Editor's note: This is the 246th in a series of articles recalling vanished Huntington scenes.
HUNTINGTON — When the Huntington Mall opened in 1981, one of the mall's anchor stores was a branch of the Lazarus department store chain.
In 1851, Simon Lazarus and his wife, Amelia, newly emigrated from Germany, used $3,000 in savings to open a 20-by-50 foot men's clothing store on S. High Street in downtown Columbus.
Simon Lazarus was a pioneer in the trend of selling goods at set prices, ending the practice of haggling. After his death in 1877, his sons Fred and Ralph, under the watchful eye of widow Amelia, took over the business. In 1909, Fred's children, Simon and Fred Jr., persuaded him to open an ornate, six-story Columbus store that sold not only men's clothing but women's and children's as well.
The Lazarus store prospered and expanded. As it grew, more and more departments were added, ranging from fine jewelry to automobile tires.
In 1929, Lazarus was one of four department store chains that joined to form Federated Department Stores. Over the years, Lazarus continued to expand, opening branch locations not only in major cities but also in smaller communities such as Huntington. In 2003, when Federated acquired the Macy's chain, the Lazarus stores were cobranded as Lazarus-Macy's.
When Macy's decided to close the popular tea room at the Huntington Lazarus store, it disappointed many customers who long had enjoyed the bread pudding, cheesecake and other tasty fare the room served.
Hyphenated names in business generally have a short shelf life. Thus in 2005 the Lazarus-Macy's name was retired, and the former Lazarus stores became simply Macy's.