McRae's Department Stores celebrate
100th anniversary

By Staff
special to The Star
April 12, 2002
Beginning Wednesday, department store retailer McRae's will celebrate 100 years of doing business in the South.
To celebrate locally, the first 100 customers to visit the Bonita Lakes Mall store that day will receive a free McRae's commemorative coffee mug to help kick off the annual Anniversary Sale and Centennial celebration.
Customers will also be treated to complimentary anniversary cake. McRae's traditionally holds the Anniversary Sale as its largest sales event with the lowest prices of the spring shopping season.
Samuel Proctor McRae founded McRae's in 1902. From its beginnings in a 1,500 square-foot store on Capitol Street in downtown Jackson, McRae's has expanded to 29 locations in Mississippi, Alabama, Florida and Louisiana.
McRae was known throughout the Jackson community for operating his business with integrity.
McRae's success in its first half-century is attributed to building customer loyalty by offering dependable, fashionable merchandise at reasonable prices.
A landmark expansion increased the size of the original store by seven times in 1951, with the late 1950s also seeing growth into the Jackson suburbs. Additional expansion throughout Mississippi and other nearby states during the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s culminated in the 1986 purchase of 13 Pizitz department stores in Alabama.
In 1994, McRae's became part of the Proffitt's family of department stores, and is a member of the Saks Department Store Group.
Here are key dates in McRae's Department Stores 100-year history:
1902: McRae's founded by Samuel Proctor McRae and two business partners in downtown Jackson.
1905: McRae becomes sole owner of McRae's Department Store.
1916: McRae's moves several doors down from its original storefront; store remains there for the next 54 years.
1951: Expansion increases the size of the original store by seven times.
1955: First suburban store opens in north Jackson's Meadowbrook Mart.
1959: Second suburban store opens in Westland Plaza in Jackson.
1967: McRae's opens distribution center in Commerce Park in Jackson.
1970: McRae's acquires and merges stores with Kennington's department store in downtown Jackson.
1971: First store outside Jackson opens in Vicksburg.
1974: First store outside Mississippi opens in Pensacola.
1986: McRae's purchases 13 Pizitz department stores in Alabama.
1994: McRae's became part of the Proffitt's family of department stores; today, it is a member of the Saks Department Store Group
2002: McRae's opens store in Flowood, celebrates centennial.

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