Lehman Brothers Collection - Contemporary Business Archives

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Lehman Brothers Collection

Twentieth-Century Business Archives

Hahn Department Stores, Inc. - Lehman Brothers Collection

Hahn Department Stores, Inc.

List of Deals

Hahn Department Stores was organized by Lew Hahn in December 1928. It was created as a holding company for the purpose of acquiring and operating large, well-known department stores throughout the United States. Hahn went public in early 1929 with a $22,700,000 offering of 6 percent convertible preferred stock and 454,000 shares of common stock.

Using the proceeds from this offering, Hahn initially acquired twenty-two stores nationwide. These companies were chosen because they had annual sales between $1 million and $10 million and because they had a record of achieving good earnings. They were also selected because they were deemed to be "the most important in their respective sections of the country." These companies included Jordan Marsh of Boston, L.S. Donaldson of Minneapolis, and the Bon Marche of Seattle. The Hahn strategy was that after each acquisition, the newly acquired department store would continue to operate under its own name and under the same management team, who, in turn, would own a substantial amount of the common stock of Hahn. The central organization was presented to prospective investors and the public as a place where "expert executives" would coordinate merchandise purchases and other activities.

Hahn had grown to twenty-nine stores with the addition of Maas Brothers Inc., of Tampa, Florida, in May 1929. That same month it completed its first full year of operations, earning $6.0 million. The combined annual sales of the twenty-nine department stores under Hahn control were approximately $115 million.

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