The World’s Largest Department Store
Macy's was founded in 1858 by Rowland Hussey Macy. On the company's first day of business on October 28, 1858 sales totaled $11.06 (Approximately $287.37 in 2007 USD). Macy had established a dry goods store in downtown Haverhill, Massachusetts in 1851 that initially served the mill industry employees of the area. Macy moved to New York City and established a new store named "R. H. Macy & Company" on the corner of 14th Street and 6th Avenue, later expanding to 18th Street and Broadway, on the "Ladies' Mile", the 19th century elite shopping district, where it remained for nearly forty years.
In 1875, Macy took on two partners: Robert M. Valentine; and Abiel T. La Forge, and Macy died just two years later in 1877 from Bright's disease. In 1895, R. H. Macy & Co. was acquired by Isidor Straus and his brother, Nathan Straus, who had previously held a license to sell china and other goods in the Macy's store. Isidor Straus later perished in the sinking of the RMS Titanic. In 1902, the flagship store moved uptown to Herald Square at 34th Street and Broadway. Although the Herald Square store initially consisted of just one building, it expanded through new construction, eventually occupying almost the entire block bounded by 7th Avenue on the west, Broadway on the east, 34th Street on the south and 35th Street on the north. Exceptions are the small, pre-existing building on the corner of 34th and Broadway, which carries Macy's famous shopping bag sign under an agreement allowing the Macy's sign, and small pre-existing building on the corner of 35th and 7th.
The original Broadway R. H. Macy and Company Store, was built in 1901–02 by architects De Lemos & Cordes. It is sheathed in a Palladianfacade, but has been updated in many details. Other additions to the west were added in 1924, 1928, and 1931, all designed by architect Robert D. Kohn. They are all in the Art Deco style. The building has been designated a National Historic Landmark. It boasts one of the few wooden escalators still in operation. The company produces the annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, a well known parade which has been held on the streets of New York City annually since 1924. The company also sponsors the city's annual Fourth of July fireworks display, which began in 1976.
In 2008, Macy's celebrated its 150th birthday. The store launched a commercial including old Macy's commercials, and actors and actresses mentioning Macy's on shows. It also featured clips of past Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parades. The commercial was used to promote Macy's and a way of saying thank you for making Macy's part of your life for 150 years. The commercial aired around when the annual Primetime Emmy Awards aired live on ABC on September 2008. The commercial has aired on different channels also throughout the whole September, October, and November months.