Sunday, October 18, 2009

Night Falls On Manhattan, 1958

Totally changing the subject for a one-post break before I finish up the final installment of the Murphy’s Mart saga. Between just starting with a new company and the tons of stuff we’re busy with as a family right now, I’m just not feelin’ it. I value your readership too much to put something half-baked on here. Thanks for understanding.

So instead, we’ll revisit E.J. Korvette, the beloved “promotional department store” chain, and the subject of what has far and away been one of the most popular series on this site. This mind-breakingly beautiful night shot depicts their Manhattan flagship store as it appeared in 1958. It’s late, and pretty soon there’ll only be time for window shopping. Even on a cold night, with a storefront like this, I’m up for it!

17 comments:

  1. Despite Korvette's avoidance of the term discount store, was it really? As in, was it more like Target or more like, say, the full-line Penney's?

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  2. Where was this store Obviously it wasn't the Fifth Avenue showplace, as that didn't open until 1962.

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  3. From what I can tell, Korvette's was more like the full-line Penney's.

    I do wonder where this store was. Both Korvette stores I've heard of in Manhattan were opened in the '60s.

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  4. No big deal on that. I had a grand total of two posts on my blog the entire year of 2008 due to having far too much on my plate. I have spent most of this year making it up. Life happens. I just am hoping that you can get to Richway eventually :)

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  5. Dave, I have most definately suffered these past few months with a mixture of too much on my plate and not feelin' it. Hopefully, I am at the tail end of that. We'll recover. you're posts are always great no matter how half-baked they may seem to you.

    With that said, this is a gorgeous shot!

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  6. "Not feelin’ it" is typical in blogging. It';s hard to keep the energy level up on this stuff all the time. The important thing is that when you are feelin' it again, we'll all still be here! :-)

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  7. Exquisite!
    Thanks, and keep up the great work,
    --Ivan

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  8. Jonah - As Steven says, it was more like the full-line Penneys, especially during the 1960's - 1980's period when they carried a fairly full line of appliances and other hard goods and had auto centers in addition to their traditional lines of clothing, linens and other soft goods. Today, of course, Penneys has gone back to carrying mainly soft goods with a small selection of appliances mixed in.

    In their early years when they were still an independent company, Korvettes was careful to tailor their product offering to the local market. The main example of this is the famous Fifth Avenue that opened in 1962, featuring several lines of luxury goods - fur coats, cashmere sweaters, etc., in addition to their normal offerings.

    Paul (and Steven) - I found a 1960 Korvette ad that gives two store addresses - 140-148 E 45th. St and 24 West 48th St. By this time, I believe their original 46th st. location had been converted to a record store only, though still under the Korvette name. So I think it must have been one of the former two addresses.

    J.T. - Thanks, and I really do want to post on Richway - just need a few more pics in order to do it justice. I'm always on the lookout.

    And I think your site, especially you began posting again this year and have since relaunched it under the new name, Sky City, has been fantastic! You've definitely taken it to a new level, and it's really great!

    Didi - Thanks so much! I try to make them as interesting as I can without getting bogged down and letting too much time pass between posts, though it's routinely too long for me. Any one of these subjects could support a blog of their own, I'm fully convinced, so I have to set limits.

    Steven - I appreciate your understanding and support, and I know that you can relate! "Series ending posts", as they've evolved on this site, tie together a lot of info, and I don't want to screw it up! ;)

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  9. Anything on Payless Drug Stores?

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  10. This one might be the 140-148 E 45th St. store. The other location you listed is on the fringe of Rockefeller Center, and doesn't look like anything related to that complex.

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  11. Ivan - Thanks very much!

    Charles - I do have some Pay Less Northwest stuff. Is that what you mean? I'm assuming so. There are a few Paylesses out there!

    Steve - Sounds like that might be the one. Nice as the photo is, it doesn't give us as lot to I.D. with!

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  12. Payless NW, Payless NorCal (Drug Stores). Looking forward to it!

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  14. Ah, Korvette's. I remember the one in Sunrise Mall in Massapequa, NY when I was just a wee lad. This was 70's, tho, not 60's. Love the blog.

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  15. Jonah Norason (Pseudo3D)October 23, 2009 at 7:22 PM

    Dave - Thanks! It's cool how Korvette's was able to tailor to the local market. Wal-Mart and Macy's may talk the talk, but Korvette's actually seemed to pull it off. One of the differences, I think, its Korvette's actually did it from the ground up, where Wal-Mart and Macy's did/is doing it too little, too late.

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  16. Love the script Korvettes logo. Very '60's and very classy! Looks like the intro to Bewitched!

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  17. Anonymous - Thanks, glad you like it! I think I've seen a picture of the Sunrise Mall Korvettes. There were a few "mall" Korvettes opened in the 70's as part of an attempt to revitalize the brand.

    Jonah - I agree. Both of those companies lean pretty heavily on a "one size fits all" merchandise mix, and because ofr their dominance, many American consumers have fewer choices as a result.

    Dan - You know, you're right! The Korvette script would have worked very nicely animated for TV commercials. It seems I read somewhere a long time back that Hanna-Barbera produced that opening sequence for Bewitched, but it had to be done in secret because of some contractual issue (having to do with network Saturday morning cartoons), and that fact wasn't widely known until years after the show went off the air.

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