Woolworth

This is the final resting place of a man who changed how we shop, Frank Winfield Woolworth. Born in 1852 in Rodman, New York and laid to rest in this tomb in 1919. He of course opened the store that bares his name, F.W. Woolworth.

He opened his first store in Utica, New York but that store failed. He opened another store in Lancaster, Pennsylvania where items were priced at five cents and dimes. by 1900 he had 59 stores and he never looked back. In 1913 he built what was at the time the biggest store at the world at 792 feet. The building is still one of the 100 tallest buildings in the U.S.

When he passed away at the age of 67 he was worth 76.5 million or 1.15 billion dollars.

The store that he founded was one of the largest in the world. In the US it went out of business in 1997. In 1963 Woolworth bought a company called Kinney Shoe which in 1974 opened a specialty store called Foot Locker. In 2001 the name of company Woolworth was changed to Foot Locker. You can still find chains with the name of Woolworth in Germany and Mexico.

And how did it change how we shop? It was one of the first stores to allow customers to look at items themselves instead of having to deal with a clerk. It also started to standardize prices helping to take the haggling of prices.

I do remember going to Mexico sometime in the early 1990’s and visiting a Woolworth. It’s such a faint memory but it is in there.

You can visit this family resting place at Woodlawn Cemetery in The Bronx, New York City.

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