumors circulated in the spring of 1934 that outside investors were seriously considering opening a French café on its main floor.  However, nothing materialized.

A major sale, held in September 1931, featured a fine array of china sets; stemware, sweaters, skirts and comforters.  Officials publicized the fact that this new merchandise was priced to sell well.[36]  One major on-site event received national acclaim.  Store officials, in September 1934, conducted the largest single art auction in Cleveland’s 137-year history.  The bankrupt Guenther Gallery needed to sell its collection quickly and Higbee’s won the bid.  Sales from that auction exceeded $200,000.  What especially impressed the national art community was that Higbee’s staff not only properly prepared the various pieces of art for sale, but also, secured some of the nation’s best auctioneers to sell them.

The U.S. District Court of Appeals, in January 1936, upheld an earlier court decision against Higbee’s.  The building’s leaseholders claimed that Higbee’s still owed them back rent on its Euclid Avenue site.  The court awarded plaintiffs compensation totaling $717,100.[37] They argued that their earlier investments were worthless due to Higbee’s refusal to pay back rents owed.  The Ohio Supreme Court, in July 1936, overturned the lower court decision claiming that Higbee’s was not liable for unpaid rents.  Higbee’s trustees, later that same month, under the auspices of the Cleveland Trust Holding Company paid $10,000 to lay claim to the sheriff’s deed on the property.  This Ohio Supreme Court decision ended a long-term battle between investors and the department store concerning the owner’s legal obligations to investors.

The problem stemmed back to the early 1920s with the original leasing agreements.  Arbitrators, in 1922, had awarded ownership privileges and leasing rights to a holding company called Crowell & Little Securities.  It quickly transferred all property privileges and rights to the Cleveland Trust Company.  Under this special transfer agreement, the Higbee Realty Company and Women’s City Club each received subleases to the property in question. At the same time, Cleveland Trust awarded Higbee Realty full rights to issue a 99-year renewable lease to Higbee’s Department Store with the understanding that it must renew this lease every ten years.  Store officials also agreed to pay $168,000 in rent annually.  This special business agreement remained in effect until the summer of 1931.  Higbee’s relocation to Public Square made the earlier lease void.[38]

Cleveland Trust, in the autumn of 1936, assumed control of the lease.  Its bankers requested Cuyahoga County auditors to lower its assessed value.  They claimed that the income generated from this site had dropped appreciably from $165,000 in 1930/31 to $52,068 by 1934.  Cuyahoga County lowered the assessed value from $1,741,410 to $1,269,410.[39] Common Pleas Judge Frank J. Merrick in 1938 approved Cleveland Trust’s application for a $750,000 loan to refurbish the building’s interior.

Rumors circulated following the Pearl Harbor bombing that the Armed Services planned to establish an account and supply branch office in downtown Cleveland.  However, nothing further happened until October 1942 when the U.S. Navy announced plans to move into the former Higbee building.[40] That site fitted their needs.  Local contractor Samuel W. Emerson Company renovated it quickly and the Navy moved into its new quarters.  The federal government spent nearly $330,000 to modernize it.  Of that $330,000, over $90,000 of it went towards upgrading its heating and plumbing systems.  An alternate electrical system with efficient light fixtures cost an additional $55,000, while repainting its interior and renovating its antiquated elevators totaled $60,000.[41] The U.S. Navy spent the remaining funds on plaster removal, new furniture and office supplies.

The federal government, in late 1945, vacated the building.  A real estate firm called the Hum Company, in July 1946, purchased the site from Cleveland Trust Company for $3,175,000.[42] Its assessed value that same year stood at about $1,527,500.  Allied Stores, in September 1947, unveiled its plans to move its newly acquired Sterling-Linder Department Store and W.B. Davis & Company into that building.[43] However, nothing happened until 1948 when W.B. Davis’s lease at 333 Euclid Avenue expired.  An upscale New York-based chain named Bonwit Teller occupied the Lindner site for the next twenty years.

The Board of Directors, throughout the 1930s, sponsored popular events and services within their premises.  Higbee’s Annual Fall Festival enabled shoppers to buy the freshest preserves and jellies at reasonable cost.[44] The new baked goods and candy shop, found on the store’s street level, afforded customers the opportunity of buying something sweet for their families.[45]  The puppet shows in its Children’s Theatre delighted thousands of youngsters, while the End of the Month Sales encouraged patrons to buy quality closeout items.[46] Higbee’s also offered through its Silver Grille restaurant special $.45 daily luncheon specials and tasty fountain drinks for only $.20.[47]

Other Higbee firsts during the Great Depression of the 1930s included cashing customer bank checks; revitalizing shoes and sneakers in Higbee’s “Shoe Hospital” and learning typewriting.[48]  Store officials also exhibited handmade quilts, featured big band shows often with the Fred Waring orchestra and holding special Kindergarten classes.  Dance lessons, car contests, stamp exhibits, fashion shows and a reliable in-house optician rounded out the bill.  In addition, Higbee’s offered cooking classes, aviation exhibitions, photography lessons and groceries.

Higbee’s Board of Directors in the mid-1930s approved its first in-house remodeling plans.  Executives also tried to bolster sagging sales by introducing less expensive merchandise.  Officials eliminated overstocks and inventories from its basement store and replaced them with ready-to-wear clothing.[49] This resulted in greater sales.  Women’s fashions, home furnishings, coats, millinery, and children’s accessories also received renovations.

This downtown department store led competitors in other important ways.  Higbee’s, in 1936, proudly sponsored the nation’s first exhibition dedicated to Cleveland public school art teachers.[50]  The store also hosted a benefit ball to fight polio along with an Arts and Craft festival and Cleveland’s Rose Show.  The nation’s First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt and popular tennis star Eleanor Tennant also visited Higbee’s as did Arnold’s Traveling Circus.[51]

The mid-1930s represented a crucial period in the store’s history.  The economic hardships at that time greatly impacted store operations.  Unable to meet its growing mortgage obligations, Higbee stockholders weighed their options.  After some deliberation, George A. Ball, a majority stockholder and Executor of the George & Frances Ball Foundation of Muncie, Indiana, announced plans to sell the bulk of his stock worth $6,375,000 to Robert R. Young of New York, NY; Allan P. Kirby (1893-1973) of Wilkes-Barre, PA and Frank A. Kolbe of New York, NY.[52] Two outspoken members of the board Charles L. Bradley (1885-1943) and John P. Murphy (1887-1969) led the fight against this hostile takeover.[53]

With the assistance of the highly respected Cleveland law firm of Jones, Day, Coakley & Reavis, the Board of Directors, in 1937, submitted a reorganization plan to the U.S. District Court.[54] This action ended current foreclosure procedures.  Under this special arrangement, the store’s legal counsel drew up a new 25-year store lease that included 3% of net sales above $16,500,000, but with $350,000 annual minimum for the first five years, and not less than $400,000 the remaining years.

On net sales above $20,000,000, the rental percentage remained fixed at 2¾.  Holders of the $591,930 senior bank indebtedness and $846,922 senior rent indebtedness were to receive 4% notes of the Higbee Company scheduled to mature in three to seven years.  Those with $1,551,041 junior indebtedness (plus interest) were to get $600,000 in new 4% notes scheduled to mature in ten years and common stock at one share for each $100 after deducting the $600,000 in outstanding notes.

This reorganization plan called for the George & Frances Ball Foundation to receive $500,000 and Warren L. Morris of the Vaness Company $100,000.  It further stipulated that Charles L. Bradley and John P. Murphy were to obtain common stock shares upon the purchase of the store’s debt from the Ball Foundation.  Holders of preferred stock would receive a guaranteed one share of new preferred and common stock at the rate of one share for each $100 of dividends accumulated up to the date.  This plan was confirmed by the courts.

Holders of the old second preferred stock were to acquire new preferred and common stock at the same rate.  The new preferred stock with a par value of $100 entitled its holders to $5.00 annual dividends culminated from the date of the final payment of the notes to be issued for senior and junior indebtedness.  But, in any event, it would be cumulative on February 1, 1951.  Preferred stockholders would be able to redeem stocks on a 30-day notice at $100 a share plus accumulated dividends to the date of call.  The new agreement further stipulated that the Board of Directors was to be elected by its membership at its annual meeting held each June.   Higbee’s, in April 1938, filed an amended plan with the U.S. District Court.  It called for the division of creditors and stockholders into different classes based on the nature of their respective claims and interests.[55]

A minority of Higbee stockholders criticized the reorganization plan.  They contended that it gave preferential treatment to the old guard leadership.  However, the U.S. District Court approved the plan.  Following the untimely death in July 1937 of Asa Shiverick, Charles L. Bradley became the store’s new President.[56]  Higbee’s, in 1938, won a major battle in the courts to reduce its annual rent from $600,000 to $320,000. [57]

Robert R. Young and Allan Kirby, in May 1941, filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court in order to gain control of Higbee’s. The plaintiffs claimed that Ball, Bradley and Murphy had demanded their support without offering them just compensation, and that Ball, Bradley and Murphy had fraudulently entered into a conspiracy to deprive them control.  Young and Kirby further contended that the Ball Foundation and its subsidiary Allegany Corporation had conspired to sell Higbee securities for $600,000.  The terms and conditions of this sale favored Bradley and Murphy.  Federal District Judge Paul Jones (1880-1965) in October 1941 found in favor of the defendants.  Judge Jones upheld Higbee’s reorganization plan claiming that it worked.  Store sales, between 1936 and 1941, had increased about 40%, while its debt had decreased from $1,750,000 to $591,000.[58] A similar suit filed by Young and Kirby, in 1942, in Indianapolis was also thrown out.[59]

The late 1930s represented a time of significant growth and change for this important downtown department store.  Under the able leadership of Charles L. Bradley, Higbee’s expanded its community service activities.  They included such things as Parliamentary Law classes; opera appreciation lessons, bridge parties, kennel club gatherings and Higbee’s Little Town Hall series.  Higbee’s, in 1939, proudly introduced a new dimension in radio.  Manufactured by Farnsworth, they were adaptable to television.[60] National celebrities such as Kate Smith, Joe E. Brown, Marlene Dietrich, Alice Roosevelt Longworth, Louis Rich, Joseph Schuster, Jerry Siegel and Mrs. Eliot Ness bought there.  The store also sold a fine array of domestic and foreign cigars and handcrafted English pipes along with an excellent selection of sharp cheeses and sparkling wines.  Photographers loved their modern photo processing lab and art connoisseurs enjoyed the many exhibitions held in the gallery.  State-of-the-art steam rooms and a well-equipped beauty salon provided weary customers with the ultimate shopping experience.  Higbee’s also initiated a new telephone service to speed up customer orders.[61]

This retailer enjoyed a period of sustained growth and prosperity during the Second World War.  Market analysts in 1940 boldly projected that Higbee’s would easily achieve its targeted ratio of better than $4.00 of quick assets for each $1.00 of liability incurred.  Book assets in the $245 range backed every share of preferred stock issued, while book assets around $76 supported common shares.  Net earnings in 1940 were more than four times greater than basic dividend requirements.  This enabled Higbee’s to pay-off all its outstanding merchandise bills plus staff salaries, rental costs and taxes.[62]

Store’s earnings continued to grow through the 1941-42 shopping season.  After fulfilling its dividend requirements on 15,155 shares of 5% preferred, dividends on common stock stood at $15.34.  Net earnings at the end of 1942 totaled $8,000,000.  That included depreciation and interest charges of $185,213.  Higbee’s also negotiated a loan from National City Bank that eliminated $520,000 of its $1,120,000 outstanding notes due on or before March 1, 1948.  Store officials paid a 1st quarter stock dividend of $1.25.[63] Higbee’s Board of Directors, in May 1942, authorized aggregate accumulated dividends to be paid on new preferred stock at $5.69 a share.[64]  Board members proudly declared a $.75 dividend on common stock in December 1943 and again in March 1944.  Back to back dividend payments, like that, had not occurred since 1930.[65]

With the outbreak of the Second World War, Higbee’s began to sell war bonds.  The Board of Directors, in February 1944, boasted that their store had already sold $600,000 bonds.[66] Executives also sponsored war rallies, American Red Cross disaster relief efforts, victory gardens and conservation programs.  Higbee’s, in an effort to conserve natural resources, announced on St. Patrick’s Day 1943 that it had shortened store hours from 10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. depending on the day.[67] Board members, the same year, donated $25,000 to the War Chest.  The store also encouraged the Women’s Club of Charity Hospital to use their lounge to make surgical dressings to be shipped overseas.

The Board of Directors, in 1943, chose John P. Murphy to serve as interim President following the untimely death of Charles L. Bradley.[68]  Board members on March 15, 1944 unanimously elected him to that post.   The Cleveland Chamber of Commerce, that same month, elected George E. Merrifield (1884-1974) to its board.[69] Merrifield was Higbee’s Vice President and Treasurer.  The U.S. Navy, in September 1944, launched the U.S.S. Higbee.  It was named after Mrs. Higbee the first women Superintendent of the U.S. Navy Nursing Corp.[70] Ms. Dorothy Fuldheim, a nationally-recognized news analysis and writer and a frequent speaker at Higbee forums, spoke that October on current events.[71] There was always something interesting happening at Higbee’s.

Store profits continued to soar with dividends in December 1944 reaching $1.00 per common share.[72] This trend carried over into the next year with dividends in March 1945 exceeding $3.00 a share.  When sales records topped $26,075,969, investors decided to split stocks five-to-one.  This action whereby the value of its most recent issued stock equaled $6.17 a share was a stroke of genius.  Not only did it furnish high dividends, but also, more capital.  Equally important, it symbolized a new versatile approach to capital restructuring that more realistically reflected the needs of this growing company.[73]

Higbee’s new President John P. Murphy unequivocally supported the board’s action.  He believed that the next logical step was to purchase its Public Square site.[74]  The board, in 1944, set the groundwork for this move.  Not only had officials retired a ten year, 2¼% interest bearing loan four years ahead of its due date, but then, earmarked an additional $2,000,000 to purchase their 15-year old building.  Murphy believed that now was the right time to negotiate.  The Board of Directors and MetLife, in the spring of 1945, began talks.  Unfortunately, neither side indicated any willingness to compromise on major crucial issues and negotiations soon ended.  Discussions remained in limbo for nearly four years.

When talks resumed in 1949, Higbee’s officials made it quite clear that they wanted a reasonable lease-to-buy offer, and that they planned to work diligently with MetLife representatives to make it a reality.  The subsequent $8,700,000 buyout package included an immediate price reduction of $322,453.  In addition, all rentals paid by the store in excess of pre-set interest rates on the net option price would serve to reduce that initial cost even further.  The store’s eligibility to receive title to the property without additional payment allocations to MetLife would depend on the company’s willingness to fulfill all its minimum rental payments to MetLife as determined by current leasing agreements.  Higbee’s, later in 1949, took possession of the building by borrowing $2,000,000 in loans from several local banks and by lowering its price to $3,503,043.  Higbee officials also secured another 15-year $3,500,000 loan from MetLife at a 3% interest rate.[75]

This prestigious department store, in June 1945, joined a new credit system called “Charga-Plate.”[76] All major retailers used it.  Under this agreement, over 240,000 charge account customers from all participating stores received a new metal identification plate embossed with their name, address and account number.  This plate could be used anytime in any store.  Participating retailers firmly believed that this new system would help to sped up checkout and eliminate delivery errors.  Customers used these plates into the 1960s.

Higbee’s, in January 1946, dropped its affiliation with the Syndicate Alliance Trading Company (SATC) to join a more prestigious organization known as the Associated Merchandising Corporation (AMC).[77] AMC membership opened up a whole new world of retail opportunities for Higbee’s in three important ways.  First, it lowered overhead retail costs, while encouraging store buyers to expand their merchandise lines.  Second, it benefited shoppers by enabling them to buy nationally-recognized items at reduced cost.  Third, it offered Higbee executives an inside track concerning the latest operational procedures and national merchandise trends.  Other AMC members included Hudson’s, Lazarus’s, Rich’s and Joseph Horne’s.

The Board of Directors, in May 1946, approved a four-for-one split of common stock that guaranteed $.50 dividends per share on all re-issued stock.  Officials encouraged full-time employees to participate in this bonanza.  Some staff members received bonuses equivalent to 10% of their annual salaries.  Sales for 1945 topped $28,572,116, an increase of $2,572,116 over a year ago.  During that same time frame, taxable profits decreased to $234,694, while net income increased to $950,414.[78]

With the war now over, Higbee’s focused even more on the needs and wants of its customers.  Officials, in July 1946, launched a special promotion campaign emphasizing the store’s high quality fabrics.  Its most recent slogan “Its Higbee’s for Fabrics” said it all.  Other new promotional activities included hosting an aluminum products exhibition, displaying rare watches and sponsoring a Parade of Silver.  Public service events ranged from a Romania exhibit and discussions on public health problems to beautiful photographic displays and dazzling model homes.

Apparently, these promotional efforts paid-off.  President John P. Murphy commented that he had never seen so much pre-Christmas buying before.  In fact, store sales for 1946 reached a new record breaking level of $9,138,171.  That represented a 32% increase over the previous year’s figures.  That significant boost in sales led the Board of Directors to declare a year-end dividend of $.12 ½ a share on common stock equal to $1.25 a share on preferred.[79] Higbee’s also raised the salaries of its employees by 10%.

This highly innovative retailer, in 1947, led the pack by installing air-conditioning.  Higbee’s in cooperation with Time Magazine sponsored the “Time for Music” exhibition.  It also commemorated the 1947-48 Cleveland Orchestra’s season.  Hoping to expand into FM-radio and Television, WHK-radio moved its headquarters and studio from Higbee’s to a remodeled facility located at 5000 Euclid Avenue.[80] That same year, Frank E. Joseph, a partner in the law firm of Jones, Day, Coakley and Reavis, replaced his colleague Gardner Abbott on the board.  Stockholders, in December 1947, approved a year-end dividend of $.25 per share on common stock and $1.25 on preferred.[81]

New high profile efforts in 1948 made Higbee’s a very special place.  Store executives proudly unveiled the latest breakthrough in television by RCA.  They also sponsored the first model airplane contest and celebrated Army Day.[82] Many customers participated in that year’s Design Contest for Young Women.  Higbee’s officials also launched their new Sports Goods Center conveniently located in the Terminal Tower concourse.[83] This center not only sold sports goods and related paraphernalia, but also, cameras, photo supplies and auto accessories.  Salary increases, mounting delivery costs and expensive customer services reduced 1948 net profits to $2,131,766.  That represented a drop of $74,516 from a year ago.  Sales, in 1948, reached $41,997,301 up $2,326,194 from the previous year.  Net income, that year, was $2,400,304 equal to $4.11 a share.  Higbee’s current liabilities stood at $5,141,426.[84]

On a positive note, this well-run department store retired $300,000 of its recently incurred bank debt.  Its working capital increased by $967,827, while its net worth reached $1,636,883.  Higbee’s, in 1949, unveiled its state-of-the-art TV & radio Center.  Located on the 7th floor and decorated in royal burgundy with gray and green carpeting and special recessed lighting, this expanded department featured a television studio.  Its sound-proof listening rooms enabled customers to hear their records before purchasing them.  Higbee’s also offered children a special toy phonograph with its-own plastic records.  Net sales, in 1949, dropped to $39,399,728, while net profits, over the same time span, remained constant at $1,922,505 equal to $3.27 a share.[85]

Paraphrasing CEI’s popular motto of the day “Cleveland Is the Best Location in the Nation,” store officials proudly proclaimed that “Higbee’s is the Best Location in Cleveland.”[86] The fabulous fifties represented a period of enormous energy and growth for this Cleveland department store.  It started as early as February 1950 when Higbee’s sponsored its-own fifteen minute fashion show on WXEL-TV Channel 9.  Exciting new items that year included china table lamps for only $8.95, installed AMC television antenna for $255.00 and durable rain coats beginning at $15.00.  A seven–story Christmas tree with green lights bedecked the main façade on Public Square that December.[87]

Nineteen fifty-one began with a well-publicized dance party.  With the assistance of WJMO–radio, this event brought hundreds of teenage shoppers to Higbee’s.  Store officials also subsidized an International Photo exhibition and produced one of the city’s first Color TV shows, courtesy of WEWS-TV Channel 5.  The Board of Directors, that same year, eagerly promoted an Irish linen festival, Engineers Wives Association Hospitality Day and luxury tours to Europe courtesy of its-own travel agency.  Board members also offered a special Preparatory Music School for children out of their new Music Center.[88] Led by Clarence Jones, the former director of the American Piano Company, this center provided music lessons for the modest price of $10.00 per child!

The Board of Directors, that December, declared dividends of $.25 on common stock and $1.25 on preferred stock.[89] Higbee’s, in 1951, broke all previous sales records at $44,335,533.  Net profits that same year totaled $1,453,710 or $2.44 a share as compared with $2,172,690 or $3.71 a share in 1950.[90]  Much of the credit for this substantial growth belonged to the store’s dedicated Board of Directors.  Board Members that year included John P. Murphy as President; George E. Merrifield as Vice-President and Treasurer; Cornelius Eerkes as Vice-President/Superintendent; William C. Miller as Merchandise Manager; William T. Higbee as Vice President and Harvey O. Mierke as Secretary.

The National Labor Relations Board in January 1952 ordered the American Federation of Labor to stop harassing Higbee’s employees. [91]  Specifically, it ordered Local #6 of the Painter’s Union and Local #725 of the Furniture Finishers Union to discontinue all activities designed to discouraged or restrained Higbee’s union employees from forming their-own organizations or participating directly in collective bargaining.  Employees had filed a grievance previously with the National Labor Relations Board.  Store employees wanted these locals to be de-certified as their bargaining agents.

Higbee’s and the Henry Ford that same year co-sponsored a successful exhibition called “Industrial Progress USA.”  The Cleveland Trust Company also elected John P. Murphy to its board.  Higbee’s sales in 1952 posted substantial gains for its third consecutive year at $46,070,632.  Net profits, that year, stood at $1,453,710 with long-term debt hovering at about 14% of capital. High employment and a flush economy led to this spurt in sales.[92] A new credit plan enabling qualified customers to purchase items equaling $50.00 or more and then allowing them to pay-off the remainder-owed in six monthly payments also assisted.

Stockholders, in 1953, appointed Alva Bradley II (1916-1961) to its board.  Young Bradley succeeded his late uncle Alva Bradley (d. 1953).[93] Board members approved plans to remodel the store’s auditorium.  This resulted in a special banquet serving station, additional private dining rooms and special fiberglass ceiling tiles.[94]  The Cleveland Dental Society, that autumn, proudly held its annual luncheon at the newly refurbished auditorium.[95]  Vogue Magazine staged a major fashion show there that Christmas.  Higbee’s Board of Directors, in December 1953, declared an extra $.25 dividend.[96] The store recorded its greatest sales volume yet.  Sales, in 1953, peaked at $47,391,145.  That symbolized a 2.8% increase over 1952 levels.  The store’s working capital increased by 6.9% following a $560,000 deduction for capital improvements.[97]

Higbee’s Board of Directors, that August, announced the grand opening of a personalized card shop and in September launched Higbee’s first Diabetes Drive.[98] Officials took great pains in pointing out the many quality items found in its new housewares department.  Advertisements, in 1954, further emphasized that Higbee’s was the first Ohio department store to offer extra heavy, affordable wool rugs in a multitude of colors.  Higbee’s that same year hired Henry W. Alexander to head its Advertising Department.  A well-respected public relations expert from California, Henry Alexander replaced Walter Powers who took a similar post at the growing May Company in Los Angeles, CA.[99]

Higbee’s, in January 1955, handed every child entering its store their-own Cleveland Transit System (CTS) souvenir button.  It commemorated the grand opening of the city’s new light rail service.[100] Later that same year, Holiday Magazine published a special spread on Cleveland.  This magazine praised the City of Cleveland.  It considered it a first-rate cultural center equal in every way to New York, San Francisco and New Orleans.[101]  Higbee’s took this opportunity to offer a new credit option.  Cardholders now could purchase merchandise up to twelve times their fixed -monthly payment with no down payment.

Unfortunately, earlier forecasts of record breaking sales in 1954 never materialized.  In fact, retail sales decreased by 3.22% over 1953 levels.  Net income stood at $1,400,922 equal to $2.35 a common share.  Common stock equity represented 81.8% of the store’s total capital with 45% of that equity being net working assets.[102] Severe winter weather and a mid-year recession led to this drop in sales.  However, this loss did not prevent Higbee’s from expanding its working capital to $301,552 and increasing its ratio of assets to liabilities from 3.27-to-1.00 to 3.42-to-1.00.  Working capital capped at $11,724,045, while its long-term debt decreased by $200,000 from $2,700,000 to $2,500,000.

Special events during the 1955 shopping season included the Cleveland Rose Show and Davy Crockett Club.[103]  Visits by national celebrities such as Bennett Cerf, Arlene Frances, Dr. Benjamin Spock and Eddie Fisher brought thousands to Higbee’s.  Board members decided, that August, to redeem all outstanding 5% preferred stock.  That represented 4,145 shares with an aggregate par value of $1,414,500.  Its retirement would only leave outstanding common stock.  The head of Higbee’s Boy’s Department Girard D. Bond also received the much coveted “Reilley” Award for his many contributions to the apparel industry over the years.[104]

Board members, in August, authorized redemption on 11/1 of all outstanding shares of 5% preferred stock.[105] Sales figures for 1955 reached $50,469,347, a 10% increase over the previous year.  Other Cleveland department stores did not do nearly as well with most averaging about a 7% increase over 1954 figures.  Higbee’s common stock that year increased by 33.8% equal to $3.25 a share.[106]  Officials successfully negotiated a long-term $1,000,000 loan with MetLife, while stockholders authorized an increase in common stock from 566,054 shares to 1,000,000.  Stockholders also declared 5% dividends in addition to the $.30 quarterly cash payment per share.[107]

Always on the cutting edge of innovation, Higbee’s, in 1956, experimented with a new RCA computer system called the Bizmac.[108] Regrettably, this point-of-sale computer device never worked properly and was soon dropped.  The board that same year approved major renovations downtown.  This represented the first in a series of changes intended to streamline store management and improve merchandise quality.  Valentine’s Day 1956 brought an upsurge in sales due partially to the store’s catchy new slogan “Cupid goes to the Heart of Cleveland Higbee’s the Store with More.”  A special RCA record promotion that March led Higbee’s to unveil another popular motto “It Means More When Its from Higbee’s.”

Financial World, in July 1956, awarded Higbee’s, for the 5th year in a row, its merit award for the store’s accurate annual report.[109]  To commemorate the opening of the first leg of the St. Lawrence Seaway, Higbee’s sponsored its-own import fair.  This extravaganza became an annual event.  Other firsts introduced that year included new escalators; a popular fast food restaurant appropriately named the Pronto Room and a special retail feature aired daily on KYW-TV Channel 3 called “Higbee’s Shopping News.”[110] Popular recording star Vaughn Monroe sang with the Higbee Choral Club on NBC’s Monitor-radio on December 22nd.[111]

Nineteen fifty-seven began with the board electing Marc Jonas (1906-1989) as its new Advertising Director.  Jonas replaced Henry Alexander.  Higbee’s that March proudly hosted the 20th Annual Regional Scholastic Art Awards ceremony.[112] The store also sponsored a June music school recital.  The Board of Director’s reported that net profits for 1956 were 3.61% above 1955 levels at $1,942,790 equal to $3.27 a share vs. $1,875,143 or $3.10 a share the previous year.[113]  Higbee’s paid $696,135 in stock dividends the previous year.[114] Its new hip slogan “It’s Cool at Higbee’s” reflected the store’s growing optimism.[115] Higbee’s led the pack with pre-assembled furniture, later Thursday night hours, affordable electric shavers for women and import fair souvenirs.  The board also donated to the City of Cleveland a new Public Square musical shell.

Higbee’s won national acclaim in January 1958 for its advertising campaign that promoted Metropolitan Opera Week in Cleveland.[116] President John P. Murphy that April said that the board was seriously considering building a premier suburban store on the former site of the Severance estate in Cleveland Hts., OH.[117] Higbee’s Merchandise Manager William C. Miller, later that same month, resigned his post to become the new Executive Vice President at Lord & Taylor’s.  Higbee’s, in 1957, declared its second best sales record ever.  Net sales stood at $52,418,903, while net income totaled $1,631,663 equal to $2.62 a common share.  The all-time sales record was $53,267,704 in 1956.  Also, the ratio of assets to liabilities increased slightly from 3.1 to 3.6.[118]

New marketing strategies, for the 1958 shopping season, included better fashions through better figures, Family Shopping Nights and band concerts from the music shell located in Public Square.[119] The store also unveiled three new customer payment plans.  The first one involved no down payment on any items purchased with monthly installments as low as $5.00 per month.  A second choice called for a 25% down payment with the balance being paid-off in equal weekly or monthly payments between the date of purchase and November 1st.  A third possibility required a charge card account.  Under this arrangement, store officials placed purchased items in layaway until the end of October when Higbee’s billed the customer for the full amount owed.  The board in August 1958 elected Edwin K. Hoffman as Vice President followed in December with the appointment of Trusdell E. Wismer as Controller.[120]

The National Retail Merchants Association of New York proudly announced in January 1959 the election of John P. Murphy to its board.[121]  Higbee’s that February released plans for its first suburban store.[122] This 400,000 square foot structure was part of a 50-store shopping center to be erected on the former site of the Severance estate in Cleveland Hts., Ohio.  Larry Smith & Co. of Seattle, WA financed this project, while Austin Construction of Cleveland, OH built it.

Store officials, that same month, proudly announced that Higbee’s would be the first Cleveland department store to sell imported goods that has been shipped through the St. Lawrence Seaway.[123]  Net sales, for 1959, totaled $47,857,538, while net earnings reached $1,456,022.  That equaled $2.33 per common share.  The store’s working capital topped $14,611,474, an increase of $723,147 over 1958 levels, while its long-term debt decreased by $350,000.  The value of its common stock rose from $33.54 to $34.72 per share.[124]

John P. Murphy denied all rumors of a possible merger with Federated Department Stores.[125] Significant change characterized the decade of the 1960s.  Demographic downturns, increased world trade and changing customer tastes impacted Higbee’s future.  The Civil Rights Movement and the youth culture also left their indelible marks on this venerable institution.  The traditional, highly-popular local department store of the 1940s and 1950s was no more.  In its wake, a new, more regionally-based Higbee’s took center stage.  The majority of the board throughout the turbulent 1960s could not predict with any certainty what lay ahead.  Those with some insight into those matters found it next to impossible to institute any meaningful business changes.  Higbee’s traditional leadership relied on standard business methods to guide them.  In retrospect, their reluctance to adapt changes quickly may have been their saving grace during those chaotic times. It seemed the proper course to follow.  These leaders had no way of knowing that their opaque business practices would result in greater economic dilemmas further down the road.

Higbee’s held a number of fantastic sales in the 1960 shopping season to commemorate its 100th Anniversary.[126] Sales began with household appliances and ski apparel in January and ended with women’s dresses, sporting goods and jewelry the following December.  Officials also opened a new fur salon; misses dress department and California fashion shop.  Net sales rose by 10.2% during the first six months of 1960, while net earnings increased by 23.9%.  Dividends, that year, were $2.89 a share as compared with $2.33 a share the previous year.[127]

Higbee’s, during the second half of 1960, proudly sponsored a major bridal show, popular record fair and special salute to the Summer Olympics.[128]  This trend setting retailer also launched its Twixteen shop and expanded its free customer phone service to other communities in Medina and Summit counties.  Store officials also approved a $2,000,000 refurbishing of the downtown store by the acclaimed New York designer and fashion consultant Raymond Loewy (1893-1986).[129]

The Cleveland Plain Dealer,  praised Higbee’s for its cheerfulness.  Its pleasant atmosphere of elegance and excitement pleased many customers.[130] Sales increases of 4.5% during the first six months of 1960 supported that assertion.  Increasingly, a favorite spot for Cleveland’s upper middle class, the store’s leaders demanded the very best service from their sales staff.  They expected their employees to go the extra mile.  Higbee’s board members considered customer loyalty essential to their success, a loyalty forged by mutual respect and trust over the years.

Special events in 1960 including the “Rhapsody of Steel,” an exhibition focusing on the Cleveland steel industry; special Christmas displays and frequent visits by popular television cartoon characters such as Huckleberry Hound and Quick-Draw McGraw.[131] The Board of Directors in October proudly announced the purchase of the former Federal Department Store building at Westgate Shopping Center in Fairview Park, OH.[132] Their plans called for a new full-service suburban store at that location beginning in 1961.  The New York design team of Raymond Loewy and William T. Smith headed this $6,000,000 renovation effort.[133]

Higbee’s, began 1961, by refurbishing a former government installation located at 3201 Harvard Avenue.[134] It became its new main warehouse.  Other highlights that year included a visit by Liz Claiborne; introduction of Flap-Jac children’s coats and wash-n-wear cord suits, exhibition of Newport antiques and displays of fallout shelters.  The board also introduced a new Revolving Charge Account.  It resembled the store’s regular 30-Day Charge Account with one notable exception.  Qualified customers now could pay back the remainder over many months rather than within the traditionally-allowed thirty day time frame. Higbee’s, on October 29, 1961, opened its first branch store at the Westgate Shopping Center.  Board members appointed Wilmer D. Hill as that store’s first general manager.  This ultra-modern, 180,000 square foot facility boasted more than $3,000,000 in merchandise.[135] Higbee’s at Westgate always did well financially.

Hoping to capture an even greater percentage of Greater Cleveland Christmas sales, Higbee’s launched its Twigbee Shop.[136] This designated area in the downtown store enabled young children to purchase Christmas gifts without parental interference.  It remained popular well into the 1970s.  Expensive costs in renovating the Westgate premises negatively affected earnings during the first nine months of 1961.  Net earnings decreased to $622,617, a drop of $99,057 from $721,674 the previous year.  The value of common stock also declined during that same nine month period from $1.15 to $1.00 a share.[137]

Higbee’s Board of Directors at their annual June meeting re-elected John P. Murphy as President and elected Herbert W. Strawbridge (1918-2000) as their Vice President.  Murphy joined Higbee’s staff in 1937 and Strawbridge in 1955.[138]  Higbee’s announced that its Severance Center store, distinguished by its exterior veneer of earth toned and rubble fieldstone, would be opened in August 1963.[139] Local connoisseurs, beginning in June 1962, flocked to Higbee’s expanded wine and cheese shop.  Other special attractions, during the 1962 shopping season, included a children’s photo contest; remodeled Silver Grille restaurant, improved Mickey Mouse Club and free film series entitled “The Wonderful World of Golf.”[140] Store sales for the first nine months of 1962 reached $15,305,365.  That represented a $1,616,809 increase over $13,688,556 for the same period in 1961.  Net income over that same time frame increased to $423,228 equal to $.67 per common share.  That compared with $302,131 or $.48 per share a year ago.[141]

Despite the inclement winter weather and a three month newspaper strike, Higbee’s posted its greatest sales gains ever.  Net profits in 1962 topped $1,441,051 equal to $2.30 per common share as compared with $1,775,723 or $2.84 a share the previous year.[142] High sales figures at the Westgate store helped to offset mounting financial difficulties downtown.[143]

Higbee’s, in 1963, received praise from the local media for donating $15,000 towards the YMCA building campaign.  Customers loved to visit the new turnpike shop and attend the many exciting fashion shows.  Other popular events that year included special music recitals, a housewares carnival and life broadcasts by two of WERE’s popular-radio personalities Jeff Baxter and Jack Riley.[144] The new Severance Center store opened on August 5, 1963 to much fanfare.[145] Cleveland Hts. shoppers particularly enjoyed eating in the new upscale Hobnail Restaurant.  Higbee’s net sales, in 1963, increased by 20.5% over 1962 levels.

The high costs involved in opening the Severance Center branch led to a 7.2% drop in profits for the 2nd quarter of 1963 even though sales enjoyed a sizeable gain of 20.5%.[146]  Hoping to bolster those recent losses, the Board of Directors rehired Wyse Advertising Company.  Wyse’s clever advertising campaigns in the 1950s had increased store profits significantly.[147]  Higbee’s also continued to support local charities especially during the Christmas season.  The Annual Christmas Shopping Spree for Children represented one such effort.[148]  Sponsored jointly by Higbee’s and the Cleveland Junior Chamber of Commerce, this charitable event provided needed clothing and toys to disadvantaged children throughout Greater Cleveland.

Higbee’s advertising department in 1964 unveiled its latest slogan, “Higbee’s has just the fashions for it.”[149] Major events that year included the Greater Cleveland Doll Festival and kickoff luncheon for the Greater Cleveland Cancer Crusade.[150] Higbee’s that March opened its new electronic service department to rave reviews and its Dugout Club where boys aged 8 to 14 won free admission to Indians games and other great prizes was also very popular.[151] A 16% jump in store sales and a net income increase of 64% over 1963 figures convinced executives to build another suburban outlet this time at the Midway Mall in Elyria, OH.[152]

The Board of Directors, in May, declared a dividend of $.30 on common stock.  Two months later, they named Robert G. Wright as Vice President of Suburban Store Operations and reassigned Westgate’s General Manager Wilmer D. Hill to Severance Center.[153] Higbee’s Music Center that August offered affordable guitar lessons and the main art gallery began selling quality prints of master paintings.  Personnel reassignments and expanded customer service paid-off handsomely as net sales for the 2nd quarter of 1964 soared by 18.3% and net profits increased by 41% over a year ago.[154] The Board of Directors also approved the hiring of Raymond Loewy to refurbish the 5th floor of the downtown store.  They were highly impressed with Loewy’s recent renovation efforts.  Store President John P. Murphy, that autumn, unveiled Higbee’s ambitious expansion plans which called for adding a new store every year or two.[155] December 1964 began on a sour note.  The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) charged that 25 national department stores including Higbee’s had received preferential prices from suppliers through an affiliated New York syndicate.  The discounts, allowances and rebates enjoyed by these retailers placed their competitors at a decidedly unfair disadvantage.  The FTC said this must end immediately.  Higbee’s officials did not comment on these accusations.[156]

Nineteen sixty-five and sixty-six represented two years of tremendous growth for this premier downtown department store.  Higbee’s earnings, during the first three months of 1965, increased by 7.5% to $2,267,427 or $3.52 a common share.  Net sales were up 7.1% over 1964 levels.[157] Stockholders responded to this positive news by declaring a $.05 increase in dividends from $.35 to $.40.  Higbee’s remained extremely busy during the spring and summer of 1965.  The Board of Directors that May approved plans to build a new, 185,000 square foot store as part of the revitalized Parmatown Shopping Center in Parma, OH.[158] The growing popularity of South Park Mall in Strongsville, OH and Crocker Park in Westlake, OH along with a renovated Summit Mall in Akron, OH in recent years all but destroyed it.  Unable to recoup losses, Phillip Edison & Company, in 2014, replaced Parmatown with the new “Shoppes at Parma.”  These shops cater more directly to the needs of modern-day customers.

Store executives, in the summer of 1965, signed a long-term lease at Westgate.  Officials also participated in groundbreaking ceremonies for its latest store at Midway Mall as well as sponsor a “Cinderella Fantasia Breakfast” for children.[159] Hoping to expand its customer-base even further, Higbee’s officials approved extensive remodeling within its downtown facility.  Dazzling crystal chandeliers designed by Raymond Loewy provided a new sense of elegance and grace to the main floor.  Store officials also inaugurated their-own “U-Ask-It Information Service” that Christmas.[160]

Higbee’s, in January 1966, opened its new budget store at Westgate.  The store’s downtown gallery, that same month, exhibited popular 18th and 19th century European oil paintings.  Higbee’s net income in 1966 increased a whopping 24.5% to $2,775,780 equal to $4.31 a share vs. $2,230,019 or $3.40 the previous year.  Sales were up 4.7% to $77,867,633.[161] Higbee’s, that June, announced a 5% stock dividend equaling one share for every twenty held since 1957.[162]

The Board of Directors, in July 1966, authorized the construction of another full-service branch store this time in Canton, OH.  Part of a $12,000,000 complex named Belden Village this store generated sizeable profits for years.[163] The 1966 football season saw young fans ages 7 to 15 flocking to Higbee’s Browns Mascot Club.  Guest appearances by popular Browns players added to their fun.  High sales volume during the Christmas Season made it a very good year for this popular department store.

Nineteen sixty-seven began with a major announcement.  The Board of Directors appointed the former mayor of Parma, OH James W. Day as the store’s new Public Affairs Assistant Vice President.  James Day was to work closely with Herbert Strawbridge on a number of important projects.  The stockholders that March approved a 3-for-2 split on all outstanding stock.  The additional capital generated from this stock split went towards expansion and renovation efforts.  Higbee’s sales, in 1966, hit an all-time record of $85,151,100.[164] Severance Center and Westgate stores accounted for much of it.  Other major store developments in 1967 ranged from downsizing its downtown music center and sponsoring a special ballet called “Rhapsody in Blue” to promoting its annual Model Plane Show and hosting a festival dedicated to the State of Ohio.  Known as Ohiorama, this lively event brought thousands of Clevelanders downtown.[165]

The grand opening of Higbee’s Parmatown store that same year gained much public attention.  This new west side facility combined the best in department store merchandise with the kind of personalized service that characterized Higbee’s.[166] The high expenses incurred in opening two new suburban stores negatively impacted store earnings.  This downturn led stockholders, in 1967, to lower3rd quarter stock dividends to $.30 per share.[167] In terms of expanding existing store services, Higbee’s that same year added a new Rent-A-Car Service and an Arts and Crafts Center.[168]

Higbee’s, in January 1968, began building another store at Great Lakes Mall in Mentor, OH.[169] Officials promised it would be opened in early 1969.  One of Cleveland’s foremost shopping center developers named Carl Milstein announced in March that Higbee’s planned to erect a store in Euclid, OH.[170] Higbee’s net profits, for the 1st quarter of 1968, increased by 137.6% to $383,390 or $.34 a share vs. $161,369 or $.15 a share the previous year.[171] Net sales were $98,666,022 in 1968 as compared to $86,634,526 a year ago.  This major department store led the pack that summer when it opened a youth employment agency downtown.  The board also endorsed plans by the Richard E. Jacobs Group, owners of Westgate Shopping Center, to enclose its shopping center.[172] The mall was demolished in 2006 and replaced by an open air shopping center.  It included a Petco, Marshall’s, Kay Jewelers and Famous Footware.

Higbee’s directors, in February 1969, acquired Burrow Brothers Company.  Founded in 1873 by Charles W. Burrows (1850-1932) and Harris B. Burrows (1855-1934), this respected retail chain sold books, stationary and office supplies.  Higbee’s buyout specified that currently operating Burrow stores would retain their name at least for the foreseeable future.  Officials at Higbee’s expected to generate about $4,000,000 annually from this deal.  The board elected Burrow’s President Howard B. Klein as Vice President.[173]

This action by the store’s board represented the first of two major steps intended to insure Higbee’s growth and prosperity for years to come.  The second step involved venturing into an outside retail market.  Stockholders in April 1969 approved the $4,800,000 purchase of G.M. McKelvey Department Store of Youngstown, OH.  Under this arrangement, McKelvey’s stockholders received an equitable stock trade of $.62 in dividends for each share surrendered.  With 700 employees, this Youngstown-based department store served about 400,000 customers. That merger projected $14,000,000 in additional sales annually.  McKelvey’s annual earnings stood at about $344,130 or $3.20 a share.[174] Unfortunately, escalating overhead costs at McKelvey’s had significantly reduced profits recently.  Unable to meet mounting debt, McKelvey’s faced bankruptcy.  Higbee’s officials saw their competitor’s misfortune as a golden opportunity to expand their customer-base beyond the Cleveland-Akron market area.

Higbee employees on July 15, 1969 mourned the passing of the store’s long-time President John P. Murphy.  He was 82 years old.  Murphy had been a leader at Higbee’s for over thirty years.  Higbee’s and the Greater Cleveland United Appeal, that October, paid tribute to the American Olympic team through a special program they called “Expo ’69.”[175] Board members in October 1969 appointed Jack McGinty as the General Manager for the Great Lakes Mall store.[176]

Net income for 1969 climbed to $928,314 equal to $.68 a share.  That was an increase of $219,274 over the previous year’s level of $709,040 or $.60 a share.  Net sales that same year topped $87,949,396.  That compared with $72,687,434 in 1968.[177] Wyse’s latest advertising campaign summed it up best when it said “If you haven’t seen Higbee’s today, you haven’t seen Higbee’s.”[178] Store officials led by Herbert Strawbridge reaffirmed their opposition to Sunday store hours.[179]

The decade of the 1970s began with the U.S. Justice Department challenging the legality of the recent merger between Higbee’s and Burrow’s.  Federal officials claimed that it violated the Clayton Antitrust Act of 1914.[180] Board members, in January 1970, approved a new slate of officers.  They included Henry G. Brownell as Vice Chairman; Robert G. Wright as Executive Vice President, Wilmer D. Hill as Belden Village Supervisor, R. Bruce Campbell (1937-2012) as Belden Village General Manager, Ronald Eisaman as Severance Center General Manager and James Brogan as Westgate General Manager.[181] Higbee’s profits in 1969 were up 20.2% to $3,433,226 or $2.63 a share as compared with $2,856,118 or $2.43 a share one year ago.  Net sales were up by 22.5% reaching $132,137,522 vs. $107,896,874 in 1968.  Net profit figures for 1969 did not include a loss of $119,901 from various real estate deals.[182]

Shareholders, in 1970, voted to elect board members on a three-year rotating basis.  Higbee’s Vice President Marc Jonas, that July, told reporters that he was not surprised to learn that the Chicago-based Marshall Fields had purchased Halle’s Brothers.[183]  Rumors had been circulating for months of an impending deal between these retailers.  He wished the new owners the best of luck.

The grand opening in July of Higbee’s newest 195,000 square foot full service store in Canton, OH’s Belden Village received a great deal of fanfare.  The debut of a separate Higbee store, a modified boutique called the Loft especially appealed to younger women.[184] Higbee’s Board of Directors that October reaffirmed their commitment to no Sunday store hours.  Shoppers that November flocked to Burrows Brothers Pre-Christmas Savings Days.[185] Net sales, as reported in December 1970, increased by 10.5% to reach $138,802,118.  That compared favorably with the $123,158,426 level one year earlier.  Net income, for that period, was $1,426,519 or $1.03 a share vs. $3,442,733 or $2.74 a share in 1969.  Land sales accounted for these recent losses.[186]

Board members, in January 1971, re-elected Herbert Strawbridge as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.  They also appointed Henry G. Brownell as President and General Manager.  Later that same year, two Cleveland attorneys named Jack and Robert Turoff filed a law suit in Common Pleas Court against Higbee’s, Halle’s and the May Company.  They alleged that these stores misled customers on what constituted fair interest rates and service charges.  This $75,000,000 class action suit claimed that these three retailers charged excessive interest rates and exorbitant service charges.

The Common Pleas Court, in June 1971, found in favor of the plaintiffs.  The court ordered the stores to give customers a one-month grace period before charging finance changes.  It further stipulated that all customer bills must clearly explain restrictions, and that these retail establishments no longer had the right to collect finance charges on items returned.  Federal officials followed that up by launching an antitrust suit against Higbee’s based on the recent merger with Burrows.  Higbee’s counsel agreed to enter into a consent decree to divest itself of all its interests in Burrows.[187]  The year ended with Higbee’s announcing that five of its seven stores would be opened Sundays.[188]

One very clever promotion introduced that year involved Second Federal Savings & Loan Company.  Any customer that opened a 5% per annum Second Federal Passbook Savings Account of at least $1,000 would receive a $5.00 Higbee’s Gift Certificate.[189] Customers enjoyed the Cleveland Music Institute’s Carnival Benefit; Scandinavian Home Fashion Show and 38th Annual Children’s Photo Contest sponsored by Higbee’s that year.[190] Other major events to occur in 1971 included the 17th Annual Import Fair, a visit by Democratic Presidential candidate U.S. Senator George S. McGovern and diet workshops.

Higbee’s announced, in February 1972, that 65% to 70% of its customers charged their purchases.  Net income for the one-year period ending on April 29, 1972 topped $2,419,489 equal to $1.74 a share vs. $1,640,484 or $1.18 a share the previous year.[191]  Under the guidance of Herbert Strawbridge and James Day, the Higbee Corporation, in December 1972, embarked upon an ambitious plan.  An outgrowth of Gateway Project, its initial purpose was to create a new heritage park at the foot of Superior Avenue hill.   It soon expanded into a full-service local development corporation.[192]

Commencing with the restoration of the historic Western Reserve building in the 1970s and culminating with the development of the Flats entertainment district in the 1990s, the Higbee Development Corporation’s many innovative activities, programs and projects greatly improved the quality of life for Cleveland’s downtown community.[193] Many Clevelanders today have no idea that without the determined efforts of Herbert Strawbridge and James Day, none of this development would have occurred.  Both leaders considered it their civic duty to fulfill the corporation’s mission through the best and worst times.

The 1970s represented a time of great change and innovation for this leading Cleveland department store.  New products continually filled store shelves.  Items ranged from rare linens and fine silks to everyday kitchen gadgets and exotic perfumes.  One item, porcelain figurines by the German artist Gunther Granget, sold particularly well during the 1972 Christmas season.[194]  Personalized stationary and knitted woolen hats and gloves proved popular that year.  Higbee’s consistently high sales figures impressed retailers nationwide.  Higbee’s prestige as a quality retailer reached an all-time high.[195]

However, the store’s continued success symbolized much more than high yearly sales levels.  Higbee’s growing importance as a community leader accounted for much of its recent success.  Its leaders contributed countless hours of public service, anything to improve the quality of life for all Clevelanders.   Herbert Strawbridge as Chief Executive Officer dedicated much of his efforts towards business and civic improvements.  This included helping minority businesses to succeed financially.  Strawbridge, in 1973, received media praise for his work in establishing Cleveland’s first minority-operated bank.[196]

Higbee’s board, in March 1973, approved plans for a new, full-service store to be built at Randall Park Mall in North Randall, OH.[197] Rumors ran high that the Randall Park branch might become this retail chain’s new main store should the stockholders decided to leave downtown.  However, board members remained silent on that issue.  The U.S. District Court in May oversaw the sale of the Burrows Brothers to A.G. Becker & Company of Chicago.[198] Higbee’s that autumn began offering conversational Japanese courses for businesspersons.  It also led the pack in selling recycled pants at much reduced prices.

The Board of Directors, in April, reported a 6.7% surge in net sales for 1972, while net income increased by 52.4%.  For the 12-month period ending February 3, 1973, Higbee’s posted net income of $3,378,771 or $2.44 a share compared with $3,216,861 or $1.60 a share in 1971.[199] Stockholders, in September 1973, approved Sunday hours for all stores and urged employee carpooling.[200]  They also elected William E. Savage to replace Robert Broadbent as Executive Vice President.[201] Union Savings Association, that October, opened its first downtown satellite office in a former Higbee’s display case.

Record store sales in 1973.  Net income topped $3,420,796 or $2.50 a share on sales of $150,213,019.  That compared with $3,378,771 or $2.44 a share on sales of $149,471,969 the previous year.[202] The Plain Dealer, in January 1974, named Herbert Strawbridge its businessman of the year.[203] Officials, that June, subleased their warehouse in Brooklyn, OH for $790,000 annually.[204] Store sales in 1974 increased by 15½% over 1973 figures.   Unfortunately, its earnings fell slightly from $136,115 to $135,871.  Common stock dividends remained at $.10 a share.  A local development corporation called Jacobs, Visconsi and Jacobs, later that same year, released plans for a new Higbee’s department store to be constructed at the Euclid Square Mall in Euclid, OH.[205]

The Board of Directors, in October 1974, signed a 30-year lease at Randall Park Mall with Youngstown shopping center magnate Edward J. DeBartolo Sr.[206] Board member also approved the renovation of the former Spartan-Atlantic Store at Westgate Mall.[207]  It became its new home furnishings center.  Earlier plans to open a Salvador Dali museum in the Flats failed to materialize.[208]

Nineteen seventy-five began with Richard Silver becoming Operation’s Vice President.  Store officials appointed Richard Goff as the Merchandising & General Manager for Loft Stores and David Harbaugh as Assistant Vice President Management Information.[209]  The board announced that 4th Quarter net earnings in 1974 dropped by 14% to $1,696,342 equal to $1.25 a share.[210] Higbee’s that summer donated funds to the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (RTA).[211] Store officials, in August 1975, reported quarterly losses for the first time in nearly three years.[212]

Analysts indicated that the board’s reluctance to build new branches quick enough may have prompted these losses.  Many believed that store openings at both Randall Park and Euclid Square malls would reverse this trend.  Although store sales increased by 5.9% over the next several months, Higbee’s continued to post profit losses.  Its financial prospects briefly brightened in the summer of 1976.  Henry Brownell, in May, unveiled plans to erect a 125,000 square foot suburban store at Beachwood Place Mall.[213]  Regrettably, this positive news failed to turnaround recent profit losses.  Higbee’s, in August 1976, reported losses of $599,061 or $.44 a share on sales of $34,657,329 as compared with $198,274 or $.14 a share on sales of $33,424,479 the previous year.[214]

The Board of Directors, in January 1977, appointed John S. Lupo as the General Manager of the Euclid Square store.  It also elected Harry Brown as Divisional Merchandise Manager and Peter Mohn as Assistant Divisional Manager of Merchandise.[215] Hoping to counter recent losses, Higbee’s began to accept Visa and Mastercard credit cards as well as American Express cards.[216] However, it did nothing to reverse the store’s fortunes.  Chronic losses continued into the 2nd quarter of 1977.  Officials reported a downturn of $704,885 or $.51 a share as compared to $599,061 or $.44 the previous year.  They attributed much of these losses to high interest rates, depreciation and other costs incurred during the renovation of the Western Reserve Building.[217]

Higbee’s Board, in January 1978, elected Herbert Strawbridge as President.  His appointment resulted from the resignation of Henry Brownell.[218]  Store officials also appointed Gayle Beuchat as Higbee’s first female suburban manager.[219] Higbee’s, in May, reported a 1st quarter sales increases of 8.8%.  Net income for 1977 totaled $3,200,000 equal to $2.33 a share, while net sales reached $182,100,000.[220]  This surprised many stockholders since recent severe storms had forced officials to cut store hours by 12%.

The Downtown Cleveland Corporation, that same spring, elected Robert G. Wright its President.  Store officials that year appointed R. Bruce Campbell as Executive Administrative Vice President.  The recently introduced Higbee Club Account stimulated sales in china, crystal, silverware and fine jewelry.[221] Higbee’s President Strawbridge, at the annual board meeting, admitted that strategic blunders cost Higbee’s important sales and that these miscalculations  resulted in 2nd quarter losses totaling $2,200,000.  The board’s inability to right current inventory imbalances and improve upon the quality of less costly merchandise made this situation worse.[222] The return in November 1978 of Robert Broadbent as President and Chief Operating Officer seemed promising to skeptical stockholders.[223]

A drop-off in customers led officials, in January 1979, to close the Public Square store at 7:00 p.m. on Monday evenings.  The board the following month appointed Charles F. Brown Vice President and Assistant to the President.[224]  Higbee’s announced that May that mounting deficits meant no stock dividends for at least the first three quarters of 1979.[225] Higbee’s losses in the 4th Quarter of 1978 reached $1,500,000.  Officials blamed inventory and personnel issues for these losses. The stringent action in May 1980 seemed to work.  Net sales in August improved to $41,295,000, a gain of $1,907,000 over a year ago.  Board members at an October meeting named Jane Lisy as the new Special Events Director.[226]The year ended with only modest sales gains at Christmas.[227]

Nineteen eighty represented a watershed year for this major retailer.  However, few could have predicted it at the beginning of the year.  Everything seemed so normal.  Modest winter sales based on inclement weather was par for the course in large department stores like Higbee’s.  Higbee’s and the Federation of Community Planning tried to lessen the winter blues by hosting a successful photo contest that winter.[228] No surprises there.

Store officials that February sponsored a nutrition workshop and in March introduced video-disc players to eager shoppers.[229] The advertising department’s latest slogan “Higbee’s, We’re the Talk of the Town” caught the public’s fancy.[230] Higbee’s, in April 1980, sold its interest in the Stouffer’s Inn on the Square to the owner of the Cleveland Browns, Art Modell.[231] The Board of Directors expressed renewed optimism when 1st quarter sales figures were released.  They showed an increase of 4.9% over 1979 levels.  The $90,000 posted loss would have been profit if prime interest rates had not increased by 20% that April.[232]

Many wealthy foreigners seeking lucrative investment opportunities in the U.S. looked to Higbee’s as a potential new business venture.  With its consistently high profits and reasonable overhead costs, Higbee’s reflected the best in department store management.  A sound investment with great growth potential, foreign businesses began to approach large overseas banking and holding companies for assistance.  Through a Bermuda-based holding corporation called Fidelity International and a Dutch Antilles-based holding company known as the American Values Fund, investors from Japan purchased large blocks of Higbee stock on the open market.[233] These savvy investors designated American Values and Industrial Equity (Pacific) LTD of Hong Kong to serve as their organizational arms.

The majority of Higbee officials favored it as an effective way to increase the future value of Higbee’s stock.  At that time, the John P. Murphy Foundation owned 22% of Higbee’s outstanding stock with Herbert Strawbridge, Frank E. Joseph and John Connell as its trustees.[234]  Store officers controlled about 33% of the remaining stock with outside investors controlling the rest.  This kind of stock activity stimulated business and enabled stockholders to declare a year-end dividend of $.10 per share.[235] Industrial Equity (Pacific) LTD of Hong Kong, in early 1981, reported to the U.S. Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) that it had acquired 69,900 shares equal to approximately 5% of Higbee’s common stock valued at $928,000.[236] In terms of its own financial situation, Higbee’s, in April 1980, posted 12-month net sales of $63,608,593 vs. $62,710,102 in 1978.  Net income for that same time period increased to $1,479,589 as compared with $2,154,253 the previous year.[237]

Higbee’s in cooperation with WEWS-TV Channel 5 in July 1981 sponsored a one mile race around Public Square for all children under the age of 12.[238] The board, that August, announced a 50% reduction in the store’s deficit based on a large cash infusion resulting from this stock activity.[239]  Chet Edwards, two months later, resigned as Senior Vice President for Merchandising Concepts in order to open his own store.  Store executives, later that same month, leased 77,000 square feet of their downtown premises to of Ohio (SOHIO).  Standard Oil used this office space temporarily while moving into its new headquarters at 200 Public Square.[240] The Board of Directors in December 1981 appointed Raymond J. Miller as Treasurer.  They also declared a year end stock dividend of $.20, an increase of $.10 over a year ago.[241]

The closing, in January 1982, of one of its chief rivals Halle’s brought new life to Higbee’s downtown.  Store officials guaranteed former Halle’s shoppers that their retail establishment would carry a full range of top quality items and store services similar to Halle’s.  Herbert Strawbridge projected a profit gain of at least $12,000,000.[242] Strawbridge was absolutely correct.  However, the closing of Halle’s represented much more than just immediate financial gains for its competitors.

Prestigious clothing lines and accessories formerly found in Halle’s were now sold in other downtown department stores such as Higbee’s.  These lines bolstered sales while insuring high profits for many years to come. Both American Values and Industrial Equity (Pacific) LTD that February purchased additional stock.  American Values by mid-year owned 258,031 shares or 18.7%, while Industrial Equity acquired an additional 12,000 shares.  The fund paid about $240,000 for this stock.  Kidder, Peabody & Co. financed the loan.[243]

Women’s Federal Savings & Loan Association, in February 1982, unveiled its plans to move into Higbee’s downtown store.[244] This retailer suffered further profit losses during the 1st quarter of 1982 with sales dropping another 2.3%.  Net sales for the year ending May 1, 1982 declined to $45,814,513 as compared to $46,876,445 the previous year.  Higbee’s net loss in income for 1982 stood at $455,371 as compared with $135,115 a year ago.[245]  These net losses continued into the summer.  Higbee’s reported 2nd Quarter 1982 losses of $1,193,636 as compared to $487,563 in 1981.[246]

Other events during the 1982 shopping season included moving into the former Halle’s store at Summit Mall in October and closing its Youngstown retail operations that November.  In the case of the Summit Mall move, Halle’s officials graciously offered all its merchandise to Higbee’s.  However, Herbert Strawbridge respectively declined claiming that Higbee’s had more than enough of its-own high quality merchandise to fill it.  The 1982 Christmas season brought Mr. Jingeling to Higbee’s and another important announcement.[247]  Filming for the new Hollywood movie “A Christmas Story” was to begin in the downtown store after the first of the year.[248]  With sales up 4.5 % over the previous year, the stockholders declared a year-end dividend of $.30 a share.[249]

Nineteen eighty-three began on a very positive note.  Savvy Magazine in its March issue complimented Higbee’s on its very high quality personal shopper service.  The Women’s Committee of the Great Lakes Shakespeare Festival in conjunction with WVIZ-TV Channel 25 held its annual St. Patrick’s Day Salute at the store, 400 attended.[250] The filming of “A Christmas Story” in the first floor of Higbee’s sparked winter sales downtown.

The Board of Directors reported the best 4th Quarter earnings since 1977.  New income as of January 31, 1983 stood at $3,113,970 equal to $2.25 a share as compared to $2,118,826 or $1.53 a share one year ago.[251] Higbee’s Nancy McCann received media praise for her dazzling displays currently at the Kent State University Fashion Museum.[252] A special luncheon downtown for UCLA basketball coach John Wooden also received rave reviews.  The store’s long-time Special Events Display Manager Wally Gbur that May announced his retirement and the board elected Paul L. Volk Executive Finance Vice President.[253]  The positive publicity generated by the store’s many events significantly improved sales.  Higbee’s reported a 21% increase in sales during the 2nd quarter of 1983 over the previous year.[254] Net losses also decreased to $76,568.[255]

Stockholders, in October 1983, welcomed Ronald Langely, the CEO of New Zealand-based Industrial Equity, to its board.[256] Paul L. Volk attributed much of the recent upsurge in store sales to the growing customer demand for costly items such as refrigerators and washing machines.  Higbee’s reported $61,600,000 in sales for the 3rd quarter of 1983.  That symbolized a 10.4% increase over $55,700,000 in 1982.[257] Unfortunately, net income fell during the3rd quarter to $2,000,000 or $1.35 a share.  That represented a loss of $1,500,000 or $1.07 from the 1982 level.[258]  Board members in November generated additional capital by selling off Higbee’s American Red Cross Shoe division to Sel-Joy Shoes LTD.[259]

Herbert Strawbridge, on January 17, 1984, announced his retirement as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.  He had worked at Higbee’s for nearly thirty years.  The board appointed Robert Broadbent to replace him.[260] Board members elected James L. Vadis as President and Chief Merchandise Officer.[261]  In response to the greatest single increase in sales in nearly a decade, officials that April declared a stock dividend of $.25 per share.[262] Controlling nearly 50% of the outstanding stock, American Values and Industrial Equity (Pacific) LTD increased their representation on the board.[263]  Robert Broadbent and many other board members believed that Higbee’s future depended upon large-scale investments from outside groups such as American Values and Industrial Equity.[264]

However, some board members led by Cleveland Browns owner Art Modell disagreed.  They believed that increased foreign ownership would result in a hostile takeover.[265] This controversy among the board continued into the summer of 1984.  Officials at the July meeting expanded the responsibilities of a number of its managers.[266] Dismal sales at Euclid Square led Higbee’s to seek a $3,500,700 reduction in its assessed value.  Cuyahoga County officials approved this request.[267]

The big announcement many had feared finally came on September 11, 1984.  A subsidiary of Brierly Industries, Industrial Equity (Pacific) LTD had purchased Higbee’s.  With 55% of the store’s outstanding stock in its pocket, Industrial Equity bought an additional 300,000 shares of common stock with plans to buy 75,000 more.  This merger hinged on a cash tender offer of $50 per share on common stock.  Its estimated value was approximately $72,000,000.[268]

Industrial Equity, prior to its October 11th deadline, purchased nearly 90% of Higbee’s outstanding stock.[269] Supporters saw it as an effective way to furnish ready cash in the event that store officials should decide to buy out other retailers.  Industrial Equity viewed Higbee’s as a crucial first step in establishing a permanent foothold in U.S. retailing.  With these thoughts in mind, Higbee’s new owners launched a managerial shakeup.  It began in December 1984 with the resignation of President James L. Vadis.  Vadis left Cleveland to become the President of U.S. Shoe.[270]  John S. Lupo replaced him.  The Board of Directors deviated from the norm by electing three additional Presidents: R. Bruce Campbell, Paul L. Volk and John P. McGinty.

Industrial Equity, through its Higbee’s subsidiary, secured a three-year $30,000,000 note from an Australian-based investment group and an additional $13,000,000 revolving credit line from Pittsburgh National Bank.  Cleveland-based financial institutions such as Ameritrust, National City Bank and Society Bank assisted in establishing this credit line.  The New York Stock Exchange responded favorably to Higbee’s latest offering of $40,000,000 in subordinated debentures at 15 ¼%.  These debentures due on December 12, 1999 yielded 15 ½%.[271]  Higbee’s new owner sweetened this merger further by promising to spend approximately $30,000,000 in store improvements over the next three year period.[272]

Store officials in mid-1985 elected Thomas H. Hicks to replace Paul L. Volk as Finance President.[273]  President R. Bruce Campbell in July reported that store sales during the 1st quarter of 1985 had increased by 10%.[274]  President John S. Lupo expressed optimism about the store’s future.  He viewed the current increase in sales at Beachwood, Parma and Summit Mall stores along with less cutthroat competition from off-price retailers as positive signs of growth and change.  The board announced that Raymond J. Miller, former store Vice President/ Treasurer will be assisting I.E. President Ronald Langely in expanding the company’s portfolio in the U.S.[275]

To commemorate the Jewish holiday of Chanukah that November, Higbee’s introduced Uncle Dreidel.  This fictitious character handed out small plastic tops called dreidels to all children who visited the Beachwood store. Higbee’s and WQAL-FM that December co-sponsored a Christmas program that provided over 2,000 gifts to Greater Cleveland’s neediest children.[276] Christmas sales in 1985 remained modest.

The Board of Directors, in February 1986, secured the former Montgomery Ward store at Rolling Acres Mall in Akron, OH.[277] Industrial Equity, that same month, gained SEC approval to purchase 11.5% of a New Orleans-based department store called D.H. Holmes Company.  New Vice-Presidential appointees, in April, included Jerry Hoegner in Communications; Nancy McCann in Fashion and Special Events and Ted Johnson in Human Resources.[278]

Board members, that May, announced that H. Gene Nau would be replacing Robert Broadbent as Higbee’s Chief Executive Officer as of July 1st.  Higbee’s, in October 1986, received a $9,200,000 industrial bond to finance renovations downtown.[279] Officials had received similar bonds earlier that same year to refurbish both the Great Lakes and Summit Mall stores.  Higbee’s, in January 1987, proudly added the Discovery card to its list of accepted credit cards.[280] Dwindling sales convinced store executives to close the 4th floor stamp department downtown.[281]  Higbee’s that June unveiled plans to open a new specialty store in Cincinnati’s Forest Fair Mall.[282]  However, a reluctance on the part of Dillard’s to fulfill its obligation prevented its construction.[283]

Brierly Industries, in September 1987, without warning announced plans to sell Higbee’s.[284]  This announcement came as a shock to the local business community.  Investors had nearly doubled their investment over the past several years leading most local business leaders to believe that Brierly was here to stay.  Apparently that was not the case.  Growing competition from new discounters and national-based retailers, escalating property values and wide-scale mergers throughout the industry prompted this decision.  Financial projections indicated that this situation would only worsen in the 1990s.

With these thoughts in mind, Brierly Industries weighed its various options which included such things as leverage buyouts or direct store purchases done with borrowed funds.  None of those options appealed to Brierly investors so the company decided to Higbee’s quickly.[285] Its chief competitor the May Company considered buying the department store.  However, its legal counsel expressed some real concerns especially regarding antitrust violations.  The Cleveland-based Biskind Development Corporation saw many advantages in such a buyout.[286] Like so many other suitors, it too lacked the necessary financial resources.  Other national retailers such as Cincinnati-based Federated Department Stores and Chicago’s Carson Pirie Scott toyed with the idea; but again, tuned it down due to insufficient funds.  The New York leverage buyout firm of Adler & Shaykin also bowed out claiming that it was too risky.

Another possible suitor Dillard’s Department Store of Little Rock, AR also weighed its options.  Buying Higbee’s represented a tremendous opportunity to enter into the lucrative Northeast Ohio retail market, but it had some pitfalls.  Without additional financial backing from one or more large investors such as the Youngstown-based Edward J. DeBartolo Development Corporation, Dillard’s chances of buying this retail chain were nearly impossible.

A pacesetter in shopping center and mall development with the instincts of a hawk, Edward J. DeBartolo thought the time was right for his company to enter retailing.  The sale of Higbee’s offered a golden opportunity for him to do just that.  Establishing a partnership with the growing Dillard’s chain would enable DeBartolo to gain instant acceptance and recognition within the Greater Cleveland retail market.  Conversely, being able to tap into DeBartolo’s business expertise and vast financial resources appealed to money conscious Dillard’s.[287]

With these self-interests in mind, DeBartolo and Dillard’s formed a 50/50 joint venture partnership that purchased Higbee’s for $140,000,000.  Dillard’s operated the Higbee stores, while DeBartolo handled all real estate and development issues.  Dillard’s may have been new to Northeast Ohio; however, its retailing practices were well-known nationally.  Dillard’s had more than forty years of retailing experience.  Established in 1938 and with a modest debt of $30,000,000, this Little Rock-based retailer operated more than 130 stores in the south and west.[288] Its hard-nosed reputation as an efficiently-run organization was well-earned.  Its managers specialized in turning around the fortunes of poorly performing department stores.  They achieved their goal by trimming staffs, lowering overhead costs and improving the quality of merchandise sold.[289]

However, Higbee’s was not a run-of-the-mill department store down on its luck.  Its recent financial difficulties did not stem from company mismanagement or inadequately funded departments, far from it.  Had Higbee’s remained an independent store, in all probability, it would have weathered this latest financial storm.  In fact, many of the financial problems facing this retail chain resulted from outside economic forces totally unrelated to its merger.  This New Zealand-based holding company knew how to capitalize on Higbee’s strengths.  Had Brierly stayed the course and continued to support the store’s leadership with continued cash infusions Higbee’s financial dilemma might have been averted.  Dillard’s leadership might have considered Higbee’s unique financial situation before imposing its-own rigid business guidelines.  One size does not necessarily fit all.

Dillard’s, in March 1988, took over Higbee’s. Much to the dismay of Higbee’s employees, Dillard’s refused to consider alternative business approaches.  Instead, the new ownership initiated major changes immediately.  It began, in March 1988, when its Little Rock-based board furloughed 48 out of a staff of 53 in its management information systems.[290]  Dillard’s, less than a month later, laid-off 100 additional workers mostly from personnel, training and finance.  Unsubstantiated rumors suggested that as many as 300 might be fired as of June 1st.  The store’s new President H. Gene Nau said these rumors were unfounded.  He pointed out that these earlier layoffs eliminated duplicate jobs.  They had no bearing on the majority of Higbee employees.  Nau concluded by saying that benefits would not be cut.[291]

Economic prospects looked very good for the new owners.  Dillard’s reported a 10.5% increase in net income to $16,018,000 for the 1st Quarter ending April 30, 1988.  Sales, over that same time frame, soared by 24.5% totaling $517,382,000.[292] In an attempt to expand its customer-base, Dillard’s in June 1988 authorized $12,000,000 to remodel Public Square beginning with its basement store.[293] This new basement store featured over 3,000 men’s suits and designer clothes.  Further renovations updated the first three levels.  To commemorate this major event, Higbee’s advertising department introduced its latest slogan, “It’s Smart to Shop at Higbee’s.”

With the intention of expanding its retail operations into western Pennsylvania, Dillard’s, in February 1988, began merger talks with the Joseph Horne Company.  Previously owned by Associated Dry Goods, a local investment group consisting of former Horne employees and Maverick Fund shareholders now controlled this prestigious Pittsburgh-based 15-store chain.  In 1985, it generated $209,000,000 in sales.  Dillard’s refusal that August to accept the rigid terms established by Pittsburgh National Bank in the loan agreement brought negotiations to a halt.  The ensuing court battle initiated by Horne’s investors over supposed damages resulting from Dillard’s sudden pullout led Edward J. DeBartolo and Dillard’s legal counsel to make a counter offer.  They proposed purchasing the Horne’s retail chain for $74,000,000 and assuming its $160,000,000 debt.  The courts flatly refused that deal and merger talks ended.[294]

Dillard’s wasted no time in initiating further changes in leadership and additional staff reductions.  Robert Broadbent in February 1989 announced his retirement after twenty-five years of service.[295]  Dillard’s board, later that same month, eliminated 90 more middle level management and staff positions.  Departments affected by this latest round of cuts included advertising, planning, marketing and accounting.[296] These layoffs did not impact sales at all as that department continued to grow.

Over the next two month span, both R. Bruce Campbell and Nancy McCann resigned.[297] Campbell, the developer of the bar code and coordinator for the film “A Christmas Story,” established his own consulting firm that specialized in executive compensation and employee development.  McCann left Higbee’s to become the new Marketing Director at Tower City Center.  Officials in March 1989 moved the downtown music center to Severance Center.

DeBartolo and Dillard’s, that April, sued the Cleveland-based accounting firm of Ernest & Whinney and Brierly Industries for their negligence in not disclosing relevant information concerning Higbee’s most recent financial crisis.[298]  Specifically, they had not divulged the fact that their initial capitalization of Higbee’s resulted from their withholding of vital tax returns.  The previous owners never mentioned the likelihood of impropriety, on their part, or the fact that their actions might leave open the possibility of extensive tax liability for both Edward J. DeBartolo and Dillard’s based on the federal tax code.

Higbee’s financial picture brightened significantly during the 1st quarter of 1989 with earnings increasing by 22.2% over the previous year.  National net sales during that same quarter climbed to $598,065,000 up from $517,382,000 in 1988.[299] Stockholders that June appointed H. Gene Nau as Board Chairman and John S. Lupo as President.[300] Edward J. DeBartolo in July unveiled plans to build two new branch stores: one to be located at South Park Mall in Strongsville, OH the other at Stow-Kent Regional Shopping Center in Kent, OH.[301]

Decreasing sales led the board, in September 1989, to approve further consolidation downtown.  This included leasing three floors for office space and closing both the Silver Grille and Bistro restaurants.[302]  These closings led a group of angry customers to send a petition to the Dillard Company’s Board of Directors asking them to reconsider their actions.  However, this petition effort had little impact on the final outcome.  Dillard’s net income for the 3rd quarter of 1989 soared 40% to $24,200,000, while net sales rose to $727,200,000.[303]

The New Year brought further changes.  Little Rock, in January 1990, authorized an additional managerial shakeup.  Higbee’s Special Events Director Jane Lisy resigned her post to join her former boss Nancy McCann at Tower City.[304] The Euclid Square store, later in January, hosted a special four-day Arts and Crafts Show.  Store President John S. Lupo defended the board’s recent decision to further consolidate downtown operations.  He believed that their actions set the stage for an even better store in the future.[305]

Store executives, in February 1989, approved the construction of a new 160,000 square foot store at Chapel Hill Mall in Akron, OH.[306] Dillard’s reported a 30% jump nationally in 4th Quarter net earnings for 1989 to $85,500,000, while net sales increased by 24% to top the one billion mark at $1,090,000,000.[307] Per-share year-end dividends improved from $3.53 to $4.36.  Following Tower City’s precedent, Dillard’s extended its store hours from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. on weekdays, 5:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Saturdays and 12 Noon to 6:00 p.m. on Sundays.[308]  Store officials that May sponsored a contest in which they asked customers to fill out entry forms describing why they liked Higbee’s.  The winner received a $100 gift certificate.[309]

Dillard’s, during the first three months of 1990, reported a 50% increase in net earnings to $742,382,000 from $598,065,000 in 1989, while net sales soared 24% to $29,390,000 from the previous year’s level of $19,582,000.[310]  Consistently high profits convinced Edward J. DeBartolo and Dillard’s to expand their operations in Akron and Columbus markets.[311] Dillard’s daily activities appeared unaffected by the recent bankruptcies of both Allied and Federated chains.  Officials believed that further staff reductions were unlikely since Dillard’s did not need additional cash now.  Dillard’s that April expanded its jewelry lines and introduced Judith Leiber fashion accessories.[312]  It also became the only department store in Greater Cleveland to sell Nimes umbrellas.[313] Popular events hosted by Higbee’s in 1990 included a WEWS-TV Channel 5 “Life on Five” Program from Tower City Center, Liz Claiborne Week, the Annual Back-to-School Sales, Alsy Lamp Week and Leslie Fay Week.

Dillard’s, that August, filed a request with the SEC to offer 4,000,000 shares of Class A common stock for sale as a way of reducing the company’s current debt.[314] Corporate headquarters, on October 6, 1990, made a big announcement.  The board announced the appointment of James Wilson, the former chief of its San Antonio division, as its new director of retail operations Cleveland-division.[315] Higbee’s old guard leadership expressed some reservations but to no avail.  Wilson prided himself on his no-nonsense approach to management.  He envisioned a great future for Higbee’s.  Dillard’s management changes did not end with Wilson’s appointment.

The Board of Directors also announced the election of H. Gene Nau as President and called for the elimination of three key positions: Merchandise General Manager, Director of Stores and Marketing and Advertising Director.  John S. Lupo, Jerry Heogner, Marco Nolfi and John P. McGinty, in one fell swoop, were gone.  John Lupo left Cleveland to become the Senior Vice President of Merchandising at Walmart, while Jerry Hoegner joined Higbee’s chief competitor, the May Company.  Marco Nolfi became a professor at Kent State University.

Dillard’s claimed that recent downturns in sales prompted this action.  But, insiders knew better.  Unsubstantiated rumors claimed that the Little Rock headquarters planned to replace all current Higbee managers by year’s end.  These rumors, denied the board, turned out to be true.  Dillard’s, beginning in November 1990, launched the first in a series of major layoffs when it downsized its security division.[316] The Board of Directors also refused to hire Santa Claus for its Cleveland stores and moved the popular Twigbee Shop to the Mallard Bay Company.  Officials during the first week of December announced that Tower City Center, not Higbee’s, was to sponsor Mr. Jingeling and the Talking Spruce this Christmas season.[317] Protests by customers, especially regarding the cancellation of Mr. Jingeling, led store executives to reconsider their hasty decision.  Mr. Jingeling soon returned to Higbee’s, but only, on a limited basis.[318]

On a positive note, Higbee’s and WQAL-FM successfully co-sponsored the Sharing Tree Program.[319]  Thousands of Cleveland’s less fortunate received free gifts.  One popular store promotion, introduced in 1990, provided free passes to Severance Center movie theatres for shoppers spending more than $25 on Christmas items.[320] Replicas of Art Deco jewelry by Mort Schwartz and free cosmetic samples awaited discriminating Higbee shoppers that Christmas.[321] The Board of Directors, at the end of February 1991, reported a 23% increase in net profits for the year ending January 31st.  It earned $182,788,000 equal to $5.01 a share as compared to $148,092,000 or $4.36 a share in 1989.  Net sales, over that same period of time, topped $3,605,518,000 in 1990 vs. $3,049,062,000 the previous year.[322]

Two former managers Marco Nolfi and John P. McGinty in March 1991 sued Higbee’s for the severance packages they had never received.  They sought damages equaling $430,000.[323] Higbee’s, that April, celebrated Earthfest followed by Young Men & Men’s Action Week.  Customers flocked to both events.  Stockholders announced that 1st quarter net earnings for 1991 jumped by 30% to $38,100,000, while net sales increased by 19.3% to $886,000,000.  Board members that June elected Roy D. Grimes of the New Orleans division to replace James B. Wilson as Chief of Operations.  The federal bankruptcy court that same summer rejected Dillard’s bid of $74,500,000 for twelve Maas Brothers and Jordan Marsh stores.  Federated Department Stores had previously owned both.  Mervyn’s of California won the bid and spent $80,000,000 for both chains.[324]

The inability of Dillard’s to secure this major deal did not faze this retailer.  Higbee’s board members in February 1992 reported that the store’s net income for the 4th Quarter of 1991 rose to $206,200,000 as compared to $182,800,000 in 1990.  Net sales, over the same period, increased to $4,040,000,000 from $3,610,000,000 a year ago.[325] With solid gains behind them, board members, that same month, purchased five Joseph Horne’s stores.  Craig Weichman, the Managing Director of Morgan Keegan Incorporated, praised Dillard’s for its shrewdness.

All five stores automatically became Higbee’s.  These converted Horne branches remained opened even when Higbee’s operated its-own store within the same shopping center or mall.  Legal experts contended that operating two or more retail outlets within the same shopping complex might be construed as constraint on trade.  However, Dillard’s attorneys demonstrated little concern.  Legal precedents existed for such practices.

Edward J. DeBartolo’s corporation, in an unexpected move that July, divested itself of its Dillard’s stock.  This dissolution enabled DeBartolo to control the former Horne’s store at Randall Park Mall, while Dillard’s retained stores at Great Lakes, Westgate, Severance Center and South Park malls.  The conversion of 450,000 square feet of the Public Square store to office space continued.[326] However, that was not the end of the story.  Dillard’s, less than a week later, leveled its-own bombshell.  All its Northeast Ohio stores, by the end of August 1992, would be changed over from Higbee’s to Dillard’s.[327]

That shocking news was not totally unexpected.  Rumors of major changes at Higbee’s had been circulating for months.  Officials at Little Rock defended their actions by claiming that they were simply following traditional merger practices.[328] The Board of Directors attempted to console customers by claiming that its benefits far outweighed any temporary disadvantages.  Others in retailing knew better.  It was a disingenuous act.

Astute business leaders recognized the irony in all of this.  Dillard’s took control of a popular department store whose financial success originated with dedicated retailers, many born and bred in Cleveland.  They prided themselves on their ability to offer the kind of high quality merchandise and first class services expected and demanded by their customers all under the respected Higbee banner.  Dillard’s executives never fully understood its psychological appeal or importance.  Little Rock officials did not comprehend that Cleveland’s retail market was markedly different from both the South and West.  One size does not fit all, how could it?

This realization, so evident to other astute retailers, only grew in importance over time.  Dillard’s universally applied retail strategies and theories may have worked initially, but not for the long haul.   Second quarter figures in 1992 showed a 12% increase in earnings topping $974,800,000 equal to $.33 a share.[329] However, the downtown store continued to lose money.  Dillard’s, in 2002, closed its Public Square store.  The store remained largely vacant until 2012 when it reopened as the glitzy Horseshoe Casino Cleveland.  Caesar’s Entertainment and Rock Gaming invested $350,000,000 to convert over 96,000 square feet of this former anchor store into a first class gambling facility.  With 2,100 slot machines and 63 gambling tables, the casino has retained much of the architectural details and artistic flair associated with the original building.

Higbee’s demise as a retailer, began in 1984, with its buyout by Brierly Industries and culminated eight years later with its divestiture by DeBartolo.  However, the signs of economic trouble were evident much earlier.  Some analysts trace it back to 1978 when Higbee’s Board of Directors faced the first in a series of major financial crisis.  The management shakeup that same year resulting from growing competition by discounters and fierce rivalries among traditional downtown competitors such as the May Company changed Cleveland retailing forever.  However, few local retailers chose to acknowledge it then.

Higbee’s new owners in the mid-1980s made money on their investment and Higbee’s profited from their actions.  However, growing competition from discounters and other national chains made it decidedly more difficult for traditional department stores to remain at the top of the game.  Escalating real estate prices also made competing more difficult.  Brierly Industries did the best they could to remain competitive within a changing market.  However, they were answerable to investors who wanted high profits with minimum overhead costs.

These investors pressured Brierly to seek out other, more lucrative offers.  The subsequent sale by Brierly Industries to the Edward J. DeBartolo Corporation and Dillard Department Store chain provided Brierly Industries with a good amount of additional capital which they readily invested elsewhere.  Nothing sinister in such action, it makes perfect business sense.   Unfortunately, the Little Rock-based retailer was not fully prepared to handle a department store like Higbee’s.  It was like no other.

An expanding retail chain Dillard’s imposed its-own management style on all its stores including Higbee’s.  What worried analysts then was not the business method in itself, which they assumed would guarantee maximum profit and minimum overhead costs; but rather, the arbitrary way in which Dillard’s officials orchestrated these changes.  Uniform policies, dictated by competent accountants nurtured within a cutthroat corporate environment, may have enabled Dillard’s to fulfill its objectives, but at whose expense?

Closer inspection suggests that there is much more than that to Higbee’s story.  Higbee’s reluctance to continually reinvent itself to meet the changing economic and social challenges posed by the fast-paced global market of the 1960s and 1970s undoubtedly set the stage for future difficulties.  Add into this unsavory business mix, some unprofitable branch stores, high inventories and drowning debt and the tragedy begins to unfold.

Viewing it from the Dillard’s perspective, its leadership must be commended for weathering the economic highs and lows of the Millennium to remain one of the nation’s top retailers.  The atmosphere within their stores is pleasant and its sales staff is both friendly and knowledgeable.  It is a class above discount department stores.  Yet, no matter how pleasurable or rewarding that shopping experience may be for Clevelanders, it still lacks the hometown look and feel that once characterized Higbee’s.

 

 

ENDNOTES

1. “New Advertisement,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, September 21, 1860.
2. “Amusement, A Card,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, June 14, 1875.
3. “Secured the Sum,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, August 23, 1892.
4. “Shocking Death Mr. J.G. Hower, the Merchant, Instantly Killed,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, June 11, 1897.
5. “The Higbee Company is Formed,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, May 20, 1902.
6. “Tax Returns Show Millions Increase,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, May 28, 1911. “In Business Forty Years,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, October 4, 1910.
7. “Higbee’s Tailored Suits for Women at $25 and $39,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, April 8, 1908. “Higbee’s Thanksgiving Linens,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer.
8. “Higbee’s to Have 9-Floor Store,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, October 3, 1913.
9. “Higbee Company Passes into New Control,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, May 30, 1913.
10. “Claflin Stores May Pay Their Own Notes,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, June 28, 1914.
11. “The Higbee Company 63rd Anniversary Sale,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, October 30, 1923.
12. “The Higbee Company, We Return in Savings Checks 2% of Your Purchase,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, June 27, 1915.
13. “New Issue, Tax Exempt in Ohio and Exempt from Normal Federal Income Tax, 8% Cumulative Preferred Stock,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, April 6, 1920.
14. J.G. Monnett Jr., “Higbee Expansion to Cost Millions,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, May 25, 1922.
15. “Higbee Company Stock is Offered to Public,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, March 13, 1923.
16. “The Higbee Company,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, March 18, 1924.
17. “Army to Start Two Hospitals Now,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, May 30, 1928.
18. “Preferred Issues Lead in Activity,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, November 15, 1929.
19. “Cleveland Stock Quotations,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, July 26, 1931.
20. “The Higbee Company Requires Former Employees Wishing to Help in Special Sales to Call Between 9:00 and 11:00 a.m.,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, April 23, 1930.
21. “Now at the new Higbee Store,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, October 18, 1931.
22. Dale Cox, “2000 to Work on New Higbee Store,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, October 18, 1930. “Van’s Group Here Among Largest Deals in Realty,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, January 4, 1931.
23. “Dreary Pay-Off Year Behind Us,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, January 2, 1932.
24. “To the New Higbee Store on Public Square Open Today,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, September 8, 1931.
25. “Expect Great Things,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, September 4, 1931.
26. “Service, The New Higbee Store,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, August 6, 1931.
27. Ibid.
28. Herbert Strawbridge, Remembering Higbee’s Reminiscences (Cleveland: Western Reserve Historical Society, 2004), 67.
29. “Higbee 71st Anniversary, A Fine New Store with Fine Old Traditions,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, October 18, 1931.
30. Robert S, Stephan, “WHK to Build New Studios on Higbee Roof in Terminal,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, February 8, 1931.
31. “Higbee Under New Charter,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, February 20, 1931.
32. “Higbee Service Department in Terminal Garage Drive in Today!” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, March 31, 1932.
33. Oscar A. Bergman, “At the Stores and Shops,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, April 26, 1936. Oscar A. Bergman, “Higbee Tower Stands Near Exposition Center,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, July 5, 1936.
34. “Globe Theatre at the Great Lakes Exposition,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, July 19, 1936.
35. “Now in Full Swing, The Long Awaited Event, the Great Higbee Removal Sales,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, July 21, 1931.
36. Dale Cox, “The Byproduct,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, March 28, 1932.
37. Glenn C. Pullen, “Store Wanted for Café,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, March 5, 1934.
38. “New Merchandise at Sales Prices,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, September 7, 1934.
39. “Higbee Suit is Upheld,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, January 21, 1936.
40. “Rules for Higbee Company,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, July 16, 1936.
41. James G. Monnett, Jr., “Union Club Asks $298,510 Tax Cut, Former John Hartness Brown and Higbee Building also in Hearing,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, October 8, 1936.
42. James G. Monnett, Jr., “Navy Will Take Over Old Higbee Store,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, October 27, 1942.
43. James G. Monnett, Jr., “Navy Quarters Ready Monday,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, January 30, 1943.
44. Adin C. Rider, “Old Higbee Building Sold,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, July 3, 1946.
45. “Chain Reported Buying Lindner’s, Allied Negotiations Linked with Old Higbee Site,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, September 29, 1947. “New Lindner’s to Become General Department Store, The Cleveland Plain Dealer, September 30, 1947.
46. Cornelia Curtiss, “Garden Clubs Are Holding Fall Festival of Four Days in Former Higbee Building,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, October 6, 1932.
47. “Higbee Company Will Sell McNally-Doyle Products,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, May 1, 1933.
48. “Parking,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, May 31, 1933.
49. “Higbee A La Carte Luncheon Feature $.45,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, June 3, 1933.
50. “New Higbee Shoe Hospital,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, July 11, 1933. “Pay off Checks,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, July 27, 1933. “Offer Typewriting School” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, September 7, 1933.
51. “Widen Basement Lines, Higbee Company Departments to be Expanded Monday,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, March 23, 1935.
52. Grace V. Kelly, “Art Teachers Today Show Own Prints and Paintings,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, February 18, 1936.
53. Cornelia Curtiss, “Find first Lady’s Greetings Genuine,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, March 12, 1936. Eleanor Clarage, “Main Street Meditations,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, June 20, 1936.
54. Charles W. Lawrence, “Ball Representing his Foundation, Transfers Mid America’s Holding,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, April 27, 1937.
55. “Remains Cleveland-Owned,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, June 29, 1937.
56. “New Higbee Plan Upholds Woods, Percent Rent Provided with Lower Minimal,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, September 29, 1940.
57. “Legal Notice, District Court of U.S. Northern District of Ohio, Eastern Division, No. 36. 119,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, April 20, 1938.
58. “Shiverick, Rites to be Tomorrow,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, July 2, 1937.
59. “Higbee Company Wins Rent Reduction,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, August 4, 1938.
60. “File Suit to Gain Higbee Ownership,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, May 29, 1941. “Higbee Plan Confirmed,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, October 8, 1941.
61. “Advertise Block of Higbee Stock, Young and Kirby Indicate Control of Store,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, March 5, 1942.
62. “New Farnsworth Radio,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, November 9, 1939.
63. “Now a Super New Telephone Service,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, August 4, 1940.
64. James J. Monnett, “Woods Approves Higbee Company Plan,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, February 2, 1941.
65. Guy T. Rockwell, “Higbee’s Company Declares $1.25,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, June 25, 1943.
66. Ibid.
67. Guy T. Rockwell, “Earnings of Higbee Company Up Sharply Past Year,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, June 3, 1943. Guy T. Rockwell, “Higbee to Pay 75 Cents,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, December 17, 1943.
68. Eugene F. Gleason, “Bond Piper Plays $69,599,325 Tune, Big Money Rolls Out at Auction of War Relics,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, February 2, 1944.
69. “The Higbee Company,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, March 17, 1943.
70. “John P. Murphy Is Higbee President,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, March 15, 1944.
71. “Elected New Members of the Board of Directors of the Cleveland Chamber of Commerce,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, April 12, 1944.
72. “Quiz’ em A News Question Answer Game,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, September 24, 1944.
73. “With the Speakers,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, October 23, 1944.
74. Guy T. Rockwell, “Borrowers Pay Loans Rapidly,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, December 31, 1944.
75. Guy T. Rockwell, “Higbee Would Split Shares, Exercise Option on Building,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, May 29, 1945.
76. Ibid.
77. Guy T. Rockwell, “Higbee’s Earns $1,922,505 for Year Despite Area Strikes,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, May 26, 1950.
78. “Six Stores Adopt Charga-Plates,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, June 9, 1945.
79. Strawbridge, Remembering Higbee’s Reminiscences, 159.
80. Guy T. Rockwell, “Higbee Earns $6.22 Share Past Year,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, May 26, 1946.
81. Guy T. Rockwell, “Higbee Company Votes Dividends,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, December 21, 1946.
82. Strawbridge, Remembering Higbee’s Reminiscences, 73. “Euclid Avenue Building Group to House WHK,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, December 3, 1947.
83. Allan Hinton, “Pays $22.50 Dividends,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, December 17, 1947.
84. “Hundreds Set for Model Plane Test,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, January 11, 1948. “Celebrating Army Day,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, April 7, 1948.
85. Strawbridge, Remembering Higbee’s Reminiscences, 76. “Sportsmen, the Event of the Year,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, March 21, 1948.
86. Guy T. Rockwell, “Higbee’s Annual Sales Hit $41,997,301 All-Time Peak,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, May 27, 1949.
87. Guy T. Rockwell, “Higbee’s Earns $1,922,505 for Year,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, May 26, 1950.
88. “Because Cleveland is the Best Location in the Nation Higbee’s is the Best Location in Cleveland,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, August 14, 1949.
89. “Christmas Season to Open on Santa Square Saturday,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, November 12, 1950.
90. “Higbee’s to Open New Music Center,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, October 9, 1951.
91. Guy T. Rockwell, “Experts C. & O. ’51 Profit Will Equal $4.45 a Share,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, December 20, 1951.
92. Guy T. Rockwell, “Higbee $44,335,533 Sales Are Largest in 92 Years,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, January 2, 1952.
93. “NLRB Warns Two Unions,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, January 2, 1952.
94. Guy T. Rockwell, “Higbee Sales Rise Third Year to Peak at $46,070,632.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, May 26, 1953.
95. “Alva Bradley II Gets Highest Post,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, April 4, 1953.
96. J.A. Wadovick, “Higbee to Open Hall Thursday,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, October 4, 1953.
97. “Women’s Group, Cleveland Dental Society,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, March 14, 1954.
98. John E. Bryan, “Vote Extra Dividend,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, December 18, 1953.
99. “Record Volume of 94 Year History, Reported by Higbee,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, May 28, 1954.
100. “Personalized Christmas Card Shop,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, August 23, 1954.
101. “Alexander New Higbee Ad Chief,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, November 2, 1954.
102. “Higbee’s is the Store with More,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, March 14, 1955.
103. “Higbee’s Speaker Rates Cleveland as Cultured City, The Cleveland Plain Dealer, April 2, 1955.
104. John E. Bryan, “Higbee Annual Sales Are Second Highest in History,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, May 28, 1955.
105. “Davy Crockett looking for Pals,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, May 31, 1955.
106. “Cleveland Rose Society to Display Blooms at Higbee’s” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, June 5, 1955.
107. “Preferred is Retired,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, August 23, 1955
108. John E. Bryan, “Higbee Sales Reach Record 50 Million,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, May 23, 1956.
109. “Higbee’s Hikes Shares,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, June 12, 1956.
110. Strawbridge, Remembering Higbee’s Reminiscences,” 86.
111. “Wins Merit Award,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, July 28, 1956.
112. “Keep Abreast of Shopping News,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, November 2, 1956.
113. “Higbee Choir, Monroe on Monitor Today,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, December 22, 1956.
114. “Marc Jonas to Direct Higbee’s Advertising,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, February 1, 1957.
115. “Scholastic Art Winners Here receive Citations,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, March 12, 1957.
116. “Sales of Higbee Company Climb to New Highs,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, May 23, 1957.”
117. “July Savers,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, June 30, 1957.
118. “Higbee Company Wins National Award for Advertising,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, January 19, 1958.
119. Norman Melnick and Martin T. Ranta, “Heights Ends Bar to New Big Store,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, April 8, 1958.
120. John E. Bryan, “Higbee Company Reports Another Good Year,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, May 21, 1958.
121. “Tonight is Family Night at Higbee’s,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, May 29, 1958. “Higbee Bands Give Concert in Square,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, May 30, 1958.
122. “July Savers,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, July 13, 1958.
123. “Elected Higbee V.P.,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, August 29, 1958. “Higbee’s Names New Controller,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, December 3, 1958.
124. “Higbee Head Director of Retail Group,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, January 14, 1959.
125. “Heights Site of Higbee’s First Branch,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, February 22, 1959.
126. “Higbee and Halle Stores to be in Heights Center,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, December 30, 1959.
127. “Higbee’s to be First,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, April 22, 1959.
128. “John P. Murphy President of Higbee’e Denied Rumors of a Merger with Federal Department Stores,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, May 19, 1959.
129. JohnE. Bryn, “New Chief Slated in Merger Plans of Industrial Rayon,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, December 22, 1959.
130. “Cosmetics, Notions, Stationary Event,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, January 10, 1960.
131. John E. Bryan, “Higbee Earnings, Sales Hit Highs,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, May 25, 1960.
132. “Our Centennial Salute to 1960 Olympics,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, June 5, 1960.
133. Mary Strassmeyer, “Fifty-Year Stretch at Higbee’s,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, June 5, 1960.
134. Ted Princiotto, “Higbee’s marks 100 Cheerful Years,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, September 4, 1960.
135. “Steel Exhibition to Open Monday at Higbee Store,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, November 5, 1960. “Higbee World of Toys,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, October 8, 1960.
136. Eugene Segal, “Higbee’s to Open Westgate Branch,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, October 15, 1960.
137. “$6 Million Westgate Plans Set by Higbee,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, January 7, 1961.
138. Adin C. Rider, “Ohio Crankshaft Building is Purchased by Higbee’s,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, January 5, 1961.
139. “Higbee’s Westgate Is Opening Tomorrow,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, October 1, 1961.
140. Strawbridge, Remembering Higbee’s Reminiscences, 167. “A New Higbee Christmas Shoppers’ Service,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, November 24, 1961.
141. “Higbee Nine-Month Net is $622,617.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, December 1, 1961.
142. John E. Bryan, “Higbee’s Shows Hike in Earnings,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, February 3, 1962.
143. Adin C. Rider, “Severance Center to Have Bazaar Air,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, February 25, 1962.
144. “Higbee’s The Store With More,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, November 2, 1962.
145. “Higbee Reports Sales, Profits Up,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, November 21, 1962.
146. John E. Bryan, “Higbee Annual Sales at Peak; Profit Dips,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, May 23, 1963.
147. Ibid.
148. “Chuckle-along with Jeff Baxter and Jack Riley,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, September 13, 1963.
149. “Higbee’s is Designed to Meet All Needs of Heights Shoppers,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, August 4, 1963.
150. “Sales Gain at Higbee’s Profits Dip,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, November 30, 1963.
151. “Higbee Company Hires Wyse Ad Agency,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, December 14, 1963.
152. “Santagrams to Go to a Half Million,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, December 18, 1963.
153. “Higbee’s,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, January 12, 1964.
154. “1700 Girl Scouts Will Dress Up Dolls for Service Project,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, January 29, 1964.
155. “Indian-Higbee Boy’s Dugout Club Formed,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, May 1, 1964.
156. “Boost in Sales Income Reported by Higbee Company,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, May 20, 1964. “Higbee’s Sears Plan Stores in Elyria Midway Mall, “ The Cleveland Plain Dealer, June 9, 1964.
157. “Higbee Realigns Branch Operations Makes Three Executive Appointments,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, July 3, 1964.
158. John E. Bryan, “Higbee’s Profits Rose By 41% for First Half of ’64,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, August 30, 1964.
159. “Higbee Plans to Add to area Stores,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, September 30, 1964.
160. “FTC Charges Price Favors to Higbee’s Others,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, December 1, 1964.
161. “Higbee Company’s Profits Soar 19.6%,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, May 24, 1965.
162. Michael Kelly, “Higbee’s to Join New Parmatown Complex,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, April 21, 1965.
163. “Ground Breaking Held at Elyria’s Midway Mall,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, July 29, 1965. “Higbee’s Cinderella’s Fantasia Breakfast,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, August 20, 1965.
164. “Higbee Westgate Budget Store Has Official Opening Tomorrow,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, January 23, 1966.
165. “Higbee Sales Income at All-Time Highs,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, April 17, 1966.
166. “Higbee Plans Stock Dividend, Expansion; Top Aide to retire,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, June 14, 1966.
167. “Center Planned Near Canton,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, July 8, 1966.
168. “Higbee’s Seeks Browns Mascot,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, September 4, 1966.
169. John J. Cleary, “Higbee’s Proposes 3-for-2 Stock Split,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, March 30, 1967.
170. “Shop Idea New with Higbee’s,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, September 4, 1967. “Crowd Jam New Higbee Store,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, September 6, 1967.
171. “Higbee Dividend,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, September 28, 1967.
172. “Higbee Auto Rentals Readied,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, October 4, 1967.
173. “Higbee Company Plans Store in Mentor,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, January 14, 1968.
174. “$100-Million Unit Urged for Euclid,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, March 13, 1968.
175. “Higbee’s Reports increase in Quarterly Profits, Sales,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, May 25, 1968.
176. “Enclosed Mall Planned at Westgate Center,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, June 21, 1968.
177. “Store Link Up Unites 200 Years’ Service,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, February 1, 1969.
178. John E. Bryan, “Higbee Reports Accord on Purchase of McKelvey,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, April 22, 1969.
179. “UA Display to Focus on Agency Services,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, September 21, 1969.
180. “Servicing Lake County, Higbee’s is Community Center,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, October 12, 1969.
181. “Higbee’s Looks Forward to Bright Christmas,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, December 2, 1969.
182. Strawbridge, Remembering Higbee’s Reminiscences, 157.
183. Pauline Thoma, “Blue Law problems Taper Off,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, January 11, 1970.
184. Ann Hellmuth, “U.S. Moves to Break Up Higbee, Burrow Merger,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, December 23, 1969.
185. John J. Cleary, “Brownell, Wright Earn Promotions at Higbee’s,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, January 31, 1970.
186. John E. Bryan, “Profit Gain Due, Cleveland Trust Told,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, April 17, 1970.
187. John J. Cleary, “Halle Brothers to be Sold to Marshall Field and Company,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, June 25, 1970.
188. “Higbee’s Opens Store in New Stark Mall, The Cleveland Plain Dealer, August 6, 1970.
189. “Pre-Christmas Savings Event,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, November 26, 1970.
190. “Higbee Expects Healthy Profitable Holiday Sales,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, December 3, 1970.
191. John J. Cleary, “Higbee Company Agrees to Sell Burrows Brothers Chain,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, September 2, 1971.
192. William F. Miller, “Five Suburban Higbee Stores Set Pre-Christmas Sunday Opening,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, November 17, 1971.
193. “Free Higbee’s Gift Certificate,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, March 3, 1972.
194. “Scandinavian Fortnight,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, June 1, 1972.
195. “Earnings Digest, Higbee Three-Month Net Rebounds,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, May 26, 1972.
196. “Local Firm Boosted for Gateway Deal,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, August 23, 1972.
197. For further details see Strawbridge, Remembering Higbee’s Reminiscences.
198. Terry Penderson, “Tips for Buyers Collector’s Art Calls for Caution,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, December 31, 1972.
199. John E. Bryan, “Covington Projects Computer Automation as a Winner,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, January 25, 1973.
200. Bruce Ellison, “Five Black Leaders Here Form Downtown Bank,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, May 10, 1973.
201. “Higbee Company Chain Gained New Peaks in Past Year,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, April 7, 1973.
202. Michael Kelly, “Randall Mall to be Challenge to Downtown,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, March 8, 1973.
203. “Burrows Sales Completed Expansion Plan Outlined,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, May 9, 1973.
204. “Six Higbee Stores Set Sunday Sales,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, October 2, 1973.
205. “Savage Promoted by Higbee Company,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, October 19, 1973.
206. “Higbee Company Reports Record Sales, Profits,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, April 9, 1974.
207. Bruce Ellison, “Strawbridge is Businessman of Year,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, January 14, 1974.
208. Thomas W. Gerdel, “American Greetings Shift Costs 450 Jobs,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, June 26, 1974.
209. “Court Gives Euclid Mall Go-Ahead,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, July 20, 1974.
210. “Higbee’s to Lease North Randall Store,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, October 5, 1974.
211. Thomas W. Gerdel, “New Higbee Store to Open in Westgate,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, October 2,, 1974.
212. William F. Miller, “Dali Museum is Postponed, Pollution Cited,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, January 13, 1976.
213. “Higbee Company Elevates Three; Two Become Vice Presidents,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, February 20, 1975.
214. “Lower Profit is Reported by Higbee,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, April 4, 1975.
215. “Big Business Gives Big for Transit Tax,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, July 5, 1975.
216. Bruce Ellison, “Higbee’s reports a Loss but Sees Profit in Future,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, August 28, 1975.
217. Michael Kelly, “Saks Eager to Realize Idea for Store Here Board Chairman Says,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, May 21, 1976.
218. “Higbee Company Reports Second Quarter Loss,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, August 26, 1976.
219. “Executive Scene,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, January 3, 1977.
220. “Higbee’s Three Winning Cards,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, June 19, 1977.
221. Thomas W. Gerdel,” Higbee Company Blames New Stores for Losses,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, August 23, 1977.
222. Michael Kelly, “Higbee President Decides to Bow Out; Replacement Sought,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, January 28, 1978.
223. “ESM Department Store Has a First,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, March 1, 1978.
224. “Higbee’s Reports Record Sales,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, April 5, 1978.
225. “Update,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, July 30, 1978.
226. Michael Kelly, “Higbee’s Losses Big,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, August 25, 1978.
227. Julie Wiernik, “Broadbent is President of Higbee Company,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, November 1, 1978.
228. “Higbee May Trim Monday Hours Downtown,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, January 25, 1979. “Executive Scene,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, February 5, 1979.
229. Mark Clausen, “Higbee’s Hopes For Better Times,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, May 26, 1979.
230. “Changing Positions,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, October 25, 1979.
231. John Leo Koshar, “Yule was a Happy One for Cash Registers Here,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, December 27, 1979.
232. “Entries are Invited,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, February 24, 1980.
233. “Nutrition Workshops Scheduled,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, February 20, 1980. “Introducing the Magnavision Video Disc System by Magnavox, Enjoy tonight,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, March 2, 1980.
234. “Jerry Silverman’s,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, March 10, 1980.
235. “Higbee’s Sells Its Interest in Hotel to the Browns,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, April 8. 1980.
236. “Higbee’s Strawbridge Reports Better Outlook,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, May 24, 1980.
237. “Offshore Mutual Fund Buys Stake in Higbee,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, November 8, 1980.
238. Ibid.
239. “Dividends,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, December 24, 1980.
240. “Foreign Investor Buys 5% of Higbee Stock, SEC is Told,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, August 13, 1981.
241. “Earnings Digest, Higbee,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, April 3, 1981.
242. “The Kids’ Race Around,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, July 28, 1981.
243. “Earnings Digest, Higbee,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, August 19, 1981.
244. Stephen Talbott, “Sohio to Lease Space from Higbee Company,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, November 3, 1981.
245. “Dividends,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, January 9, 1982.
246. “Higbee’s Letter,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, January 29, 1982.
247. “Foreign Investors Get More Higbee Shares,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, February 23, 1982.
248. “Sohio Gets Women’s Federal Site at Last,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, February 4, 1982.
249. “Earnings Digest, Higbee Company,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, May 20, 1982.
250. “Earnings Digest, Higbee Company,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, August 17, 1982.
251. “Jingeling to Jangle at Higbee’s,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, November 23, 1982.
252. “Casting Under Way for Movie to be Filmed Here in January,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, December 19, 1982.
253. “Dividends,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, January 8, 1983. Jonathan P. Hicks, “Higbee ’82 Sales Up 4.5% after Strong Fourth Quarter,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, January 28, 1983.
254. Nancy Bigler Kersey, “Linville Finds Love at M.A.S.H. Bash,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, March 6, 1983.
255. John Fuller, “Higbee has Best Year since 1977 Record Quarter,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, March 26, 1983.
256. Mary Strassmeyer, “Mary, Mary,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, March 31, 1983.
257. Mary Strassmeyer,” Mary Mary,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, April 14, 1983.
258. “Earnings Digest, Higbee Company,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, August 12, 1983.
259. Ibid.
260. “Australian Named to Higbee Board,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, October 5, 1983.
261. Donald Sabath, “Higbee Reports Record Earnings,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, November 11, 1983.
262. Ibid.
263. “Seven Higbee-Owned Shoe Stores are Sold to Sel-Joy Shoes,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, November 18, 1983.
264. Marcus Gleisser, “City, State Start Promotions to Lure Business,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, January 22, 1984.
265. “James Vadis Elected to High Higbee Posts,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, January 28, 1984.
266. Ibid.
267. Marcus Gleisser, “Higbee’s Sets Records in Sales and Profits,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, March 20, 1984.
268. “Foreign Holders Seek More Higbee’s Voice,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, May 4, 1984.
269. Marcus Gleisser, “Future of Higbee’s Depends Heavily on Foreign Holders,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, June 2, 1984.
270. “Business Scene,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, May 7, 1984.
271. “Higbee’s, May’s Seek Tax Cut,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, July 17, 1984.
272. Marcus Gleisser, “Australians Purchase Higbee Company,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, September 11, 1984.
273. Marcus Gleisser, Ninety Percent of Higbee Stock Offered to Group,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, October 10, 1984.
274. Marcus Gleisser, “Four New Presidents Named at Higbee Company,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, December 11, 1984.
275. Marcus Gleisser, “Higbee Debentures are Well Received,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, December 12, 1984.
276. Marcus Gleisser, “Higbee Company to Improve Downtown, Other Stores,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, March 7, 1985.
277. “Executive Scene,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, April 8, 1985.
278. Delinda Karle, “Retailers are Hopping Here Despite Slow Sales,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, July 9, 1985.
279. Marcus Gleisser, “Area Retailers Note Stronger Sales,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, August 14, 1985.
280. “Play Santa to a Needy Child,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, November 30, 1985.
281. Marcus Gleisser, “Higbee’s Weighs Third Akron Store, Firm Confirms Plans for Rolling Acres Outlet,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, February 12, 1986.
282. “Executive Scene,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, April 28, 1986.
283. “Higbee’s Asks $9.2 Million County Bond,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, October 15, 1986.
284. “Use Your Higbee’s Charge,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, January 1, 1987.
285. Stephen G. Esrati, “Truth Bent for Sake of Amity,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, April 5, 1987.
286. Delinda Karle, “Higbee’s Plans Store at Mall in Cincinnati,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, June 24, 1987.
287. Mark Russell and Bill Slout, “Judge Backs Higbee’s on Ending Lease,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, February 26, 1988.
288. Alan A.A. Seifullah, “Higbee’s Began in 1860,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, September 1, 1987.
289. Mark Russell, “May Department Stores Called Possible Suitor for Higbee Company,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, October 7, 1987.
290. Delinda Karle, “Veil of Secrecy Surrounds Bidding for Higbee Company,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, November 18, 1987.
291. Mark Russell, “Competition Expected to Grow Under New Higbee’s Ownership,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, January 1, 1988.
292. Mark Russell, “Dillard’s Own Way of Selling,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, January 10, 1988.
293. Interview with former Higbee President John S. Lupo.
294. Mark Russell, “Forty-Eight Fired by New Higbee Owner,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, March 2, 1988.
295. “Higbee Chief Predicts Employees to Shun Union,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, April 5, 1988.
296. “Earnings Briefs, Dillard Department Store,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, May 14, 1988.
297. Mark Russell, “Higbee’s Basement Showcase,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, June 3, 1988.
298. Mark Russell, “Expansion was part of Horne’s Deal,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, August 3, 1988.
299. Mark Russell, “Retired Head of Higbee’s Plans to Keep Busy with Civic Activities,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, February 7, 1989.
300. Mark Russell, “Higbee’s Eliminates about Ninety Positions,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, February 28, 1989.
301. Ibid.
302. “Higbee Executive Moves to Tower City Center,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, April 4, 1989. Mark Russell, “Higbee’s Sues Prior Owner, Accountants,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, April 13, 1989.
303. “Earnings Briefs, Dillard,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, May 10, 1989.
304. “Update on Business, Cleveland, Higbee Plans,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, June 29, 1989.
305. “Update on Business, Cleveland, Higbee Plans,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, August 8, 1989. “May Dillard Likely to Bid on Lazarus,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, September 26, 1989.
306. John Freeh, “Higbee to Close Restaurants Downtown,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, November 4, 1989.
307. “Update on Business, Cleveland, Dillard Earnings Soar,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, November 7, 1989.
308. “As the World Turns,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, January 10, 1990.
309. Fred Carmen, “The Man of Distinction Clevelander has a Look of his Own,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, January 18, 1990.
310. “Higbee’s to Open Store in Akron Mall,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, January 31, 1990.
311. John Freeh, “Sales Earnings Up for Quarter, Year at Dillard Stores,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, March 1, 1990.
312. John Freeh, “Downtown Store Hours Extended,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, February 28, 1990.
313. “I Like Higbee’s Because,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, May 13, 1990.
314. “Earnings Briefs, Dillard Stores,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, May 16, 1990.
315. Thomas W. Gerdel, “Dillard Plans Expansion of Higbee Retail Chain,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, June 27, 1990.
316. Roxanne Washington, “Handbag Artistry,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, July 15, 1990.
317. “Find the Best Prices from the Best Names at Higbee’s,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, July 28, 1990.
318. “Dillard to Offer Stock to Cut Commercial Debt,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, August 2, 1990.
319. Nancy M. Funk, “Dillard Executive Named New Chairman at Higbee’s,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, October 6, 1990.
320. Nancy M. Funk, “Higbee Company to Chop Jobs in its Security Division,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, November 2, 1990.
321. Nancy M. Funk, “Santa, Helpers Move to Tower City for Season,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, November 3, 1990.
322. Janet Beighle French, “The Ever Green Mr. Jingeling,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, December 15, 1990.
323. Mary Strassmeyer, “Mary, Mary,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, November 23, 1990.
324. “Severance Movie Month,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, January 11, 1991.
325. “Style Trek, Pieces of History,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, January 20, 1991.
326. “Earnings Brief, Dillard Stores,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, February 28, 1991.
327. Nancy M. Funk, “Two Former Executives Sue Higbee Company in Dispute over Severance Pay,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, March 14, 1991.
328. “Business Briefs Local, Dillard Soars,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, May 14, 1991.
329. “Dillard’s Ekes Out Increase,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, February 26, 1992.
330. Sandra Clark, “DeBartolo to Sell Its Share in Higbee Chain to Dillard,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, July 18, 1992.
331. Sandra Clark, “Dillard to Rename Seventy-One Higbee Stores,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, July 25, 1992.
332. Ibid.
333. “Business Briefs,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, August 11, 1992.


  1. “New Advertisement.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, September 21, 1860.
  2. “Amusement, A Card.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, June 14, 1875.
  3. “Secured the Sum.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, August 23, 1892.
  4. “Shocking Death Mr. J.G. Hower, the Merchant, Instantly Killed.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, June 11, 1897.
  5. “The Higbee Company is Formed.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, May 20, 1902.
  6. “Tax Returns Show Millions Increase.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, May 28, 1911. “In Business Forty Years.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, October 4, 1910.
  7. “Higbee’s Tailored Suits for Women at $25 and $39.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, April 8, 1908. “Higbee’s Thanksgiving Linens.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer.
  8. “Higbee’s to Have 9-Floor Store.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, October 3, 1913.
  9. “Higbee Company Passes into New Control.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, May 30, 1913.
  10. “Claflin Stores May Pay Their Own Notes.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, June 28, 1914.
  11. “The Higbee Company 63rd Anniversary Sale.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, October 30, 1923.
  12. “The Higbee Company, We Return in Savings Checks 2% of Your Purchase.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, June 27, 1915.
  13. “New Issue, Tax Exempt in Ohio and Exempt from Normal Federal Income Tax, 8% Cumulative Preferred Stock.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, April 6, 1920.
  14. Monnett, J. G. Jr. “Higbee Expansion to Cost Millions.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, May 25, 1922.
  15. “Higbee Company Stock is Offered to Public.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, March 13, 1923.
  16. “The Higbee Company.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, March 18, 1924.
  17. “Army to Start Two Hospitals Now.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, May 30, 1928.
  18. “Preferred Issues Lead in Activity.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, November 15, 1929.
  19. “Cleveland Stock Quotations.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, July 26, 1931.
  20. “The Higbee Company Requires Former Employees Wishing to Help in Special Sales to Call Between 9:00 and 11:00 a.m.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, April 23, 1930.
  21. “Now at the new Higbee Store.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, October 18, 1931.
  22. Cox, Dale. “2000 to Work on New Higbee Store.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, October 18, 1930. “Van’s Group Here Among Largest Deals in Realty.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, January 4, 1931.
  23. “Dreary Pay-Off Year Behind Us.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, January 2, 1932.
  24. “To the New Higbee Store on Public Square Open Today.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, September 8, 1931.
  25. “Expect Great Things.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, September 4, 1931.
  26. “Service, The New Higbee Store.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, August 6, 1931.
  27. Ibid.
  28. Strawbridge, Herbert. "Remembering Higbee’s Reminiscences." Cleveland: Western Reserve Historical Society, 2004, pp. 67.
  29. “Higbee 71st Anniversary, A Fine New Store with Fine Old Traditions.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, October 18, 1931.
  30. Stephan, Robert S. “WHK to Build New Studios on Higbee Roof in Terminal.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, February 8, 1931.
  31. “Higbee Under New Charter.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, February 20, 1931.
  32. “Higbee Service Department in Terminal Garage Drive in Today!” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, March 31, 1932.
  33. Bergman, Oscar A. “At the Stores and Shops.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, April 26, 1936. Bergman, Oscar A. “Higbee Tower Stands Near Exposition Center,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, July 5, 1936.
  34. “Globe Theatre at the Great Lakes Exposition.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, July 19, 1936.
  35. “Now in Full Swing, The Long Awaited Event, the Great Higbee Removal Sales.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, July 21, 1931.
  36. “New Merchandise at Sales Prices.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, September 7, 1934.
  37. “Higbee Suit is Upheld.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, January 21, 1936.
  38. “Rules for Higbee Company.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, July 16, 1936.
  39. Monnett, James G. Jr. “Union Club Asks $298,510 Tax Cut, Former John Hartness Brown and Higbee Building also in Hearing.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, October 8, 1936.
  40. Monnett, James G. Jr. “Navy Will Take Over Old Higbee Store.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, October 27, 1942.
  41. Monnett, James G. Jr. “Navy Quarters Ready Monday.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, January 30, 1943.
  42. Rider, Adin C. “Old Higbee Building Sold.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, July 3, 1946.
  43. “Chain Reported Buying Lindner’s, Allied Negotiations Linked with Old Higbee Site.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, September 29, 1947. “New Lindner’s to Become General Department Store.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, September 30, 1947.
  44. Curtiss, Cornelia. “Garden Clubs Are Holding Fall Festival of Four Days in Former Higbee Building.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, October 6, 1932.
  45. “Higbee Company Will Sell McNally-Doyle Products.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, May 1, 1933.
  46. “Parking.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, May 31, 1933.
  47. “Higbee A La Carte Luncheon Feature $.45.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, June 3, 1933.
  48. “New Higbee Shoe Hospital.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, July 11, 1933. “Pay off Checks.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, July 27, 1933. “Offer Typewriting School.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, September 7, 1933.
  49. “Widen Basement Lines, Higbee Company Departments to be Expanded Monday.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, March 23, 1935.
  50. Kelly, Grace V. “Art Teachers Today Show Own Prints and Paintings.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, February 18, 1936.
  51. Curtiss, Cornelia. “Find first Lady’s Greetings Genuine.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, March 12, 1936. Clarage, Eleanor. “Main Street Meditations.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, June 20, 1936.
  52. Lawrence, Charles W. “Ball Representing his Foundation, Transfers Mid America’s Holding.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, April 27, 1937.
  53. “Remains Cleveland-Owned.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, June 29, 1937.
  54. “New Higbee Plan Upholds Woods, Percent Rent Provided with Lower Minimal.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, September 29, 1940.
  55. “Legal Notice, District Court of U.S. Northern District of Ohio, Eastern Division, No. 36. 119.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, April 20, 1938.
  56. “Shiverick, Rites to be Tomorrow.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, July 2, 1937.
  57. “Higbee Company Wins Rent Reduction.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, August 4, 1938.
  58. “File Suit to Gain Higbee Ownership.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, May 29, 1941. “Higbee Plan Confirmed.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, October 8, 1941.
  59. “Advertise Block of Higbee Stock, Young and Kirby Indicate Control of Store.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, March 5, 1942.
  60. “New Farnsworth Radio.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, November 9, 1939.
  61. “Now a Super New Telephone Service.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, August 4, 1940.
  62. Monnett, James J. “Woods Approves Higbee Company Plan.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, February 2, 1941.
  63. Rockwell, Guy T. “Higbee’s Company Declares $1.25.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, June 25, 1943.
  64. Ibid.
  65. Rockwell, Guy T. “Earnings of Higbee Company Up Sharply Past Year.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, June 3, 1943. Rockwell, Guy T. “Higbee to Pay 75 Cents.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, December 17, 1943.
  66. Gleason, Euguene F. “Bond Piper Plays $69,599,325 Tune, Big Money Rolls Out at Auction of War Relics.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, February 2, 1944.
  67. “The Higbee Company.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, March 17, 1943.
  68. “John P. Murphy Is Higbee President.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, March 15, 1944.
  69. “Elected New Members of the Board of Directors of the Cleveland Chamber of Commerce.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, April 12, 1944.
  70. “Quiz’ em A News Question Answer Game.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, September 24, 1944.
  71. “With the Speakers.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, October 23, 1944.
  72. Rockwell, Guy T. “Borrowers Pay Loans Rapidly.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, December 31, 1944.
  73. Rockwell, Guy T. “Higbee Would Split Shares, Exercise Option on Building.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, May 29, 1945.
  74. Ibid.
  75. Rockwell, Guy T. “Higbee’s Earns $1,922,505 for Year Despite Area Strikes.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, May 26, 1950.
  76. “Six Stores Adopt Charga-Plates.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, June 9, 1945.
  77. Strawbridge. “Remembering Higbee’s Reminiscences.” pp. 159.
  78. Rockwell, Guy T. “Higbee Earns $6.22 Share Past Year.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, May 26, 1946.
  79. Rockwell, Guy T. “Higbee Company Votes Dividends.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, December 21, 1946.
  80. Strawbridge. “Remembering Higbee’s Reminiscences.” pp. 73. “Euclid Avenue Building Group to House WHK.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, December 3, 1947.
  81. Hinton, Allan. “Pays $22.50 Dividends.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, December 17, 1947.
  82. “Hundreds Set for Model Plane Test.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, January 11, 1948. “Celebrating Army Day.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, April 7, 1948.
  83. Strawbridge. “Remembering Higbee’s Reminiscences.” pp. 76. “Sportsmen, the Event of the Year.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, March 21, 1948.
  84. Rockwell, Guy T. “Higbee’s Annual Sales Hit $41,997,301 All-Time Peak.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, May 27, 1949.
  85. Rockwell, Guy T. “Higbee’s Earns $1,922,505 for Year.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, May 26, 1950.
  86. “Because Cleveland is the Best Location in the Nation Higbee’s is the Best Location in Cleveland.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, August 14, 1949.
  87. “Christmas Season to Open on Santa Square Saturday.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, November 12, 1950.
  88. “Higbee’s to Open New Music Center.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, October 9, 1951.
  89. Rockwell, Guy T. “Experts C. & O. ’51 Profit Will Equal $4.45 a Share.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, December 20, 1951.
  90. Rockwell, Guy T. “Higbee $44,335,533 Sales Are Largest in 92 Years.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, January 2, 1952.
  91. “NLRB Warns Two Unions.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, January 2, 1952.
  92. Rockwell, Guy T. “Higbee Sales Rise Third Year to Peak at $46,070,632.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, May 26, 1953.
  93. “Alva Bradley II Gets Highest Post.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, April 4, 1953.
  94. Wadovick, J. A. “Higbee to Open Hall Thursday.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, October 4, 1953.
  95. “Women’s Group, Cleveland Dental Society.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, March 14, 1954.
  96. Bryan, John E. “Vote Extra Dividend.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, December 18, 1953.
  97. “Record Volume of 94 Year History, Reported by Higbee.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, May 28, 1954.
  98. “Personalized Christmas Card Shop.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, August 23, 1954.
  99. “Alexander New Higbee Ad Chief.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, November 2, 1954.
  100. “Higbee’s is the Store with More.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, March 14, 1955.
  101. “Higbee’s Speaker Rates Cleveland as Cultured City.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, April 2, 1955.
  102. Bryan, John E. “Higbee Annual Sales Are Second Highest in History.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, May 28, 1955.
  103. “Davy Crockett looking for Pals.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, May 31, 1955.
  104. “Cleveland Rose Society to Display Blooms at Higbee’s.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, June 5, 1955.
  105. “Preferred is Retired.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, August 23, 1955
  106. Bryan, John E. “Higbee Sales Reach Record 50 Million.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, May 23, 1956.
  107. “Higbee’s Hikes Shares.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, June 12, 1956.
  108. Strawbridge. “Remembering Higbee’s Reminiscences.” pp. 86.
  109. “Wins Merit Award.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, July 28, 1956.
  110. “Keep Abreast of Shopping News.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, November 2, 1956.
  111. “Higbee Choir, Monroe on Monitor Today.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, December 22, 1956.
  112. “Marc Jonas to Direct Higbee’s Advertising.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, February 1, 1957.
  113. “Scholastic Art Winners Here receive Citations.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, March 12, 1957.
  114. “Sales of Higbee Company Climb to New Highs.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, May 23, 1957.”
  115. “July Savers.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, June 30, 1957.
  116. “Higbee Company Wins National Award for Advertising.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, January 19, 1958.
  117. Melnick, Norman and Martin T. Ranta. “Heights Ends Bar to New Big Store.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, April 8, 1958.
  118. Bryan, John E. “Higbee Company Reports Another Good Year.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, May 21, 1958.
  119. “Tonight is Family Night at Higbee’s.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, May 29, 1958. “Higbee Bands Give Concert in Square.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, May 30, 1958.
  120. “Elected Higbee V.P.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, August 29, 1958. “Higbee’s Names New Controller.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, December 3, 1958.
  121. “Higbee Head Director of Retail Group.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, January 14, 1959.
  122. “Heights Site of Higbee’s First Branch.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, February 22, 1959.
  123. “Higbee’s to be First.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, April 22, 1959.
  124. “John P. Murphy President of Higbee’e Denied Rumors of a Merger with Federal Department Stores.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, May 19, 1959.
  125. Bryan, John E. “New Chief Slated in Merger Plans of Industrial Rayon.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, December 22, 1959.
  126. “Cosmetics, Notions, Stationary Event.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, January 10, 1960.
  127. Bryan, John E. “Higbee Earnings, Sales Hit Highs.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, May 25, 1960.
  128. “Our Centennial Salute to 1960 Olympics.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, June 5, 1960.
  129. Strassmeyer, Mary. “Fifty-Year Stretch at Higbee’s.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, June 5, 1960.
  130. Princiotto, Ted. “Higbee’s marks 100 Cheerful Years.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, September 4, 1960.
  131. “Steel Exhibition to Open Monday at Higbee Store.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, November 5, 1960. “Higbee World of Toys.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, October 8, 1960.
  132. Segal, Eugene. “Higbee’s to Open Westgate Branch.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, October 15, 1960.
  133. “$6 Million Westgate Plans Set by Higbee.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, January 7, 1961.
  134. Rider, Adin C. “Ohio Crankshaft Building is Purchased by Higbee’s.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, January 5, 1961.
  135. “Higbee’s Westgate Is Opening Tomorrow.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, October 1, 1961.
  136. Strawbridge. “Remembering Higbee’s Reminiscences.” pp. 167. “A New Higbee Christmas Shoppers’ Service.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, November 24, 1961.
  137. “Higbee Nine-Month Net is $622,617.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, December 1, 1961.
  138. Bryan, John E. “Higbee’s Shows Hike in Earnings.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, February 3, 1962.
  139. Rider, Adin C. “Severance Center to Have Bazaar Air.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, February 25, 1962.
  140. “Higbee’s The Store With More.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, November 2, 1962.
  141. “Higbee Reports Sales, Profits Up.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, November 21, 1962.
  142. Bryan, John E. “Higbee Annual Sales at Peak; Profit Dips.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, May 23, 1963.
  143. Ibid.
  144. “Chuckle-along with Jeff Baxter and Jack Riley.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, September 13, 1963.
  145. “Higbee’s is Designed to Meet All Needs of Heights Shoppers.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, August 4, 1963.
  146. “Sales Gain at Higbee’s Profits Dip.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, November 30, 1963.
  147. “Higbee Company Hires Wyse Ad Agency.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, December 14, 1963.
  148. “Santagrams to Go to a Half Million.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, December 18, 1963.
  149. “Higbee’s.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, January 12, 1964.
  150. “1700 Girl Scouts Will Dress Up Dolls for Service Project.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, January 29, 1964.
  151. “Indian-Higbee Boy’s Dugout Club Formed.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, May 1, 1964.
  152. “Boost in Sales Income Reported by Higbee Company.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, May 20, 1964. “Higbee’s Sears Plan Stores in Elyria Midway Mall.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, June 9, 1964.
  153. “Higbee Realigns Branch Operations Makes Three Executive Appointments.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, July 3, 1964.
  154. Bryan, John E. “Higbee’s Profits Rose By 41% for First Half of ’64.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, August 30, 1964.
  155. “Higbee Plans to Add to area Stores.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, September 30, 1964.
  156. “FTC Charges Price Favors to Higbee’s Others.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, December 1, 1964.
  157. “Higbee Company’s Profits Soar 19.6%.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, May 24, 1965.
  158. Kelly, Michael.“Higbee’s to Join New Parmatown Complex.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, April 21, 1965.
  159. “Ground Breaking Held at Elyria’s Midway Mall.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, July 29, 1965. “Higbee’s Cinderella’s Fantasia Breakfast.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, August 20, 1965.
  160. “Higbee Westgate Budget Store Has Official Opening Tomorrow.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, January 23, 1966.
  161. “Higbee Sales Income at All-Time Highs.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, April 17, 1966.
  162. “Higbee Plans Stock Dividend, Expansion; Top Aide to retire.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, June 14, 1966.
  163. “Center Planned Near Canton.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, July 8, 1966.
  164. Cleary, John J. “Higbee’s Proposes 3-for-2 Stock Split.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, March 30, 1967.
  165. Cleary, John. J. “Higbee’s Proposes 3-for-2 Stock Split.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, March 30, 1967.
  166. “Shop Idea New with Higbee’s.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, September 4, 1967. “Crowd Jam New Higbee Store.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, September 6, 1967.
  167. “Higbee Dividend.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, September 28, 1967.
  168. “Higbee Auto Rentals Readied.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, October 4, 1967.
  169. “Higbee Company Plans Store in Mentor.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, January 14, 1968.
  170. “$100-Million Unit Urged for Euclid.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, March 13, 1968.
  171. “Higbee’s Reports increase in Quarterly Profits, Sales.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, May 25, 1968.
  172. “Enclosed Mall Planned at Westgate Center.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, June 21, 1968.
  173. “Store Link Up Unites 200 Years’ Service.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, February 1, 1969.
  174. Bryan, John J. “Higbee Reports Accord on Purchase of McKelvey.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, April 22, 1969.
  175. “UA Display to Focus on Agency Services.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, September 21, 1969.
  176. “Servicing Lake County, Higbee’s is Community Center.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, October 12, 1969.
  177. “Higbee’s Looks Forward to Bright Christmas.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, December 2, 1969.
  178. Strawbridge. “Remembering Higbee’s Reminiscences.” pp. 157.
  179. Thoma, Pauline. “Blue Law problems Taper Off.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, January 11, 1970.
  180. Hellmuth, Ann. “U.S. Moves to Break Up Higbee, Burrow Merger.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, December 23, 1969.
  181. Cleary, John J. “Brownell, Wright Earn Promotions at Higbee’s.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, January 31, 1970.
  182. Bryan, John E. “Profit Gain Due, Cleveland Trust Told.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, April 17, 1970.
  183. Cleary, John J. “Halle Brothers to be Sold to Marshall Field and Company.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, June 25, 1970.
  184. “Higbee’s Opens Store in New Stark Mall.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, August 6, 1970.
  185. “Pre-Christmas Savings Event.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, November 26, 1970.
  186. “Higbee Expects Healthy Profitable Holiday Sales.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, December 3, 1970.
  187. Cleary, John J. “Higbee Company Agrees to Sell Burrows Brothers Chain.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, September 2, 1971.
  188. Miller, William F. “Five Suburban Higbee Stores Set Pre-Christmas Sunday Opening.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, November 17, 1971.
  189. “Free Higbee’s Gift Certificate.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, March 3, 1972.
  190. “Scandinavian Fortnight.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, June 1, 1972.
  191. “Earnings Digest, Higbee Three-Month Net Rebounds.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, May 26, 1972.
  192. “Local Firm Boosted for Gateway Deal.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, August 23, 1972.
  193. For further details see Strawbridge, “Remembering Higbee’s Reminiscences.”
  194. Penderson, Terry. “Tips for Buyers Collector’s Art Calls for Caution.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, December 31, 1972.
  195. Bryan, John E. “Covington Projects Computer Automation as a Winner.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, January 25, 1973.
  196. Ellison, Bruce. “Five Black Leaders Here Form Downtown Bank.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, May 10, 1973.
  197. “Higbee Company Chain Gained New Peaks in Past Year.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, April 7, 1973.
  198. Kelly, Michael. “Randall Mall to be Challenge to Downtown.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, March 8, 1973.
  199. “Burrows Sales Completed Expansion Plan Outlined.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, May 9, 1973.
  200. “Six Higbee Stores Set Sunday Sales.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, October 2, 1973.
  201. “Savage Promoted by Higbee Company.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, October 19, 1973.
  202. “Higbee Company Reports Record Sales, Profits.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, April 9, 1974.
  203. Ellison, Bruce. “Strawbridge is Businessman of Year.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, January 14, 1974.
  204. Gerdel, Thomas W. “American Greetings Shift Costs 450 Jobs.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, June 26, 1974.
  205. “Court Gives Euclid Mall Go-Ahead.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, July 20, 1974.
  206. “Higbee’s to Lease North Randall Store.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, October 5, 1974.
  207. Gerdel, Thomas W. “New Higbee Store to Open in Westgate.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, October 2, 1974.
  208. Miller, William F. “Dali Museum is Postponed, Pollution Cited.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, January 13, 1976.
  209. “Higbee Company Elevates Three; Two Become Vice Presidents.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, February 20, 1975.
  210. “Lower Profit is Reported by Higbee.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, April 4, 1975.
  211. “Big Business Gives Big for Transit Tax.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, July 5, 1975.
  212. Ellison, Bruce.“Higbee’s reports a Loss but Sees Profit in Future.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, August 28, 1975.
  213. Kelly, Michael. “Saks Eager to Realize Idea for Store Here Board Chairman Says.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, May 21, 1976.
  214. “Higbee Company Reports Second Quarter Loss.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, August 26, 1976.
  215. “Executive Scene.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, January 3, 1977.
  216. “Higbee’s Three Winning Cards.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, June 19, 1977.
  217. Gerdel, Thomas W. “Higbee Company Blames New Stores for Losses.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, August 23, 1977.
  218. Kelly, Michael. “Higbee President Decides to Bow Out; Replacement Sought.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, January 28, 1978.
  219. “ESM Department Store Has a First.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, March 1, 1978.
  220. “Higbee’s Reports Record Sales.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, April 5, 1978.
  221. “Update.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, July 30, 1978.
  222. Kelly, Michael. “Higbee’s Losses Big.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, August 25, 1978.
  223. Wiernik, Julie. “Broadbent is President of Higbee Company.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, November 1, 1978.
  224. “Higbee May Trim Monday Hours Downtown.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, January 25, 1979. “Executive Scene.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, February 5, 1979.
  225. Clausen, Mark. “Higbee’s Hopes For Better Times.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, May 26, 1979.
  226. “Changing Positions.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, October 25, 1979.
  227. Koshar, John Leo. “Yule was a Happy One for Cash Registers Here.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, December 27, 1979.
  228. “Entries are Invited.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, February 24, 1980.
  229. “Nutrition Workshops Scheduled.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, February 20, 1980. “Introducing the Magnavision Video Disc System by Magnavox, Enjoy tonight.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, March 2, 1980.
  230. “Jerry Silverman’s.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, March 10, 1980.
  231. “Higbee’s Sells Its Interest in Hotel to the Browns.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, April 8. 1980.
  232. “Higbee’s Strawbridge Reports Better Outlook.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, May 24, 1980.
  233. “Offshore Mutual Fund Buys Stake in Higbee.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, November 8, 1980.
  234. Ibid.
  235. “Dividends.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, December 24, 1980.
  236. “Foreign Investor Buys 5% of Higbee Stock, SEC is Told.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, August 13, 1981.
  237. “Earnings Digest, Higbee.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, April 3, 1981.
  238. “The Kids’ Race Around.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, July 28, 1981.
  239. “Earnings Digest, Higbee.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, August 19, 1981.
  240. Talbott, Stephen. “Sohio to Lease Space from Higbee Company.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, November 3, 1981.
  241. “Dividends.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, January 9, 1982.
  242. “Higbee’s Letter.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, January 29, 1982.
  243. “Foreign Investors Get More Higbee Shares.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, February 23, 1982.
  244. “Sohio Gets Women’s Federal Site at Last.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, February 4, 1982.
  245. “Earnings Digest, Higbee Company.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, May 20, 1982.
  246. “Earnings Digest, Higbee Company.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, August 17, 1982.
  247. “Jingeling to Jangle at Higbee’s.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, November 23, 1982.
  248. “Casting Under Way for Movie to be Filmed Here in January.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, December 19, 1982.
  249. “Dividends.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, January 8, 1983. Hicks, Jonathan P. “Higbee ’82 Sales Up 4.5% after Strong Fourth Quarter.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, January 28, 1983.
  250. Kersey, Nancy Bigler. “Linville Finds Love at M.A.S.H. Bash.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, March 6, 1983.
  251. Fuller, John. “Higbee has Best Year since 1977 Record Quarter.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, March 26, 1983.
  252. Strassmeyer, Mary. “Mary, Mary.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, March 31, 1983.
  253. Strassmeyer, Mary. “Mary, Mary.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, April 14, 1983.
  254. “Earnings Digest, Higbee Company.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, August 12, 1983.
  255. Ibid.
  256. “Australian Named to Higbee Board.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, October 5, 1983.
  257. Sabath, Donald. “Higbee Reports Record Earnings.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, November 11, 1983.
  258. Ibid.
  259. “Seven Higbee-Owned Shoe Stores are Sold to Sel-Joy Shoes.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, November 18, 1983.
  260. Gleisser, Marcus. “City, State Start Promotions to Lure Business.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, January 22, 1984.
  261. “James Vadis Elected to High Higbee Posts.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, January 28, 1984.
  262. Ibid.
  263. Gleisser, Marcus. “Higbee’s Sets Records in Sales and Profits.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, March 20, 1984.
  264. “Foreign Holders Seek More Higbee’s Voice.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, May 4, 1984.
  265. Gleisser, Marcus. “Future of Higbee’s Depends Heavily on Foreign Holders.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, June 2, 1984.
  266. “Business Scene.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, May 7, 1984.
  267. “Higbee’s, May’s Seek Tax Cut.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, July 17, 1984.
  268. Gleisser, Marcus. “Australians Purchase Higbee Company.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, September 11, 1984.
  269. Gleisser, Marcus. Ninety Percent of Higbee Stock Offered to Group.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, October 10, 1984.
  270. Gleisser, Marcus. “Four New Presidents Named at Higbee Company.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, December 11, 1984.
  271. Gleisser, Marcus. “Higbee Debentures are Well Received.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, December 12, 1984.
  272. Gleisser, Marcus. “Higbee Company to Improve Downtown, Other Stores.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, March 7, 1985.
  273. “Executive Scene.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, April 8, 1985.
  274. Karle, Delinda. “Retailers are Hopping Here Despite Slow Sales.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, July 9, 1985.
  275. Gleisser, Marcus.“Area Retailers Note Stronger Sales.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, August 14, 1985.
  276. “Play Santa to a Needy Child.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, November 30, 1985.
  277. Gleisser, Marcus. “Higbee’s Weighs Third Akron Store, Firm Confirms Plans for Rolling Acres Outlet.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, February 12, 1986.
  278. “Executive Scene.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, April 28, 1986.
  279. “Higbee’s Asks $9.2 Million County Bond.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, October 15, 1986.
  280. “Use Your Higbee’s Charge.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, January 1, 1987.
  281. Esrati, Stephen G.“Truth Bent for Sake of Amity.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, April 5, 1987.
  282. Karle, Delinda. “Higbee’s Plans Store at Mall in Cincinnati.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, June 24, 1987.
  283. Russell, Mark and Bill Slout, “Judge Backs Higbee’s on Ending Lease.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, February 26, 1988.
  284. Seifullah, Alan A. A. “Higbee’s Began in 1860.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, September 1, 1987.
  285. Russell, Mark. “May Department Stores Called Possible Suitor for Higbee Company.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, October 7, 1987.
  286. Karle, Delinda. “Veil of Secrecy Surrounds Bidding for Higbee Company.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, November 18, 1987.
  287. Russell, Mark. “Competition Expected to Grow Under New Higbee’s Ownership.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, January 1, 1988.
  288. Russell, Mark. “Dillard’s Own Way of Selling.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, January 10, 1988.
  289. Interview with former Higbee President John S. Lupo.
  290. Russell, Mark. “Forty-Eight Fired by New Higbee Owner.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, March 2, 1988.
  291. “Higbee Chief Predicts Employees to Shun Union.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, April 5, 1988.
  292. “Earnings Briefs, Dillard Department Store.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, May 14, 1988.
  293. Russell, Mark. “Higbee’s Basement Showcase.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, June 3, 1988.
  294. Russell, Mark. “Expansion was part of Horne’s Deal.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, August 3, 1988.
  295. Russell, Mark. “Retired Head of Higbee’s Plans to Keep Busy with Civic Activities.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, February 7, 1989.
  296. Russell, Mark. “Higbee’s Eliminates about Ninety Positions.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, February 28, 1989.
  297. Ibid.
  298. “Higbee Executive Moves to Tower City Center.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, April 4, 1989. Russell, Mark. “Higbee’s Sues Prior Owner, Accountants.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, April 13, 1989.
  299. “Earnings Briefs, Dillard.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, May 10, 1989.
  300. “Update on Business, Cleveland, Higbee Plans.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, June 29, 1989.
  301. “Update on Business, Cleveland, Higbee Plans.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, August 8, 1989. “May Dillard Likely to Bid on Lazarus.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, September 26, 1989.
  302. Freeh, John. “Higbee to Close Restaurants Downtown.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, November 4, 1989.
  303. “Update on Business, Cleveland, Dillard Earnings Soar.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, November 7, 1989.
  304. “As the World Turns.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, January 10, 1990.
  305. Carmen, Fred. “The Man of Distinction Clevelander has a Look of his Own.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, January 18, 1990.
  306. “Higbee’s to Open Store in Akron Mall.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, January 31, 1990.
  307. Freeh, John. “Sales Earnings Up for Quarter, Year at Dillard Stores.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, March 1, 1990.
  308. Freeh, John. “Downtown Store Hours Extended.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, February 28, 1990.
  309. “I Like Higbee’s Because.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, May 13, 1990.
  310. “Earnings Briefs, Dillard Stores.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, May 16, 1990.
  311. Gerdel, Thomas W. “Dillard Plans Expansion of Higbee Retail Chain.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, June 27, 1990.
  312. Washington, Roxanne. “Handbag Artistry.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, July 15, 1990.
  313. “Find the Best Prices from the Best Names at Higbee’s.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, July 28, 1990.
  314. “Dillard to Offer Stock to Cut Commercial Debt.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, August 2, 1990.
  315. Funk, Nancy M. “Dillard Executive Named New Chairman at Higbee’s.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, October 6, 1990.
  316. Funk, Nancy M. “Higbee Company to Chop Jobs in its Security Division.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, November 2, 1990.
  317. Funk, Nancy M. “Santa, Helpers Move to Tower City for Season.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, November 3, 1990.
  318. French, Janet Beighle. “The Ever Green Mr. Jingeling.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, December 15, 1990.
  319. Strassmeyer, Mary. “Mary, Mary.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, November 23, 1990.
  320. “Severance Movie Month.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, January 11, 1991.
  321. “Style Trek, Pieces of History.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, January 20, 1991.
  322. “Earnings Brief, Dillard Stores.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, February 28, 1991.
  323. Funk, Nancy M. “Two Former Executives Sue Higbee Company in Dispute over Severance Pay.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, March 14, 1991.
  324. “Business Briefs Local, Dillard Soars.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, May 14, 1991.
  325. “Dillard’s Ekes Out Increase.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, February 26, 1992.
  326. Clark, Sandra. “DeBartolo to Sell Its Share in Higbee Chain to Dillard.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, July 18, 1992.
  327. Clark, Sandra. “Dillard to Rename Seventy-One Higbee Stores.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, July 25, 1992.
  328. Ibid.
  329. “Business Briefs.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer, August 11, 1992.

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Best Quality, Lowest Prices: It's Got to be Higbee's by Richard Klein, Ph.D is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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