|Buffums' main store at Pine and Broadway in Long|
Beach consisted of an older, 1914 building (right)
and a six-story 1925 addition.
|Buffums' imposing store dominated the|
Pine Street retail landscape in Long Beach
from 1904, and later spread throughout
|Buffums' recognized the value of convenient parking|
and in 1941 built a parking garage, known as
|Buffums' Store for Men was a 1941 addition|
south of the main store along Pine Avenue.
|In 1964, Buffums' leased and remodeled an adjacent|
building to the west, thereby creating "Buffums'
|In the 1960s, Buffums' opened a new "Varsity Shop"|
for young men across the alley from the Store for
Men on Pine Avenue.
100 Broadway at Pine Avenue
Long Beach, California
Gift Gallery • China and Glass • Lamps • Housewares • Book Shop • Toys • Patio Shop • Lawn Furniture • Bathroom Accessories • Ask Mr. Foster Travel Service
Fashion Jewelry • Fine Jewelry • Time Shop • Cosmetics • Toiletries • Notions • Handbags • Umbrellas • Handkerchiefs • Leg Fashions • Hat Bar • Gloves • Women’s Rainwear • Accessory Shop • Shoe Salon • Mainfloor Separates • Mainfloor Coordinates • Blouses and Shirts • Stationery • Silverware • Candy
Store for Men Men’s Furnishings • Men’s Sportswear • Men’s Clothing • Attache Shop • Men’s Shoes
Luggage • Ski Shop • Sportsman Shop • Camera Shop, Radios
Broadway Shops Red Cross Shoe Store • Gourmet Shop • Interior Design Studio
125 Pine Street Varsity Shop
125 Pine Street Varsity Shop
Sun-Charm Sportswear • Casual Dresses • Young California Junior Sportswear • Young California Junior Dresses • Young California Junior Activewear • Young California Junior Coats • Girls’ 3-6x Shop • Girls’ 7-14 Shop • Young Deb’s Shop • Little Shaver Shop • Boys’ Shop • Young Boys’ Shop • Toddlers’ Shop • Baby Shop • Children’s Shoes • Nursery Furniture • Maternity Shop
Designer’s Circle • Boutique Dresses • Boutique Sportswear • Designer Sportswear • Accent Dresses • Young Careerist • Dress Shop • Fashion Shop Coats • Fashion Shop Suits • Women’s Shop • Fur Salon • Fashion Millinery • Robes • Lingerie • Sleepwear • Foundations • Junior Lingerie
Bedding • Bath Shop • Draperies • Trim-a-Home • Fashion Fabrics • Art Needlework and Yarns
Offices • Ticket Agency • Credit Sales Desk • Television-Stereo Sound Center • Records • Beauty Studio •Card Shop
Terrace of the Four Seasons Restaurant • Personnel Office
(214,000 sq. ft.)
Main & 10th
108,000 sq. ft.
The Yorba Room
Pacific Coast Hwy at 2nd
17,000 sq. ft.
Top of the Mall
144,000 sq. ft.
The Palomares Room
Crenshaw at Silver Spur
43,000 sq. ft.
Store for Men
Main & 10th
8,000 sq. ft.
Del Amo at Graywood
73,000 sq. ft.
#1 Fashion Island
The Franciscan Room
La Habra Fashion Square
120, 000 sq. ft.
The California Room
80,000 sq. ft.
The Ballast Room
Laguna Hills Mall
50,000 sq. ft.
The Granada Room
Santa Anita Fashion Park
80,000 sq. ft.
The Palm Terrace
90,000 sq. ft.
The Country Barn Restaurant
90,000 sq. ft.
80,000 sq. ft.
The Sheumiere Room
Coming in due course.
Hello, everyone. My name is Michelle, and I used to work at Buffums at the La Habra Fashion Square (early 1980s). I worked on the Third Floor in different departments: china/silver, gifts/Trim-A-Home, and housewares/bedding. And I must say, had it not been for my experience at Buffums, I wouldn't be knowledgeable about things from all of those departments. I also learned a lot from the people who worked there. I owe a great deal to Buffums for giving me the opportunity to be a Buffums employee...it was truly an honor.ReplyDelete
Hello Michelle, interesting as I use to shop that store mainly during the Christmas season as I lived in the north end of Buena Park near Los Coyotes Country Club from 1968 to 1983. I fI remember correctly there was a Bullocks on the other end near an AMC theater. Who knows maybe on one of those shopping trips you waited on me. Thanks for sharing. MikeDelete
My grandmother managed a Buffums store most of my childhood (70's & 80"). I'm trying to remember which one it was. I THINK it was Marina Pacifica. Does anyone have pictures of that store?Delete
I worked at Buffums for ten years from 1979 to 1989 at the Glendale Galleria store,it was my first job in retail and I worked in almost every area of the store, from sales to management, it was one of the best experiences of my life. I have mantained many of the wonderful friendships I had from working there and was a great techer for me in my career. I miss the whole department store experience and I was happy to have been part of a great era in retail.ReplyDelete
May I ask where you get your sketch-style images? I would love to see higher-resolution picturesReplyDelete
They are from newspaper ads announcing the store's opening, for the most part. Some of them are really exquisite.
I am currently writing a book about Jacobson's in Michigan. I saw some of these renderings in newspapers, but when I tracked down the stoe's archives, donated to a museum, I was able to use high-resolution versions for the book.
I remember that the beautiful LaHabra store did not use mannequins to display outfits. They just draped them over chairs and tables with the appropriate accessories... kind of like what a person would do at home when picking out an outfit for the day. I thought that was very clever!ReplyDelete
Thank you for this interesting detail. For those of us who remember them, these most unique retail establishments had their own atmosphere, made up of a thousand little tidbits which have been washed away in time.ReplyDelete
I am preparing a book about Jacobson's, a similar type of store in Michigan. It's own "time-and-space" was a result of the desire of its owner to focus on what made the store unique, and eliminate anything that was tawdry or out of line with his vision for it.
Buffums' must have been very similar, and it is a shame that such quality of thought and presentation was not rewarded with success, but forced into bankruptcy. At some point this site seems to be not so much about department stores, but about us, actually, don't you think?
Oh yes, indeed. These stores helped define our towns and, in turn, us! You are very intuitive, my friend.ReplyDelete
I have been communicating with you earlier about the L. S. Ayres stores in Indianapolis. I used to be a supervisor, years ago, for the old Hickory Farms stores when they were company owned. I moved with that company from Indy to Cleveland, to Los Angeles. We had seasonal kiosks in most of the malls of those cities. So, I am very familiar with many of the stores you highlight on this site. Later, until retirement, I was a customer service supervisor for a clothing manufacturer, a job that took me to Houston. So, of course, I shopped at Foley's. Now I am back in California, in the high desert where our shopping palaces are K-Mart and WalMart. Just not the same, huh? Thanks for these wonderful memories---Nick
I grew up in Pomona in the 60's and 70's. The Buffums' store was the largest in the chain other than the flagship in Long Beach. I spent many hot summer afternoons there in the Fine Antiques and other departments while my mom had her hair "done" in the salon. We would have lunch after in the Palomares room. Monte Cristo or chicken salad sandwichs were my favorites. Ah, the memories.ReplyDelete
Was this place around in the 40's or before? And did they take wedding photos?ReplyDelete
Buffums' was founded in 1904. Most department stores had a portrait studio, so I would assume Buffums did take wedding photos. I have no proof of it, however.ReplyDelete
I use to work at the Grossmont location. I wish I had photos or something to jar my memoryReplyDelete
Unfortunately, Buffums' didn't include a sketch or picture of the Grossmont store in their advertising at the time, but I am always on the lookout for one.ReplyDelete
Bruce, I am fascinated with your blog, thank you for this. I am in the process of possibly opening a restaurant featuring signature dishes from department store tearooms and cafes. What a great resource your site has been...thank you.ReplyDelete
Mike Sakowitz Twomey (yes, distant Sakowitz relation)Sakowitz50@hotmail.com
Hello. I Have A Very Rare Buffums' Alligator Purse Called "My Lady"... There Is No Information Any Where About This Piece, Which Was My Mother's From The 50's 60's... It's In Great Shape, Does Anyone Have An Idea What It Is Worth, Or Where I Cold Find Information On It?ReplyDelete
BAK, thank you for this wonderful blog where we can share nostalgic memories of the bygone era of the local department store. Like yourself, I spent my childhood near Eastland (East Detroit, MI).ReplyDelete
I moved to Los Angeles in the early 80s--just in time to catch the end of the great SoCal dep't stores: Bullock's, Buffum's, Robinson's, May Co, The Broadway, Bullocks Wilshire, I Magnin, Joseph Magnin, and Orbach's were still around then.
Sadly, the Buffum's building at Lakewood Center (faced Del Amo Blvd) was just torn down in the past few weeks. Shortly after Buffum's closed, it was converted to a Pacific Theatres multiplex. However, the exterior 60s vintage facade remained reasonably intact. Like most areas, movie theatres were overbuilt and Pacific abandoned the building 3-4 years ago. I assume a big-box retailer is in the works.
The most enjoyable experience of Buffum's Lakewood was that the store was never remodeled. Right into the 90s, the original 60's era decor (sculptured gold carpeting, spiked-brass chandeliers, etc) remained intact. With each visit, I was instantly transported back to my idyllic childhood at JLH Eastland.
While walking down an alley in the past few years, I happened to nab an old (pristine) Buffum's box from the recycling bin--an unexpected treasure. Being around the holdays, I surmise that someone had used it to store their decor for decades.
Thanks for your comment. I was born in 1958, so I do remember the style of Hudson's in Eastland in the 60s. To see Eastland now, is very disappointing. When it was enclosed in the 1970s, the center lost its beauty.
I am glad you got to experience those west coast stores . . . really some of our greats . . . I only know them from ads, pictures, and the remembrances of people like yourself.
Best wishes to you!
I also worked for Buffum's. My first job out of high school. The Santa Anita Fashion Park Mall location in Arcadia was an early 70's time capsule up until its closure at the company's liquidation. All orange and avocado. The two story three section lighting fixture at the mall entrance was way cool too, heard that got razed along with the building when they built the new Nordstrom wing. I still have my employee handbook (and name badge) with the cool line drawings of each location up to Grossmont. There were two additional locations opened: La Canada (formerly an Iver's store) and Palm Springs before the parent company (David Jones from Australia) liquidated.ReplyDelete
Hello there ! I too worked at Buffums Arcadia in ladies shoes dept. I was their top sales person for 3-4 years I eas there . I still have my original Buffums badge and Buffy Bear too !Delete
Same! I don’t have the Buffy Box anymore though. Did you know Jeff or Henry in Ladies Shoes? Also Buffums was the only place I ever saw Meltonian shoe polish.Delete
Could you share those drawing with me for posting here? I would require a high-resolution scan, which you could e-mail to email@example.com.ReplyDelete
Something that interesting would help bring back many of your colleague's memories.
I loved Buffums!..I worked the Santa Anita store one Christmas around 1979 or 80 doing gift wrapping. One classy store!..Loved eating in the restaurant/tea room. They had the best chicken salad sandwiches ever. It was very sad when they closed.ReplyDelete
I have wonderful memories of Buffum's. I applied for a position as a comp. operator just out of high school. (1959) Pine Ave. store. Grace Leavitt was the controller at the time-and hired me!!! I was slow-but, she was so kind, and told me that my work was accurate and speed would come later. I had lunch with her about 6 years ago at her home in Newport Beach. I went to Long Beach State College in the fall and became an educator. I worked at Buffum's through college-first as a Young Careerist-then where ever they needed me-elevator operator-secretary-accounts payable-sales in all dept. I worked whenever I had a few hours and every Saturday...even enjoyed Harry Buffum's holiday party on the roof!!! I purchased my wedding dress there when I graduated in l963. It was a wonderful experience...and I treasure thoseReplyDelete
years and the people that trusted me. I miss Buffum's!!
Department Store Museum! What a fantastic idea. For years, after having worked at several now-long-gone department stores, I've taken photos of buildings and interiors of old, once-treasured stores. I'm glad to see the La Canada-Flintridge store was mentioned here. It's often left off of lists of the Buffums chain. There was also a small neighborhood -style store in Solana Beach, California. The store was built to serve the ranch and coast communities in North San Diego County as well as tony area of Rancho Santa Fe area. Buffums was famous for it's chandeliers and restaurants. It was a marvelous company and store.ReplyDelete
I grew up in the 50s, I can remember going to the downtown long beach store for school clothes and at christmas time, have photos of my brother and i sitting on santas lap. my mom would have my brother and i keep our hands in our pockets while she browsed the china and glass department. seems like i remember they also had a multi-storied parking garage, I believe it had a vehicle elevator. Later in the 60s when i was a teenager they had a young mens shop across the alley, the alley was decorated and painted with scenes to make you feel as if you hadn't left the main building. wonderful memoriesReplyDelete
I was one of the last five people to leave Buffums when they closed their doors. My best friend was the "secretary" to the president of the company and both she and I ended up with a lot of Buffums memorabilia. I have the Buffums "B" from the original Pine and Broadway store's tea room and an antique coat rack from that same location. It was a great store with wonderful customer service! The department stores today don't event come close...ReplyDelete
I worked at Buffum's straight out of college when I graduated in 1968 for $2.15 per hour. I was in heaven working for the suit and coat buyer. Our cubicle was near Grace Leavitt's office and she was very kind hearted. She arranged for a baby shower for a needy employee. I heard that she kept the company intact following the difficult days of the Great Depression. I really miss the old Dept. stores.ReplyDelete
My father worked his way up from hosiery buyer to vice president/ General merchandise manager over about 22 years. He had great things to say about Grace. Bill Johns was his name.Delete
i worked the la habra buffums store for 7 years in the 70's. i worked in the restaurant, moving up from dishwasher to head chef. it was a great time to work for such a great company. the store was, to me, very classy but at the same time affordable. they had everything in the store, from ski equipment to greeting cards, to fir stoles. just a wide variety of product. such a waste to see the company not exist anymore, after surviving the depression and all that followed. farewell to a time gone by. thanks la habra for some GREAT memories!!ReplyDelete
I have a watercolor poster of the design for one of the Buffums stores. It was found in an estate in Long Beach, CA, that was once inhabited by the Buffums family. It was not necessarily there during the time they lived there, but rather was donated by a realtor to later residents of the home. I was hoping that you might recognize the store or the artist. Here is a link to the photo:ReplyDelete
http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.2699733339807.138380.1450860567&type=1&l=25272ba8eb Thank you! Sharn
Does anyone recognize this Buffums Store? This is an original watercolor design that is from an estate in Long Beach, CA. I am hoping to identify it so we can do further research. Thank you. http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.2699733339807.138380.1450860567&type=1&l=25272ba8eb firstname.lastname@example.orgReplyDelete
The photo is of the Manhatten Beach store that became a Macys' location. I worked for Buffums up until they closed in the Bridal Registery/fine china.ReplyDelete
I used to work at The Buffums warehouse in Long Beach and my mother worked at the La Habra store in the 80's.ReplyDelete
Looking for information on a sterling silver coin I have...It says: Money Redeemable in Merchandise at Buffums $25.00 then a serial number....Opposite side says: Buffums (logo) Twenty Five Silver Dollars..thanks AlReplyDelete
It sounds like it was a gift certificate of sorts issued by the store. Perhaps one of this blog's readers could enlighten you more about it.
i have a coin that says twenty five silver dollars buffums, worth something?Delete
I've got a vintage hat from Buffums' in Long Beach. I'd say it's from around the 1940s. You can see pictures of it below-ReplyDelete
The Buffums in LaHabra was a gorgeous open- designed store with beautiful furniture and chandeliers designed by Tony Duquette, famous Hollywood set designer. In retrospect,I sure wish I had been smart enough to take advantage of the auction of all that incredible interior furnishing.ReplyDelete
LaHabra Fashion Square was a beautiful park-like outdoor center. It was never very busy due to the close proximity of the much larger Brea Mall down the street. Too bad, the lovely center was bulldozed down to make way for a nondescript cookie cutter "life style" center that has absolutely no "style".
Thank you for your comments!ReplyDelete
The sense of style present in these great department store institutions is truly in short supply, as you have noted. Even more interesting is the fact that the "style" helped them be successful, long-lasting enterprises, until the calamity of present-day business and society wiped them (and all of their style) right off the map!
As you have put it, too bad (for us)!
Buffums opened a store in the former Walker Scott location at Tahquitz & McCallum in Palm Springs sometime after 1989 (1990-1992?). That was about the time that Buffum's shut all their doors. :(ReplyDelete
I worked at the Buffum's in the Peninsula Center. I worked in the Mens Department and remember having many good times there!ReplyDelete
My grandfather worked in the Downtown, Long Beach / Pine Avenue Buffum's in the early 1960's. He worked in the storeroom. I remember clearly coming to his work to see him..running thru the storeroom calling "papa". My family was from Scotland...so of course he was called "Scotty". I still have a frying pan / skillet that he brought home for my nana from that time period.ReplyDelete
Years later I became best friends in high school with the daughter of the President of Buffum's (during the late 1970's). Such a coincidence. I can recall playing tennis on the roof of the Buffum's in Marina Pacifica / PCH and 2nd. Great memories.
Wow! I wonder where you get some of your images? Please site your sources.ReplyDelete
I think most people whould be more that happy to share info/photos if you gave them some credit.
i was wondering if anyone can help me with some info as to when and were and maybe todays value on my grandmas gold powder box it is roubd with a picture of california on the front thank you my name is jamesReplyDelete
My father worked at Buffums' from around 1950 till 1974. He started as hosiery buyer, and ended as Vice President General Merchandise Mannager. Grace Leavitt was mentioned by a few people. Their friendship continued long after my father left to take on Port O'Call Pasadena. The 'old crew' of Buffums' was a really amazing collection of talented, open-minded, hardworking and creative people. My sister and I were lucky to be so familiar with many many employees, from clerks, buyers, department managers, etc! My father's first buying trip to Europe was with Harry Buffum and his wife, and I have the slides my father took on it. Priceless. There will never be another venture like Buffums' or many of these great department stores. I can barely go shopping any more. My father's name was George W. Johns, Jr. His father Sr. worked at Robinson's in the 40-50s, after moving from St.Louis and Denver where he was with other great stores. My father started out after a GI bill MBA at the Broadway. I might post more if there is any interest.
Wow, does this bring back memories. I worked at the Marina store in the mens department, its was a small group of people but very interesting clientele. I remember we would go over to Hofs Hut on breaks which was at the same location. It was fun, and so many moons ago. Ive travelled the world, retired and live in Palm Beach, Fla. Sad to see the firm is gone.ReplyDelete
Hi, I'm doing some genealogy and my grandfather's sister (my great Aunt) worked at Buffum's for 20 years. I think at the Glendale store but I'm not sure. Her name was Mildred "Mickey" Baker (she was married several times so her last name could have been something else). If anyone remembers her, please send me a hello. Thanks.ReplyDelete
28Jul: You might be pleased to know that not everything has changed at Marina Pacifica. Hof's is still there. The center was renovated in the mid 90s as a strip of drive-up stores (replacing the original "wandering wooden walkway" design). Interestingly, the (former) Buffum's & Hof's are the only original structures in the center that were left standing. Buffum's became Loehmann's.ReplyDelete
From 1951 to 1956 I worked at Buffum's Dept Store and ate at Hof's Hut, lived at the Y.W.C.A. and danced at The Corral.These are wonderful memories.Delete
MY husband found this site after a trip down memory lane moment this morning.ReplyDelete
I worked for Buffums from 1978 to the day I turned the key for the last time in the backdoor at the Solana Beach Buffums in May 1991.
I started at the Fashion Valley store in the gift dept. then moved to the Housewares dept. then became the Area Mgr of China and Silver, Houseware, Stationery, Bath and Bedding. After having a baby, went up to the second floor and managed the Children's area, dresses and Sportwear depts. When the assist store manager became the Store Manager of the Laguna Hills store I was promoted to Assistant Store Manager under Walt Mizer. What a guy! When we would have a million dollar sales day, He would have a managers meeting in the AM before the store opened and would toast all of his management team with Buffums' Champagne. Drinking champagne and going thru the register tapes and receipts from the day before was a hilarious way to start the morning, Don't know how many errors we caught on those mornings. And the pranks we played! The Dock Manager went on vacation and we sent his desk on a long trip out to all the other stores, It was being shipped all around for weeks, before he found it and convinced another dock manager to return it.
After a few years, I transfered to the Grossmont Center store as store manager, Left the company for a year and came back to open the store in Solana Beach the little jewel of the chain. It had previously been a Walker Scott store, where I had worked for a number of years lastly as a sportwear assistant buyer and corporate training director, so I knew the store and the clientele.
When I first walked in the backdoor of Solana Beach as the remodel and renovation was taking place, the air was a cloud of drywall dust! You couldn't see a thing. slowly over the weeks it all came together, marble floors, grasscloth wallpaper, chome and glass display tables, amazing chandeliers, large interior columns and the center of the store appeared to be a huge open sky dome. (It really wasn't, all while glass and lighting in the dome)
John Sullivan the store manager at the Palm Springs store was a dear friend of mine from the old Walker Scott stores. He and I worked together for several years until I left that chain, he was the store manager of WS in PSprings. I gave him the heads up on the Buffum's opening and he took that store.
It was hearbreaking to close those stores. I helped close down, Fashion Valley, Laguna HIlls, and Solana Beach. We snitched crystals from the Designer Gallery chandelier as they were up on ladders taking all the crystals off the huge downstairs chandeliers in Fashion Valley. I think they had been sold to a store in Kuwait or Indonesia.
The silver coins were plated as were the gold 100 coins. I used to sit in my office with a pile of them before Christmas with silver polish and clean them up before the holidays. The store managers and buyers were given key rings made out of the gold coins as our parting gifts. Mine fell apart and the finish wore thru.
Some of the very best salespeople and staff employees in the world worked for Buffums.
I was a college freshman at SDSU and looking for work around the holidays, most likely 1973 or 1974. It was chilly and I didn't have a coat so walking down Fashion Valley was getting discouraging and cold. I walked into the Fashion Valley Buffums and stopped in my tracks. Walking in from the mall level, you looked down into a sunken area which had Cosmetics, Handbags, Fashion Jewelry, Hosiery, and Accessories, and Fine Jewelry.
There were three unbelievably huge chandeliers overseeing the whole front of the first floor...they must have been over 12' in diameter and 4-5' high. It was dazzling and one of the most beautiful things I'd ever seen and I remember thinking "Oh, they'll never hire me." However, I hiked up to the Executive Office to the HR desk where an elegant woman whose hair was caught up in a perfect chignon, was sorting through Christmas applications. I remember smiling and saying, "I don't suppose you'd care to look at one more of those?" To my great excitement she called the next day to ask when it would be convenient for me to take training.
Those were several very happy working years. Walt Mizer was the Store Manager, Mr. Miracle had Men's, and I worked in Accessories under Kris Holiday who I adored. Much of the first floor worked for Norma Jean West who was a petite red-headed woman, strict in her discipline but also very affectionate with all of us girls. I learned merchandising from Kris and was thrilled to be asked to stay on after the holidays. Eventually, I was asked to work in Cosmetics on Sundays and what a treat that was! Estee Lauder! Clinique! Bal a Versaille perfume and Joy, at $100 an ounce. That was a rare treat. Being a broke college student I could never afford the cosmetics, but coming in at 11:30 on Sunday mornings, you could definitely make yourself up with testers and samples. It was heavenly and it paid commissions!
Vija Schaeffer was the make up manager and had fled the communist regime in Latvia. She was tall, with red hair piled high on her head - an incredible manager. Bernie and Marge were the Estee Lauder Ladies and I really caught it when Marge discovered I had left my name on some of the credit card applications when she came in on a Monday. We received $5 or $10 for every successful application so it was really a stiff competition. I remember Vija taking my young, naive face in her hand and telling me to stand up straight and go apologize to Marge. I was so embarrassed I was nearly in tears. However, after being forgiven, I always made sure my credit card apps were gone when I left on Sunday evenings.
The clientele was generally very well to do and I remember a tall, elderly woman with short white hair and a short white dog coming in. She had on a full length fur and in my ignorance I asked her if it was mink...I was in awe. She looked me up and down and snapped, "Well, what do you think it is?"
I learned merchandising from Kris Holiday and cosmetics from Vija Shaeffer.To this day I love handbags.
Upstairs was Children's, Sportswear and other departments but I was always fascinated by the Furs. Zak was the woman who oversaw the Fur department and she was an imposing, but very kind woman from Russia. How she knew furs, I don't know but both she and Vija and the Lauder Ladies ended up at Robinson's after Buffum's closed.
Walt Mizer was a lovely man and always had a kind word for the girls on the floor. I remember playing the part of a Christmas Elf at the store breakfast and he really seemed to enjoy himself with his team.
My time at Buffum's remains (clearly) a wonderful part of my young years and I remember it so clearly, although these memories are now 40+ years old. I still have a laminated Buffums credit card, still carry a brass keyfob with "Orient Express Compartent 66 Paris - Zurich" imprinted on it, and have a fruitcake tin with the bright red Buffums script on the top. One of the display crew, Sharon Job, went on to work at Nordstrom's and we discovered each other years and years later when I had graduated from double knit polyester dresses from Lerner's (another lost name) to St John Knits. Sharon was the St. John manager at Nordstrom's at Fashion Valley and we stayed in touch until she retired a couple of years ago.
All very, very happy memories. Thank you Bruce for whatever inspired you to put up this blog. I realize that most of these entries are more than 10 years old, but my memories are fresh, and right here in front of my eyes. Thank you to everyone who has shared their memories of this storied company for the rest of us to dust off our memory boxes!
You are very welcome. I put the information up because I too, love these stores and the role they played in peoples' lives. It is humbling to read so many remarks that confirm that the department store of our generations was a great institution that, if it has gone away, should at least be properly celebrated.Delete
I am working on transforming the site into something more professional, but with about 10 years until I can retire, it may be a while before the public will see it.
Thank you for your lovely and heartfelt memories - together we share them with a larger audience and accomplish the objective of rememebering a time when shopping, browsing, dining, etc. were a human pleasure thanks to these businesses.
Thank you, Beverly, for such a long and informative recollection . . . all pointing to a store that, while not the largest or most famous, was fabulous just the same, and clearly well-appreciated and missed by anyone that knew it and its people!ReplyDelete
Bruce, thank you for the museum. I have always been interested in department stores so find the museum very enjoyable and anticipate every new addition.ReplyDelete
You are correct that a store may not have been the largest or most famous but is missed by all who knew it.
I grew up in Coos Bay, Oregon and we had a wonderful store called The Hub. It only had two floors and at its largest couldn't have exceeded 50,000 sq ft. They carried above average merchandise and had many departments that stores today don't have.
The owner died while on a buying trip and since the family didn't want to run the store, it was sold to an out of town buyer who ran it into the ground.
The store has been closed since 1978 and I still hear how much The Hub is missed.
I lived in Long Beach during the 1950's until 1962 and some of my fondest memories was shopping in the Varsity Shop in Buffum's Department Store. I can still remember the great clothes that I bought there. I still have a photo taken with my sister that was taken with Santa Claus in the toy department. I also remember Desmond's which was around the corner.ReplyDelete
Hello I have a hand beaded coin purse in its original box untouched the inside of the buffums box has the date the department the salesperson and the check and serial number. The date is 8/13/1963 is this of any interest to you or anyone you may know? What is the value of something like this? ThanksReplyDelete
I was an Asst Buyer for Carrie Sharkey in the 60’s. Main floor accessories and sportswear. It was a fantastic experience and was the foundation for my retail career. I later became an executive for Eddie Bauer and Helly Hansen. I will always remember Carrie Sharkey and her exceptional training. I did meet Harry Buffum who was always a gentleman. I was honored to work for such a respected retailer. Quality, quality!ReplyDelete
Karyn Grant Kline
I like your site. Very informative and love the sketches. I have a red fox fur stole that was purchsed at Buffums. My mother had given to me but I have no idea how old it is or what it is worth. She told me it used to be a coat but was altered into a shorter stole/jacket. It is in great shape. Where can I find informatin about this fur? Thanks.ReplyDelete
I spent a lot of time in the La Habra Buffums growing up. I had no idea it was designed by Tony Duquette. I remember vividly the free form chandelier that hung in the store that looked like it had suckers hanging off of it. (I was a little kid and that was my reference to it at least) I always wanted to pluck one off. I would love to see photos of the interiors.ReplyDelete
I worked at the Pomona location right out of high school in 1970. I was in the Camera and Luggage department for 3 years, then transferred to display and traveled to all the SoCal locations doing the windows. Until 1975 when left to go to Bullocks in Santa Ana. After 3 years with Bullocks, moved to San Diego and worked at The Broadway and in 1981, returned to Buffums in Long Beach as the Corporate Display Director until 1991 a the closing of the company...I did manage to obtain a great artist rendering of the Palos Verdes Store and a large black and white photo of the Lakewood store.....Love to hear from any other Buffums team mates or friends: terryR59@gmail.comReplyDelete
Thanks, Terry, for sharing your experience with this excellent, uniquely independent store.ReplyDelete
Any chance you'd be willing to scan and send these to this site so that they could be shared?
I grew up in Long Beach, the son and grandson of devoted Buffums customers.ReplyDelete
To this day, whenever I think of makeup and perfume, I recall visiting Buffums with my grandmother. The cosmetics department was located on the North side of the ground level of the flagship store, facing to the Broadway entrance to the store.
Similarly, I recall shopping for my own clothes, along with my parents, when I was a child.
At some point in the 1970s, the "Ask Mr. Foster" travel agency was moved to the 3rd floor, as my father and I would find respite from the women's clothes perusing the travel brochures.
Finally, the "gourmet shop" in the Broadway Shops extension was gone by the early 1980s, but when it was a going concern, they stocked wines, cheeses and imported chocolates. In fact, I remember getting my first Terry's Chocolate Orange there in the 1970s.
Although I have very fond memories of Buffums, their demise was largely inevitable. After they were purchased by the Adelaide Steamship Company, they just seemed to careen from one reinvention to another, never really embracing any of the new identities and never really connecting with customers. I think their single biggest failing was to pursue merchandising strategy that largely eschewed designer labels in the 1980s. Given that designer labels were at their pinnacle at that time, the approach seriously damaged their appeal to younger shoppers.
Even as a teenager, my memories of Buffums from the 1980s were of a brand that was clearly and obviously dying before my eyes.
I sure miss the La Habra store. I remember the escalator and the glass elevator.When they auctioned items from the store I knew of an antique dealer who purchased the HUGE outdoor chandeliers. They don't have stores like that anymore.ReplyDelete
We recently downsized and in storage found a 8"x8" Buffums box (no contents). Does it have a value to anyone?ReplyDelete
-email@example.com in San Diego
How fun to stumble upon your site today. I was trying to find some information on some silverware that my mom had. She passed away in November. We have the cabinet that the silver is housed in, as well. It still has a "Buffums" label inside the lid. I'm trying to figure out what it is and who made it. Did Buffums have their own line of silver flatware in the 50's? Does anyone know?ReplyDelete
I have fond memories of these Southern California stores too. I shopped there with my Mom and Grandmother, ate at the tea rooms too. My Mom was a fashion model for these stores. It was always fun to go to the tearoom with my Grandmother and watch my Mom. Or even go there with my Mom when she knew all the other gals who were modeling. I felt really special when they would come and talk to us.
Thanks again for your site.
Wow! My son just happened on your site and sent it to our family, what a wonderful trip down memory lane! I loved reading the comments from loyal Buffums employees and shoppers. So many memories, and every time I drive into our garage I see the sign, "Welcome to Buffums'", it greeted you as you left the auto port to the Men's Store. More another time.ReplyDelete
You're very welcome! This site is a labor of love and is meant to evoke exactly the reaction you had, thus keeping our memories alive.ReplyDelete
Best wishes to you!
I began right out of High School in 1961 @ $1.00 an hour at the Long Beach store. I worked in the Stationery Dept. on the first floor. I lived in Sunset Beach and had to take the Greyhound bus to work. I so looked forward to each day. I was only there for Christmas but after gaining full time employment elsewhere I came back each Christmas for a couple of years to work nights because I so enjoyed the atmosphere and people.ReplyDelete
Tonight I met a woman who used to work at Buffum's. We were at Fashion Island standing right near where it used to be. She shared stories of the amazing service there and how customers would send their children in to be entirely outfitted with a new wardrobe. She said nothing left the store if it wasn't in a beautiful box with tissue paper. And if the item was too big to fit into a box, then it was wrapped in paper to match the other boxes.ReplyDelete
She also spoke of the elegance of the tea room and how it was multi-generational with grandmothers, mothers and daughters. She said they would decorate for Christmas, have fashion shows and even weight watchers presentations.
I was so grateful to hear her stories and see the sparkle in her eye as she shared them. I'm grateful to find the old logo here too the help me remember. Thank you.
My first professional experience in sales was working at Buffum's, beginning in the shoe department which was leased. It was quite the adventure. Then off to the accessory department and finally to department store manager all in Glendale, CA. It was truly my pleasure to learn at such a young age the true meaning of customer service. I continue the commitment to excellent service in my own company, and I am eternally grateful to Buffum's for their first class treatment to customer service.ReplyDelete
What a Find! I grew up in La Habra, CA and remember Fashion Square> With Buffum's and Bullock's end capping the outdoor shopping center. I even worked at Fashion Square after high school, in a few of the smaller stores that lined the sides of that gorgeous walkway. It was always a big deal if "mom" came home with a shopping bag from Buffum's.ReplyDelete
I agree with the other posters that have said tearing down the Square for the now "strip mall" was not what we would have liked. I think the city was trying to compete against the ever expanding Brea Mall (which I worked at May Co. before their merger).
Now- looking back at how the area used to look and what it is today, I prefer the old way. I think the city could have expanded without compromising the original look and feel of Fashion Square. I was upset when the Big Name Dept stores closed their doors, then Fiddler on the Roof restaurant shut down, same with the movie theater (walk in). It seamed like forever before they built the new stores and theater plus restaurants. Since then, too many stores have opened and closed, fast food places changing names - banks too.
I loved the way Fashion Square was set up, with an Out Door Fountain, Trees and who can forget the Utility Room and open area,that was transformed into Holidays with Santa or the Easter Bunny. At Halloween it was a haunted house.
I would buy my jewelry,watches and fancy hosiery (plus clothes and shoes) from Buffum's, they always had classy items on display at fair prices.
Anyway-enough about good old La Habra Fashion Square. It was great in it's hay day and Buffum's was a very big part of its success.
I don't think the new generation knows what a store like Buffum's is to us older generation, with the social media replacing tea rooms.
I was hired to work costume jewelry in the old Marina store on the corner of PCH & 2nd street for the Christmas season in about 1975. I stayed on and was transferred to shoes where I stayed until I left in about 1983. I went from Marina to Long Beach to Westminster to Newport Fashion Island to Palos Verdes. By the time I started in Westminster, I had become the shoe department manager working under the Cincinatti Shoe Company supervisor, Neal Cohen. At the Marina store, I would go to Lucky's and grab some fruit or yogurt for lunch, or splurge at Hof's Hut when I could afford it. Westminster and Newport had the most delicious food in their "tea rooms" and on Saturdays I would treat myself and get a cup of Clam Chowder and a piece of apple pie a la mode drizzled with honey sauce. The Newport tea room overlooked the ocean. I have great memories of Buffums and bemoan the lack of excellent, personalized customer service that they provided. The employees and customers really were like a family. I still have my old badge and some of those sturdy boxes they carefully wrapped purchases in. One of my dearest friends worked with me and our friendship continues today. My transfer from the teeny tiny Marina store to the 3(?) 4(?) story cavernous Long Beach store was an eye opener. I worked with Mr. Burns and Mr. Bayer who were old shoe "dogs" who taught me so much. They both must have been about 75, 80 years old, dressed up in suits and ties every day. I was about 21, 22. So many memories . . . donna cReplyDelete
I am enjoying these stories! I am not familiar with the store, as I grew up on the other side of the country. However, I am FASCINATED that "Buffum's" logo clearly inspired the logo of the television show "Buffy the Vampire Slayer!" (Which took place in fictitious "Sunnydale, CA") Also, I find it interesting that the founders daughter/niece Dorothy Buffum Chandler was nick named "Buffie." I realize this has NOTHING to do with your beautiful memories; but I am so curious now to know if there was more of a connection, or did someone just like the logo and chose the name of their main character based just on that.ReplyDelete
I also worked at Buffums ' at their Main store in Long Beach. I was assistant personnel manager so I saw a lot of what went on in the store. I taught all employees, new and current employees. There was nothing like Buffums'. Their customer service was above any other store. "The customer was always right, even if they were wrong." Our offices were adjacent to Mr. Harry Buffum, a son of one of the founders. It was a very family friendly store, and I was sad when I heard they were closed.ReplyDelete
The museum is a wonderful idea.
Fantastic site - thanks for doing this.ReplyDelete
My grandmother worked for Buffums for many years and was the general manager of the Santa Ana store when it opened. I spent many hours in the Long Beach store as a small child roaming both during and after-hours.
My favorite memories about the Long Beach location were the holiday pancake breakfasts in the early 70s - there was a Christmas breakfast with Santa every year, and also a Halloween costume breakfast which was followed by trick-or-treating in the daytime up and down Pine avenue. Small shop owners in the Broadway and Pine neighborhood would shell out candy for the kids.
For anyone who may be interested...I have a Buffums gift box with a red top. It has a gift tag and round seal. It was left in a home I bought years ago. It is in great shape. Can anyone tell me if there are collectors of such items, where I would find them, and is this a salable item?ReplyDelete
I worked part-time in the shoe department of the Buffums in Manhattan Village. I am now the Assistant General Manager and Operations for Manhattan Village. :)ReplyDelete
Hi all, very fun reading all the stories about the Buffum's stores. I grew up in Santa Ana and clearly remember the SA store on N Main St. Their Yorba Room had the best chicken salads and at Christmas time it was a real treat to go down and buy a dozen of their fabulous sticky cinnamon rolls. Our friend Irene Daniger managed the Yorba Room somewhere in the 1950's after running her own TeaRoom in the Santora Building on North Broadway. If anyone out there has the recipe for those cinnamon rolls I wish you would post it for all to enjoy. Thanks!!ReplyDelete
I worked at Buffums from 1979 till it closed in May 1991. I stared in the Laguna Hiils store and became a asst. buyer , then transfered to the Santa Ana store and then back to the Laguna Store #10. This is were I learned everthing about business and still use today 35 years later.ReplyDelete
It was really a "family" company. I do miss those days. I still keep in touch with friends that I made there, that says alot about a company.
I worked in the lovely Tea Room at Glendale Buffums. JulieReplyDelete
Have really enjoyed reading this blog. I grew up in So. Cal and vaguely recall going to a Buffums once, but the reason it jogged my mind today was because I was copying some VHS tapes I'd made from television shows back in the 1980's and there were all these commercials from Buffums (among other vanished stores and lovely places) and I realized that Buffums no longer existed and it made me very sad and I looked it up online to see its history. Clearly, Buffums was a much loved store, because it was so much more than a store, it was a beautiful way of life staffed by hardworking, professional and wonderful people. This country is much worse off for having lost our fabulous stylish retail stores, hats off to all of you who used to work there. Maybe someday we will recapture our history.ReplyDelete
I grew up going to the Buffums in Laguna Hills. My grandmother would take my sister and I shopping for school clothes there and we always ate lunch at The Granada Room. I even remember selecting to have my 9th birthday dinner at the Granada Room. Loved the food. My best memory is Christmas time at Buffums. The holiday decorations for sale were beyond elegant and gorgeous. Every Christmas, my grandmother purchased brass Christmas ornaments for us that were engraved with our names and the year. I still have those ornaments. Buffums was so special. I'm sorry that I cannot share that experience with my own children now.ReplyDelete
I grew up in Long Beach in the 1940s and my mother bought all my clothes at Buffums'. Later, after college, I was hired by Mrs. Irene Meskimen and went to work in the Executive Offices--initially as the receptionist/secretary to the Treasurer Mr. John Barrett, and later as secretary to Mr. Vaile G. Young who was President and later President & Chairman of the Board (after Mr. Harry Buffum died in 1968). I left four years later because I was newly married and we were expecting our first baby. I have many happy memories of my years there; the store's philosophy was "old school" (the customer was always right and was treated with the utmost respect) and the people were wonderful to work with! My favorites were Mr. Young and also Mr. John Hunt--at one point Store Manager, and who later became President (in the late 1970s, I believe). I am happy to have found this site, and I am enjoying reading the other comments!ReplyDelete
I started at Buffums in the Executive Office at the first location in LB and then moved to the brand-new corporate offices complete with fitness center, racquetball courts, sauna, hot tubs! What an experience for a 20-something girl from Pennsylvania! I was the first one in the office and made coffee for the execs. We drank it from Lennox china! Well, I "think" it was Lennox. V-e-r-y fancy! I don't see any postings here from the Executive Office group. I have many GREAT memories. During my time, Mr. Hunt was Vice President Operations... a wonderful man.Delete
I remember the La Habra Store very well. it was in Fashion Square Mall, a open style 70's beautiful strip mall. on one end was Buffum's and on the other end was Bullock's. two huge stores. inside the mall was a Judy's and as Millers Outpost as well. i am 43 now and when iw as a kid my mom would shop there and it was very classy. i can still see how huge it was, or at least in my child eyes. as i got older and could ride my bike there with a friend, we would walk in alone with no adult and go and down the elevator lol. i remember how beautiful the woman who worked there were and how classy it was. not sure if it was this store or the Bullock's store, but i do remember a huge cafeteria on a top floor. it's sad those days are over.ReplyDelete
I grew up in Long Beach in the 1950s and 1960s and remember going shopping with my parents in downtown Long Beach and I especially remember Buffums with their hardwood floors, the restaurant and book store. I especially remember that they carried Britains toy soldiers in metal and plastic in a great display and I couldn't wait to get to Buffums with the money I had saved to get a few boxes of the figures. It was a great place.ReplyDelete
I still collect Britains toy soldiers and my parents gave me two double row boxes for Christmas when I was five, undoubtedly bought from Buffums downtown.
I was reading through these posts and one by "Beverly," who had worked in the San Diego (Fashion Valley) store caught my eye. I think she was my department/area manager when I worked in the Gift Gallery & Bedding/Bath departments in that store from Oct.1978 - May 1980. I subsequently transferred to the Glendale store & also worked in they buying office in Long Beach. Working for Buffum's & for WONDERFUL people, like Bev, was a GREAT experience & led me to a career in retail that continues to this day.ReplyDelete
I started working at Buffums as a teenager. I wasn't the "Young Careerist" but as a finalist they hired me anyway. Our training was extensive - 2-3 solid days. We had to wear navy blue, black, brown, always hose and sleeves in our dresses. 1967. We were taught to say, "Will this be on your Buffums' charge?" Never "charge or cash!" It was emphasized that the customer was ALWAYS right. Always! An example given at training: A woman brought in drapes she'd made from fabric she'd purchased at Buffums many years earlier. They were falling apart so she was given her money back! I was a floater during the summers and holidays, getting to work in every department, and even spent one summer at the Service Building - marking whatever needed price tags. I returned after college into the Management Training Program. I worked in Fashion Jewelry, and then up in the Jewelry/Accessories Buying Office. After a stint with Monet Jewelry out of Los Angeles, I came back in 1977 - 1980 as the Jewelry Buyer. Elizabeth Atkinson, who is now with Macy's was my DMM and she was a sensational merchant. Mr. Hanson, Tom Medanich, Mr. Hunt (John - my favorite) were all great to work with, as were the store managers and personnel. We did fabulous turquoise jewelry trunk shows. I gave the head of security a heart attack when my car broke down driving to San Diego with a trunk full of turquoise jewelry. I started 44% off 14K Gold shows - in 1978 - and came up with the ad slogan, "We've got the cure for your gold fever." (Thanks, John Travolta.) I was in the jewelry office for the openings of Arcadia, Westminster (where we had the first 1928 Jewelry Co. trunk show), Glendale, and Grossmont and left just as #15 - Manhattan Beach was opening. Some people have mentioned the Controller - Grace Leavitt. She was fabulous - treated everyone at the store equally. She came down from her office and helped the Silver Buying Office string up bells onto red ribbons which sold like crazy every Christmas. The silver, china and gifts departments had no equals in California. Their hair salons were divine, and the restaurants were great. I loved my time at Buffums - what a great company. I left Buffums in 1980 to become the Fine Jewelry Buyer at Harris Company, another great California department store- from 1980 - 1995.ReplyDelete
I used to medel children's fashions in the Long Beach store Tea Room. We once traveled to one of the other stores and did live manniquin modeling one day.ReplyDelete
I loved the beauty of the old LB store.
I know Mints Arbuckle (Fatty's wife) had her wedding gifts displayed in the LB store.
My Dad, Andy, was the Men's Furnishing Buyer for Buffum's from the mid fifties up until a new CEO came in and slashed the Men's Furnishings budget. My Dad refused to buy inferior goods and resigned.ReplyDelete
I used to work at the Buffum's warehouse in Long Beach in the mid 80's 20 years later I married a woman who used to work at the Arcadia store. We didn't know each other back then.ReplyDelete
I worked there from 1979 to 1984 as a buyer's aid, assistant buyer and then was the Men's Furnishing's (Department 1) buyer from 1981 to 1984. I remember the move from the old Long Beach store to the new one in the mall. Mr. Hansen, the president at the time was a bit of a health guy, we had 2 racket ball courts and full gym located in the store. The men's department buyers used to travel to 3-4 stores on Fridays and then would have dinner and drinks afterward. Great job and worked with some great people.ReplyDelete
I remember attending a luncheon and fashion show with my friend. It was the first time we went somewhere unescorted. It was the launch of the "Buffy" clothing line and Buffy, herself, from The TV show The Family Affair was in the fashion show. We were so excited.ReplyDelete
Buffums Solana Beach was a very small location with only one floor, and in 1990 surprisingly still had a fur department that sold and stored furs. I was employed only for a year, for the notice that Buffums would be defunct. Sadly this little store I had discovered was being liquidated, but not before I was able to enjoy the elegance and refinement of a such a classy retailer. Working at Buffums propelled my retail career and I recently retired from another more known retailer, Nordstrom, after 20 years. I'll never forget working in the fragrance department at Buffums department store.ReplyDelete
My family has been cleaning out my mother's house and have found several of the red-lid boxes with the Buffum's logo on the lid - every time we run across one we all shout "I've been to Buffum's" - and we are keeping the boxes!ReplyDelete
So many staff names mentioned here that I recall from so long ago! This elegant store was very upscale in Downtown Long Beach at one time whereas Walkers down the street was more middle class. You dressed up to go shop at Buffums. My sister worked there before me and I was the Young Careerist of the Year while in college - that was after doing fun things like being in costume as "The Cat in the Hat" greeting children at the door. Usually at the door was E.E. Buffum himself, known as "Double E" - old women would come in and he, older than them all, would recall their names and often their favorite departments. He would compliment them and talk to them as long as they wanted. Amazing personal service. After graduation from what was then Long Beach State College, I worked as an Assistant Buyer in the Better Sportswear Department (Department 47). That meant women's knitted suits from Italy and silk blouses. Our own dress code was very strict, as mentioned in another post. Aside from this glamorous first real job, I met my future husband there - who eventually worked in the Marina store. Many years later when Buffums had closed I was in Long Beach and took photos of the discarded newspapers that had blown against the closed glass doors on Pine Street - such a sad ending for the building and the company - that was when downtown Long Beach had become very derelict for a period of years as suburban malls took customers away. I also have some boxes from that era with seashell patterns on a white ground including the original tissue paper. As a Careerist I worked in various departments, including the very elegant lingerie department. When I was still in college I waited on my Anthropology Professor who blushed deep red when she asked for her favorite old-fashioned underwear - we delivered for no charge to her home as probably every other department also did. I won a scholarship from Buffums and modeled for them for the college newspaper and some print advertisements -- being the Careerist of the Year was one of the reasons I became a college representative for Mademoiselle Magazine. Those were very glamorous times for a girl that had come to California from a farm in Kentucky. In writing our bio's for Wilson High School's 50th class reunion, Buffums was mentioned by all of the people who worked there - it was still a family store and very personalized as it is easy to see from the other comments shown here. Thank you for creating this site -- retail is not like this today, obviously. Brenda (Crabtree) JoyceReplyDelete
I worked at Buffum's from Dec 1951 to May 1956, I have always been so thankful for those years.They were wonderful people to work and learn from.It will be 68 years this Christmas for remembering this my first job.Delete
I started my career with Buffums' Pomona, in 1970 selling Camera's and luggage. I worked a total of 16 years for that company in various positions forming life long friendships. I stayed until the closure in 1991.ReplyDelete
I worked at Buffums' flagship store, Long Beach, from 1965 until early 1970. I was secretary to Mr. Vaile G. Young, president and chairman of the board after Harry Buffum died in 1968. I was hired by Mrs. Irene Meskimen, head of Personnel. When I left (to have my first child), Mr. John Hunt was Store Manager of the Long Beach store. I had grown up in Long Beach, and my mother considered Buffums' to be the only store in which to shop--I felt the same way. It was a beautiful store, and a wonderful place to work. While I was there, Mr. Young resisted the pressure to open the store on Sundays--it was not until the early 70s after I had left that it was no longer an option. Those were wonderful days, the likes of which have faded from our lives today.ReplyDelete
Does anyone remember Kay Humfeld? She was my grandmother and a manager at Buffums my entire childhood. I can't remember which store it was though.Delete
Does anyone remember a Mrs. Niveau? Think she worked at the Buffums on Pine. She was a friend of my grandmother's - was just thinking of her and found this site. She had a lovely grey streak of hair in her forehead. Always remembered that as a kid.ReplyDelete
You may want to check this Facebook page:ReplyDelete
Buffums Department Store what a true glamorous place to shop. I grew up in Whittier in the late 1964 mother would take us all shopping in Fashion Square where we had to behave or she would bring us home. The wow factor of lights people looking like models the perfume smells, all so wonderful.My mother had signed us up for our birthday gift free from Buffums each year we marched in way in the back of the store in gift wrapping there sat my gift it was fantasic . My first credit was with them.Years later in 1984 i worked at Bullocks Mgr in mens dept,miss that mall and style of class.ReplyDelete
I worked at that store sometimes too..remember Mrs. Mack?ReplyDelete
Just came across a Buffums garment bag, inside a handbag. Still soft and supple after so many years! This led to a wander down memory lane and the lovely Era of stylish department stores... miss the extra mile and care given to shoppers. Thank you.ReplyDelete
I grew up in Claremont CA and used to go to Buffums in Pomona once a week with my Grandmother. They had this beautiful cobalt blue with silver trim goblet wine set that I loved and swore that when I grew up I would buy it and give it to my grandmother. I have looked for years for it, but I do not know who it was made by and have looked and looked. My mom is now on hospice and we live in Oregon. I am hoping that someone out there knows something about it or lead me where to look. my email is firstname.lastname@example.org. I still miss those outingsReplyDelete
I worked at Buffum's Dept Store from Dec 1951 till May of 1956. Started out as a wrapper in lower Mezzine and had worked from there to to stock room,to cashier on all floors, and elevator operator.I lived at the Y.W.C.A., that also demolished. These were good years to live in Long Beach and have always been so thankful for those years.ReplyDelete
After reading most of the posts here, I am inspired to write one as well. Reading these posts has brought back many great memories of my own time working at Buffums. I worked at the Grossmont Center store location for 5 years, between 1986 and 1991. As so many others have mentioned, working at Buffums was also my first retail experience. Wonderful memories! I worked in the women's department selling suits, coats, special occasion dresses and coordinates. Such great retail sales, merchandising experiences and life long friendships! I often think about my time there and use what I learned in other areas of my life. Recently, I've found myself looking for a new job and I am looking forward to getting back into the retail industry. I was sad to be a part of the closing of Buffums, but very proud to have experienced such great leadership and be a part of something much bigger than myself.ReplyDelete
My mother worked for the store late 60s or early 70s untell it closed 1 I have many fond memories of the store I came across the old pill box that was hers that still has the label inside the store it brought up so many wonderful memories I'm just wondering how many people have more memorabilia from the store and if anything is really worth of any value if so I'd love to pass it on to my grandchildrenReplyDelete
I have a Buffums fur coat, I've tried to figure out how to appraise it but to no avail. Is there anyway you could point me in the right direction? thank you email@example.comReplyDelete
I lived in La Habra and graduated Sonora high school in the 70's--not quite the sleepy town it was then but I guess nowhere is. My Scottish step-mom, Annie, worked in the restaurant there. Anyway, I was checking on ebay and then Google about selling this Buffums $25 Silver Dollar merchandise coin I have (big & pretty, but not real silver,) and never found squat about it. When was this program? Is anyone interested in it? I'm back in LH again--lemme know. SteveReplyDelete
I have a photo of my great-aunt who worked I think for Westminster California Buffum's Department Store in 1950. That is what led me to this page. It is nice to see a photo of where she probably worked as I'm labeling her photograph. One of the photo copies was labeled as being taken at Buffum's Department Store around 1950 and she is wearing an elegant black dress standing next to a fake marble pillar that looks like it was taken by a photographer. It is nice to tie history together. Thank you for the information on this page.ReplyDelete