Tomorrow’s Store Today (Jan, 1948)

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Tomorrow’s Store Today

Foley’s is designed to channel the flow of incoming stock and outgoing customers and purchases with maximum efficiency.

DOWN in Houston, Texas, is what is said to be the most modern department store in the world. Foley’s is carefully planned to speed the flow of customers and merchandise. Shoppers park their cars in the garage and walk through a tunnel to the store. All purchases go down a chute to the basement and travel on a belt conveyor to the sorting ring in the garage. Each customer’s bundles are waiting for him when he is ready to drive out. The ten-million-dollar store is six stories high, but it has been so built that six more stories can be added if business increases and more space is needed.

2 comments
  1. Advent Of Modern Shopping : SKIRMISHER says: October 2, 20068:01 pm

    [...] A number of department store features in this much-hyped 1947 masterplan of “the most modern department store” (Foley’s) are now commonplace, but seeing them in their original context can still engulf even the most jaded shopper with warm feelings of credit-card-emptying nostalgia. [...]

  2. NikFromNYC says: January 12, 20086:14 pm

    BHPhoto.com‘s physical store is now two full stories about the size of a a department store floor, each. They sell cameras, computer imaging stuff and movie production equipment (and even roll film). It’s run mostly by patient and kind of funny hasidic jewish guys, as in no “hard sell” Time Square junkstore vibe there. But they have a basement or two as well, where all the actual products are, and this overhead conveyer chain system that once you look at their behind-the-counter floor samples, the actual products you select arrive at the checkout counter in numbered bags before you do! It uses standard plastic shopping baskets, and a big plexiglass walled off hole in the floor lifts them skyward from several points in the store, where they all converge to the ONE person operated handler. You pay at the counter with a credit card right where you handle the display models. They’ve been using such systems in catalog supply houses for decades, but I’ve never seen it in a consumer walk-in store.

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