Lehman Brothers Collection - Contemporary Business Archives

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Lehman Brothers Collection

Twentieth-Century Business Archives

Macy Credit Corp. - Lehman Brothers Collection

Macy Credit Corp.

List of Deals

The Macy Credit Corporation was a wholly owned subsidiary of R.H. Macy & Company, the well-known department store chain based in New York City. For over a century, Macy's held to a tradition of selling to customers on a cash-only basis. Unlike other retailers, there were no installment sales or credit extended to customers. In fact, the company had a well-advertised motto, “No One Is in Debt to Macy's.”

The years that followed the end of World War II were filled with prosperity and growing consumer spending. For retailers, selling on credit became a large portion of sales, particularly with big-ticket items such as furniture and major home appliances. In order to remain competitive and increase sales, in the late 1950s Macy's broke with tradition and began extending credit to customers.

Initially, Macy's created a subsidiary called Macy's Bank. The bank received money deposited by customers and the balances were reduced as customers made purchases at the store. This was followed in 1958 by a revolving credit plan, called “Cash-Time” that worked like a conventional charge account with a small service charge. In November 1961 Macy Credit Corporation sold $20 million in debentures to finance the credit accounts of Macy's.

In the years 1965, 1970, 1971, 1973, 1975, and 1980, Macy Credit Corporation returned to the credit markets to sell more debentures in order to raise additional money for the financing of customer charge accounts and to refinance existing company debt.

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