Crowley, Milner & Co., Detroit, Michigan

Crowley's: Detroit's Friendly Store
is now available on Amazon and will
be in the shops in November.

Click the photo to go directly to

Crowley, Milner & Co. 
120-126 Gratiot Avenue
Detroit, Michigan

WOodward 2-2400


Crowley's Budget Store • Basement Cafeteria

Street Floor
Fine Jewelry (Dept. 133) • Better Jewelry (Dept. 19) • Costume Jewelry (Dept. 19) • Handbags (Dept. 21) • Small Leather Goods (Dept. 21) • Gloves (Dept. 7) • Scarves (Dept. 26) • Hat Bar (Dept. 184) • Hosiery (Dept. 14) • Wonderful World of Beauty (Dept. 17) • Blouses (Dept. 22) • Sweaters (Dept. 22) • Career Sportswear (Dept. 22) • Street Floor Lingerie • Notions (Dept. 15) • Men’s Furnishings (Dept. 27) • Men’s Sportswear (Dept. 98) • Candy • Stationery Office Equipment (Dept 89)
   • Red Cross Shoes • Drugs (Dept. 17) • Gourmet Shop (Dept. 3)

Books (Dept. 30) • Luggage (Dept. 4) • Cameras (Dept. 41) • Beauty Salon • Mezzanine Tea Room

Second Floor
Men’s Clothing (Dept. 71) • Young Men's Shop (Dept. 94)
  Men’s Shoes • Men’s Hats • Boys’ Wear (Dept. 33) • Children’s Wear (Dept. 56) • Infants and Toddlers (Dept. 39) • Girl’s Wear (Dept. 68) • Young Girls’ Wear (Dept. 58) • Children’s Shoes (Dept. 75) • Children’s Furniture (Dept. 63) • Shoe Salon (Dept. 40)

Third Floor
Misses’ Dresses (Dept. 60) • Misses’ Sportswear (Dept. 42) • Coats and Suits (Dept. 36,37) • Renbrooke Fur Salon (Dept. 137) • Talk of the Town • Cosmopolitan Shop (Dept. 79) • Young Idea Shop (Dept. 52) • Career Dresses (Dept. 53) • Custom Shop (Dept. 80) • Women’s Sportswear (Dept. 60) • Millinery (Dept. 183) • Junior Sportswear (Dept. 69) • Junior Dresses (Dept. 81) • Junior Coats (Dept. 72) • Young Juniors (Dept. 64)

Fourth Floor
Robes (Dept. 66) • Nightwear (Dept. 7) • Daytime Lingerie (Dept. 38) • Loungewear (Dept. 66) • Foundations (Dept. 67) • Linens (Dept. 6) • Domestics (Dept. 9, 10) • Bath Boutique Shop (Dept. 6) • Sewing Center (Dept. 140) • Fabrics (Dept. 8) • Art Needlework (Dept. 6) • Tree Lane (Dept. 61)

Fifth Floor
Housewares (Dept. 1) • Creative Cookery Gourmet Shop (Dept. 1)
  Hardware (Dept. 47) • Appliances (Dept. 57) • China (Dept. 5) • Table Linens (Dept. 12) • Glassware • Silver • Gift Shop • Music Center (Dept. 20) • Records (Dept. 161) • Televisions (Dept. 20) • Pet Supplies  

Sixth Floor
Draperies (Dept. 46) • Curtains (Dept. 46) • Lamps (Dept. 59) • Pictures • Mirrors (Dept. 59) • Floor Coverings (Dept 45) • Rugs (Dept. 45) • Toys (Dept. 2) • Sporting Goods (Dept. 2) • Casual Furniture • Trim-A-Home Shop (Dept. 61)

Seventh Floor
Furniture (Dept. 48)
 • Sleep Center (Dept. 90)

Eighth Floor
Colonial Dining Room

(750,000 s.f.)


February 26, 1959
Dearborn, MI
106,000 sq. ft.
Westborn Tea Room

Grand River at Greenfield
Detroit, MI
45,000 s.f.

Macomb Mall 
October 29, 1964
127,000 sq. ft.
Livonia Mall
October 29, 1964
Livonia,  MI
127,000 sq. ft.

New Center
August 3, 1972
Woodward at Milwaukee, Detroit
60,000 sq. ft.
former Demery's
Kendallwood (1972)
August 3, 1972
Farmington, MI
85,000 sq. ft.
former Demery's (August 18, 1966)

August 14, 1972
Woodward Avenue at Hamilton Row
69,000 sq. ft.
former Demery's (April 27, 1961)

Lakeside Mall
September 11, 1975
Sterling Heights, MI
115,000 sq. ft.


  1. My grandmother, Miriam Aberle, moved from Dayton, OH to Detroit, MI in 1914 (I have her trunk with her name/address handpainted on the side). She found a job at Crowley's hand-dipping chocolates in the candy department. I still have the handwritten note asking her to kindly stop by the candy department for an interview!

  2. I am from Toronto Canada. When my Aunt died at the age of 89 I was given some of her furniture. In one of the dresser drawers I found a children's Christmas story book entitled "The Christmas Ball" by Florence Notter. On the back of the book it reads "Crowley, Milner & Co. The Christmas Store for All Detroit" which leads me to believe that this must have been a promotional item given to children at Christmas. The books copyright is 1917 but I have very little info. on Florence Notter or the book anywhere.

    I you can help email me at
    The book itself is in pretty good shape and every page is signed by the author who must have drawn the pictures too.

    Cat Cove

  3. My sister-in-law found a photograph of, maybe, a dinner gathering in a hall. The frame has a sticker that says Crowley & Milner, Co., no. 320. The photographer was Drucker & Co., NY. Please email her at if you have any information.

  4. When did Crowley's go out of business? I have some artwork that is from Crowley Milner and was just wondering if Crowley's ever sold fine art.

    If you have any information, please e-mail me at Thank you!

  5. I am also interested on when Crowley's went out of business and how long were they in business.... what year did they first open? I just recently came across a copy of Famous Episodes in Early American History by Crowley's celebrating their 20th year anniversary

    If you have any information please email me at . Thank-You

  6. Thank you so much for this. My grandparents were from the Crowley deceased...I have wonderful memories of the stores and being the first and only Crowley grandaughter for many yrs I was the best dressed kid on the block!!! Oh how I miss the stores and my Grandparents

  7. Thank you for your comments. Can you please contact me at I believe that there is demand for a book about Crowley's, but I wouldn't know how to find first-hand information. When my parents lived in a skilled-nursing facility at the end of their lives, there was also a lady there who worked in the furniture department and told tales of the store; it was interesting!


  8. I had worked downtown and I used to go there on my lunch and ride the only wooden escaltor in Detroit. I can still hear the wood moving. I loved that store.

  9. I worked at the Crowley location in Warren Michigan in the mid '90s. I think they completely went out of business around 1999. It was my first job. Even out in the suburban location you felt the history behind the store working there. I wish could hear more stories. You hear about Hudson's a lot, but people forget about Crowley's. The store had some long time customers that shopped often. There was a senior living complex down the street from the Universal Mall location, there were ladies who would ride the bus a couple of times month and shop, and talk to us.
    I've wondered what happen to a lot of the ladies I worked with. In Universal there were two woman named June that I remember. One trained me and another was a floor manager. Quite a few others that if I saw their face I may remember them.
    It was sad to be there at the end, and I would have loved to see it in it's glory.

    1. Steve Kennedy16 July, 2014 14:39

      Hi Denise. . Steve Kennedy here, John Skanska former boss..he was a great guy, great store manager.. knew his wife and was saddened to have to attend his funeral
      Loved this store unit...
      Best wishes

  10. My father worked for Crowley's until the day they closed. My first job was working for Crowley's. I have very fond memories. I would love to see a book written. The people who worked there were the best.

  11. When I was in high school, I had a choice of working for a neighborhood florist or Crowley's as part of the "Co-Op Program" - an opportunity for high school kids to get their first job experience and still go to school. My mother suggested I take the job at Crowley's because there would be an opportunity for job advancement. Mom is always right! I started as cashier in 1968 at the downtown store during the Christmas season. It was a busy time of going to school and getting a ride to my new job working until 7pm (Christmas hours). Over the years, I worked my way up from cashier to secretary for a buyer - secretary to a Merchandise Manager - then Assistant Buyer in the Bedding area. At that time, there were dinette sets, utility cabinets, paint and hardware - then reduced to just bedding and bath. My office, when I was secretary for the buyer, Joseph Marino and his assistant, Ronald Burgy, was located on the bridge that crossed the street between the two buildings. When the Downtown store closed, we moved to the old Greyhound building about two miles down Fort street. Around that time I was promoted to Assistant Buyer for Bedding and Bath. My first job lasted 23 years at Crowley's.

  12. My Grandfather worked for CMC not sure when. I'm trying to research a set of keys with a locker tag #F372. If any one has any info about it I would apreciate if you could e-mail me at His last name was Ferland

  13. I am a member of the Crowley family. The company was established in the 1920's and closed in 1999. My mother was one of the controlling partners of the business until it closed in the late 90's.

    As a child, I remember being dragged to the store kicking and screaming, because I preferred to wear jeans and t-shirts, however my mother would have no part of that.

    I would be very interested in talking to Anonymous, who stated she was from the Crowley family.

    Email me at

  14. I have a framed picture that says Crowley Milner Co on the back with #139 and 6-19067.
    There is no signature on the picture and I can't tell if it is watercolor or a print.
    Picture measures 8X27 and the frame 12X31.
    Any idea where I can get information about it?
    email Thank you

  15. I worked at the Advertising Production Manager for a few years after grad school. Talented group of people in that department. Very interesting to work in the store after growing up shopping there with my family.

  16. My grandfather (Robert Winkel) was President of Crowley's for many years... Does anyone know of any resources for photos of Crowley's? I have his desk from his office, and would love a picture of his office from "back in the day". Also, I have pieces of the wooden escalator that I would love to see a pic of the real thing. I loved hearing about Detroit retail in it's heyday from my grandfather/grandmother!

    1. Steve Kennedy16 July, 2014 14:45

      I spent much time with your grandfather in his office, weekly operating and monthly board meetings..remember his desk so vividly and that great office with its fine paneling..I consider him to be the most honest, most ethical, man I ever met and it was an honor to have served beside him as his Sr Vice President..and I miss Effie as well, a beautiful lady full of grace..and charm and goodness

  17. The photo archive website "Shorpy" has a wonderful picture from July 1941 titled "Order Online". In this case,it is a picture of women sitting at a partitioned desk taking telephone orders for Crowley Milner. There may well be other pictures of the store on Shorpy,but I have not looked. All the photos on the site are digitally enhanced,so you can zoom in and look closely at parts. So realistic,you'd like to step in and warn the ladies about what was coming in December..

  18. Shorpy website : Give Him a Schick: 1941. Fascinating detail.

  19. My grandparents both worked downtown and met there. She worked in the cafeteria and he was in security. This would have been in the 1920's.

  20. Wow...My mom worked at Crowley's as a teenager from 1977-1998 when they closed. I also worked at Crowley's. It was my first job as a teenager @the New Center One location. I started doing inventory and folding clothes after school (1993). I was making about $4.25/hr. Seemed like alot to me back then. We were all one big family. Everyone worked together so well and alot of the adults had their kids working there. It really was a family. I am still friends and in contact with alot of them today. They saw me grow up in that store. Wow....brings me to many memories..

  21. At 16 Hudsons was my first job as a stock boy, I worked the 2nd 3rd and 4th floors, one of my favorite spots to hang out was the record dept, wherei would listen to all my favorite music for free, I also used to hide on the 13th floor when I didn't want to be found by my pain in the a...boss, who eventually found me on the back stairway.......ahem!

  22. I used to date a girl who worked at Crowley's perfume counter on the first floor of the downtown store, we were both16, I think she was latin and lived on the east side, I think her name was Maria? Anyway I do remember the clakity clack of the wooden escalators.

  23. I have this old family hand me down plaster of paris " Santa" from Crowley's department store front window Christmast display. He looks left at you, as walk by down the Gratiot ave. front window. I am curious about it's history, time frame,photos,etc

  24. Interesting!
    My next book will be about Crowley's, and if I come across anything, I can let you know, if you care to send your email address to
    With luck, the book will be out before next Christmas.

  25. My first job was at Crowleys on Grand River in Detroit in 1982. I was still in high school. My best friend in high school also got a job there at the same time. I would love to connect with others who worked at the Grand river location from 1982-1987.

  26. When I starting working at Crowleys in 1982, they were still writing receipts by hand. They felt cash registers were too impersonal and did not fit their image. About a year later they decided to get with the times and trained us on the register.

    1. Steve Kennedy16 July, 2014 14:49

      They also had a large payroll department of wonderful ladies who counted out weekly payroll dollars and cents into pay envelopes. .until we converted over to computerized machines

  27. Luanne Sausle Treadway06 February, 2014 12:08

    My first job was at Crowleys in Farmington from about 1969 or 1970 to 1975. I worked in the handbag/jewelry departments, fill in store telephone operator with the old type system with the plug in cords!! and moved up to the Display area. Loved it.! Moved over to the Birmingham store as Display Supervisor with about 3-6 people in our Department and about 12 windows to decorate if my memoir is correct. We created all the backdrops for our windows and also inside displays, took maniquins downtown to the main store area for repairs, our downtown main display area was very large with lots of photos in file cabinets to draw ideas from and props to transfer out to our stores. Lots of awesome memoirs of things not really done any longer. The Farmington store is now a grocery store!! Every time I go in there it brings back great memories!!

  28. I am working on a book, like the one I wrote about Jacobson's, on Crowley's. I would like to interview you - can you contact me at

  29. I worked for Crowley's in Birmingham. I will never forget the men and women who were part of my life for seven years. The funny part, I can still remember my employee I.d. 70350 - - LOL.

  30. When did Crowley's buy Demery's? Were they based in Detroit as well?

  31. I believe it was in 1972. Demery's was based in Detroit, on Woodward near the GM building. IT was a smaller operation than Crowley's, and had branches in Birmingham (downtown) and Farmington (Kendallwood Center). I am preparing research for a book about Crowley's and I will have more information in due course.

    1. You are right about the dates, bak..I can give you more background info on this if you wish

  32. Can you please email me at I would love to hear all I can about Demery's and Crowley's as I am in the research process right now. I have tracked-down a member of the Crowley family who also has a lot of knowledge, but I need to entice them a bit more to cooperate with me. Thanks for your offer!

  33. To Steve Kennedy:

    I would love to talk with you about Crowley's. Please email me at

    Thank you!

  34. any pictures of "lunch with santa" from 1960's with singer reitta raye

  35. Does anyone remember the Chief Pontiac statue that was in the entrance area near the men's department at the Pontiac store location? Wonder whatever happened to it? It should have been in a museum.

  36. Whatever happened to the Chief Pontiac statue that used to be at the Pontiac store location?

  37. You must mean Hudson's since Crowley's did not have a store in Pontiac.

  38. Crowley's never had a store in Pontiac. Please only make your comments once. Once I have approved it for content, it will be posted.

  39. As a child my mother would take my sister and I down to Detroit to the Crowley's and Hudsons' stores to shop and see the Christmas displays (early 1960's). In the Crowley's Detroit store they had these elevators with reinforced glass doors that you could watch the elevators go up and down and I was always fascinated to watch them! We just re-arranged a bedroom at my mother's home and noticed the back of the dresser had the Crowley-Milner name on the back. Our mother (born 1922) grew up on Chalfonte Ave. in a much more innocent time. I'm glad she shared these places that meant so much to her before they were destroyed.

  40. Steve Kennedy - Is Roy Perkins still living in the Detroit area? I used to work for him many many years ago.

  41. Karen a/k/a 8029630 March, 2016 18:55

    I started my first job in 1979 at the Farmington store and worked for Crowley's on and off through high school, college and newlywed years of my life. I was a cashier, department coordinator, switchboard operator (with the cords, microphone and all), gift wrapper, trained new associates,and worked as an area supervisor in the home area at Farmington, Lakeside, and Birmingham. I remember going downtown to the Detroit Yacht Club for housewares seminars, the big anniversary party (75th I believe), marching for Crowley's in the Detroit Thanksgiving Day Parade, and going downtown to the main office to reenter offline sales. SO many opportunities to learn and work with some of the kindest people. I will always fondly recall my years there and feel fortunate to have experienced retail in a time when how customers were treated meant something. Store associates were encouraged to do their best and wanted to. Things are so very different now and so impersonal. Thanks for the memories Crowley's...I think 'You Were Extra Special'.

  42. Karen - I think you would really enjoy my book, "Crowley's: Detroit's Friendly Store."