F.W. Woolworth and Company
Frank Winfield Woolworth or F. W. Woolworth was an ordinary man who accomplished extraordinary things…Like creating an empire. Not bad for a stock boy who once worked for Augsbury & Moores Dry Goods. In fact it was while working there he heard a rumor about a traveling salesman and other stores selling items normally not even given a price tag at ridiculous price points, like 5 cents each. These stores weren’t just making profit. They were selling out of inventory because Shoppers just couldn’t help themselves. Seeing how successful this venture was Frank pushed himself and opened his first 5-cent store in Utica in 1879. Instead of relying on store clerks, the merchandise was put out in front of the customers. A first at that time.
In 1913, the Woolworth building in New York City was completed and became the tallest building in the world until 1930. Frank died in 1919. The man who made his money not by selling a little for a lot, but by selling a lot for a little was gone but his legacy was not. Woolworth’s stores continued on. There were troubles due to pricing in the 1930s and a Woolworth’s Lunch Counter even became a part of history in the 1960s Civil Rights Movement when 4 black students sat down to eat at the segregated lunch counter.
In October 1993, Woolworth’s closed over 400 general merchandise stores in an attempt to gain back lost profits, but that wasn’t enough to save the iconic store. In July 1997, the very last Woolworth’s store was closed and the company was renamed to Foot Locker Inc (started by Woolworth’s in the 1970s). Feeling Nostalgic?
Woolworth Diner Bakersfield, 1400 N 19th Street, Bakersfield CA 93301 (Next to the Five and Dime Antique Mall)