Meier & Frank Co., Portland, Oregon









Meier & Frank Co.
621 S.W. Fifth (Fifth, Sixth, Morrison, and Alder)
Portland, Oregon 97204 (1857)


CApitol 7-4411








Basement Upper Level

Delicatessen  Groceries  Bakery  Gourmet & Wine Shop • Shoe Repair  M&F Budget Store


Basement Upper Level
M&F Budget Store  Customers' Service


Street Floor
Fine Jewelry • Jewelry • Watches • Fashion Accessories • Handbags • Leather Goods • Umbrellas • Gloves • Hosiery • Cosmetics
  Toiletries  Drugs  Pharmacy • Hat Bar • Career Sportswear  Street Floor Blouses • Street Floor Sweaters • Top Shop • Scene I • Street Floor Lingerie-Sleepwear • Candy • Stationery • Notions • Camera Shop • Men’s Furnishings • Men’s Sportswear • Murphy & Finnegan  Tobacco Shop


Mezzanine
Watch Repair  Customer' Service Desk

Second Floor
Men’s Clothing • Men's Sportswear • Men’s Shoes • Men’s Hats

Young Fashion Floor Children’s • Infants’ • Layette • Boys’ Shop  Little Boys' Shop • The Establishment • Girls’ Shop • Little Girls' Shop • In Shop  The Hangout • Young Accessories • Young Peoples' Shoes

Third Floor
Dress Circle • Daytime Casuals
  Casual Knits  Career Dresses  Coats and Suits • Sports Shop  Active Sportswear  Colony Shop • Pacesetter Shop • Perspectives • Town and Country • New Address • Tempo • Lownsdale Shop • Crest Room • Bagatelle Boutique • Fur Salon • Bridal Salon


Fourth Floor
Sleepwear Lingerie • Daywear Lingerie • Foundations • Junior Daywear • Robes • Maternity
  Uniforms and Aprons  Millinery • Wig Bar • Career Shoes • Shoe Salon  Young Modern Shoes
Young Oregonian Shop Junior Dresses  • Junior Sportswear  • Coats  • Addlib

Fifth Floor
Table Linens • Domestics • Pillows • Towels • Bath Shop • Candle & Flower • Fabric Center • Art Needle
  Laces & Trimmings • Optical Service  Stamps and Coins • Photo Reflex Studio

Sixth Floor
Radio Headquarters • Television Headquarters • Stereo Headquarters • Musical Instruments • Record Headquarters • Books • Pet Shop • Sporting Goods Headquarters • Timberline Shop
 • World Travel Bureau

Seventh Floor
Curtains • Draperies • Pads • Rugs • Floor Coverings • Lamps • Studio of Interior Design
  Wallpaper  Trim-a-Tree

Eighth Floor
China • Glassware • Crystal • Waterford • Clocks • Housewares • Cook’s Kitchen • Electricals • Appliance Headquarters • Hardware • Paints • Garden • Auto Accessories

Ninth Floor
Furniture • Gallery 9 • Patio Shop
 • Mattresses

Tenth Floor
The Georgian Room • The Pine Room Men’s Grill • The Coffee Shop • The Gift Shop • Antique Galleries
  Auditorium

Eleventh Floor
Offices

Twelfth Floor
Beauty Salon • Credit Office • Cash Office • Friendly Employment Office

(685,000 sq. ft.)









Salem Centre
Salem, OR
1955
186,000 sq. ft.
The Oregon Room
Lloyd Center
Portland, OR
August, 1960
316,000 sq. ft.
59er Coffee Shop
The Aladdin Restaurant

Valley River Center (1969)
Eugene, OR
186,000 sq. ft.
The Rotunda Restaurant

Washington Square
Tigard, OR
August, 1973
150,000 sq. ft.
The Valley Room Restaurant
Vancouver Mall
Vancouver, WA
August, 1977
120,000 sq. ft.
The Homestead Restaurant
Clackamas Town Center
Clackamas, OR
August, 1980
180,000 sq. ft.
Restaurant






Coming in due course.



60 comments:

  1. A great name gone forever thanks to the Macy's assimilation. At 149 years old, one year OLDER than Macy's, Meier & Frank was the oldest extant department store on the West Coast at the time of the May/Federated merger. The customer loyalty and market share that Meier & Frank commanded to the very end was so great that Federated, who had Bon Marche stores in other areas of Oregon, never attempted to place a store in Portland.

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    Replies
    1. My dad was a buyer for M&F, and was transferrd to Eugene to open the New M & F, in 1969. He passed in 2001. When it came time to close the doors forever as M & F, I had the honor of doing it in his place. He loved working there, & so did I. Many wonderful friends were made there that became extended family. I miss the pride I had walking into that store. Ever since it changed, I've never set foot back into that building. Breaks my heart to see a dear friend go. That's what it feels like.
      I know where every single door leads to, & when I was helping pack things up, I could actually see my dad. I miss that store, & I really miss my dad.

      Delete
    2. Wow, how lucky.
      Do you remember what year that was?

      Delete
  2. Also branches at:
    The Streets of Tanasbourne - Hillsboro, OR
    Rogue Valley Mall - Medford, OR
    Clackamas Town Center - Portland, OR

    Acquired by acquisition of ZCMI:
    Cottonwood Mall - Holladay, UT
    Layton Hills Mall - Layton, UT
    Fashion Place - Murray, UT
    University Mall - Orem, UT
    The Family Center at Riverdale - Riverdale, UT
    ZCMI Center - Salt Lake City, UT
    South Town Center - Sandy, UT
    Valley Fair Mall - West Valley Center, UT

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  3. You might like to know that--aside from the restaurants on the 10th floor--there was a very large restaurant on the first basement level of the downtown M&F store.

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  4. Very cool blog entry. I worked for Meier and Frank in So. Oregon back in the mid-to-late 90s and enjoyed working there (most of the time lol). One of my favorite memories? Going up to Portland on my day off to the Georgian Tea Room with my daughter. Had my first Champagne cocktail there...and of course they served my girl a Shirley Temple

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  5. There is a separate exhibit for ZCMI.

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  6. This is not a note just for M&F but it is a note for the majority of stores on this site...remember the days when Department Stores were just that...they sold, EVERYTHING...records, books, stereos, TVs, fabrics...everything under one roof. The likes of this will NEVER be seen again!

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    Replies
    1. Mom got our first VCR at Penny's in 1986 which they used their own *brand* and it was working all the way thru the late 90s. Surprisingly because I used to wear out tapes on it watching Disney movies over and over again.

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  7. I am 57 years old. I still have a Meier and Frank truck that I believe I got from Santa on the 10th floor downtown. It is Green and in pretty good shape.

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  8. The Bon Marche and Meier and Frank had a gentleman's agreement to not operate opposing stores within seattle and portland. Reportedly this included a handshake agreement and was always a matter of contention between May and Federated parent companies. Meier and Frank was more than a store, it embodied the history of Oregon and was founded before Oregon became a state. The son of the founder became Governor of the state. The Meiers and the Franks dominated social life in Portland for over 100 years. Upon the initial sellout to May Company in 1966 the Meier children had all they wanted from the company and wanted quick riches, The Franks were forced out in a leveraged buy out a few years later. The Franks did manage to have a written clause in the May buyout that stated May Stores could never change the name of Meier and Frank. Before the merger with ZCMI, M&F was the smallest division ( 8 stores) left in May CO as the manifest destiny plan was for all store to be MAY. The sale to Macy's nullified that clause. Meier and Frank had the first air conditioned store on the west coast, the first elevator and longest escalator installation on the west coast. There was a full power plant in the basement so the store never had to suffer through the power failures that plagued downtown during floods and winters.

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  9. There is one more Meier & Frank store in Oregon that isn't on the list here. The last branch store that they opened before the Macy's conversion was in Hillsboro at the Streets of Tanasborne. It was a big deal sometime in the 2000's because it was the first newly-built, original M&F store since Clackamas Town Center's branch store.

    I'll always remember the Santa Land at the downtown store every year and the LONG escalator ride up to it! Kinda sad though that by the time I was a kid in the 80's, there were whole floors sitting unused, to the point that one floor (the 6th?) had only the escalator landing open to customers, with a wall around it. May REALLY let the flagship store go back then.

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  10. Does anyone remember Henry (Hank) Hunt? He worked at Meier and Frank in the mid 1940's? I am looking for his son Jerry Hunt. Thank you. dsc93232@hotmail.com Please put Hank Hunt in the subject line. Dianne

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  11. Clark Gable worked in the shoe store in Portland. I sat next to him on an airplane going to Europe with my step-Father, Frank Meier. I never appreciated my step-Father before he died. I was young and knew nothing. As an adult, I am very grateful to my step-Father. God bless him.

    Steve

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  12. I did a temp job a M&F back in 1998. The 6th floor was used for offices, so was the 13th. They had a lot of admin people on the 13th. (advertising). They still had a fur vault, which basically was a walk in refrigerator to keep furs from rotting. This was just before the consolidated the admin departments to Los Angeles and took over ZCMI

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  13. My mother and i shopped at Meier & Frank in the 40s, never missing Friday Surprise! I ate my first soft ice cream at a stand up counter in M&fs basement!......and does anyone remember the ex-ray machine, where when you were buying shoes, you could enter your foot in at the bottom and look down from the top to see how your chosen shoe fits your foot? Kids remember things like that! Great memories of Meier and Frank from those days!

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  14. My first job right out of HS was in Center Aisle, first floor at M&F, later in the Record dept, 6th floor, both of which I loved. Later I worked in Advertising, 13th floor, with Jack Cohen and Sam Weisenberg and about a dozen other wonderful people: a great experience and I loved my time there. I still think of M&F as the best dept store in the country, bar none!

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  15. I worked for M&F when I was going to college. I also remember buying a black and white poster sold by M&F in the early '70's. It had a lot of the highlights of the Portland metro area including things like the Pittock Mansion, Mt. Hood, St. Mary's Convent bell tower, etc. I found it when we were packing to move and couldn't wait to frame and hang it, but I couldn't find it once we moved. Does anyone have any idea where I might find a copy????

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    Replies
    1. hi,did you work in the downtown portland store in 1974?

      Delete
  16. I worked on 13th floor in the sign shop next to display. Had a mad crush on Sam WEISENBERG.Iwas a 18 yr. old girl.He kept his distance. He told me I was misspelling most of signs,SHAPE UP OR SHIP OUT.MAD BOMBER STRUCK .DETECTIVES ALL OVER STORE. HAD TO WORK THAT SATURDAY. WE WERE SOOOOO SCARED. BOMBER WANTED MONEY OR WOULD STRIKE AGAIN.LEFT PORTLAND AND WENT TO SANFRANCISCO TO WORK AT MACYS

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  17. I have been watching the "Mr Selfridge" series on PBS where the store reminds me so much of Meier & Frank in Portland where I used to walk by the windows to work. They had great windows during the holidays. And, yes, I sure do remember Santaland.

    Now wasn't there another large department store on about 10th and Morrison? It had large open space surrounding the center floor, I think.
    They changed to something long ago..

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  18. THat would be Olds & King, which was purchased by Rhodes Western Department Stores and renamed - see their separate entry.

    Bruce

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  19. Yes, thank you I remember Rhodes. Is the building still the same?

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  20. I have come across a November 1938 full page ad in the NEWS-TELEGRAM, Portland, Oregon for Meier and Frank Co. "Last 2 days of ALL STAR JUBILEE!" Men's $1.69 Wook Jacket - 49¢. Pre-shrunk cotton whipcord work jackets with zipper front, leather trim pockets. Broken sizes. Upper Level. $1.95 Luncheon Set - $1.39. 51x51 inches; rayon damask cloth with six matching napkins. Green, gold and ivory. Fifth Floor. Reg. $2.50 Calf Bags - $1.00. Smart top handle pouch bags with zipper and frame closing. Black, brown, navy and rust. Street Floor. Anyone want to go shopping?!?!? Oops, I almost forgot to mention...Santa Claus Is in Toyland, 10 to 5 P.M. Every little boy and girl is invited to our wonderful Toyland (Seventh Floor) to meet and talk with Santa Claus. Each child under 8 accompanied by an adult will receive a gift from Santa. Hear him on the radio...KEX, 5 to 5:30 every day except Sundays.

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  21. I remember Santaland and riding on the train suspended from the ceiling. A couple months ago, my brother showed me a photo he found that was taken of us as kids with Santa at Meier & Franks.
    I also remember every Christmas the whole family would go to Meier & Franks and I was mesmerized by the Christmas window display.

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  22. In Salem at Christmas Meier & Frank decorated the basement to visit Santa Claus. My Mother took my brother and I to visit Santa every year in the 1960's. It was magical.

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  23. All I have to add is Summer Girl and Winter Girl.
    These were ice creme sodas offered at the Coffee Shop on the 10th floor. They were fabulous.
    I also worked at M & F 1967 to 1969. My mother was employed in Boy's Furnishings from 1951 thru 1986.

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  24. My great aunt, Annie Josephine Odegard, from Buxton, North Dakota, was a milliner for M&F in Portland from 1915 (I think) to 1945 when she died. I wonder how many milliners there were. Was the store really open in 1915?
    This is a very interesting web page.
    I remember the wonderful Christmas windows of Oneill and Polsky stores in Akron in the 1950s.

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    Replies
    1. I have a great-great aunt who I learned moved from the midwest to Portland to work as a seamstress/dressmaker for Meier-Frank in 1904, so most definitely it was open in 1915

      Delete
  25. My aunts were elevator operators in the 50's Betty ,Bonnie & Shirley Christensen. They were so beautiful and got to model dresses and shoes also. I was about 11 or 12 then and wanted to work there. I did when I was in high school and part time at Charles F Berg. Great times! Loved the tea room, and of course santa and the train that went round and round. So many great memories. Any one remember my aunts.?

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  26. In the late 1930's Meier and Frank hosted a demonstration of television. They offered certificates to those who agreed to be filmed and my parents took me downtown to the store.
    Does anyone remember the beautiful Christmas displays and Santa Claus? Was it this store that sponsored the Cinnamon Bear?

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  27. Does anyone know the name of the custom jeweler that had a shop in the Meier & frank building in the 1980 to 1990's? Possibly named Patrick's Custom Jewelry? Owner may be named Patrick Kelly O'Sullivan or Kelly Patrick Sullivan.

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  28. I worked at Meier & Frank Building from 1977 to 1980 Started in Jewelry then moved to 6th floor Timberline shop... then became a floater who would work in any dept where a replacement was needed (even elevator operator) and later a personal shopper. 1978 I became the chief manifest officer and for a short time loading dock manager. Meier & Frank taught me all aspects of the retail industry and for that I am always grateful. Management never let my being female get in the way of giving me the opportunity for promotion and a variety of positions within the company.

    I was hired because on the day of cash register training the machines failed and I knew how to reset the system to get training back on track.

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  29. My first job right out of high school (1964) was in the sign shop! OMG! so many good memories. Had so many good friends in the display dept. too. It was just a fun place to work.

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  30. My mother -in -law recently passed away at 95 and has two small ceramic cups that the children were given when they visited Santa at the downtown M&F store in Portland. They have bears in them and are about 3" high. Does anyone else recall them?

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  31. I worked at M&F in Eugene for many years. I notice that you publish information about branch stores. Would you like some detailed information about that store?

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  32. Worked at M & F from ' 83- ' 89 as Director of Stores.....loved living in Oregon. Got married at the Waverly Country Club. Later lived in Waverly, PA.

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  33. I worked for M&F in Salem during my high school years as the North Salem “Seventeen Magazine” representative. I sold clothes in the Young Oregonian department

    Anyway, in the evenings when it was closing time the Meier and Frank song would start playing. I remember some of the lyrics but not all of them. It started out with, “Good night ladies and gentlemen. We hope you’ll return again. We’re glad to help you at Meier and Frank’s…” and that’s all I remember.

    This song had been going around my brain for the last week or so. If anyone remembers the rest of the song would you please let me know? Thanks.

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  34. I have three small paintings. prints, water colors I am not sure just what they are. There are to the are like 5" long by 3" high, 6" high by 31/2 " wide and 101/2 " long by 51/2" wide. They are all ocean scenes. They all have a Meier & Frank Co. Portland's own store in silver and black still on them. I was interested in them and picked them up over 20 years ago. I do not even remember where. Does any one have any information on these and if so could you please e-mail me at speedhd@charter.net with whatever information you may have, It appears that this "store" had a place called Gallery 9 which may have been an art store. I am guessing I do not know, Thanks for any help you all can give me.

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  35. I got my first credit card at Meijer and Frank when I was 18 with a $100 credit line. Growing up I remember special occasion lunches with my mom at the cafe on the top floor including the really long salad bar which I thought was amazing. Macys has absolutely destroyed this building along with the hotel upstairs.

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  36. If you would like to see some video footage of one of the Portland M&F stores circa 1975, there is a brief scene in the TV series "Movin' On" (drama about longhaul truckers) in which a character goes shopping in a large M&F. This occurs in episode #3 "Grit" at about the 26 minute mark. You can view this episode for free on Hulu.com.

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    Replies
    1. hi chris,sonny pruitt rides the motor bike inside this store,was very funny.[im sure you knew this]

      Delete
  37. My memories of Meier and Frank began when I was quite young. My mom would take me downtown town from Aloha Oregon to visits for eye doctors to then be treated to lunch and shopping. A huge treat for a country girl in the 60's. When I became older my Father Frank Leonetti was the head chief and manager of the the " Valley Room" restaurant at Washington Square restaurant. He developed not only a huge following of loyal customers but a very positive reputation. He made all of his sauces and soups by scratch. Had all you can eat fish dinners spaghetti and meatball dinners. Also developed his own private recipe for beer biscuits that were amazing, serve red in the largest freshest salad bar in in area. I worked for my dad as a waitress and chief. I not only learned many skills as a professional but dad gave me skills to remember for life. He was truly a gentleman outstanding chief and father.

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    1. Yes, I worked with Frank back in 1980's and he was a great guy to work with. I remember working those spaghetti nights and all you can eat fish frys.

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  38. I have a set of the crystal glassware that was an M&F exclusive pattern. Is there a market for this. I have never used any of it. I was so excited every time I bought a new piece. Living on MT, it was my Cinderella dream to have beautiful crystal.

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    1. I'm not sure about the market for such crystal, but for crying out loud .... USE THEM !

      Delete
  39. A few brief notes:

    I'm surprised no one mentioned the big clock on the first floor--"meet me under the clock" was a popular saying.

    I was an avid stamp collector as a kid, and M & F had a stamp & coin dept. on the 6th floor, with a vault if I remember right.

    I loved the express elevator that only stopped on my two favorite floors, 6 and 10 (toys!)

    M & F downtown had Santa and the ELEVATED Christmas train (hung from a track that circled the toyland at ceiling height). It was Lipmans next door that had the Cinnamon Bear, who always kind of spooked me when I was little. I didn't need a cookie that badly!

    (this is Karen logging in on John's account--his dad was chief engineer of the downtown building and I will get him to post some good stories here!)

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  40. I remember the elevators with elevator operators in the 40s.
    In the lower level in the basement we could buy "seconds" from
    Jantzen. I bought one of those swimsuits there. We could also buy
    stamps and postcards next to the shoe repair even tho the post office
    was across the street.

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  41. anyone here remember the filming of a 1974 nbc tv series titled...MOVIN'ON in this store.[portland].i work with the shows producers.any stories anyone may have we would love to hear.[employees,customers] www.movinontvshow.com or movin on producers page on facebook. email....movinonfan@outlook.com anytime.

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  42. I worked at the Vancouver Mall M&F from 1999 to 2005. I have nothing but great memories from my time there. The food at the Homestead Restaurant was amazing. I loved working in the Juniors department and working Fragrance Fair. I cried when they closed the restaurant and left before Macy's took over. I will forever compare all shopping experience based on the service I learned and received from Meier & Frank.

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    Replies
    1. Good customer skills and business practices will never go out of style no matter what today's capitalism hating liberals think.

      The web cannot replicate that it's the people that do it.

      Delete
  43. It is with heartfelt regret to announce that the former downtown M&F flagship will close. :(

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  44. In researching one of my ancestors, I found she was a seamstress for Meier and Frank Company in 1904. She seems to have gone there for the job, which must have advertised for seamstresses in the midwest, as she was living in St. Paul, MN before moving to Portland for the job. She married a man who moved up from Los Angeles to work there, also.

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  45. Good morning, everyone it is a sad day the store will be closing in the spring of 2017 I was thinking that we could pick a day and all former employees would just show up. I was thinking I would set up a meet up for this.Any idea's contact me with meier and frank in subject line
    chris hamilton toyjunker1@aol.com

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  46. I think it's sad that these companies all went out of business. They don't have to be in trouble but it's because of mismanagement NOT the World Wide Web.

    Without the internet shopping these stores would still have struggled due to bad decisions focusing more on *buzzwords* then actual quality products due to everything made in China.

    Today's young business people go thru stouch Liberal universities who are taught that *capitalism* is evil and only big government can help so they don't really know squat about good practices where thru most of history stores were ran by the owner and their family passing it down.

    They have an inkling of what made the business successful to begin with and didn't fix what wasn't broken.




    Hell I was taught in my special ed class at high school where we ran a coffee cart of good business practice and it served us well. Old fashion ways still exist for a reason and we would reenact scenarios of angry customers and how to handle them.

    It doesn't go out of fashion to know right from wrong. It pays to treat the customer with respect and give good quality products and your customers will treat the store with respect and come on back.

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  47. Sad to think the old Meir and Frank store is gone from portland. It was so beautiful at christmas time. I remember the old elevators and the girls running each one called out what was on the next floor as you went up . Wish I could remember what the song was they used to play at closing time.. Seems like it was Good night ladies.. but i'm not sure.

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  48. Yes, Goodnight Ladies was the name of the music that was played
    at closing time at good old Meier & Frank.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Bonnie and Joan!

      That is just another of the charming and individual touches that these great stores instituted. Not one of the so-called "merchants" today could come up with something like that!

      -Bruce

      Delete
  49. Wow, I just stumbled across this when I was doing some research for a new book I'm writing, and I got sucked down memory lane! I moved to Portland in July 1991. I 'accidentally' landed a job at Meier and Frank in their collections department. It turned out, I loved the job, and the Collections Supervisors and Managers liked me! I would work weekends in the credit department doing instant credit accounts on the weekends. To my knowledge, I was the first and only employee that was allowed to work in both departments at the same time. I LOVED my job at Meier and Frank. To date, even with a long career in Finance and decades as a Sr. Mortgage Underwriter, now retired, this was the best job I ever had. Because of the way the store treated the employees, the employees you worked with were so nice, the customers, yes, even those in collections for past due accounts were super nice. I think that is why I did so well there- I treated everyone as I'd want to be treated if I were in their shoes. I have a very vivid and clear memory of my time there. Things were so different back then. And, 'back then' really wasn't so long ago. I remember lunches in the Georgian Room, and I would purposely take the escalators from time to time, from the first to the 12th floor (I think it was the 12th floor we worked on.. maybe it was the 11th- no, I am pretty sure it was the 12th. The 11th floor was, I think storage for the entire store) down to the first floor just ride them. I had been born and raised in a very small town in Idaho - so when I moved to Portland at the young age of 21, I had a backpack, a box and $1000.00 in my pocket. Now, I am facing terminal cancer and while I don't like looking back too much because it makes me want to go back in time, my memories of this store and my job there will always be razor sharp and near and dear to my heart. I have to say a special shout out to Judy B., who worked with me, who passed away from her cancer shortly after I left M&F for a move up the chain in my career in 1993. When I started, she was someone who helped me so much, and she was just barely out of chemotherapy (2nd time, I think)- and she always had these great head-wraps that were light years ahead of anything in the fashion industry. She had to tell me that it because she had been through chemotherapy and lost all her hair. Oh, was I embarrassed and ashamed- but she wouldn't let me feel that way! She loved that I thought it was just her style. Lots and lots of other really really good people working there, too. I miss everyone. Maybe someday when someone reads this, they will see this and know that I love them and miss them. This was back when Judi Hofer was the President and had an office just down the hall from us. She would bring her two dogs into work every day with her. She was so nice! Incredible. I'm so glad there is something on line to commemorate my past and the store's past because for many of us, this store meant a lot more than just what it sold. Thanks for the trip down memory lane!!

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  50. I worked in the Sport Shop in 1949. sweaters, blouses, suits, great casual clothes. I spent most of my paycheck right there in the Sport Shop! Bought my favorite Jantzen swim suit in the lower lower level where they sold "seconds." You could also buy sheet music in the basement and there was a piano player who would play the music for you,if you wished, before you bought it.

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