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J.W. Robinson Co.
Type Department store
Fate Merged with May Company California
Founded 1881
Headquarters Los Angeles, California
Industry Retail
Products Clothing, footwear, bedding, furniture, jewelry, beauty products, and housewares.
Parent Associated Dry Goods (?-1986) The May Department Stores Company (1986-1993)

J. W. Robinson Co., Robinsons, was a chain of department stores operating in the Southern California and Arizona area, previously with headquarters in Los Angeles, California. Through the middle of the 20th century It was a division of Associated Dry Goods family of stores. The original store was located downtown Los Angeles on West Seventh Street.[1]

Expansion

The second Robinsons store was was opened in Beverly Hills in 1952 on Wilshire Boulevard at Santa Monica Boulevard, next to the Beverly Hilton Hotel (1953). A small Mid-Century modern style "open in winter only" store followed in Palm Springs. A store on Colorado Boulevard in Pasadena followed. The store in Pasadena was the last free standing store as the concept of the shopping mall began to take off. The first stores adjacent or connected to shopping malls opened in Panorama City in the San Fernando Valley (late 1950s), Anaheim, on upper State Street in Santa Barbara (1960s), and Glendale. By the time J.W. Robinson's was dissolved into Robinson's-May there were almost 30 stores spread all across Southern California from San Diego to Palm Desert to Santa Barbara.

The traditionally carriage-trade J. W. Robinson's had been acquired by May Department Stores in 1986 with its acquisition of Associated Dry Goods. Robinson's had been acquired by Associated Dry Goods (ADG) in 1957 as its West Coast flagship and operated primarily in Southern California. In 1989 when May Company dissolved its Goldwaters division, based in Scottsdale, Arizona, Robinson's took over Goldwaters Phoenix metropolitan stores.

Robinson's of Florida

In the 1970s ADG used the Robinson's name to open a new chain of department stores on Florida's Gulf Coast, based in St. Petersburg, Florida. It had been founded in the 1970s as an attempt by ADG to emulate its upscale J. W. Robinson's' stores on the fast-growing Florida Gulf Coast. This newly created division eventually grew to have 10 locations. Rather than invest in the then stagnant Florida market, May sold this division in 1987 to Maison Blanche Co. of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The bulk of the former Robinsons of Florida locations were subsequently sold by Maison Blanche to Dillard Department Stores in 1991.

References

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