Frank Winfield Woolworth (Frank Winfield Woolworth)

Frank Winfield Woolworth

Businessman. He is best known for founding the F.W. Woolworth Company that operated a chain of discount stores across the United States that specialized in marketing merchandise at the cost of five and ten cents. He was one of the first to practice buying merchandise directly from the manufacturers and establishing fixed prices on items in lieu of haggling. He was also the first to employ self-service display cases so customers could examine what they wanted to purchase without the assistance of a salesperson. He was born in Rodman, New York, and attended a business college for two terms in Watertown, New York. While working as a stock boy at a general store in 1873 and came up with the idea of a five-cent store. In 1879, he borrowing $300 and opened his first five-cent store in Utica, New York, which quickly failed. About two months later, he opened his second store in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, expanding the concept to include merchandise priced at ten cents. By 1911 his company was incorporated and had grown to a total of 586 stores. In 1913 he built the F.W. Woolworth building in New York City, New York, at a cost of $13.5 million dollars and at the time it was the tallest building in the world, measuring 792 feet. In 1916 he built his estate, Winfield Hall, in Glen Cove, New York, which contained 56 rooms where he died three years later. At the time of his death, he had more than 1,000 stores throughout the United States and in other countries and his corporation was worth $65 million in then-year dollars. On July 17, 1997, the company went out of business and transitioned into the Foot Locker, Incorporated. (bio by: William Bjornstad)  Family links:  Parents:  John Hubbell Woolworth (1821 – 1907)  Fanny McBrier Woolworth (1830 – 1878)  Spouse:  Jennie Creighton Woolworth (1853 – 1924)*  Children:  Helena Maud Woolworth McCann (1878 – 1938)*  Edna Woolworth Hutton (1883 – 1917)*  Siblings:  Frank Winfield Woolworth (1852 – 1919)  Charles Sumner Woolworth (1856 – 1947)*  Flora M. Woolworth Flick (1870 – 1943)* *Calculated relationship

Born

  • April, 13, 1852
  • USA

Died

  • April, 04, 1919
  • USA

Cemetery

  • Woodlawn Cemetery
  • USA

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