To think it all started with a 19th century fad - the hoop skirt. That was the first item that Joseph and Lyman Bloomingdale carried in their Ladies' Notions Shop in New York's Lower East Side. In the late 1800's, most fashion retailers specialized in just one type of garment. Not the brothers Bloomingdale - their East Side Bazaar, opened in 1872, sold a wide variety of European fashions. It was the beginning of what would become a "Department Store".
In 1886 came the visionary move uptown to 59th Street and Lexington Avenue. The store expanded steadily and by the 1920's, Bloomingdale's converted an entire city block.
Flexing his marketing muscle, Lyman created splashy ad campaigns to bring people in the door. People started seeing the "All Cars Transfer to Bloomingdale's" slogan everywhere - on billboards, delivery wagons, and even ladies' beach umbrellas.
Print ads couldn't say it all. The store had to be experienced. So Bloomingdale's became the stage for gala events and fashion shows, including "Woman Of The Year, 1947." With music, lighting and sophistication, it was retailing as theater.
Bloomingdale's is committed to once again lead the way with exclusive merchandise, customized services, and alternative shopping venues. Carrying on the Bloomingdale's brothers' dream, we're always finding ways to set our stores apart. That's both the legacy and the promise of Bloomingdale's.