Encyclopedia ofChicago
Entries : Carson Pirie Scott & Co.
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Carson Pirie Scott & Co.

 

 

 

Carson Pirie Scott & Co.

Carson Pirie Scott Entrance
This leading Chicago department store originated with a business founded in Amboy, Illinois, in 1854 by Samuel Carson and John T. Pirie, two Scotch-Irish immigrants. By the end of the Civil War, Carson & Pirie was based on Lake Street in Chicago; during the late 1860s, annual sales (wholesale and retail) reached $800,000. In 1890, the entry of Robert Scott as a partner led the growing firm to change its name to Carson Pirie Scott & Co. By 1900, its two downtown Chicago stores on State and Washington and Franklin and Adams each employed about 1,000 men and women. In 1904, the company moved into a new Louis Sullivan–designed building at State and Madison. During the twentieth century, the retail operations of Carson's (as it came to be known) continued to grow; by the beginning of the 1960s, it operated 11 stores around the Chicago region, where it employed about 8,000 people and did about $150 million in annual sales. In 1989, Carson Pirie Scott was bought by P. A. Bergner & Co., a Milwaukee-based subsidiary of a Swiss company. After going through bankruptcy in 1991, this department store chain reemerged as Carson Pirie Scott & Co; but this entity was acquired in 1997 by Proffitt's Inc. of Knoxville Tennessee. At the end of the century, Carson's was still the name of several department stores around the Midwest, including the Sullivan-designed flagship store on State Street.