Jacobson Stores, Inc., Jackson, Michigan

the fascinating history
of Michigan's own specialty
department store

Jacobsons: I miss it so!

(Click on the book cover to go
to the welcome page for details)

Founded in Reed City, Michigan, in 1868,
 Jacobson's expanded to Jackson, Michigan
in 1904, and in 1920 inaugurated a new
store on Main Street (now Michigan Avenue).

The store expanded to Ann Arbor, and Battle Creek,
and was purchased in 1939 by Nathan Rosenfeld,
a retail and finance specialist who set out to turn
it into one of Michigan's finest stores.

Jake's added a "Men's Shop" on Michigan Avenue; the site would
later house the 1961 store building

The main store was modernized in 1955.
A completely new Jacobson's was opened in 1961,
several blocks to the west of the original store.

Jacobson Stores, Inc. (Jacobson's)
3333 West Sargent Road
Jackson, MI (Corporate Office &
Distribution Center)

JACOBSON STORES (through 1978)

Jacobson's Jackson (1904/1943/1955/1961)
255 West Michigan Avenue
The Cortland Room
Jacobson's store in its home town was situated on the Progress
Place Mall in downtown Jackson (The administrative
headquarters were located at 1200 North West Street).

A new Store for the Home was opened on Cortland
Street in 1969, in quarters formerly occupied by a
downtown Sears store, and renovated in
Jacobson's tradional style.

Jacobson's Ann Arbor (Oct.1, 1924/1941)
612 E. Liberty Street
116,000 sq. ft.

Jacobson's was a fixture on Ann Arbor's Liberty street
since its opening in 1924.  The store was often enlarged
and remodeled over the years, and was connected to the
adjacent Maynard Street parking garage.

Jacobson's Battle Creek (1937/1951)

The original Jacobson's store was a narrow shop
next to a Kresge store in Battle Creek.  After the
1939 change in ownership, this larger store
was occupied, but it remained one of Jake's
smaller stores, and competed with
 the larger Kalamazoo store to the west.

Jacobson's East Lansing (1941/1951/1970)
333 E. Grand River Avenue
The East Room

Jacobson's East Lansing Store served faculty and students of
Michigan State University,as well as Mid-Michigan residents.
This beautiful contemporary facility replaced a store opened in 1940.

After the relocation, Jacobson's expanded and renovated its old
store into a new Store for the Home.

Jacobson's Grand Rapids (1943/1954)
Fulton Street at Sheldon Avenue

Before moving to its own building in 1954, Jacobson's
occupied a 2-story space in the Pantlind Hotel, today's
Amway Grand Plaza; the space currently houses the
Hotel's "1913 Room" gourmet restaurant.

In 1954, Jake's remodeled the Watson Building
at the corner of Fulton and Sheldon Avenues,
and vacated the Pantlind Hotel for a larger,
free-standing space.

Jacobson's Saginaw (1944/1975)
400 Federal Street
200,000 s.f.

Jacobson's large Saginaw store was part of a "superblock" proposal
meant to revitalize the downtown core and attract customers from
all over northern Michigan.

Jacobson's Grosse Pointe (1944/1952/1974)
17030 Kercheval Avenue
22375 Kercheval Avenue (Store for the Home)
The St. Clair Room
Jacobson's, after slowly expanding since 1944, occupied a renovated,
Colonial Williamsburg style structure in
The Village shopping district in Grosse Pointe in 1974.

The Home Decorative Shop, later the Store for the Home, opened on the 
other side of Kercheval Avenue in 1953.

Lower Level
Miss J Shop • Miss J Shoes • Customer Service
Street Floor
Stationery • Adult Game Gallery • Jacobson's Book Shop • Pantry and Sweet Shop • Fine Jewelry Salon • St. Clair Room Restaurant • Cosmetics • Jewelry • Handbags • Small Leather Goods • Belts • Scarves • Accessories • Hosiery • Shoe Salon
Store for Men Men's Furnishings • Men's Sportswear • Mr. J Shop • Men's Clothing • Men's Shoes • Men's Hats
Second Floor
Infants' Shop • Children's Shop • Boys' Shop • Girls' Shop • Cannon Shop • Toys • Children's Shoes • Intimate Apparel • Foundations • Patio Fashions • Sportswear • Little Separates • Pin Money Shop • Custom Sizes • Dress Salon • Coat and Suit Salon • After 5 Dresses • Signature Collections • International Collections • Givenchy Nouvelle Boutique • Collection Sportswear • Designer Salon • Bridal Salon • Fur Salon • Styling Salon

Store for the Home 17141 Kercheval Avenue
China • Silver • Glass • Linen Shop • Collector's Gallery • Gift Shop • Kitchen Shop • Lamps • Bedroom Fashions • Bath Shop • Draperies • Closet Shop • Fine Furniture Gallery • Design Studio • Floor Coverings • Area Rug Center

Jacobson's Birmingham (1950/1953/1962/1972)
336 W. Maple Road
325 Old North Woodward (Store for the Home)

Store for Fashions

Store for the Home

Children's Shops and Men's Store

Jacobson's occupied several buildings since it opened in
Birmingham in 1950, later adding a
Store for the Home, Men's Store, Children's Shop,
as well as an expanded main fashion store.

Jacobson's Kalamazoo (1961/1970/1979)
359 South Burdick
209 South Burdick (Store for the Home)(1970)

Jacobson's Kalamazoo store opened in 1961 on Burdick treet,
also known as Kalamazoo Mall - one of the nation's first
downtown pedestrian malls.

A separate Store for the Home was
opened on the mall in the early 1970s.

Jacobson's Dearborn (Oct. 8, 1964)
22201 West Michigan Avenue
22375 West Michigan Avenue (Store for the Home)
The Top of the Fountain

Jacobson's Dearborn store, in the West Dearborn
shopping district, opened to great fanfare in October of 1964
Jacobson's eneterd the furniture business by purchasing
the Daly Brothers furniture store, which was remodeled into
Jacobson's Store for the Home in 1974

Lower Level
Kitchen Shop • Lamps • Bedroom Fashions • Bath Shop • Draperies • Closet Shop • Fabric Shop • Yarn Shop
Street Floor
Stationery • Adult Game Gallery • Jacobson's Book Shop • Sweets and Treats Shop • Fine Jewelry Salon • Cosmetics • Jewelry • Handbags • Small Leather Goods • Belts • Scarves • Accessories • Little Separates • Hosiery • Shoe Salon • China • Silver • Glass • Linen Shop • Collector's Gallery • Gift Shop
Store for Men Men's Furnishings • Men's Sportswear • Mr. J Shop • Men's Clothing • Men's Shoes • Men's Hats
Second Floor
Top of the Fountain Restaurant • Infants' Shop • Children's Shop • Boys' Shop • Girls' Shop • Cannon Shop • Toys • Children's Shoes • Miss J Shop • Miss J Shoes • Intimate Apparel • Foundations • Patio Fashions • Sportswear • Little Separates • Pin Money Shop • Custom Sizes • Dress Salon • Coat and Suit Salon • After 5 Dresses • Signature Collections • International Collections • Givenchy Nouvelle Boutique • Collection Sportswear • Designer Salon • Bridal Salon • Fur Salon • Styling Salon • Customer Service

Store for Homes 22375 West Michigan Avenue
Fine Furniture Gallery • Design Studio • Floor Coverings

Jacobson's East Grand Rapids (1966)
2255 E. Wealthy Street

Like many of Jacobson's stores, the East Grand Rapids
store was built of brick

Jacobson's Sarasota, FL (1969)
443 St. Armand's Circle
Sarasota, Florida

Jacobson's began its Florida run by purchasing a shop
called "Yankee Traveler" on St. Armand's Circle in
Sarasota.  The store was enlarged and expanded many
times and eventually became simply "Jacobson's"

Jacobson's Winter Park, FL (1972)
339 N. Park Avenue

Jacobson's purchased The Proctor Shop in exclusive
Winter Park, a suburb of Orlando.  Later, the Proctor
name was dropped and the store became known simply
as Jacobson's

Jacobson's Longwood (1975)
Longwood Village
1855 St. Rd. 434

Jacobson's North Palm Beach (1977)
Oakbrook Fashion Square

Jacobson's in Rochester was the anchor of a small upscale mall
The Walton Blvd. facade of the split-level store is shown.
The Great Oaks store occupied land bought by Jacobson's 11 years earlier in
in anticipation of the grow of this upscale community.

Jacobson's Great Oaks Mall (1978)
Rochester, Michigan
1220 Walton Blvd.
70,000 sq. ft.

In the 1980s and 1990s, Jacobson's expanded in Florida, and later opened stores in Indianapolis, Columbus, Louisville, and Kansas.  Jacobson's also gained a store in Toledo, Ohio, by buying Lamson's Franklin Park branch in 1974.


  1. In the late 1980's Jacobson's opened new flagship stores in Livonia, Michigan (which had an "Hermes" boutique,) Indianapolis, Louisville, Jacksonville, and Kansas City, and they moved from downtown East Lansing (1943) to their new home at the Meridian Mall five miles east in the upscale suburb of Okemos, They also moved their Ann Arbor store from "campus" to the former Lord & Taylor location at Briarwood Mall, five miles south of the city. These stores became the most profitable for the chain, and had designer salons that carried Armani Collezione and St. John, for example, but did not have the "East Room" restaurant as in the past. In the early 1990's they closed their smaller under-performing stores in Jackson, Kalamazoo, Dearborn, Toledo, and Columbus. A few years later they closed all of their free-standing furniture stores, and in 2001 they closed their large store in Saginaw which also had the last remaining and largest furniture department and interior design center that typically catered to the affluent summer-resort home owners of Northern Michigan.

  2. Thanks for the informative comments about Jacobson's history. The stores, especially the original ones in the downtown areas of Michigan cities, were certainly unique. I personally enjoyed the restaurant in Grosse Pointe, and really miss the stores in general when they were at their zenith.

  3. Well, Michigan residents miss "Jakes" (as it was affectionately known) desperately! Especially the legendary customer service and the complimentary silver gift boxes with gros-grain ribbons.

  4. I also liked that well into the 90s, Jake's (at least at the former Lamson's location in Toledo) had charge cards which simply had your name and number typed on them. The clerk would fill out a salesbill, write in the name, address, and account number, and complete the sale. There were no cash registers. If the sale was cash, they had a discreet cash till, but again, the sale was written up in pencil and you were given your copy of the salesbill. Eventually Jakes got modern cash registers, but I enjoyed the personal touch while it lasted.

  5. I agree with you about Jacobson's sales technique. The salespeople took such care to write out those receipts (and stick a gift-tag to the cover of a box, in case the recipient wanted to return it), not to mention the silver boxes and ribbons that were Jake's Hallmarks.

    One wonders if they could still handle customers that way in this age; In my opinion, the uniqueness of how they did business really set them apart, and when they went to cash registers, malls, etc., they lost their "je ne sais quoi." The rest, as they say, is history.


  6. The Jacobson's in North Palm Beach was an excellent store. Very low key, but by the 90's Palm Beach Gardens opened. A large mall with good stores...and about one mile away. Jacobson's had great service, fine goods and a good selection of the clothes people in that affluent area would want.

    1. I live on the island in the country club addition of North Palm Beach and remmeber the store well. It was such fun going there and the men's department was fantastic. I do not for once second buy into the idea of digital taking over anything. If stores like these s oepneed I believe sophisticated people would flood them with business, while this online shopping business along with many brands that fell for it are on a race to the bottom.

  7. Sigrid Wolff02 May, 2011 14:22

    Jacobson's didn't want noisey , offensive ambience because our philosophy was to, as much as possible, exude an atmosphere of comfort and calm for our clients.......much like in their own living rooms.We felt cash registers created excess noise(YES!),but sadly resorted to using them for automation and accuracy.UGH!I loved working for them in Florida for 10 happy years.I miss them passionately :(

  8. Hello Sigrid:

    I am deep in research for a book about Jacobson's I'd love to speak with you . . . please comment again with your e-mail address, and I won't publish it.

    Tomorrow, I am meting with former Jake's employees, to talk about their experiences. I agree with you. It was such a great store; I respect how they stayed true to their philosophy for many years. I also have a nice picture of the Jacksonville store.


  9. As a former employee to the very end of Jacobson's I truly miss the company and Company itself! It was a great place to work and to shop. They just don't make them like that anymore. Esther Allen

  10. Many employees loved working for Jakes. Check out Jacobsons alumni on facebook.

  11. I hear the same thing over and over - from employees and customers. I believe Jake's was the epitome of a store, and it was largely the vision of one man, though he put together an incredible team of people to realize that vision. To say that the store is missed is an understatement of vast proportions.

    One thing in particular, that amazes me, is that Jacobson's believed in the value of a strong central shopping district in the cities in which it was located, definitely against the trend of the times. But this "Neiman's of the North" bucked trends, and became a strong destination for shoppers in these towns. It is a shame to visit them today; empty, rag-taggle places that have seen better days. I cannot believe that we accept this for our lives or for our cities. Judging from the comments I hear, I am not the only one who is ashamed of what's happened.

    That's not to mention the unflinching quality of merchandise, the lovely store interiors with dramatic spiral staircases and home-like atmosphere, or the friendliness of the staff.

    Nathan Rosenfeld, who owned Jacobson's, and made it into what it was, said that customers should be welcomed into the store like a home, and that that home should always be prepared to receive them like guests . . . anyone who shopped or worked at Jake's knew what he meant by this.

    And, if you want to know about "the bull in the china shop," you will be able to read my book after October . . .


  12. A past co-worker from Jake's posted this link on facebook, it brought a tear to my eye this morning when I read it. I was practically raised in a Jacobson's store. As a child my mother shopped there religiously! As a young adult I started my career there as an art director in the advertising department. The early influence of the store sparked my love of fashion. Once I know I wanted to get into design and advertising I was once again pulled towards fashion retail. What a great combination right? However I truly agree that era is long gone. I am still in the fashion retail business, but oh how it's changed! I am just so fortunate to have experienced those old great stores in their heyday! Thank you so much for putting this together to share with all of us who remember when and those of us that never knew...

  13. Dear Lori:

    Thanks for your comments; as they say, "you get it!" I hope to convey all of these things in my book about Jacobson's.


  14. Bruce, worked for Jac's 40 years and enjoyed every second,Started as a Toy Buyer,and worked in just about every dept and office, Was in Birmingham, Jackson C.O., Grosse Pointe, Dearborn,Kalamazoo and saw the company change to be competive,and still keep its famous customer service.It was a pleasure working with the hundreds of employees and great customers The old timers will remember the famous Mens Nites in Grosse Pointe.

  15. Thank you for your comments, Chuck. Then you will surely know of Mrs. Pete, D'Hondt way in Grosse Pointe, "Si labor faciendus est, hic est bonus locus," and so many fascinating facts that I have uncovered about Jacobson's. It is a tragedy that this most attractive of stores passed from the scene.

    In several months of doing research, I have not found a single person who spoke negatively about their experiences. I just had dinner last week with a bunch of Birmingham employees, and plan a meeting with ones from G.P. as well, and the lady who managed the toy department in Grosse Pointe, has, though she doesn't know it yet, given me the title for the book!


  16. Peggy Biondi19 May, 2011 21:54

    Hi Bruce
    I worked in the East Lansing store for 7 years, then went to livonia and ended up at our Central Office. It was strange for me because I grew up with jacobson's Dearborn store shopping with my Mom and I was a member of the JBoard in High School. When I moved to East Lansing I was so excited to see they had a store on Grand River across from MSU. I felt at home, and it was by far the best place to work. I have so many stories and great memories. I am still in retail and miss Jacobson's because of the great service we had. If we opened a Jacobson's today it would be back on top because so many people miss it.

    1. I had the honor of being on the Miss J Board and working for this amazing store during my East Lansing High School years. I would love to connect with other Miss J Board to reflect on all the great memories from this program.

  17. Bruce...my dad worked for Jacobson's for over 30 years as a manager in Grosse Pointe, Kalamazoo, Livonia and Rochester. I'm sure there may be something of interest to you in his "archives". I am very interested in reading the book and am happy to know that you are giving this the attention it deserves!

  18. Thank you, Jon.
    I am busy at work on the book, which must be finished by the end of the month. I have researched throughout Michigan and Florida and am happy to say that I have uncovered a great, interesting, and entertaining story about a retailer that is sorely missed and rarely, if ever, spoken of negatively.
    There will be chapters on four of the stores you mention above, as well as pictures people haven't seen in years.
    This evening, I am meeting with a group of Grosse Pointe employees to talk about their experiences, as I have already done with the Birmingham store.
    Thanks for your interest!

  19. Pam Schauffler19 June, 2011 13:14

    Great news that finally we will have a history of Jacobson's. I can't wait to purchase a copy. We should plan parties to celebrate at the time of the book signings! Like many former employees Jacobson's is never far from my thoughts and often in my dreams. It would be fun to get groups of employees together again in each city. I know they do that regularly in Saginaw but how many other communities have reunions?

    Pam Schauffler

  20. I just stayed at a B&B in Stratford, Ontario where I was attending the Shakespeare Festival with a friend. It turned out the five of us were from Michigan and because my friend and I were from Jackson, the conversation turned to Jacobson's where one of the other women had worked (they were from Ann Arbor). Everyone had memories and cherished items from Jacobson's. The owner of the B&B exclaimed that her sideboard in the dining room was from Jake's. My friend's husband was Treasurer for the store back in the day. That's why I was 'googling' and discovered your site! Thank you for all this wonderful information. I will be watching for your book. (P.S. My daughter worked in the Miss J Shop when she was in high school!)

  21. Hi! Thanks for your comments. I have great expectaions for the book, because the history and all of the anecdotes, not to mention pictures, that I have uncovered, are fascinating. I undertand that it should appear in February.

    My wife and I were just talking about Stratford; I consider the kindness of your comment to be a marvelous coincidence!


  22. Oops, I meant September for the book!


  23. Yvonne Harrington08 August, 2011 15:49

    The Saginaw Store reunions are always the Monday after Labor Day, every year. Jake's employees and customers. Would be a great place and time for a book signing!

  24. I just took a walk down memory lane reading all the comments from all the former employees and customers. It would be grossly amiss if we didn't acknowledge the contribution that Keith Houck, Director of Store Planning, made to the visual elegance and shopping comfort of the stores over the 40+ years he worked there. I was his assistant for 28 years and helped him open and remodel stores from 1960 to 1988 including all of the Florida stores and Toledo, the first outstate store up north. I am so looking forward to your book but wish we had made contact before this. Congratulations and good luck, you can't miss with it. Larry Terrill, Jackson resident at Ackerson Lake.

  25. Hello, Larry!

    Keith is credited for his work in the book, and I do believe I heard of you through Pam Schauffler; and subsequently gave you a notice as well. The book will be out Sept. 12 preliminarily, and widely available in October. Watch this site for details.


  26. found an old print by j.ptacek of jacobsons on park avenue it has a signature on bottom right and numbered 341/40D on the far left bottom.not sure what year but the cars look older than 70's.
    Is it worth anything to anyone?

  27. Barbara Baird-Pauli04 November, 2011 22:38

    As my father managed the store in Jackson for many years, Jacobson's has always been held in a special way. The values that Jacobson's held true to remained with me as an employee in Ann Arbor during my last years of college, to the current days of my work life now. The very concepts of service, quality, and courtesy have always been held in high regard and will remain as such. Although Mr. Rosenfeld was often times feared, he wsa all the while respected and very much a father figure for my father. He was genius in understanding the basic needs of people, and being eternally loyal to those beliefs. What a great example he was of knowing what he stood for and believed in, and fearing not ridicule, and was non-compromising in cultivating a workplace and shopping experience consistent with those beliefs.

    On a more personal note, Jacobson's is where my husband and I met. To this day we have fond memories of those that we met and worked with. Consistent with the Jacobson's belief in service, the Gold Room in the Jackson store provided such a wonderful place for our Rehearsal Dinner.

    In a more somber and reflective moment, my father passed away on the anniversary date of his first day of employment with Jacobson's, and the store closing in 1997 was the ten year anniversary date of his passing. Jacobson's will always be a very special place for me.

  28. Will you be signing copies of your new book in Michigan this fall and winter?

  29. My next signing is at the Grosse Pointe Historical Society on Saturday, December 10th, 2011, from 1-4 pm. For others, please see my Amazon Author Page. Listed there are a series of lectures and book-signings I am planning to attend in Dearborn, Birmingham, Grosse Pointe, etc.

    Hope to see you at one!


  30. One store is missing. There was a Jacobson's located at 1350 South Tamiami Trail in Osprey, Florida (just south of Sarasota) until the mid-1990s or so. It was larger than the Jacobson's on St. Armand's Key, as I recall.

  31. Got the book and devoured - what a pleasure to read! Wish there was more about the Saginaw store. I also made the Cashew Chicken Salad and blogged about it - what memories!

  32. An exterior sign from the former Jacobson's in East Grand Rapids, Michigan is being hung in the local library history room. Here is a link to the article from the Grand Rapids Press:


  33. What about the Tampa, FL store on West Swann Avenue in Hyde Park Village? I think I remember a store in Tyrone Mall, St Petersburg, FL that closed and reopened as Dillard's...

  34. In the Department Store Museum, I cover branch stores up to the late 1970s. The Tampa store opened in 1985. For a picture and information about the store, refer to my book: Jacobson's: I Miss It So! Jacobson's did not have a store in Tyrone Mall. Perhaps it was Robinson's of Florida of which you are speaking?


  35. Hi! I grew up shopping at Jacobson's in Grosse Pointe. Later, my mother worked for Jacobson's and loved it so much! If you are still interested in speaking to former employees or are having a GP reunion, she would really love it! We really do miss it here so much, it was a fantastic store and I would shop there over any other department store!

  36. Earlier this evening I gave a lecture at the Birmingham Public Library. It was crowded with people who still miss Jacobson's. Next week, I will be in Dearborn, and later in the year, in Grosse Pointe. See my Amazon author page for details as they unfold.

    Your comments are 100% true, and I bet your mother could herself tell a lot of stories about this truly unique and marvelous store.


    1. Would anyone be interested in some older octagon shaped Jacobson's hat boxes that still have hat's in them? Unsure how old. My mom passed recently and I found the hats in her home. Trying to find out the value of them if any. Any suggestions would be apprecitated. spence.9256@gmail.com is my email

  37. TO: BAK
    I watched your video presentation today, great piece. While I am not from Michigan , I knew Jacobson's in my twenty years as a Buyer for SFA. I will take point with one comment you made about the changing landscape of American retailing. I am 56 and I remember the golden age of the department store, when downtown's, either in large cities or smaller ones had their own stores. Several factors contributed to their demise: the crumbling of most larger inner cities (just look at Detroit) and the fact that the middle class would not go there any longer. The fact that by the mid 80's retailers were no longer run by merchants but by corporations. One could argue Federated, Allied, ADG were all corporations and they were, but they were retailers first. The fact that after Campeau made the entire American retail scene go to hell, it was evident there would be fall out. It was become clearer as the major stores were becoming "national" chains that there would be few left. What I was not prepared for was the name change of everything to Macy's. I remember speaking with Terry Lundgren before the Marshall Fields name change and said "no, you can't do this." At the time I thought his comment was arrogant, but after time I realized, he was 100% correct. He stated, and I will paraphrase: The local department store is a dinosaur, it has no place any longer, the American consumer has abandoned it and we have to find new ways to reach out to them. The synergy of having one name will give us greater buying power. That is true, but as you stated what is lost is that local institution. Yes, the staff at Lord and Taylor all know me and treat me well, but it is not the same as having a smaller store in the area with a few branches to cater to the clientele. It is a time none of us will ever see again, and I miss it terribly...but time marches on...I thought vinyl would be the only form for music, now CD's twenty years after their release are obsolete. Time, and change, march on. GREAT WEBSITE (and presentation).

  38. Thanks for your eloquent comments. Perhaps if someone in a position of such power did not see what was entrusted to him as a "dinosaur" it wouldn't be so easy to destroy. I have, in fact, considered myself a dinosaur because I have more affinity to my past and my heritage than what passes as "culture" in the modern world. I suppose that all as I can do as a dinosaur is to present the past as I experienced it for others to compare and contrast.

    As for Deroit, I have lived here all of my life, and it is a heartbreaking view from my perspective. It is not even the slightest bit viable at this point.

    I don't agree that the Lundgren/Macy's analysis is correct: there was a time when people liked and respected these stores, but they do not any longer, since they have the "buying power" to become nothing more than vending machines for cheap goods (like Nathan Rosenfeld predicted). Did the customers abandon them, or did they abandon their customers? My experience here with Hudson's was that their legendary quality and service, which made them such a powerhouse in local retailing, diminished to the point that it really didn't satisfy people enough to hold on to them. Hence they lost ground to competitors.


    1. Do you have any color photos of Jacobson's

  39. To: BAK. I think the answer to your question of "abandonment" is a bit of both. We changed as a society...we want elegant goods, but we want them to be "cheap". Cheap as in price not quality. I am stating a generalization, and I know this does not apply to everyone or every circumstance, but I do believe both are at fault. The consumer, who is willing to settle for almost anything and is willing to shop on line; and the retailers...who are no longer run by merchants but by bean counters. I miss the old days...that is why I love this site.

  40. I have recently found a piece of furniture I believed dates back to the 1940s. I was wondering if I could get some help on the history of it. It is Golden Beryl Maple, made by Consider H. Willett Inc, and has a Daly Bros. Dearborn Mi, emblem on the back. It is a desk with a vanity mirror on it(square). If you could help me out that would be great.

  41. My entire family grew up shopping at "Jakes". With 5 children, my mother loved that store, and as I grew up, I did too. My brother and I modeled fashions on a runway in the downtown Birmingham store in the 70's. There isn't an old resident of Birmingham that doesn't miss that store. Thank you for all of your work, and I look forward to seeing your book in print!

    M. Degen
    Swansboro, NC

  42. Does anyone have old photos of Grand River -Greenfield area of Detroit?
    Thanks, (paulmcall@comcast.net)

  43. I "grew up" being taken shopping at the Jac's in the Village (Grosse Pointe). Later, I obtained my first professional job out of college at that same store, working in the Personnel Office. Thank you for this great website and the walk down memory lane I just had :)

  44. Jacobson's was also in the upscale "Fashion Mall" on Indianapolis, Indiana's far north side. It morphed into Sak's Fifth Avenue, and from what I have heard, the locals weren't too pleased with this change.


  46. Jacobson's North Palm Beach at Oakbrook was in my opinion a severe loss for us locales. It reminded me of the old Bonwit Teller we used to have on Worth Avenue, Palm Beach, an elegant, understated retail establishment with a staff that was 100% top-drawer. Jacobson's was in my view true high-end retailing, unlike that overhyped flashy aspirational Gardens Mall down the street, which my family nor any one we know of old Palm Beach patrons.

  47. My dad's sister was a buyer for the store in Jackson. Marge carr, anyone remember her? She was a pretty lady. E-mail me @ robertalachance@aol.com

  48. Hello everyone! I grew up in the Grosse Pointe store and would go to the St. Clair Room restaurant with my mom, brother and grandma many times! We would all shop there often as well. I remember the glass elevator housing. It was so cool to watch and go up and down on! Does anyone have any more photos they could share of the restaurant or ANY part of the inside of the Jacobson's in Grosse Pointe? Thank you!! eddie mystscapes@hotmail.com

  49. I used to go to Jacobsons with my Grandma back in the 70s in Jackson, MI and we used to get her a perfume lotion, we think was called "intimate". Would anyone know how to find if it's still available anywhere else?

  50. I was not familiar with Jacobsons until I read this blog. I found two incredible mohair 50s/60s coats at a thrift store in New England, and wanted to know more about the store.
    We had some great family owned stores here for years, Steigers Department Store was one of several in my home town.
    I do miss the personal touch given to every shopper. These were people we knew by name. Personable, and professionalism with every purchase. Days gone by for sure. Thanks for all the history here.

  51. Thanks for the post, its really interesting to see the history of Jacobsons- I I actually was looking for custom jewelry in Dearborn, MI and didn't realize that they went out of business. I am excited for the book to come out!

  52. Oh, but the book is out! (Has been for a year)


  53. I actually stumbled upon this blog and for years have wanted to be able to talk about the store of my deepest fondest memories of my childhood. I was born in Dearborn MI and was raised at Jacobsons. No honestly I modeled there, attended charm school there got to know all of their sales associates as well my parents were good friends with Mr. Bird (I believe the manager at the time). I can hear them now over the intercom "Mr.Bird line 1 Mr..... Bird" I loved to try on the hats. I loved the people, I loved the water fountain in the lobby. It was the only public place as a child I could actually use the bathroom and it felt like home. Clean that is. I even loved the smell. We would eat in the restaurant on Fridays they would have a smorgasboard and my favorive was their Maurice Salad and hamburger boats. I got my wedding dress there and the memories go on and on. There is a place in my heart that will never be the same. I would love a picture of the Dearborn Store if you have one. Very dear to my heart. Thank you. Marie

  54. I do have pictures of the Dearborn store. You can see them in my book, Jacobson's: I Miss It So!

    You can e-mail me (my addres is on this blog's home page).


  55. My name is Geoffrey williams. My mom Dorothy williams worked in hand bags and the store for the home in Jackson, Mi.

    Does anyone remember Mrs. Vivian Hudson? She didn't fool around!
    My Mom loved her.
    How about "Mr. Lemon?"

    I wished those that worked at Jakes would open a retail store with the same quality, atmosphere and service. It has all but disappeared in most businesses. I don't want to spend my money anywhere. lol

    Instead of having get together' and talking about old times. Why doesn't someone put together a business plan and human resources and launch a store. There are scores of people that loved Jacobson's legendary service and quality. If People new that the former employees of Jake's where running the store, I believe it would work. At least take the risk and begin a dialogue.
    If you like, I will start the process. I will take the risk. Let me know.

    Best wishes

    Geoffrey Williams


  56. Does anyone remember the restaurant in the Jackson store? I would dearly love to have their recipe for Maurice salad and their famous cheese soup with home made croutons. We used to eat there all the time and that was always my favorite lunch. Often times my family would meet for lunch after a day of shopping downtown, oh how I miss those days! My son would always have the child's meal served in a little blue boat. Any one else remember that? Any how if anybody has one or both of these recipes, please email me at becreul@yahoo.com, and many thanks for all the memories.


  57. Dear Bruce,

    This is a phenomenal site/labor of love. I'm 3/4 of the way through your book on Jakes, and am thoroughly enjoying it.

    In 1988 I moved home after college and worked three jobs (Jake's, Banana Republic and Mailboxes Etc.) to save money for grad school. I was at the Grosse Pointe Jake's for about six months; it was a wonderful experience.

    Trivia question--to which I don't have the answer: who drew the last version of the Jake's logo? I'm assuming it's a unique, hand-draw typeface. Do you know who their agency was---or was it an in-house product? I'm now an graphic designer who specializes in corporate identity, and I've always admired the cheerful personality of the appropriately understated Jake's logo

    Thanks again for this Herculean achievement. It's always a pleasure visiting this site.

    Best regards,

    Greg Gersch

  58. Hello, Greg!

    Thank you for the comments. It is a big task, and I apreciate that you recognize all that goes into it.

    I am not sure of the source of the last logo. my favorite is the one on the book cover; that, I believe was designed by Larry Terrell, who also developed the classic Jacobson's bag and box design. Perhaps he did the newer one as well; Jacobson's had many talented people on staff. He still lives in Jackson and perhaps you could seek him out.


    1. Bruce, I'm sure the name of your book was stated but I didn't see it, is your book on Jacobson's still available? My mother worked at the Dearborn store and retired in 1976 after being the Coat and Suit Department Manager (#1 department in the chain while she was manager). Store Manager was Charles Bird and Assistt. Mgr. was Bob Garvin. Jerry Negstadt managed the gift and fine china. I worked for a while in Accessories. I'd be interested in your book. I think it's wonderful that you did all this research about Jakes, I pretty much grew up there, still have some of the gold and silver boxes and many fond memories!! Thanks, Barbara I'd be happy to correspond via email, if you tell me how? :O) Don't want to publish my email here...

  59. I worked for several years in the Saginaw Mi store as a manager. I went on to other retailers and rose through the ranks to a Regional Sales Manger for Jo nes New York. Every thing I learned and held dear as business ethics and customer service I learned from Jacobsons. I was a young rookie when I started so many very very talented sales associates that taught me how to treat the customers. It was by far the job I learned the most valuable lessons and by quite honestly my favorite job.

    Does anyone know what happened to Lenny Lafluer?

  60. I stumbled onto this website while searching for information for a pair of shoes I bought. They have several Jacobson's price stickers with handwritten prices on the bottom that are in perfect condition since the shoes were never worn.

    Hearing about stores like this closing breaks my heart. I did not grow up with Jacobson's (I'm from PA) but it sounds very similar in spirit to the old Boscov's and even Woolworth's. Woolworth's is sadly also no longer around and Boscov's has managed to survive by becoming just another department store. When I was a child, these stores were like a magical land where sophisticated grownups went to shop and a place where I felt grateful to be allowed to go. Nowadays, every store is just aisle after aisle of screaming children and adults wearing sweatpants, buying substandard merchandise from employees who do their jobs and smile but do not know the first thing about real customer service and human interaction. They say what they are told they must say to make sure the customer feels "welcome" which, in my opinion, always makes me feel the opposite.

    Give me the old department stores any day!

  61. Great site! Still can't believe Jake's beautiful store in Grosse Pointe village was replaced by a CVS store (Walgreen's I might not be so upset about but CVS??) A beautiful fair-isle sweater dress my mother bought me from Jacobson's "Young Circle" in the 70s still hangs in my closet (and I still wear it on occasion - it was made to last!)

  62. Wow what a terrific site. I was a jacobson's Designer for 8 years in the 70's how I loved it there. The Kalamazoo Store For The Home ... As it was known was a magical place. The elegance of that store is seldom found today.the celery green predominatly on the first floor gave the store an air of sophistication . The huge crystal chandelier hanging in the china dept was always sparkling and made even cloudy days seem bright. I can see Mrs Murry in her monogrammed shirt waste dresses writing those tickets in china. And no one could forget Rose Barr the mgr. of bath and bedding.... Ray Harrison was the Store Manager ,Jim Beck was head designer , followed by Moi. It was an incredible team in that store we all loved it there and felt protective of the Store like it was ours . The lower level was full of some of the finest furniture and decorative items. One could buy ... One walked down on RED carpet it was very impressive... The furniture floor was very glamorous much more showey than the street floor , Jim and later my self actually supervised all of the sets and displays and we could do pretty much what we wanted...

  63. The person who wrote

    In the early 1990's they closed their smaller under-performing stores in Jackson, Kalamazoo, Dearborn, Toledo, and Columbus. A few years later they closed all of their free-standing furniture stores...

    has their timeline mixed up. I was in Columbus, Ohio interviewing to staff the new store there when the announcement was made that the furniture stores would be closing. I had just transferred from the Dearborn Furniture Store.

    The Columbus City Center opened in 1989.

  64. To the person above writing about Jacobson's Dearborn: You may contact me at bakgraphics@comcast.net for an autographed copy - yes, it is indeed available and selling very well!


  65. which month in 1944 did Jacobsons come to Saginaw ? ?

  66. Allo, Monsieur Bak !

    LOVED your Jacobson's video.

    We've already corresponded about E.W. Edwards of Syracuse, NY. Now, sadly, being from Upstate NY, I never experienced a Jacobson's.

    But I have a question : you speak of Jacobson's "right hand man, Russ Flowler." Did he have any connection to Fowler's of Binghamton, NY?

    Mark E. Farrington
    East Syracuse, NY

  67. Worked at the Birmingham Michigan location for years. Loved it. Miss it so. Great memories of Jakes, it's employees and customers.

  68. I, Michael Xavier Fenn, was a tractor-trailer driver for the wonderful Jacobsons ,for 21 years in Fl. I operated out of the DC on Driggs DR., Winter Park,Fl. along with my fellow drivers,made runs to the various stores in Fl. I was the last driver out of the DC, in 2001,when the co.folded up. I have a lot of great memories,wonderful memories,of the employees in the Dc,and in the stores.Jacobsons, was a great place to work and for this "ole man",i too, miss it so!

  69. I shopped Jacobsons Longwood VIllage and Winter Park Florida. I took my little girl there 24 years ago for her shoes and clothes. I loved there gift area and Mens clothes. My little one went to a couple of kids book signings too. These stores were the last of old time retail with real customer service and real quality products.. I miss the quality and have such fond memories of my day with my little one, getting new shoes and off to lunch. Thanks for the memories. Just wish I could do the same with my granddaughter.

  70. You are welcome. I need to update the exhibit since I have more pictures and information.
    - Bruce

  71. I was still young when Jacs closed. My entire family worked in the Jackson store and CO. I always imagined it as my future. I was at the Boca store opening in the 90's. I was about 8 years old. The store looked just like the models I had seen in Store Planning. The night of the opening I was put in a tux and allowed to work some manner or concessions. I remember smuggling chocolate moose to the employees in a back room.Years after the close my Grandfather Bob Moles helped me drive my car to Winter Park. Walking downtown he said "And we had one right over there" Directly behind us was a small shop with "Jacobson's" on the bricks. We went in and all the employees were old jacs staff. The owner was a woman who missed the place so much she bought the name and the remaining stock of boxes and bows. It was such a treat to share that with him as he had spent his entire career there and loved it the whole while. I hope that woman is still in business.

  72. BAK, I am a former employer of the store in Indianapolis. I absolutely love one of the candies that they sold. It was a raspberry truffle that was wrapped in red foil. It wasn't made by godiva. If you know what I'm talking about and know where I can get them, I would greatly appreciate it. I can give you a more detailed explanation of what they look like, if need be. Thank you so much. As a side note, I look forward to reading your book.

  73. Thanks for the inquiry - I am not familiar with the candy, but perhaps a former Jacobsonian who does can respond below. I seem to recall Jacobson's carrying Blum's chocolates in ear;oer days but I don't know if they are still available or not.
    - Bruce

  74. how lucky we were to have Jacobson and Fields and the Elaine Shop….what a classy town then.

  75. i used to model and attend charm school at the saginaw location

  76. I worked at the Grosse Pointe Jakes in the early 70s. It was a great store. Nice to see some information here for those who remember it.

  77. Hello to all who loved Jake's so much. I grew up shopping at the store in Jackson and miss it still. My sister and I loved shopping and having lunch quite often. We also had our hair done in the salon, it was a big part of our lives for many years. I am still looking for the recipe for Maurice salad if anyone has it, and the cheese soup too. The croutons were too die for! I would really appreciate any info anyone has.... Thanks

  78. I loved the illustrated ads from the mid-1960s (or thereabouts). I believe they were for the Miss J shop. I used to cut ads out of the newpaper every week. I wonder if you might know who the illustrator was. My clippings are gone, sadly, but those memories are still very much beloved.

    1. I think maybe William T. Melms from Jackson who was VP (maybe just of the Jackson location or of the whole corporation?) at one time. He died several years ago. Several of the proofs were left on his home office but his namesake son likely mishandled his estate. You probably have the only surviving ones!

  79. I miss Jakes so much I could cry. I worked there in the 90's right after my divorce. That job helped me to identify with myself, I met so many good people I will never forget. They where like family to me. What I think was so unique about the store you could get a one of kind outfit that nobody else had Prices weren't to bad either. I think if they had better management maybe it would be going today. Every September we have a Jacobsons reunion in Saginaw Michigan. It is nice to see the former employees. I think we had the most beautiful women working there. They still are. I hate shopping for clothes because I hate what they have out now, nothing matches what Jakes had. Thanks to Jacobsons for everything. Karen

  80. I was a wild and wooly hippie kid in A2 in the 70's, but nothing said "sexy" to me like the scent of Jacobson's Men's Cologne. Now, at age 63, oh, how I wish I could buy just one more bottle to splash my bed pillow with.

  81. I worked at Jac's for a number of years. It was the best company I ever worked for. All of the Executives, managers and associates were wonderful... As an associate working in the Main Office on Sargent Rd. in Jackson, Mi. it was a pleasure to come in everyday. My biggest regret was having to be one of last associates working in the main office and warehouse.

  82. I worked at both the Longwood, FL store and then the Winter a Park, FL store in the 70's. Loved working the switchboard, working in Sales Audit and Receiving. Everyone was great to work with.

  83. For any special occasion, my family got our clothing at Jacobson's in Saginaw. I still have my Bat Mitzvah outfits from Jacobson's, folded and kept in the original tissue and boxes! I've outgrown them of course, but sentimentality has its place. The quality of the merchandise was excellent, the restaurant a special treat, the employees kind and helpful to kids excited about special occasions, and the overall ambiance "posh, but welcoming." I wish it was still around, I have weddings to attend soon and know I'd find the perfect outfits there!

  84. I worked at the buying office / warehouse in Allen Park Mi for almost 16 years. Had association with many employees from all the stores. Still have contact with a former buyer from there. I grew up with Jakes and shopped mainly at the Dearborn store. It was a great job except seeing the new merchandise come into the warehouse I spent my paycheck before it was cashed. But the discounts and quality was the best. I still have my dining room furniture that I purchased in the early 80's.I wish I kept more of the boxes now I only have one. I have fond memories of many people, Ted Oelkers, Jim Delaney, Louise St. Pierre, Ted Mysliborski, Myong Chu. So many people and many many memories.

  85. Barbara Wochholz11 October, 2016 14:40

    So enjoy all the information and the comments on Jakes. My small piece would be that sometime in the '60s, my husband and 5 children moved into our new home, directly across the street (Durand Street, MI) from the Rosenfeld's. They greeted us to the neighborhood with a fruit basket and were so welcoming. Lovely people. Barbara Wocholz

  86. I only went to Jacobsen's once for my first communion dress and accessories. I have a picture in my head of what it looked like, but unfortunately I cannot figure out which location it was (even with the pictures!!). I went there with my grandma and my mom; I was 8. It was truly an unique experience. So glamorous and fancy, I thought at the time (and still do)! It was a special trip with my grandma that I cherish. She is no longer here so this memory is very special to me. I can't recall the specifics of the store because I was very young, but all I know is that I miss this store and the time I spent there with my grandma. I am so grateful to find this page and learn the history of the store now. I wish we had some of the things today like it were back then... a more simpler life (but, more manual life). To hear the stories about the personal touches of the store and customer service, I wish I could go there today and share those other experiences.
    Thank you.

    1. As you relate, Jacobson's was a very special place for a lot of people. If you are interested in figuring out where it was, where did your grandmother live? Most people shopped at the store nearest their home. Also, knowing what year would narrow it down some. Please check out my book about Jacobson's (perhaps in your local library if you don't want to buy it) because I think it would help bring back more memories. There are also a lot more pictures - though I really have to update this exhibit with more material. Thank you for your kind comments!
      -Bruce (bakgraphics@comcast.net)

    2. Being from Jackson, Jacobson's was a decent employer for our community. Field's department store was Jac's biggest competitor. To expand on the demise of downtown institutions, I must add that with the introduction of the interstate highway system came easy on and easy off ramps that led to the new concept of retailers cloistered together into strip centers and malls. This slow death occurred starting in the late fifties. In Jackson's case, we built an open, outdoor mall with minimal parking available. This outdoor mall took up 2 entire blocks of Michigan Avenue, which blocked traffic from passing through our downtown main street. Traffic was routed around downtown, so people were not encouraged to do business after this mall was in place. Of course the city leaders thought that this outdoor mall would boost faltering businesses downtown. It turned out to be a complete failure and was the apparent death nell for downtown retailers as they all clamored to escape to the suburban shopping outlets. The mall was eventually removed after ten years. Sadly, too late for any recovery to occur. The fields building is now gone along with a large amount of classic buildings, many destroyed under the urban renewal period. Fortunately Jackson is seeing a resurgence of retail, restaurant and apartment expansion, along with some new ground up construction projects as well as architectural restoration of many of our historical buildings. Both of the original Jacobson's buildings in Jackson still exist, although have been modernized and are no longer recognizable. The earliest location is now occupied by the post office and has a horrible fake stucco finish applied to it. The newest and last store is now corporate headquarters for Anesthesia Business Consultants, both located on Michigan Avenue.

  87. Bought some pretzels from the farmers market and the said they were the same ones that was sold at jacobson department store does anyone know what brand

  88. Just stumbled upon your website, and it's taken me back. I worked as the Visual Merchandising Supervisor, then Children's and Junior's Supervisor at the Saginaw store back in the late 80's! I loved working there, and the people I worked with were the best!

  89. Enjoyed a lunch today of Jake's Cheese Soup - now only available on Wednesdays at Cafe Lilla on Michigan Avenue in Jackson, and they usually sell out before 12. It's as good as i remember at Jacobson's!

  90. Their Columbus, Ohio location closed sometime around 2000, shortly before the chain did. It has since been demolished, along with the rest of City Center Mall.

  91. I just finished reading your book. You certainly did not leave out a detail on this fine organization. It brought back many memories.
    The recipes were an unexpected bonus. I plan to try them. Thank you.

  92. As an ex Jacobson's employee... way back in the day... I was fascinated with reading all the comments about the stores. It was the epitome of haute couturier fashion along with upscale sportswear, children's clothing, shoes, hats, handbags, cosmetics, gifts, furniture, bedding, linens... It was the absolute best shopping experience any human could have and we'll never see another entity like it. Some 22 stores it had (as I recall) on its roster when it was at its most productive. I started here, looking for some of the old advertising art, as when I quit Jac's, I was not allowed to take any of my work with me and we didn't have scanners back then, so I couldn't just scan some of the work I did and put it on a thumb drive. When they went bellyup, there was such confusion about all of that kind of thing and even though I still knew a lot of folks at the Jackson Jacobson's office (then out off I94), they were too busy helping themselves to get through the crisis to worry about some old artwork. Anyway, we did some great work back then and were almost always featured in the Retail Weekly, a publication that presented ads from retailers around the country. I designed a promotion for promoting Jacobson's excellent service, a special service where the Store hired some young employees to help customers to their car with their packages, and we called it the Butler Service. We did ads to promote this service which was a GIFT for tired shoppers, and I designed Posters to exhibit at the front of the participating stores and also, the back entrances. I did many catalogs, too, and statement stuffers along with everyday ads. I have only one of those, an ad, in my possession. From the Detroit News. It was wrapped around a part that my son ordered for an old car he was refurbishing. He saw the ad, scanned it and sent it to me. I was delighted. Also, I read some names in some of the comments that really took me back. Mr. Lemon? He was the Jackson Store Manager. Nice guy. He started out at the Central Offices in Jackson and was promoted to the downtown store manager. Lenny Lefluer! I remember Lenny very well. He played bridge with us in the cafeteria at noon out there at the Central Offices often. He told me that his brother (whose name I don't recall) was a Blue Angels Pilot. AMAZING!!!!! Those days are gone, for sure, but very definitely not forgotten!

  93. I'm taking the time to write this for BAC's sake. I don't want to detract from the glowing remembrances that I've read.
    I had been employed servicing hundreds of businesses throughout Michigan. In the end, I was impressed by only a small handful of them, and one of them was Jacobson's Distribution Center. The people working there were very clearly happy at their jobs, where so many of the companies I entered were staffed with people who had the enthusiasm of indentured servants. The people at Jakes had the countenance of those who were well-treated and felt valued, and I found it a very refreshing change.
    This prompted me to seek a job there. Once there, I heard stories from the old timers about how it used to be, before things had changed. They didn't need to tell me, because I had witnessed it myself. Unfortunately, I also witnessed the change. It just so happened that I was hired because they expanded to their brand new Distribution Center. This was built, and the change occurred when Nathan passed the reins on to his son.
    In order to try to keep a long story short, I'll just say that there was a new management style. In the past, when Nathan was in charge, there was no problem with the central office being in the same building as the Distribution Center. It actually worked out well because Nathan was down-to-earth and amiable. Again, things changed.
    Now, to those out there who dearly Miss Jacobson's: I could give you the name of the person responsible for the fall, but I wont. Let's just say that "down-to-earth an amiable" was replaced by arrogant. Likewise, feeling "well treated and valued" disappeared with Nathan.
    I don't know how this translated in the stores, but I do know that everything runs downhill. Meaning, that whatever is at the top will eventually find its way down to the bottom. So, although I didn't work in the stores, I have to believe that they encountered the same things as we in the Distribution Center did.
    I'm sure that BAK is familiar with the strike that occurred, and though I can't recall the exact year I remember it vividly. Nevertheless, do not mistake being for someone who is disgruntled as a result of that strike.n Quite frankly, I fully understand why the new administration wanted to break the Union. Working in that Union is the primary reason why I am anti-union to this day. However, the way that he did it further exemplifies the reason why there is no Jacobsens anymore.
    There were plenty of people working there that had been there for decades and had absolutely no desire to see things shape out the way they did. Let me tell you, the majority of the people working there were mothers and grandmothers; this wasn't a strike of testosterone-fueled steelworkers. Nevertheless, the new Man In Charge made an offer that we could not accept, as opposed to the Godfather's "make 'em an offer that he can't refuse". Then he summarily kicked a bunch of mothers and grandmothers to the curb.
    Very simply, Nathan's little boy came along with grand ideas of how he was going to improve something that was very good and he subsequently ruined it. So, although Nathan did a great job with the company it would seem that maybe his shortcoming was in parenting. Perhaps if he had made his son work in the trenches when he was younger, he would have raised someone who had the same empathy that he possessed, instead of raising a spoiled brat who ruins whatever he touches.

    Again BAK, this is intended to be written to you and not the sentimental masses. I just wanted you to have a more complete picture of what happened, because I don't believe it had to go that way. It seems to me that there are enough affluent people able to afford the luxuriant treatment that they received it Jacobson's, to keep a business like that afloat. If I'm wrong, we can never know now. What is evidently clear though, is that the strategy employed by Nathan's predecessor was not as brilliant as he thought himself to be.

  94. To Anonymous who wrote me about Jacobson's, the distribution center, and the ultimate end of the store. You may e-mail me at bakgraphics@comcast.net. I am not sure if you want your comment published or if it was just for me. I agree that succession is a huge problem in family-owned businesses. Thanks for your insight, which I value.

  95. I just discovered your site today. I find it very interesting as I lived in Dearborn for 70 years before moving in 2015. Personal service and quality were the hallmarks of retailing when I grew up in Dearborn! Stores such as The Dearborn Toggery, Jean Blackburn, Himmelhoughs (sp) Daly Bros Furniture and of course, later, Jacobsens were the epitome of fine shopping and service. Those days are gone because they could not survive the relentless pressure of shopping malls and today on line purchasing, much of it, sadly, from Amazon. You can buy any cheap product you want, made in China, with one click! Your site has stirred memories. I worked at the Dearborn Toggery in college and later my wife and I were regulars at Jacobsens shopping and bringing our mothers for lunch (Cheese Soup) at the Dearborn Store. It is truley sad that all of this is gone. I'm looking forward to buying your book BAK, if it is still available, sadly at Amazon! T.K.

  96. Thank You! I know that you will enjoy the book. I enjoyed your comments - and they are so true. Even though I was an east-sider, Dearborn was an attraction for shopping, and the restaurant "Top of the Fountain" at Jacobson's was outstanding. You'll find a (well-tested) recipe for Jacobson's Cheese Soup in the book, too. Shall I mention Muirhead's?

  97. This is so much fun. I worked in the EGR store from 1976 to 1988. And when I was in grade school we bought our uniforms from the downtown store. I still tell stories from the wonderful customers to the nutbuckets.

  98. Found a fabric charm square from Shar & Rollie Jacobsen, for signing up for their newsletter. Hand addressed envelope and letter by a typewriter. It must be from early 2000. They were so sweet. Linda A. Edmonton, Canada.

  99. Due to the difference in name spelling, I don't believe this item has anything to do with Jacobson's.

  100. I found all of this history very interesting, but I was hoping maybe someone could help me. I have a teddy bear that I believe came from a Jacobson's store I 1984... I have been trying to identify it in hopes that I may find another. If anyone has, or knows where I could find additional information about Jacobson's toys, I would greatly appreciate it!

    1. In 1984, Jacobson's was selling Steiff bears and stuffed toys. If your bear has a brass button in the ear, it is made by Steiff. i remember the Steiff display, but I don't remember any of the other brands of toys they sold.

  101. I was an employee in my high school years and before that my mother use to take me there and my parents purchased my wedding dress at Jacobson’s along with my nephews and my my children baby items how I miss Jacobson’s downtown Saginaw,Michigan and there chicken pot pies were delicious I always use to stop in for the pot pie even when I lived in Lansing,Michigan

  102. I worked at the Saginaw store at 16 in 1986 when it was renovated and became the largest store in the entire chain, taking up an entire block and two stories high with a parking ramp on top of the store. I worked for Ray Coulson in the display dept. who had a staff of seven very creative and talented people who would eventually go on to direct their own stores. We all were like family and would all go to lunch and breaks together and share a lot of laughs! I had worked there through high school, then the first couple years of college, then after college for a couple years. I went on my last visit to the store a few years after working there and it was sadly in decline, the meticulous displays being a cheap mall version of what they formerly were. I still have fond memories of my co-workers who treated me as a young kid as an equal.

  103. I had one of those Jacobson's charge cards from the Toledo store with my name and account # simply typed on it. I liked it because it was skinny and didn't bulk up my wallet like other charge cards, lol!

  104. I worked at Jacobson's corporate office in Jackson for 19 years, first as a warehouse manager, then as assistant purchasing agent, and finally as vendor logistics coordinator. Jacobson's was a great place to work, many hard working, dedicated employees. I have lost touch with my friends that I worked with at central office but I hope they are all doing well. I sure miss all of them. I am currently living in Grand Rapids, MI, teaching elementary and middle school with Grand Rapids Public Schools.

  105. My mother worked at the Central buying office on West Ave and retired from the new one off I94 in Jackson.

  106. My mom, Linda Maynard, worked in the Jackson main office as a Buyer and Merchandise Manager from the 70s-90s. If anyone worked with her and is willing to share any memories, please email me at kelleyrmaynard@gmail.com

    Growing up in Jackson with my mom as a devout Jacobson's employee, I have many memories of the store that are irrevocably intertwined with my memories of her. Cheese soup and "boat" kid's meals from the restaurant, modeling in fashion shows for the kid's department, and watching a desired item go to first- and second-markdown (with the red pen crossing off the original price) before we would buy it. I also fondly remember trick-or-treating on Halloween at the main office, going cubicle to cubicle! Recently I found a silver box and ribbon in the attic and the memories came pouring back. Much love to the Jacobson's community!

  107. It was delightful to read about the history and excerpts from individuals that loved Jakes as we lovingly referred to Jacobson's. As an employee in the Beauty Salon, it was always a pleasure to serve our clients. Shopping there was an experience like none other. Today, as I shop in the malls, it is always an inevitable moment, when we compare the service, quality of goods, and packaging that was a trademark of fine consumer goods and excellent customer service. I still miss it after 46 years. The clothes, home goods and dining experience were amazing. Still to this day, no one compares! When an established store no longer exists and people still refer to the service and quality, yes... the gift boxes that were so chic...(they made a statement) are longed for, you know it must have been something very special. Bring it back!

  108. I remember the boat kids meals suddenly too! Nothing compared to Jacobson's. They had the classiest items known to man, yet had amazing sales and inexpensive items that anyone could afford. I think I still have some of their silver gift boxes with the stretchcord bows. Growing up my mom would take me to their cafe, I'd usually get a monte cristo with their unique fries. They also had a salon. We also bought carpet which held up for my entire childhood. If I wasn't taken shopping there as a child I wouldn't have my good taste and would have been less popular and stylish. I've tried to shop at places like Sak's and had a horrible experience with crappy staff, trashy customers and a small selection of unaffordable items. I have been hoping to find a substitute for Jacobson's, sadly Walmart and Chinese online crap are what we buy today. Next to me I have vintage Jake's jewelry in a black and gold box as well as a formal coats from there which feel like something royalty would wear. An actual queen, not how that word is used to describe just anyone today.


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