Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Who Is Behind The Name?

I can remember when you could go to downtown Birmingham and check out the most popular stores in the area. They were Loveman's, Pizitz, Parisian's, and Yieldings, to name a few. We knew tomorrow they'd still be there, owned by families by that name. That is no more. Today, all but one of those stores, Parisian's, is either closed or known by another name. Loveman's and Yielding's were my favorites, and those are gone.

Malls started to cropping out in the outer parts of the downtown area, causing more and more people to search out these malls, rather than go into the crowded, and sometimes dangerous, area of downtown Birmingham. Slowly, but surely, we started seeing these stores close or move out, until they are no longer there. And, just as they 'moved out', they started being bought out.

Our Pizitz became McRae's, Rich's moved in, Macy's came to town, Rich's moved out --- some of our malls, especially the older ones, have become almost like ghost towns! And, today, I read the headlines 'Saks Closes Sale to Belk', and I wondered what they are buying. Turns out our newly acquired Proffitt store is now owned by Belk, as is our McRae's stores in the South.

I miss downtown Birmingham and the department store district! I hardly go downtown anymore, but did visit an old establishment called Hunter Furniture, which is a family-owned store. It didn't go with the renewing of Birmingham streets, but chose to stay planted in downtown.