Thursday, June 7, 2012

Burdine's Fort Lauderdale - one of the first new stores in U.S. after WWII

By Jane Feehan

Miami-based Burdine’s, Inc.* opened its first Fort Lauderdale store Nov. 1, 1947. It was the retailer’s third branch. According to the Miami News, it was one of the first new department stores completed in the United States after the end of  World War II.

Located in downtown Fort Lauderdale at Andrews Avenue and SW 2nd Street, the four-story building occupied eight lots with a build out of 48,775 square feet. It was constructed on a foundation suitable for eight floors but opened with three sales floors and another of mixed use. The new Burdine's was completely air conditioned.

Excerpts of the article follow, serious at the time but funny today.

Atop the building was a 25-bell carillon which plays music at frequent intervals and strikes the time each half hour. Prominent carilloneurs will be invited to play during the Christmas season.

More than 80 percent of the store’s 150 employees are residents of Fort Lauderdale or vicinity. ‘We believe home-town men and women can do a better job selling,’ said Manager Russell Jones.

All employees have completed an intensive two-week course of instruction in Burdine’s sales methods and customer relations, with a particular indoctrination in their departments.

The downtown Fort Lauderdale store was shuttered in 1980. Burdine’s became Macy’s in 2005.

*Also see:
For more about Fort Lauderdale in the 1940s, use search box at top right.

Miami News, Oct. 31, 1947

Tags: Fort Lauderdale history, Florida retail history, Fort Lauderdale in the 1940s

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