Encyclopedia o f Chicago
Entries : Kuppenheimer (B.) & Co.
Kuppenheimer (B.) & Co.

Kuppenheimer (B.) & Co.

Bernard Kuppenheimer emigrated from Germany to the United States in 1850 when he was 21 years old. In 1865, he became a partner in the Chicago clothing firm of Kohn, Claybugh & Einstein, which had been established two years earlier. In 1876, the old firm dissolved, and B. Kuppenheimer and his son Jonas started their own men's clothing company. By the 1880s, when they employed as many as 1,000 people to manufacture garments, annual sales reached $1 million. By 1910, the company employed close to 2,000 men and women at shops around the city. Kuppenheimer continued to operate independently as a leading manufacturer of men's clothing until 1982, when it was purchased by another old Chicago clothing company, Hart, Schaffner & Marx (later Hartmarx). By the mid-1990s, when the company was headquartered in Atlanta, sales were lagging, many of its stores were closing, and it entered into bankruptcy. After Hartmarx sold the troubled company to an intermediate investment group, Kuppenheimer was purchased in 1997 by the Men's Warehouse suit retailer, who closed many more Kuppenheimer stores and eventually folded the Kuppenheimer business into its own. See also Hart, Schaffner & Marx.