Do you remember Robinsons-May?

Robinsons-May was a chain of department stores operating in Southern California, Arizona, and Nevada, from 1993 until 2006.

The double-barreled Robinsons-May name was created in 1993 when the former May Company California was consolidated with their corporate sibling JW Robinson’s. May Department Stores had acquired Robinson’s with its 1986 acquisition of Associated Dry Goods Corp. J. W. Robinson’s had been acquired by Associated Dry Goods in 1957, while May Company California had been established in 1923 when May acquired the then-named A. Hamburger & Sons (founded in 1881 by Asher Hamburger).

Both chains had operated exclusively in Southern California until 1989 when May Department Stores had dissolved its Goldwaters division, based in Scottsdale, Arizona, and apportioned its Phoenix metropolitan and Las Vegas, Nevada, stores between the still separate J. W. Robinson’s and May Company California. In 1997 Robinsons-May absorbed the Tucson-area locations of sister division Foley’s, which were themselves the remains of the former Levy’s and Sanger-Harris stores. Robinsons-May was further consolidated with Portland, Oregon-based Meier & Frank in 2002, which retained its individual nameplate but merged its primary headquarters into Robinsons-May’s in North Hollywood.

On August 30, 2005, operational control of the Robinsons-May stores was assumed by Macy’s West (the Meier & Frank stores were transferred to Macy’s Northwest). Fifteen of its California stores were offered for sale under an agreement with the California State Attorney General, though Federated has retained several of the stores covered by the agreement since satisfactory offers from competitors were not received (including stores at Woodland Hills and Northridge). During 2006, the majority of the Robinsons-May stores were converted to the Macy’s or Bloomingdale’s nameplate, either as replacements for existing stores, new locations, or as expansions of existing locations. Prime locations at South Coast Plaza, Costa Mesa, and Fashion Valley Mall, San Diego where Macy’s already had stores that were shuttered in early 2006 and refurbished as Bloomingdale’s locations. The change of store signs occurred on September 9, 2006. Already existing Macy’s locations in Arizona and Inland Empire regions relocated from their existing spots to Robinsons-May.

The trademark for Robinsons-May was bought by Strategic Marks in 2012 and is currently owned by them to this day, with plans to revive the brand in the future.

The Rise & Fall of Robinsons-May

Robinsons-May was Founded

Robinsons-May was created when May Department Stores combined two of its chains, May Company California and J. W. Robinson's chains. Its headquarters was at the former May Company California headquarters at its Laurel Plaza store in North Hollywood, Los Angeles.

The End of Robinsons-May

When Federated took over May Department Stores Company on August 30, 2005, Robinsons-May was dissolved, with some stores becoming branches of Macy's, while others were closed, sold, or transformed into branches of Bloomingdale's. Robinsons-May had 45 stores.

Click through the gallery above for some of the most popular forgotten retail spots that are now gone, but never forgotten. Did we miss one of your favorites? Share your memories in the comments.

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