|Cromer-Cassell Co., the predecessor|
of Richards, occupied a new, seven story
building in Miami in May of 1926.
|By 1945, Richards remodeled the building, giving|
it an updated appearance.
|Richards expanded and modernized the store|
in 1951, giving it the familiar appearance it
presented for most of the postwar era.
|"Friendliest Store in America"|
1 NE 1st Street
Fashion Jewelry D-331 • Fine Jewelry D-05 • Silver D-321 • Aisle of Beauty D-360, D-362 • Toiletries D-361 • Notions D-300 • Handbags D-430 • Purse Accessories D-431 • Hosiery D-420 • Accessories D-391 • Neckwear D-391 • Sunglasses D-380 • Blouses D-392 • Fashionette Sportswear D-393 • Stationery D-144 • Fruit • Candy
Men's Store Men's Furnishings D-721 • Men's Sportswear D-722 • Men's Slacks D-710 • Trend Shop D-707 • Men's Clothing D-700 • Men's Shoes D-041
Tea Room • Soda Grill
Boys' Wear 8-20 D-430 • Girls' Wear 4-6x D-653 •Girls' Wear 7-14 D-642/651 •Girls' Lingerie D-658 •Children's Wear D-643 •Infants' Wear D-640 •Children's Shoes D-041 • Luggage D-141 •Sporting Goods D-232 •Toys D-231 • Book Shop • Surgical Health
Fashion Third Floor Fashionette Dresses • Sunrise Casuals D-563 • Town Shop D-560 • Palm Beach Dresses D-565 • Misses' Sportswear D-541 • Half Sizes D-562 • Everglades Sportswear D-393 • Key Largo Sportswear D-540 • Coats D-500 • Fur Salon • Bridal Salon • Millinery D-020 • Wigs D-020 • Shoe Salon D-039 • Foundations D-600 • Lingerie D-611 • Robes & Negligees D-610 • Loungewear D-620
Domestics D-122 • Linens D-110 • Bath Shop D-108 • Bedspreads D-123 • Draperies D-140 • Curtains D-140 • Lamps D-220 • Fabrics • Sewing Machines • Art Needlework • Beauty Salon
Housewares D-200 • Casual Furniture D-201Small Appliances D-202 • Glassware D-210 • China D-211 • Giftware D-200 • Major Appliances D-270 • Radio and TV D-291 • Stereos D-203 • Electronics D-203 • Floor Care D-271
Furniture D-250 • Lifestyle D-255 • Sleep Shop D-260 • Floor Coverings D-131 • Rugs D-131
Customer Service • Credit Office • Cashier • Auditorium
163rd Street (1956)
112,000 sq. ft.
Miami Beach (1959)
800 Lincoln Road
12,000 sq. ft.
Cutler Ridge (1960)
110,000 sq. ft.
Palm Springs (1962)
Palm Beach Mall (1967)
West Palm Beach
125,000 sq. ft.
As I recall Richard's was simply not Burdines or Jordan Marsh. Didn't it go out of business on its own and not because of corportate take over? I am not sure on this point.ReplyDelete
Richard's was doing fine until City Stores bought it and dragged it down because they were losing money in so many other placesDelete
Richard's was a step below Burdine's and Jordan Marsh, and didn't mind admitting it . . . I read an article in which one of their executives said "We're Richard's . . . and that's OK.ReplyDelete
The store closed in 1980. It was a part of City Stores Co., which controlled Maison Blanche, McAlpin's, Lit Brothers, Lownestein's, Loveman's, The Lion Store, The Jones Store Co., among others. The company seems to have run many of these stores right into the ground, closing the well-regarded Lansburgh's in 1973. Lit Brother's went from being "Brand Name Retailer of the Year" to a hopeless case by 1977.
It is with hindsight that I offer these opinions, but I do remember an article in the 1970s in which the interviewer questioned City Stores' CEO about the market position of their stores, with the CEO claiming they were the market leader in many cities in which they did business, but unable to cite any one in particular!
Richard's obviously had a market niche, but was, again, in my opinion, a victim of the parent's weakness and ultimate bankruptcy.
Hi mark I am Alberto I work in the downtown store for 2 yearsDelete
I was a stock person work in the basement and the miseline whit mike I remember Bambi
Waldo the cook in the cafeteria
Linda the elevator operator and Carl the were 4 Cuban in the basement working hope you remember me I was skini young man
Believe it or not, City Stores Company is still in business but not as a corporate owner of department stores, but a manufacturer of greeting cards, CSS Industries. They started as a company in 1923 when they merged Maison Blanche, Lowenstein's, and Loveman's of Alabama into one company. They later owned Richard's, Lansburgh's, Lit Brothers, Kaufman-Straus, Wise, Smith & Company, R.H. White, Wolf & Dessauer Co., Hearns, Georke's, Franklin Simon, Oppenheim, Collins & Co., and W. & J. Sloane. I think the last store was Maison Blanche in New Orleans when it was sold to Goudchaux's in Baton Rouge. Sloane's also closed around the same time. Some of the stores mentioned in the last post were actually part of Mercantile Stores Co. which purchased only Maison Blanche in 1992.ReplyDelete
the Downtown Miami store as you walked in the entrance from the NE 1st St side, you would be met with a huge down staircase with a huge sign over it that read: "Welcome to the Only Basement Store in Miami". I would buy shirts down there when I worked at Neiman Marcus in Bal Harbour and they were usually with tags still on them from fine NY stores like Franklin Simon, and even one from Burdine's down the block. You felt like you were shopping a cut above Sears and Jefferson's (our M. Ward's in S. Fla) when you shopped at Richard's. They held a special place in the heart of many of Miami's Cuban immigrant population because they hired them even though they may have spoken little to no English and gave them English lessons as a part of their employment. I'm sure that fed the families of many a suddenly destitute former executive in those days.....ReplyDelete
I see above that City Stores owned W&J Sloans. That was one great furniture store in its day. I had some great pieces from there, and then they closed. I guess they were run into the ground just like Richard's.ReplyDelete
Thanks for a trip down memory lane. I grew up in Miami and loved this store, especially the basement. No, it wasn't Burdines but it was a great store. Like the man said "It isn't Burdines, it's Richards and thats fine". Just a note about the 50's and 60's (yes, I'm old)it was magical for kids back then at Christmas. There were never Christmas decorations and wrapping paper in the stores in October. You could go shopping the day befor Thanksgiving and never see Christmas but the day after it looked like elfs had worked all night to transform the stores and the city streets into "Christmas Town". It's too bad all that has been lost.ReplyDelete
I was one of those Elves that worked in the Display Department. I loved it. Worked in several other Richard's as well.Delete
my mother used to drag me there every saturday to see what was on sale in the basement (miami's downtown store) we would ride the #5 bus, from "calle 8" (SW 8th street) to downtown and then walk a couple of blocks to the store. we had just arrived from havana in the 60's. my mother new the store because she would travel to miami occasionally, to visit her cousing.ReplyDelete
those were the days!
Yep, it wasn't Burdine's but was great on deals! My mom bought some nice furniture there in the 70s, and our first color TV (Sylvania) came from there. We rode the #2 (22 Ave) Tigertail bus to downtown. Who needed a car?ReplyDelete
I was a buyer of Linens in the Basement in 70-72. We had a Merchandise Manager, Mr. Hy Lypson that drove all the basement buyers nuts to offer the best prices in Miami. He was retired from a NYC store and ran the ranchhands in the below water level store. There was 4 buyers in that hell-hole. Mens/Linens/Ladies/Children. All were crazy and could have had a sitcom show about the pranks pulled off in challenging the upstairs buyers, Burdines, Jefferson and any other store.ReplyDelete
We bought 2nd's and discontined stock that was intercepted on it's way out of country for sale in remote areas. Our Dollar Days were sights to behold. I personally broke up a knife fight between two customers fighting over a bedspread.
The Ladies buyer was as fruity as a Christmas Cake and made it a NYC buying trip to find some steel tipped bras. When they come in Hy Lipsom had a cow! Tom over in Mens would have a Free Hot Dog Saturday where the dogs were prepared in the Mens Rest Room. Great Stories.
Ron McKey, Denver, Colorado
Was Hy the Violin Player?Delete
Dollar Days were INSANE, especially when the store opened. I would get a great vantage spot, so that when Security unlocked the doors, the gathered crowd would Run in for the Best stuff. 75 year olds! Running down the stairs !!!
Yes, there was alotta tussling going on down there in the basement.
I worked at Richards for many many years, I started part time in sales in the " Junior Dept " in the Downtown Store, I also worked in the buying office for Margarite Ridings and was the Assistant Store Manager at the Midway Mall Store when Richards closed. Along the way I worked in management at the Downtown Store, Palm Springs Mall and also the 163rd St. store.I loved Richards, we has a blast working in the store and also after hours. ( anyone remember the Jockey Lounge next to Richards ).. ..Lol ! I remember that on " Ladies Days " all the women executives took over the running of the store and the men stayed home ( or elsewhere, maybe golfing ) , it was a fun time. I have often thought it would be great to have a Richards Reunion , nothing like the " Good Old Days " !!!ReplyDelete
The Jockey Lounge brings back memories! I worked at Burdines down the street. On days we closed at 5pm, we'd all hang out there waiting for traffic to die down on I-95 or South Dixie. I always felt bad for the Richard's employees, as the store seemed so dreary and bleak.Delete
All the Execs & the cool folks in my department (Display) drank their lunch at the Lounge next door. One day I went & had two cocktails as well. No wonder nothing ever got done after lunch !!! Boy, that was fun, but I didn't make a habit of it.Delete
I was born in Miami in 1939, have lived here all my life, and cherish the happy memories of shopping downtown Miami and especially Richards and their Bargain Basement. My Mom and Grandmother were regular customers..I worked around the corner at NE. 2nd street At Southern Bell for 8 years, and very often had lunch at Richards Grill, delicious hamburgers and fries. And also the Jockey Club, Richards was often a shortcute when I was running late getting back to work. Well I spent a lot of time on those shortcuts looking at Richards great merchandise.ReplyDelete
Thanks for the memories.
During the late 60's I worked at the 163rd street store in Miami in the children's dept. I caught a 5 yr old girl stuffing clothes in her shopping bag. I notified security and they arrested an entire family who were in different sections stealing various items. I loved working there. Christmas was hectic but so much fun being around people in such a festive time. Oh how things have changed!ReplyDelete
My parents named me Richard because in 1958, as Cuban immigrants coming to Miami, it was the first department store to grant them their first credit card ( I believe it was called charge cards back then) to purchase baby furniture and clothings needed for me, their first born. Thank you RichardsReplyDelete
That's Awesome !!!Delete
That's a fascinating story, Richard! Maybe you could take on the store's logo as your own, if you haven't already!ReplyDelete
Have you seen the Richard's charge card posted elsewhere on this blog?
Bruce (another product of 1958)
Thinking of an incident where I found an elementary school teacher of mine working part-time at Richards I found this article. That would have been in Miami in the early 70s. I remember downtown Richards escalators ( where my grandma took her first and last(( she fell)) ride on an escalator. Richards was good and basic and no it wasn't considered HIGH FASHION but it wasn't he bottom of the barrel either.ReplyDelete
Oh, I forgot to mention that my favorite part of the Richards downtown Miami building was the fact that when you opened the doors at the main front entrance you would get a big dose of fast blowing cool air ...a huge relief in steamy humid summertime Miami. I always figured it was due to some pressure buildup in the building. But me and my brother loved it.ReplyDelete
Some of my fondest childhood memories are of waiting each year for Christmas (aka Winter in SoFla!), when Richard's would have all the most beautiful decorations adorning the store, and a "real" Santa Claus who would give out a Christmas coloring book to each child. I'm sure I have photos somewhere sitting on Santa's lap, and no, they weren't all perverts back then. Every year this was like magic, living in Miami where the rest of the year was just one big hot season. Richard's lit up my life in many ways. I bought my first Barbie dolls there. Sigh...ReplyDelete
how do I find out how much my chip n dip try is that my grandma left me? It is made from this company and bought on 11/5/1974 I have the sales check #, the box it came in still in good condition.ReplyDelete
I was just a Cuban refugee kid when I arrived in Miami in 1961. We were so poor we could only shop at Richard´s basement and, mind you, on certain sale days only. Still going to Richards was an exciting experience since it was so big, so beautiful and had so much great stuff. . The only eye sores in the place were the racially divided rest rooms. Coming from my background I just couldn´t understand it...ReplyDelete
I started working for Richard's in 1969. I never saw those segregated bathrooms by then , but I remember a lot of signs downtown barring Coloreds from one place or another. In the 50s, Sears in Coral Gables had segregated bathrooms too. Until when, I don't know.Delete
Yea, and being a forth generation American and Miami native what I can't understand is why all those Cuban Refugees to this day refuse to learn the language of the land and speak English while in public. Even in today's Department Stores the store clerks and the customers insist on only speaking Spanish. It just shows a lack of respect. If I had to move to Cuba you could bet your bottom dollar that I would learn to speak Spanish.Delete
So true!! I was born in New Jersey and moved here in the mid 80s. It was already getting bad back then. But now it’s much worse. I am Cuban American and speak both languages but it irks me when I go to any store and automatically I’m spoken to in Spanish.Delete
I used to love the one in Cutler Ridge, used to go there all the time. It was wide open, very airy and clean. I remember the escalator right in the center of the floor.ReplyDelete
I was the head of the Display Department there for about a year. A department of One. One day I was redoing the front window displays ad saw a young guy wandering around outside. When I went out to check my work, we struck up a conversation. His name was Mark too. He had no money & no job. I gave him an apartment at Arm-Pit-Arms in South Miami until he could get on his feet. I suggested he try the Serpentarium because of his interest in snakes. He got a job there & became a real tenant. Today he runs his own preserve in BrowardDelete
Richard's in Cutler Ridge was the first big department store I walked in with my parents. I can still remember the nice smell of perfume as you walked in along with that cool air that welcomed you in. My fondest memories as a 7 yr old just getting here from Cuba in 1971. Loved this store.Delete
It is so nice to read all of your stories from memory lane. Not sure of how I ended up on this blog, but since I am here I thought I'd pose a question. To preface my questions, I was born in May of 1970. My mother arrived in Miami in 1967-68 ish from Panama. Eight months after giving birth to me, she found it too difficult as a single woman to provide care, and subsequently turned me over to Catholic Charities. I was adopted by a lovely family in Fort Myers, where I was raised. In my adoption papers, my mother didn't name my father but stated he was educated, tall, and was the owner of a men's clothing store on Miami Beach. Communication was minimal back then compared to today; so our family in Pamama would receive letters periodically from her. It is thought by my younger aunts, that my mother actually worked for my father by being a caretaker of his mom. Needless to say, my mom died in 2003, two years prior to me finding my maternal family. So there are many questions left unanswered by her death. So I have decided to pose these questions to you bloggers since it appears we were in the same areas at the same time. *** How many men's department stores were there on Miami Beach? Were there any others besides Richards? How may I research the owners of these stores? Any information would be greatly appreciated. Time is passing me by and I would love the opportunity to learn about my paternal family. With regards,ReplyDelete
Hello! I would suggest that you look through the Google News Archive where the Miami Gazette is available. You could look at the 1969 issues and see ads for stores that had branches in Miami Beach. Richards was one of them, I believe; so was Saks Fifth Avenue and Burdines. Smaller Men's clothing stores might be found in that area. The Miami library may have Miami beach directories for the pertinent years that would list Men's stores there, too. Sorry it isn't too much, but I hope this is a start for you. God bless your mom for wanting the best for you and for your parents that opened their hearts to you.ReplyDelete
While I'm at it I would like to know who the owners of Richards were in 1962? I think I went to college with their daughter and would like to contact her if it's possible.Delete
There was a Richards at 425 Lincoln Road that opened up in 1940 but did not last long. It was closed within a couple of years.ReplyDelete
Used to love their jewelry counter at the Palm Beach Mall store. It was all I could afford as a teenager. The mall was THE hangout in the '70s!ReplyDelete
I worked for Richards Downtown Miami from February 1974 until their demise as a retail copywriter in their advertising dept. I came upon this position as a newbie from New York. One day, I accompanied my husband on a job interview at Robert Half agency. One of Robert Half's people asked me if I was looking for a position, since I had my portfolio with me. I said yes. She told me that Richard's had just hjired a creative director from the northeast who was looking for New York talent. The rest was history. Loved working for Richard's. Those were the days.ReplyDelete
Did you know Bill Schaeffer, one of the Artists in Advertising ?Delete
Please tell me who you are as I worked in the same department from 1970–1975. 7th floor right behind credit department. Marty Rhodes and Eve Nelson were your superiors.Delete
I started as a salesperson at Midway Mall then moved to Downtown as the Asst Buyer for Mens Furnishings (Buyer Tom Aab), then Grp Mgr of Mens and Cosmetics downtown 1st floor and finally in the "Rebuy Office" when we closed. I met my husband there when he was an artist in Advertising.ReplyDelete
I loved Ladies Days, running the old manual elevators, doing crowd control for people running to the basement store, dealing with homeless "customers" and trying to run a business totally manually with no real systems.
After we closed I went on to Burdines, later becoming Macys, retiring with 33 yrs of service.
Did you know Bambi in Cosmetics downtown?Delete
Did you know Bill Schaeffer, another Artist in Advertising?
Yes, the Manual Elevators !!
This comment has been removed by the author.Delete
Did you work with my husband Buck Moore? Also Barry Yoskowitz, Sally Moxhan(sic), and others? I was the Mens Furnishings Asst BuyerReplyDelete
I worked for Richards from 1966 until 1973. I started in the warehouse on NE 14th Street loading trucks at night after school. While I was going to college worked as a truck driver delivering furniture. Later I became the warehouse manager and mattress buyer. Richards was a great place to work I'm thankful they started me on a business carrier.ReplyDelete
Thanks for nice info. It's useful for me. Can you give me some more information with details? I will wait for your next post Thanks a lot. office furniture ft lauderdaleReplyDelete
I remember taking the #11 bus downtown in the early 1960s. My grandmother would drag me down to the basement, it was wild down there, ladies pulling on the same piece of clothing, shouts, screams wish I was there again. As an aside my grandma got me a job at Burdine's downtown for one day in 1968, to take shoe inventory. I went on a Saturday morning for $1.25 an hour. We worked for 4 hours, went to lunch and when we came back boss told us sorry but there's a problem and you can go home now. I was paid $5.00 for 4 hours work and on my Social Security work record you see my earnings for 1968 as $5.00 for the whole year!!! I graduated from Coral Park in 1969 and started working at Grand Union, still working at 68.ReplyDelete
...1964, my first REAL job [$1.25 an hour, and glad to get it] was in the camera department of 163rd Street Richard's...LOVED working there....had lots of fun, but worked hard...many great memories....ReplyDelete
I cannot believe I found this forum. I worked a several of the Richard's stores beginning in 1967 as a salesman at the just opened Lauderhill store. I became a group mgr in the men's department then became a buyer in men's clothing in their downtown Miami store. I then was promoted to the Asst. Mgr back at the Lauderhill store. From there I was transferred to the Hollywood store as an a Asst. Mgr. I then was promoted to be the store manager at the Midway Mall store which I loved. I was also the President of the Mall Association. I was not happy when I was transferred once again to the West Palm Beach store in the Mall which was owned by thenReplyDelete
S.F. 49er owned Edward D. BeBartolo. The W.Palm Beach store needed so much work and I was not given any increase in expenditures to redo this old, neglected store. I was there maybe one month when I left Richards. All in all I really enjoyed my experiences working with the Merchandise Mgs., buyers, Group and Sales Managers, employees, stock personal, personal managers, and display men and women. A highlight for me was hosting the T.V. show "Breakfast at Richard's" which was a morning weekly program held at the Midway Richards restaurant and hosted by Dan Fitzgerald who passed a year or so ago. What a wonderful person. Dan was a big factor with the Miami Merchandise Mart in the late '60s and beyond. I really enjoyed all of your comments especially hearing about the basement store in Miami and also our main security at 163rd St. Mr. Fred Davis who also worked for the Miami Sheriff's Department. I know I have left out a lot of people who made such a positive difference in those days when Richard's was a wonderful place to work with so many awesome employees.
I am Roger Adams the unknown who posted the above message. I thought that I put my name down before sending it off. Sorry about that. I would love to hear anyone who worked for Richards especially between the years of 1967 and 1973. I wish I could remember all those I work with, for and those who gave their best when I was the Asst. Store Manager at the Lauderhill and Hollywood stores and manager at Midway Mall in Hialeah. Also, to those I worked with in Downtown Miami. A wonderful experience for me in the retail business at a young age.ReplyDelete
Hi Roger.....The Richards Store in Hialeah was not the Midway Mall Store it was the Palm Springs Store. Midway Mall Richards was located off Flager Street, west of the Palmetto. I was the Assistant Store Managet wheen it closed .Delete
My husband was Edward Fox, director of security, from 1977-1980, we came from lit bros in Philadelphia , we lived in plantation and he would have spent time in lauderhill,ReplyDelete
Thanks for you comments Patricia. I began with Richard's Department stores at Lauderhill when the Mall had just opened. I began in the Men's Sportswear department and over time worked my way up to the Asst. Store Manager. The store Manager at that time was Dick Butler followed by Jim Browning who might have been the Mgr. at Lauderhill when your husband was there. I left Richard's in '73/'74 while being the store Manager in West Palm Beach. I think when Mr. Paul Walker left as President of Richard's it began its downfall. As I had mentioned before I loved working with everyone. I worked in every Richard's store with the exception of the one in Cutler Ridge. I was the asst. store Manager at Lauderhill (two different times) and also at the Hollywood store. I then was manager at the Midway Mall store and my last promotion was running the West Palm Beach store. Thanks for responding and bringing back those Richard's memories.ReplyDelete
I Worked for Richard’s in the late 60’s during college -first at 163st with Dick Butler and then at the downtown store as group manager of floors 4-5-6, then with mens and the basement. I remember some fantastic people from the stores Richard’s was a great place with wonderful memories.The biggest oddity of the Main store were the attic area old hotel rooms if I remember correctly.Delete
Roger I also have fond memories of Richard’s.I started in college at 163st when Dick Butler managed, then after college worked at Flagler Street as group manager first on 4-5-6 floor, then the mens area on the Main floor. I also remember the weird old hotel type rooms on top floor area of the store Very fond memories of those I met at Richards. Your comments brought a smile to my face thinking about Fred Davis and Dick Butler .Delete
Best regards to you,
I work in Richard 1972-73 whit mark I was a stock personReplyDelete
In the miseling and the basement
Whe had a lot of buyer from the Bahamas the where 4 Cubans working the basement for lunch I was in the cafeteria whit Waldo the cook
My father was a Merchantise Manager from 1957 until about 1965. Tony Poleski was the Gerneral Merchandise Manager was the President. In High School I worked in the downtown store prep shop and also worked at the store on 163rd Street. I still remember my dad got like a 40% discount and they even had a record department. I have a lot of wonderful memories of Downtown Miami in the fifties and sixties. My Dad's name was Sam Rappaport and was a happy, intelligent, funny wonderful man and father.ReplyDelete