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Department Stores

One of the most famous department stores in America opened on March 12, 1877 — Wanamaker's, in Philadelphia. Converted from a former train station, the store was among the first in the country to make the experience of shopping as much a draw as the merchandise itself. John Wanamaker guaranteed the quality of the goods his store sold, pioneered the use of the price tag and was the first to install a restaurant on his premises. A major renovation in 1910 created the grand court, including the installation of a huge pipe organ, today the largest in the world. In the U.S. today, there are just over 3,700 traditional department stores, generating nearly $87 billion in annual sales.


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