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June 21, 1879: Frank W. Woolworth opens his 1st successful "F.W. Woolworth Great Five Cent Store".
June 21, 1879, Frank W. Woolworth opens his 1st successful "F. W. Woolworth Great Five Cent Store" on North Queen Street, Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Sales were $127.65 on the first day. A fortnight later Frank he opened a second branch in nearby Harrisburg, managed by his brother. When the landlord asked for more rent, Sumner Woolworth relocated to Reading, and later to Scranton.
In 1879, Woolworth approached members of his family, asking if they would bankroll him. They laughed. But Moore offered to advance him $300 of stock. He also released Frank to seach for a good location. The first attempt in Utica, NY had only limited success and Frank paid off his creditors and relocated to Lancaster.
Frank Woolworth was a visionary retailer who pioneered many of the selling techniques still used today. A self-made man, he rose from humble beginnings as a farm boy to become the head of the largest chain of shops in the world, operating stores in four countries, and generating revenues others could only dream of. Towards the end of his career, when at work he sat higher above the ground than anyone else in the world, yet always kept his finger on the pulse and remained down-to-earth in the everyday minutiae of making a profit in a value store.
As a trusted adviser to US President Woodrow Wilson, he helped America to finance its participation in the First World War, inspired indigenous industrial mass-production when the supply-line to Europe was interrupted, and funded victory parades for servicemen returning as heroes in 1918.
Over the next 25 years, the Brothers engaged family and former co-workers to open 5 & 10¢ stores across North America. Frank fashioned a Buying Consortium, known as the Friendly Rival Syndicate. It comprised five independent chains who pooled ideas and shared common merchandise. He also baled out his mentor William Moore in 1895, financing W.H. Moore & Son 5 & 10¢ Stores in Watertown and Shenectady, New York.
"What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal." -Albert Pike
"My father didn't tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it." - Clarence Buddinton Kelland
Let me guess. He was a racist who might've owned slaves and subjugated his wife to the norms of the day... What a horrible person 🤣 I hope there are no statues to his name because they're coming down if there are.
Thanks for this thread, GregBO. The men of the not-so-distant past could run circles around the men of today, in every department, but we're toxic 🤣
Don't let them blame, shame or tame you!