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Read's Department Stores: Wikis


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Read's Department Stores was the name of a Bridgeport, Connecticut-based retail chain founded in 1856 by D.M. Read. Known for its classy, upscale merchandise, it was once hailed as New England's largest department store. Its flagship store at Broad and John Streets in downtown Bridgeport had over 100,000 square feet (10,000 m2) of selling area on five floors. D.M. Read Company remained an independent store until 1926, when it became a unit of Allied Stores.

Allied expanded the store into a chain in the 1950s and 1960s. By then they were up to six stores in Fairfield and New Haven Counties in Connecticut.

In 1983, Read's opened a New York location in the Jefferson Valley Mall in Yorktown Heights, while in 1985 Allied decided to move Read's out of their original flagship store and into space recently vacated by Gimbel's at the nearby Lafayette Plaza Mall. About that time, its television and radio commercials featured the jingle, "Reads, Your Something Special Store". Read's operated in its hometown of Bridgeport until 1987 when Campeau Corp. of Canada, which had bought Allied Stores, merged it into Allied's sister division, Jordan Marsh of Boston, Massachusetts, and the stores subsequently took on the Jordan Marsh name.

In 1988, Campeau acquired Federated Department Stores of Cincinnati, Ohio and operated it in conjunction with Allied, subsequently declaring bankruptcy in 1991. As a result of the overall decline of Bridgeport's downtown shopping area, the Lafayette Plaza store closed in 1989, and all but the Trumbull and Jefferson Valley stores were closed by 1992 under the Federated/Allied Stores bankruptcy filing.

In 1993, these remaining two stores were converted to the Abraham & Straus nameplate when that division of Federated Department Stores merged with Jordan Marsh (as they were in the New York Metropolitan media market, they could operate more efficiently regarding advertising under the A&S name). In 1995 after Federated acquired Macy's, it consolidated its A&S/Jordan Marsh division into Macy's East and renamed the two former Read's stores with the Macy's moniker.

The former Read's Trumbull location was abandoned in 2006, when Macy's relocated into the former Filene's store in the Westfield Trumbull shopping center upon the completion of the merger of the Federated and May Department Stores chains. Only the Jefferson Valley Mall store that Read's opened in 1983 has continually operated as a department store to present day.



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