Category: retail store

Beverly Hills


Image: unknown source via .

“Beverly Hills was a prosperous and sought-after location long before it was discovered by the movie industry. At the beginning, our fabled El Dorado was blessed with the most precious commodity in Southern California: water…

“Attracted to an elegant lifestyle made possible by the [1912-built Beverly Hills Hotel], Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford led the wave of movie stars here when they bought an existing hunting lodge and had it redesigned into the their mansion, Pickfair, in 1919…

“…[Will] Rogers, a wise cracking political humorist, became honorary first mayor of Beverly Hills. Rogers went on to play a part in the development of Beverly Hills by fostering construction of a new City Hall in 1932 and the establishment of a U.S. Post Office in 1934.

“Beverly Hills continued to grow. Promotional materials from the period touted the young metropolis as ‘center of the next million.’ Fortunately, human-scale public improvements helped soften the effects of growth. In the 1930s, Santa Monica Park was renamed Beverly Gardens and was extended to span the length of the City. The famous Electric Fountain was installed. A finely modeled sculpture atop the fountain shows a Tongva in prayer, homage to Beverly Hills’ heritage as a wellspring of fertility and abundance.”

Excerpts from . Click on the link to learn more about the city and its history.


17oct11beverly2Image: 1938 tourist map from .


Retail store interiors


The National Cash Register Company published a series of booklets for the trade that reprinted chapters from Better Retailing, a handbook on modern retailing.

This eight-page one from 1939 shows photos and tells shopkeepers how to increase sales by displaying the goods to their best advantage. Here are some examples of the advice:

“The first impression your store makes may determine whether or not they buy from you then or come back to buy at some other time.”

“Appearance of a store is much more important today than it was a few years ago. The majority of people like to trade in stores which are clean, convenient, comfortable and attractive.”

“‘Dealer Helps’ cover a great variety of things furnished by manufacturers to help sell goods: packages that open into counter displays; show cases designed for the manufacturers goods only; window displays; counter displays; booklets; and many others.”

Excerpts and images from Interior Displays and Store Fixtures, The National Cash Register Company.

I. Magnin department store


“I. Magnin opened its Wilshire store in 1939.  The new high end department store was located just three blocks west of Bullock’s Wilshire and became a formidable competitor.”

“The stunning, all-marble I. Magnin was designed by Myron Hunt, architect of the Ambassador Hotel. Hunt experimented with gleaming white marble over steel, putting black granite trim at sidewalk level. The result, said one reviewer, was ‘a symphony of beauty.'”

“Built at a cost of $3,000,000, the building was operated entirely by electricity and completely air-conditioned. The bottom floor is faced with black marble.”

Excerpts and image from .