10 Oldest U.S. Retailers Part 3

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10 Oldest U.S. Retailers Part 3

By Joe Skorupa - 01/24/2017
By Joe Skorupa

We often use the word “disruptive” in retail to imply bold and innovative, but it overlooks the full meaning of the word. For every disruptive success story there is an insolvency notice written about the disrupted. This blog is about brands that have weathered many storms of disruption for more than 100 years to become the oldest U.S. retailers and achieve the near impossible.
I first wrote about the oldest U.S. retailers in 2008 and since then the story has annually ranked in the top 10 of most-read stories on the RIS website. It is the poster child of an evergreen story.
Even though I wrote it nine years ago, it actually improves over time because of new information that I find or that retailers send to me. In 2011, I had enough new information to modify the original story and write a Part 2 (although I didn’t call it that) and today I am doing it again.
I am adding a new name to the top-10 oldest U.S. retailers list, moving one name off the list into the near-miss category, deleting A&P (which ceased operations after 165 years in business), and bringing other parts of it up to date. Since so many websites link to the story, I made changes to the original web page, so click here if you want to see what’s new about the oldest retailers in the US.  
And when you read the story note that these retailers have weathered the Great Depression, Great Recessions, World Wars, robber barons, high-speed global travel, instant communication, Walmart, Amazon, and the birth of digital retailing. 

They embody the point that successful companies are not just built to be good, better or best in class, they are built to change with the times.

Click here to read about the 10 Oldest U.S. Retailers.

More Blog Posts In This Series

Has the Apparel Retail Bubble Burst?

Bubbles of “irrational exuberance” have occurred before in such retail segments as computers, music, video, electronics and sporting goods, the most recent. The next one, unfortunately, is apparel.

The Most Successful Retailer You’ve Never Heard Of

What makes Xcel Brands interesting in the current retail environment is that it is a disruptive success story sprinting toward the $500 million mark in revenue while flying under the radar.

Siri, What Do I Need to Know about Conversational Commerce?

I recently asked Siri if she was human and she answered, “That’s a rather personal question.” Then I asked if she was a chatbot. “No comment.” Good answer. It really doesn’t matter. Siri has been a great assistant (virtual or otherwise) for seven years.