company_name = Hess's
company_type = department stores
foundation = 1897
defunct = 1994
fate = Liquidation
location = Allentown, PA
industry = Retail
products = Clothing, footwear, bedding, furniture, jewelry, beauty products, electronics and housewares.|

Hess's was a department store chain based in Allentown, Pennsylvania. The department store known as Hess Brothers was founded on February 19, 1897, by Charles and Max Hess. [cite web |url=http://www.lehigh.edu/lts/lib/speccoll/berman_ii.html |title=The Philip I. and Muriel M. Berman Papers: Collection I, Series II. |accessdate=2006-12-20 ] Max Hess came to Allentown in 1896 on a business trip and envisioned a department store serving the area. He moved his family from Perth Amboy, New Jersey, in 1897 and opened Hess Brothers on Ninth and Hamilton streets. [cite journal |last=Sontag |first=Samantha |year=2006 |month=December |title=The Hess Experience |journal=Lifestyles Over 50 |volume=1 |issue=9 |pages=12–14 ]


Hess Brothers continued expanding its store by acquiring neighboring properties and filled almost a city block by 1915. While the exterior of the store still appeared as separate buildings, the inside was renovated to look as one large building. [cite journal |last=Sontag |first=Samantha |year=2006 |month=December |title=The Hess Experience |journal=Lifestyles Over 50 |volume=1 |issue=9 |pages=12–14 ] Magnificent crystal chandeliers graced the main hall of Hess Brothers, and many windows allowed natural light to fill the store. These and other displays enabled the Hess brothers to succeed at making their store look like a "big city department store." [cite journal |last=Sontag |first=Samantha |year=2006 |month=December |title=The Hess Experience |journal=Lifestyles Over 50 |volume=1 |issue=9 |pages=12–14 ]

Max Hess, Sr., died in 1922, and Charles continued to run the store from 1922 to 1932. Max Hess, Jr., continued the Hess’s legacy from 1932 through 1968. [cite journal |last=Sontag |first=Samantha |year=2006 |month=December |title=The Hess Experience |journal=Lifestyles Over 50 |volume=1 |issue=9 |pages=12–14 ] The younger Hess was seen as a leader in retailing. In the 1953 B.C. Forbes & Sons book, "America’s Twelve Master Salesmen", Hess is listed as the second master salesman. According to this book, Hess’s principle was, “Strive for a specific goal.”

Charles, and later Max Jr., made Hess Brothers a shopping destination. Flamboyance and excitement were cornerstones of the store. It was well known for its fashion apparel as a result of introducing the latest trends from Europe. Additionally, the facade of the store was updated in 1947 using the Art Moderne style, [cite journal |last=Sontag |first=Samantha |year=2006 |month=December |title=The Hess Experience |journal=Lifestyles Over 50 |volume=1 |issue=9 |pages=12–14 ] and a 45-foot-tall, 8-ton, red neon sign marked the outside of the flagship store from December 23, 1947 to June 30, 1972. [cite news |first=Frank |last=Whelan |title=Hess Sign in Allentown Was a Giant in Its Day |url=http://pqasb.pqarchiver.com/mcall/results.html?st=basic&QryTxt=Hess+sign+in+Allentown+was+a+giant+in+its+day |work=The Morning Call |date=2005-07-27 |accessdate=2006-12-21 ] Children delighted at the giant toy soldiers Hess’s used as Christmas decorations in addition to "Pip the Mouse" in a puppet show at the flagship store. All shoppers were treated to the annual May flower show, fashion shows, and celebrity appearances, including by Johnny Carson, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Barbara Walters, Rosalynn Carter, and Rock Hudson. Additionally, visitors fondly remember "The Patio", the store’s restaurant, popular with many shoppers, for its strawberry pie and sundaes. [cite journal |last=Sontag |first=Samantha |year=2006 |month=December |title=The Hess Experience |journal=Lifestyles Over 50 |volume=1 |issue=9 |pages=12–14 ]

In 1968, Max Hess, Jr., sold the store to Philip Berman. At this time, the store business was officially renamed Hess’s, and Berman began an expansion plan for the store, opening new locations in suburban areas, many in shopping malls. [cite web |url=http://www.lehigh.edu/lts/lib/speccoll/berman_ii.html |title=The Philip I. and Muriel M. Berman Papers: Collection I, Series II. |accessdate=2006-12-20 ] In October 1979, Crown American, a developer and owner of hotels and shopping malls, purchased the Hess’s chain, then 17 stores large, as a wholly owned subsidiary. [cite web |url=http://www.lehigh.edu/lts/lib/speccoll/berman_ii.html |title=The Philip I. and Muriel M. Berman Papers: Collection I, Series II. |accessdate=2006-12-20 ] Under Crown American’s leadership, Hess’s enjoyed the booming retail market of the 1980s and expanded to 76 stores by 1990. [cite news |url=http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m3092/is_n4_v29/ai_8822405 |title=Court Blocks Developer's Bid for Gee Bee - Bankruptcy Court Halts Crown American Corp.'s Bid for Discount Store Chain. |work=Discount Store News |date=1990-02-26 |accessdate=2006-12-20 ]

In addition to opening stores in available locations, Hess’s purchased other department store chains and converted them to the Hess’s nameplate, such as Penn Traffic Department Stores, based in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, in 1981, and Rices Nachmans, based in Virginia Beach, Virginia, in 1985. [cite news |url=http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_hb4298/is_198409/ai_n14969192 |title=Hess's buying P-VH's Rices Nachmans. |work=Daily News Record |month=September |year=1984 |accessdate=2006-12-20 ] Hess's also purchased the Knoxville, Tennessee based Miller's Department Store chain from Allied Stores in 1987. [cite book | last=Rothchild | first=John | year=1991 | title=Going for Broke: How Robert Campeau Bankrupted America's Retail Giants | publisher=Penguin | location=New York | pages=124 ] In September 1987 Hess's agreed to acquire Snyder's, Inc., a privately held Louisville, Kentucky department store, as well as five L. S. Ayres stores in Kentucky that Snyder's had agreed to buy (L. S. Ayres having assumed them from Stewart Dry Goods and Pogue's only a few years earlier). This new division was briefly operated under the Snyder's name, but in November 1987 Hess's announced that it would phase out the Millers and Snyder's names in favor of its own moniker in February 1988.

In a few short years, however, Hess’s suffered under increased retail competition and a national recession, so it sold or shuttered 43 of its stores, especially in the South, including the Knoxville stores to Dillard's and 18 sold to Proffitt's in two deals in 1992 [cite book |title=Fashion Forward: Assessing the Future of Apparel Manufacturing in Los Angeles County |origyear=2002 |origmonth=February |url=http://www.cdtech.org/workforce/reports/apparel.pdf |accessdate=2006-12-21 |publisher=Los Angeles County Workforce Preparation and Economic Development Collaborative |pages=194 ] and 1993. The remaining 30 stores were sold off in 1994, ending a 97-year enterprise; May Department Stores purchased 10 locations, and Bon-Ton bought 20. [cite news |url=http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_hb3070/is_199408/ai_n7732950 |last=Macdonald |first=Laurie |title=Hess's Exits Retail, Sells Sites to May, Bon-Ton. |work=Footwear News |year=1994 |month=August |accessdate=2006-12-21 ]

The flagship store at Ninth and Hamilton Streets in Allentown was among those bought by Bon-Ton. The store closed in 1996, due to underperformance and the cost of maintaining the store, as it was a victim of various renovations and additions, none of which were consistent to the previous one. It was torn down in 2000 to make way for The Plaza at PPL Center, an eight-story office building used by PPL.

Hess's Locations

= Georgia =

*Rome - Riverbend Mall - former Miller's, acquired by Bon-Ton 1994, closed shortly thereafter; torn down
*Rome - Mount Berry Square - opened 1991, sold to Proffitt's early 1993, closed 2005; now Belk


*Rockford - Corner of East State Street and North 3rd Street. Constructed in late 1910.This location was sold to the Block & Kuhl Co. of Peoria Il. which continued to operate this location as Hess Brothers. location closed in 1962 after being acquired by Carsons Pirie Scott. Building torn down in the 1970s. Now the site of Fran Kral Lincoln-Mercury-Volvo Dealership (1984-Present)


*Clarksville - Green Tree Mall - former Ben Snyder's, renamed Hess's 1988, closed late 1993, expanded and reopened as Dillard's 1995. Later became Dillard's Women's store when former Bacon's at nearby River Hills Mall converted to Dillard's Men's. Green Tree store reverted to full-line Dillard's in 2005 when River Hills store closed
*Evansville - Eastland Mall - former Ben Snyder's, renamed Hess's 1988, closed early 1993, became Famous-Barr 1996, Dillard's 2006


*Ashland - Ashland Town Center - opened 1989, became Proffitt's 1993, now Belk
*Bowling Green - Greenwood Mall - former Ben Snyder's, renamed Hess's 1988, closed early 1993, became Dillard's 1996, which relocated to former Castner Knott 1998; became Famous-Barr 1999, Macy's 2006
*Elizabethtown - Towne Mall - former Ben Snyder's, renamed Hess's 1988, sold to Proffitt's 1993, now Belk
*Florence - Florence Mall - former Pogue's, L. S. Ayres, and Ben Snyder's, renamed Hess's 1988, closed late 1993, became Lazarus Home Store 1995, Macy's Home 2006
*Lexington - Fayette Mall - former Stewart's Dry Goods, L. S. Ayres, and Ben Snyder's, renamed Hess's 1988, closed 1993, became JCPenney 1994
*Louisville - Jefferson County:*Bashford Manor Mall - former Ben Snyder's, renamed Hess's 1988, closed late 1993, reopened as Bacon's Home Store, became Dillard's Home 1998, closed 2003, torn down:*Dixie Manor Shopping Center - former Ben Snyder's, renamed Hess's 1988, closed January l989, now a medical mall [cite web |url=http://louisville.bizjournals.com/louisville/stories/1996/10/14/story1.html |title=Caritas medical mall planned at Dixie Manor |accessdate=2007-11-19 |last=Benmour |first=Eric |coauthors= Terry Boyd |date=1996-10-11 |work=Business First of Louisville] :*Downtown - former Ben Snyder's, renamed Hess's 1988, closed 1993:*Jefferson Mall - former Stewart's Dry Goods, L. S. Ayres, and Ben Snyder's, renamed Hess's 1988, closed 1993, reopened as Bacon's, became Dillard's 1998:*Oxmoor Center - former Stewart's Dry Goods, L. S. Ayres, and Ben Snyder's, renamed Hess's 1988, closed 1993, became Jacobson's 1994, Von Maur 2003
*Paducah - Kentucky Oaks Mall - former Ben Snyder's, renamed Hess's 1988, closed 1993, became Dillard's 1994


*Frederick - Francis Scott Key Mall - later Hecht's, now Macy's

New Jersey

*Phillipsburg - Phillipsburg Mall - opened 1988, now The Bon-Ton

New York

*Camillus - Camillus Mall - opened as Witherwhal's, then after Hess became Chappell's, Around 2005 Mall was torn down, but this particular store remains as a freestanding Bon Ton store.
*Clay, Great Northern Mall now Dick's Sporting Goods.
*DeWitt - Fayetteville Mall - torn down when mall converted to a Strip mall
*Horseheads - Arnot Mall - became Kaufmann's 1995, Macy's 2006
*Johnson City - Oakdale Mall - opened 1975 as Fowler's; now The Bon-Ton
*Kingston - Hudson Valley Mall - became Filene's 1995, Macy's 2006
*New Hartford - Sangertown Square - became Kaufmann's 1995, Macy's 2006
*Poughkeepsie - South Hills Mall - now Burlington Coat Factory
*Schenectady - Rotterdam Square - opened 1988, became Filene's 1995, Macy's 2006.

North Carolina

*Asheville - Biltmore Square - opened 1989, now Dillard's


*Allentown:*Downtown - Flagship, building demolished:*South Mall - became The Bon-Ton 1995
*Altoona - Logan Valley Mall - became Kaufmann's 1995, Macy's 2006
*Bethlehem - Westgate Mall - became Bon Ton 1995
*Camp Hill - Capital City Mall - originally Bowman's; became Hess's 1979, Hecht's 1995, Macy's 2006
*Chambersburg - Chambersburg Mall - now JCPenney
*Doylestown - Doylestown Shopping Center - became Bon-Ton 1995
*Easton - Palmer Park Mall - became Bon-Ton 1995
*Frackville - Schuylkill Mall - became Bon-Ton, then later US Factory Outlets, Black Diamond Antiques, now Steve & Barry's
*Harrisburg - Harrisburg East Mall (now Harrisburg Mall) - originally Gimbel's, opened 1986, became Hecht's 1995, Macy's 2006
*Johnstown - Richland Mall - originally PennTraffic, became Bon-Ton 1995, mall torn down 2003
*Lancaster - Downtown - closed mid-1970s, converted to Hamilton Technologies factory
*Lebanon - Lebanon Plaza Mall - became Bon-Ton 1996, subdivided as mall space 2006
*Pottstown - Coventry Mall - became JCPenney 1996, Bon-Ton 1999, Kohl's 2004
*Plymouth Meeting - Plymouth Meeting Mall - originally Lit Brothers, now Boscov's
*Quakertown - Richland Mall - became Bon-Ton 1996
*Scranton - Viewmont Mall - became Kaufmann's 1996, Macy's 2006
*Somerset - originally PennTraffic, now Tractor Supply Company
*State College - Nittany Mall - became Bon-Ton 1996
*Stroudsburg - Stroud Mall - now Bon-Ton
*Trexlertown - Trexlertown Mall - became Bon-Ton 1996
*Uniontown - Uniontown Mall - now a Tele-Tech call center
*Washington - Franklin Mall (now Washington Crown Center) - demolished for theaters as Bon-Ton already operated a store in former Pomeroy's at mall
*Wilkes-Barre - Wyoming Valley Mall - originally Zollinger-Harned; became Kaufmann's 1996, Macy's 2006
*Williamsport - Lycoming Mall - became Kaufmann's 1996, Macy's 2006
*Whitehall - North Mall - store demolished mid-1990s, now site of Wal-Mart and Sam's Club
*York - West Manchester Mall - store demolished, now site of Wal-Mart


*Chattanooga:*Hamilton Place - opened 1988, became Proffitt's 1992, now Belk:*Northgate Mall - originally Miller's, became Proffitt's 1992, now Belk:*Eastgate Shopping Center - former Miller's, replaced 1988 by Hamilton Place, became Proffitt's 1992)
*Clarksville - Governor's Square Mall - former Ben Snyder's, closed 1993, now Goody's Family Clothing and Borders
*Cleveland - Bradley Square (opened 1991, became Proffitt's 1992, now Belk)
*Johnson City - The Mall at Johnson City - originally Miller's, became Proffitt's Home Store 1992, now Goody's Family Clothing
*Kingsport - Fort Henry Mall - originally Miller's, became Proffitt's Home Store 1992, now Belk Home Store
*Knoxville:*Downtown - originally located on Gay Street as Millers. Moved to former Rich's store. Gay Street store now home of Knoxville Utilities Board. Former Rich's building is now University of Tennessee Conference Center:*East Town Mall (renamed Knoxville Center) - originally Miller's, became Dillard's 1992, scheduled to close June 2008:*West Town Mall - originally Miller's, became Dillard's 1992
*Maryville - Foothills Mall (originally Miller's, became Proffitt's 1992, now Belk)
*Memphis - Eastgate - now Stein Mart
*Oak Ridge - Oak Ridge Mall - originally Miller's, became Proffitt's 1992, now Belk


*Bristol - Bristol Mall - former Miller & Rhoads, Proffitt's 1992, now Belk
*Chesapeake - Greenbrier Mall - opened 1987; Proffit's 1992, later Dillard's Men's Store; building demolished when Dillard's consolidated stores rebuilt larger store onsite
*Christiansburg - New River Valley Mall - opened 1988; later Peebles, demolished 2006 for Dick's Sporting Goods and new mall entrance
*Hampton - Coliseum Mall - opened 1973 as Nachmans, became Rices Nachmans, then Rices Nachmans-Hess's, then Proffitt's, then Dillard's; now demolished
*Newport News:*Patrick Henry Mall :*Warwick Village - formerly Rices Nachmans
*Norfolk:*Granby Mall - formerly Rices Nachmans:*Janaf Mall - formerly Rices Nachmans:*Wards Corner - formerly Rices Nachmans
*Portsmouth - Tower Mall - formerly Rices Nachmans; mall demolished
*Richmond:*Chesterfield Towne Center - opened 1987; later Proffitt's, then Dillard's Men's, now vacant:*Virginia Center Commons - later Proffitt's, now one of the mall's two Dillard's stores:*The Shops at Willow Lawn - opened 1987, closed 1993, became Leggett, then Belk, then Dillard's, now Ross Dress for Less and Gold's Gym
*Virginia Beach:*Lynnhaven Mall - formerly Rices Nachmans; closed 1991, now Express/Express Men, Limited Too and H&M:*Pembroke Mall - formerly Rices Nachmans; later Proffitt's, then Dillard's, then Freight Liquidators Furniture; wing of mall torn down 2006:*Princess Anne Plaza - formerly Rices Nachmans

West Virginia

*Fairmont - Middletown Mall - opened as Watson's; now Shop & Save
*Martinsburg - Martinsburg Mall - now The Bon-Ton


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Hess AG — Rechtsform Aktiengesellschaft Gründung 1947 Sitz Villingen Schw …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • HESS (M.) — HESS MOSES (1812 1875) Fils d’un petit industriel allemand, Moses Hess naît dans une famille juive de Bonn; il s’initie aux affaires, commence des études de philosophie à Bonn et publie en 1837 L’Histoire sainte de l’humanité par un disciple de… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • HESS — ist ein Familienname, siehe Hess (Familienname) Hess ist Namensbestandteil folgender Unternehmen: Carrosserie Hess AG, ein Schweizer Nutzfahrzeughersteller gemeinhin unter der Marke HESS auftretend Hess Natur, ein deutsches Textilunternehmen,… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Hess — ist ein Familienname, siehe Hess (Familienname) ein Einschlagkrater auf dem Mond, siehe Hess (Mondkrater) Hess ist Namensbestandteil folgender Unternehmen: Carrosserie Hess AG, ein Schweizer Nutzfahrzeughersteller gemeinhin unter der Marke HESS… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • HESS (R.) — HESS RUDOLF (1894 1987) Petit fils d’un émigré allemand en Égypte qui monte un commerce de gros à Alexandrie, Rudolf Hess fait ses études au lycée français de cette ville, puis est envoyé en Allemagne. À quinze ans, son père l’oblige à embrasser… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Hess — or Heß may refer to: * Hess (surname) (also Heß in German) ** Rudolf Hess, Deputy Führer of Nazi Germany ** Moses Hess, secular Jewish philosopher and one of the founders of socialism. * Hess Educational Organization, the largest private provider …   Wikipedia

  • Hess — Hess, Germain Henri Hess, Rudolf Hess, Victor Franz Hess, Walter Rudolph * * * (as used in expressions) Hess, (Walter Richard) Rudolf Hess, Victor Francis Hess, Walter Rudolf …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • hess — hess; hess·ite; …   English syllables

  • Hess — Harry Hammond …   Scientists

  • Hess — (Rudolf) (1894 1987) homme politique allemand; adjoint de Hitler (1933). En 1941, il gagna la G. B., où il fut interné. Au procès de Nuremberg, il fut condamné à la prison à vie …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Hess — Hess, Ru|dolf (1894 1987) a German ↑Nazi politician who was directly below Hitler in rank. In 1941 he made a secret flight to Scotland to try to arrange a peace agreement, but he was caught and made a prisoner. In 1946 he was judged to be guilty… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”