Fashion Stores
The company was founded in Cleveland, Ohio in 1914, when Mortimer Slater, with Charles Bond and Lester Cohen, founded the stores as a retail outlet for their suit manufacturing company. The first store featured fifteen-dollar men's suits. As president Mr. Slater built the concern into a million-dollar corporation, increasing the number of employees from fifty to more than 4,000. At his retirement in 1924, the concern had twenty-eight stores in large cities. Bond Stores, Inc. was organized in Maryland on March 19, 1937 by the consolidation of Bond Clothing Company, a Maryland corporation, and its subsidiary, Bond Stores, Inc. The principal executive offices of the corporation were located at 261 Fifth Avenue in New York City.[1]
During the 1930s and 1940s, it became the largest retail chain of men's clothing in the United States, best known for selling two-pant suits. In 1975, the company was sold to foreign investors, then broken up and sold in smaller groups to its management. For instance, 13 stores were operated by the Proud Wind, Inc. company.[2]
In 1933, company president Barney S. Ruben (1885–1959) moved the manufacturing center of Bond Clothes from New Brunswick, New Jersey to Rochester, New York where he spent his youth and got his start in the clothing industry with Fashion Park Clothes.[3] By the end of the 1930s, the manufacturer grew to employ over 2,500 people. During the 1940s the company expanded to larger manufacturing facilities on North Goodman St. In 1956, wholly owned manufacturing plants operated at New Brunswick, New York City, and Rochester. The Rochester facility was later sold to General Dynamics. The company's manufacturing facilities remained in Rochester until 1979, when the factory was finally closed.[4]
Bond Stores operated numerous retail outlets in the United States. Principally a men's clothier, by the mid-1950s some stores also carried women's clothing, and later became known as "family apparel centers." In 1956, the chain operated nearly 100 outlets from coast to coast in principal cities, in addition to more than 50 agency stores that sold goods in smaller communities.[5] In the late 1960s there were around 150 retail outlets. By 1982, that number had dwindled to 50. About 1970 'New Management' knowledgeable in 'Fashions' Took over Bond Clothes, Unfortunatly their Knowledge of the 'Retail Clothing Industry' did nothing to Save Bond Clothes from its eventual Demise.
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