Tuesday, December 18, 2018

17 Vintage Photos Showing Macy's Preparations for the Christmas Season in 1948

Images of preparations for the Christmas season at Macy’s—then, at one million square feet, the biggest store in the world—bespeak a highly orchestrated operation relying upon 14,000 employees to ready 400,000 items to be swept off of shelves by 250,000 eager shoppers.

Jane Pickens leads 9,000 Macy's employees in "Jingle Bells" during giant rally designed to whip up fever of salesmanship for Christmas rush.

 Eager customers stand outside the doors of Macy's, 1948.

Holiday shoppers line the sidewalk outside of Macy's, 1948.

Macy's shoppers wait to be allowed on the floor, 1948.

Bulletin board lists price changes made as a result of comparison shopping. Macy's gets around fixed prices by producing own brands, fixing own prices.

Shoppers clamor for coveted items, 1948.

This is how many pearls salesgirl Janet Steurer sells in one day.

A customer examines a string of pearls, 1948.

Santa Claus impersonators at Macy's, 1948.

Young salesman William Komlos (Yale '48) is member of the 60-man executive training squad.

The sales floor at Macy's is crowded with people and Christmas decorations, 1948.

Women try on furs in the Macy's dressing room, 1948.

Comparison shoppers buy in competing stores, bring back merchandise priced under Macy's. Macy's then lowers prices to undersell competition.

A child sits with her doll at the crowded Macy's world heardquarters, 1948.

 Store hospital treats 65,000 patients a year. This is usual Monday morning lineup having temperatures taken. The lineup is longer after big sale days.

A pageant is performed for the store's thousands of employees before the holiday rush, 1948.

The mess in the wake of a major sale day, 1948.

(Photos: Nina Leen—The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images) 

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