Macy’s Herald Square New York, is the flagship of Macy’s department stores, located on Herald Square in Manhattan, New York City. The building’s 2.2 million square feet (almost 205,000 square meters) made it the world’s largest department store from 1924 until 2009, when the South Korean chain Shinsegae opened a store of nearly 3.16 million square feet (293,905 square meters) inBusan. As of 2011, the store has stood at the site for 110 years.
The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places as a National Historic Landmark in 1978.
Macy’s was founded by Rowland Hussey Macy, who between 1843 and 1855 opened four retail dry goods stores, including the original Macy’s store in downtown Haverhill, Massachusetts, established in 1851 to serve the mill industry employees of the area. They all failed, but he learned from his mistakes. He moved to New York City in 1858 and established a new store named “R.H Macy Dry Goods” at Sixth Avenue on the corner of 14th Street. On the company’s first day of business on October 28, 1858 sales totaled$11.08, equivalent to $302.49 today. From the very beginning, Macy’s logo has included a star in one form or another, echoing a red star-shaped tatooo that Macy got as a teenager when he worked on a Nantucket whaling ship.
As the business grew, Macy’s expanded into neighboring buildings, opening more and more departments, and used publicity devices such as a store Santa Claus, themed exhibits, and illuminated window displays to draw in customers.The store later moved to 18th Street and Broadway, on the “Ladies’ Mile”, the elite shopping district of the time, where it remained for nearly forty years.
In 1875, Macy took on two partners, Robert M. Valentine (1850–1879), a nephew; and Abiel T. La Forge (1842–1878) of Wisconsin, who was the husband of a cousin. Macy died just two years later in 1877 from Bright’s disease, The following year La Forge died and Valentine died in 1879. Ownership of the company was passed down through the Macy family until 1895, when the company, now called “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.