Strawbridge & Clothier

About this collection

    Strawbridge & Clothier was the last family-owned major department store chain in the Greater Philadelphia area. The store was founded as a partnership by Justus C. Strawbridge (1838-1911) and Isaac H. Clothier (1837-1921) on July 1, 1868 at 8th and Market Streets in Center City Philadelphia. During the 20th century the company expanded throughout the Greater Philadelphia Metropolitan area by opening thirteen branch stores and twenty-seven under the Clover division. In 1996 Strawbridge and Clothier was sold to the May Company who, in turn, sold it to Federated Department stores a decade later, thus closing or converting the remaining branches.
    The founders stressed service to its customers, community, and employees. For employees, the company established a relief association to administer health and death benefits; a savings fund society; an athletic association; the company magazine, Store Chat; a chorus; and the Quarter Century Club, which was made up of associates with twenty-five years of service or more. For a short while, they maintained a cottage in North Wildwood for women employees to vacation at the shore. The early 1900s saw the introduction of customer-to-counter telephone service, the advent of the "Clover Day" sale day, and delivery of goods by truck.
    This collection contains select items from Hagley’s Strawbridge and Clothier holdings. It is not digitized in its entirety. For a complete inventory please visit our Finding Aids (photographs/audiovisual and company records) and Library Catalog.
    Image: The store at 8th and Market. From Store Chat (Vol. 24, No. 04).

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