Frank Woolworth opened his first store in 1878 with a more successful store opened only 1 year later. Woolworth’s pioneered the concept of a five and dime store, with fixed prices drawing in crowds of customers. Variety stores began popping up across America, becoming a staple of Main Street.
Attractive displays and revolutionary business practices gave shoppers an experience like never before, a far cry from the general stores of the past, where much of the stock had to be pulled from behind the counter or from bulk bins.
Sebastian Kresge and John McCrory opened their version of the dime store in Memphis, TN, in 1897. Just 15 years after he first went into business, Kresge’s company was worth $7M and had 85 stores!
By 1910, Frank Woolworth had made millions and embarked on building the world’s tallest skyscraper in New York City, the construction of which he paid for in cold, hard cash. In reality, Woolworth’s only occupied 1 and a half floors of the ornate Woolworth’s Building, but it was a symbol of the incredible success of the company.