Lehman Brothers Collection - Contemporary Business Archives

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Twentieth-Century Business Archives

The Emporium Corporation - Lehman Brothers Collection

The Emporium Corporation

List of Deals

The Emporium was a large, well-known department store located in San Francisco that was incorporated in July 1897. It was the first department store in San Francisco, and its annual volume for business for the first two decades of its existence was approximately twice that of its nearest competitor. The store was located at the corner of Van Ness Avenue and Post Street.

In 1898 sales were approximately $1.5 million.

During the San Francisco Earthquake of 1906, the company not only survived but prospered. Newspaper accounts of the time reported that after the earthquake the Emporium constructed temporary quarters that were larger than the original building and that they were installing large, modern show windows indicating the strength of business.

By the 1920s the Emporium department store occupied a building with nearly 600,000 square feet. Sales in 1921 were $14.4 million. In 1925 the Emporium Corporation was incorporated in Delaware as a holding company for the Emporium department store. The Emporium Corporation also controlled Marian Realty Company, which in 1925 was constructing the Crystal Palace Market in San Francisco with an area of 233,000 square feet.

In 1925 Emporium employed approximately 2,000 people and had sales of $16.8 million and assets of $9.2 million.

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