This article is about the company now known as Foot Locker. For companies, related or not, that are similarly named, west end mall foot locker Woolworth.
It was arguably the most successful American and international five-and-dime business, setting trends and creating the modern retail model which stores follow worldwide today. The first Woolworth store was opened by Frank Winfield Woolworth on February 22, 1878, as “Woolworth’s Great Five Cent Store” in Utica, New York. Though it initially appeared to be successful, the store soon failed. The two Woolworth brothers pioneered and developed merchandising, direct purchasing, sales, and customer service practices commonly used today. Despite its growing to be one of the largest retail chains in the world through most of the 20th century, increased competition led to its decline beginning in the 1980s, while its sporting goods division grew. Retail chains using the Woolworth name survive in Austria, Germany, Mexico and, until early 2009, the United Kingdom.
This section needs additional citations for verification. After working in Augsbury and Moore dry goods store in Watertown, New York, Frank Winfield Woolworth obtained credit from his former boss, William Moore, along with some savings, to buy merchandise and open the “Woolworth’s Great Five Cent Store” in Utica, New York, on February 22, 1878. In 1884, confident enough to open another store, Sum partnered with his longtime friend Fred Kirby to open a store in Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania, a neighboring town to the west of Scranton. Fred had been working as the head of wholesale operations at Augsbury and Moore of Watertown, New York.
At the same time, using his preference to have someone he could trust, Frank brought in their cousin, Seymour H. Knox I, to open a store in Reading, Pennsylvania, under the name “Woolworth and Knox”. Seymour had been managing a general store in Michigan. The Woolworth Building, New York City, c. By 1904, there were six chains of affiliated stores operating in the United States and Canada. Sum maintained that he did not need to incorporate his stores.
In 1912 the syndicate agreed to a scheme crafted by Frank Woolworth: to join forces and incorporate as one corporate entity under the name “F. Sum Woolworth continued to maintain his home base in Scranton, PA. He was not the type to get embroiled in the politics, as executives of the different chains sought to establish themselves in the merger. As he did from the beginning, Sum concentrated on improving stores, particularly in his native Pennsylvania, and training up-and-coming managers. Those managers eventually dispersed across the entire company, setting the style and tone of Woolworth stores worldwide. In 1900, Frank launched his first development plan in the city of his first success, Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Rather than just enlarging his store on North Queen Street, he bought up properties along the street in an area which was not considered a “good” side of town.
By keeping his plans quiet, Frank saw to it that real estate prices would not be inflated in that area. Second successful “Woolworth Bros” store, Scranton, PA. Later bought by brother Charles “Sum”, becoming the first “C. Woolworth” store, and eventually merged into the F. In 1910, Frank Woolworth commissioned the design and construction of the Woolworth Building in New York City. FW Woolworth store in Providence, RI, c. Woolworth, Corporation, died in 1919, in Glen Cove, New York.
Sum’s demeanor made him the perfect candidate to head the F. Woolworth Corporation after the death of his brother. He was non-confrontational, as everyone else positioned themselves in the company. The Board of Directors unanimously asked Sum to take on the Presidency. With his infamous modesty he declined.