Jump to content

Let's talk about Foley's


IronTiger

Recommended Posts

  • 1 month later...

I have compiled some old commercials from Foley's and other regional stores that will bring back the uniqueness we used to have for each region:

"Between love and madness lies ... Obsession!" (Foley's, 1985)

Thanks for the memories.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 months later...

Apparently, there was yet another logo right before Foley's perished...some sort of weird triangle has been added in lieu of the apostrophe.

http://www.alconnell...tin-2005/Foleys

This logo was used right after the merger with Sanger-Harris. It was right before Foley's was sold off to May Co. Then May revamped it with their own (the latest) logo prior to Foley's demise.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

my parents both worked at the downtown Foley's

my mom had her original Foley's card for at least 20 years after that and she would pull it out and people that had either worked there for a long time or that were pretty new would be like "wow" and then either "never see these anymore" or "I have never seen one of these"

a friend they had from working there ended up managing the store at Westheimer and 6 for a number of years after it opened

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

Speaking of Christmas displays, I can remember when the downtown (the only one at the time!) Foley's had that huge, curved glass display window between the front doors. It turned magical for Christmas, with their annual Christmas toy display. Of course, to a young boy, the most fascinating thing of all in that window was the trains. They always had an amazing setup of Lionel and Marx electric trains, the tracks winding their way around, through, under and even over the other toys. Several trains traveled those tracks, sometimes almost magically suspended in mid-air by hair-thin wires and delicate custom-built piers that allowed the tracks to sway gently as the train passed over them. Amazing... I could watch those trains for hours on end. :D

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Speaking of Christmas displays, I can remember when the downtown (the only one at the time!) Foley's had that huge, curved glass display window between the front doors. It turned magical for Christmas, with their annual Christmas toy display. Of course, to a young boy, the most fascinating thing of all in that window was the trains. They always had an amazing setup of Lionel and Marx electric trains, the tracks winding their way around, through, under and even over the other toys. Several trains traveled those tracks, sometimes almost magically suspended in mid-air by hair-thin wires and delicate custom-built piers that allowed the tracks to sway gently as the train passed over them. Amazing... I could watch those trains for hours on end. :D

Wish I could have seen that! Thanks for your recollections, and welcome to HAIF.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Everyone,

Lasker Meyer, Foley's former chairman prior to the May Co. and subsequent Macy's takeover, is publishing a book simply called "Foley's" . It is being made available on May 19th at the dedication of the Foley's archives at the University of Houston.

Awesome! I'd love to see that sometime. thumbsup2.gif

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Foley's is definitely a Houston insititution, and in this age of mega big box stores, there aren't too many of those left.

I guess I count as a Foley's alum. I worked at the Willowbrook store for about six weeks during the 1988 Christmas season. I was in the boys department.

What I remember most of my brief time with Foley's was:

1) It was really odd how the permanent staff never seemed to want me to check out the customers I had been helping. At first I wondered if they thought I didn't know what I was doing. I had, after all, worked at Kroger as a cashier for four and a half years. So one day I asked why they kept pushing me off the register. To my surprise, one of the permanent workers revealed that's how they were evaluated at performance review time - by the the number of people they had rang up and the amount of sales they had. So the more time they spent checking out people, the better they looked. As a Christmas temp, I didn't care one way or another, and i didn't particularly like standing at the register anyway, so I was glad to give them my customers if it helped them out.

2) As a temp, I always got the worst hours. I had to work late on Sunday nights when they extended hours. NO ONE came shopping at those times. I remember it being literally hours between seeing customers. So one time I just hung out watching the football games on TV (the TVs were next to the boys department there). I never, ever saw a supervisor (I never even knew the supervisor's name when I worked there or what she looked like).

3) Finally, I remember getting two letters on December 31, 1988. One was from the University of Houston telling me I had passed my final class at UH, and thus was eligible to graduate (hooray), and another from Foley's telling me that now that the Christmas season was over, my services were no longer required (boo). Talk about a weird day that was. LOL!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I worked at downtown Foleys during high school and then Sharpstown a few years later off and on. Once they fired me because they said my hair was to long. They then hired me back a year later even though never got it cut. I enjoyed the unemployment salary I received from Foleys that year. It allowed me to do a lot of traveling.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...
  • 4 weeks later...

Remember this commercial? I wish I could find one from the "Foley's...of course!" campaign. They also had one in the 1970's "Foley's is magical! unpredictable! sensational! You know you want Foley's!"

http://www.dailymoti...store_lifestyle

The producer of Foley's commercials from 1984 to 1987 has posted several that I thought we would never see again. Take a look:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

Great news...a Foley's book. I'll be getting that one. Thanks for the heads up.

finished reading the book this weekend. very well done and as someone who grew up in the 50's and 60's in Houston, Foley's holds a special place in my memories.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

finished reading the book this weekend. very well done and as someone who grew up in the 50's and 60's in Houston, Foley's holds a special place in my memories.

Where did you get your hands on a copy? thru UH? I would like one.

Edited by NenaE
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

My mother worked at the downtown Foley's in the early to mid-1940s. She was a floor supervisor. The day that the "new" Main Street Store downtown was opened (Oct. 20, 1947), my mother made my Dad drive her by the store from our house in Pasadena on the way to the old Houston Osteopathic Hospital to give birth to me. It is hard to believe that Foley's is no more. My mother shopped there until she passed away. I still have her old metal "charge plate" which was the original credit card. I can still remember her dressing up and putting on her hat and gloves and packing us kids in the car to go downtown to Foley's and shop. We would always go eat lunch at the old L&C Cafeteria. I can still remember riding the escalator from the sidewalk street level down to the cafeteria for lunch. We would always go across Main to Battlesteins and Sackowitz, and maybe down the street to Lane Bryant (my grandmother was a large woman). Great memories from the 40s & 50s.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My mother worked at the downtown Foley's in the early to mid-1940s. She was a floor supervisor. The day that the "new" Main Street Store downtown was opened (Oct. 20, 1947), my mother made my Dad drive her by the store from our house in Pasadena on the way to the old Houston Osteopathic Hospital to give birth to me. It is hard to believe that Foley's is no more. My mother shopped there until she passed away. I still have her old metal "charge plate" which was the original credit card. I can still remember her dressing up and putting on her hat and gloves and packing us kids in the car to go downtown to Foley's and shop. We would always go eat lunch at the old L&C Cafeteria. I can still remember riding the escalator from the sidewalk street level down to the cafeteria for lunch. We would always go across Main to Battlesteins and Sackowitz, and maybe down the street to Lane Bryant (my grandmother was a large woman). Great memories from the 40s & 50s.

Always nice to hear a personal story, welcome to HAIF. I didn't get to experience the large downtown Foleys, so I love to hear about it. Hopefully some of the remnants are still visible to a keen eye.

My father or grandmother always made a point to drive us downtown to see the Foley's Chrismas display windows, though, in the late '60's.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I can't believe no one mentioned the children's shoe department in the Foley's at Almeda Mall. There was a pirate ship built out from the wall at the back of the department. It was there during the late '60s & early '70s (might've been there a bit earlier + a bit later). How I loved it when my mother took me to buy shoes at the Almeda Mall store -- playing on the pirate ship was so much fun! I also can remember going to that Foley's (we lived in Garden Villas) in elementary school before school started in September because they used to sell school supplies. I'd get to pick out all the stuff I'd need for the school year.

On a different note, I worked at the Foley's in Memorial City from June 1980--March 1983. Do any former employees remember the dinging over the store's speaker system? It sounded sort of like the "ding" part of a "ding-dong" doorbell. The dinging was a way of calling a main supervisor since that person was supposed to be out in the store, walking around & making sure that everything was running smoothly in the supervisor's section.

The Memorial City Foley's had a pharmacy & drug department until maybe '82 or '83. They sold typical health & beauty items, plus you could get a prescription filled.

Those were the good old days!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

This was recently posted from UH special collections:

The current Special Collections exhibit, Foley’s Department Store: Houston’s Community Partner, 1900-2005, highlights materials from the Foley’s Department Store Collection. This collection spans more than a century of Foley’s, and Houston’s, history. The exhibit includes photographs, posters, documents and advertisements. The second floor exhibit space includes a slideshow of historic photos.

http://weblogs.lib.uh.edu/speccol/2011/07/26/check-out-the-foleys-exhibit/

http://info.lib.uh.edu/about/campus-libraries-collections/special-collections/library-exhibits/current-exhibit

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 5 weeks later...

Well, this day five years ago, Macy's officially "reopened" all the old Foley's stores, though the stores had been closed for a week, with Foley's signs only draped over the Macy's signs (and Federated shut down the offices in 2005, does anyone know for sure where the offices were?)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So... Foley Fan Club party at your place tonight ??

Ha ha, no, but you probably could come to the New Republic Brewery tour tonight which is a few miles away from my house (the Houston Examiner called it "Houston area's newest brewery"), though I think it's still a bit hard-pressed to call College Station the "Houston area".

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...

Well, this day five years ago, Macy's officially "reopened" all the old Foley's stores, though the stores had been closed for a week, with Foley's signs only draped over the Macy's signs (and Federated shut down the offices in 2005, does anyone know for sure where the offices were?)

The Foley's buying and executive offices were still in the downtown store until Macy's shut them down. Did you hear about the company that bought A&S (Abraham & Straus), Jordan Marsh, May Co., Robinson's and Bullock's expired trademarks and intends to bring the stores back? Macy's has filed suit and has since repurchased the old expired trademarks of their two dozen or more department stores and is selling a cheap black one size fits all shirt on their website to say they are using the trademarks. They have got to be the greediest, most idiotic company out there. To trash all those great names and the value, not to mention good will value that one cannot put a price on, was one of the biggest marketing blunders since New Coke. Customers are tired of the generic garbage in ever mall from coast to coast. Same anchors everywhere. Here is the article: http://www.prweb.com/releases/2011/9/prweb8685447.htm

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wow. The Foley's t-shirt link (http://www1.macys.com/catalog/product/index.ognc?ID=574220&CategoryId=30423) does make sense, but it's just empty words based on what they did to the chain. Still, not as shameless as Hardee's and the fake "Big Shef" burger. If Macy's really cared, they would bring back the Foley's branding to the stores they took over, and they can be like The Bon-Ton: one company, half a dozen nameplates.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wow. The Foley's t-shirt link (http://www1.macys.co...ategoryId=30423) does make sense, but it's just empty words based on what they did to the chain. Still, not as shameless as Hardee's and the fake "Big Shef" burger. If Macy's really cared, they would bring back the Foley's branding to the stores they took over, and they can be like The Bon-Ton: one company, half a dozen nameplates.

I agree wholeheartedly. Isnt it compelling that Macy's praises every chain for their community involvement, philanthropy and specialness in their descriptions next to the t shirt for each chain. If they had such value, WHY DID YOU ELIMINATE THEM? Lundgren and the other Macy people don't want the new company to bring back Bullock's, Jordan Marsh, etc because they KNOW THEY WOULD DO WELL. They still have disdain for the Marshall Fields' loyalists who still picket their store every year on State Street in Chicago. Marshall Field's was an international destination - the 3rd most visited landmark in Chicago. Why go to a boring Macy's when you have one in every mall across the country? The public is tired of the same generic Chinese crap at their stores. Thankfully, we still have Dillard's. They are the closest thing to what Foley's was like. It's too bad Dillard's doesnt bring back Joske's. At least they did keep the store's quality and service up unlike Macy's.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I find it very strange that Macy's, the business that took over Foley's & quickly stripped the name is selling Foley's t-shirts. Never seen that before.

Maybe they are having second thoughts about their decision to wipe out Foley's name, a long-time Houston tradition. I remember a time when I wondered " What's Macy's?"

I must get to the Downtown location to take some pics.Soon!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

I very well remember Foley's. I loved that store. Some of the others mentioned I have never heard of until today, however. This is prolly cause we never shopped at them. If it wasn't Foley's then it was Sears (which used to be neat but now just looks like crap and I do miss the old candy counter at the mid town -near Wheeler- Sears lol). We also went to Montgomery Ward's sometimes. Most of our shopping was at Foley's. When I was little (before we had a car) we always went to the downtown store. I do remember eating there sometimes, but I forgot which restaurant we ate at. I believe it was the one in the basement. From what I am reading here, I am guessing the cafeteria. Most of the time my mother would take me to either the McDonald's or Burger King. The only thing left is the McDonald's. I find this kinda sad cause I prefer Burger King. I have been tempted to go into the McDonald's recently for old time sake lol. I also remember a old (or old fashioned) ice cream shop somewhere near by. Dose anyone else? I really do miss Foley's. I remember the sales and that they where good sells. Not Macy's idea of a sale. While Foley's was more expensive then Sears or Ward's they where cheaper then Macy's. Did anyone else notice the price jump when they all became Macy's? I do go there, but typically for the white sale. That they are famous for and that they do do well. Now I am a Penny's girl. I still miss Foley's though and the maroon and white bags and boxes. I even still say Foley's sometimes when I mean Macy's. Oh after we had a car for some reason we started going to the Sharpstown store almost exclusively. I never saw the downtown one after '87, not counting the time I went to Macy's for nostalgia (though that trip was a huge let down). Lastly does anyone know where the name came from?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I miss Foley's :(

I miss Foley's, too. It was the last of the hometown department stores. When you think about how involved they all used to be in civic support, etc. Foley's, Sakowitz, Joske's, Craig's, Walter Pye's, Isabell Gerhart, the true Beall's and Palais Royal - when they were separate entities and unique. Remember the Foley's Thanksgiving Day Parade? the Foley's Academy in the basement downtown for kids struggling in school?

Each region used to have their own stores, history and traditions. Look at Marshall Fields and what they meant to Chicago. Burdine's to Florida, Rich's to Atlanta, Bullock's, I Magnin and The Broadway to southern California.

It is a real shame. Southern California, for instance, used to have May Co., The Broadway, Macy's (the original RH Macy Co. - not the Kmart of today), I Magnin, Emporium, Capwell's, Bullock's, Bullock's Wilshire, Robinson's, Gottschalks and Harris'. Now all they have is ONE - Macy's. Talk about no competition. Where are all the bleeding hearts and their talk of anti trust problems? Virtually every market across the country is in the same position. It all started with the greed on Wall Street allowing Campeau ( a real estate tycoon from Canada) to purchase Allied Stores and then Federated Dept Stores -- all with junk bonds, none of his money --- which eventually caused the bankruptcy and consolidation of centuries old icons. Read "Going For Broke" and "The Rain on Macy's Parade". Both very good books on this debacle.

Your list didn't include Battelstien's.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree wholeheartedly. Isnt it compelling that Macy's praises every chain for their community involvement, philanthropy and specialness in their descriptions next to the t shirt for each chain. If they had such value, WHY DID YOU ELIMINATE THEM? Lundgren and the other Macy people don't want the new company to bring back Bullock's, Jordan Marsh, etc because they KNOW THEY WOULD DO WELL. They still have disdain for the Marshall Fields' loyalists who still picket their store every year on State Street in Chicago. Marshall Field's was an international destination - the 3rd most visited landmark in Chicago. Why go to a boring Macy's when you have one in every mall across the country? The public is tired of the same generic Chinese crap at their stores. Thankfully, we still have Dillard's. They are the closest thing to what Foley's was like. It's too bad Dillard's doesnt bring back Joske's. At least they did keep the store's quality and service up unlike Macy's.

You do realize Dillard's has done the exact same thing with many many local names through the years... Joske's, John A. Brown, Stix Baer & Fuller etc etc etc.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You do realize Dillard's has done the exact same thing with many many local names through the years... Joske's, John A. Brown, Stix Baer & Fuller etc etc etc.

I know that's true...were no Dillard's in Houston when I was growing up, in the 1960's.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

The reason Macy's is selling Foley's T Shirts, Lunch and shopping totes is they have filed suit against Strategic Marks LLC to block them from bringing back Bullock's, Jordan Marsh, Filene's and other quality department stores, both in internet and brick and mortar. Macy's let all their trademarks expire, including Foley's, allowing others to legally purchase them. Strategic marks sees the void in the marketplace of quality merchandise and stores, as well as the good will in the names of the stores. Macy's has an impure, albeit greedy, motive at work in selling the items with all of the old stores names -- to NEVER bring back the stores and create competition again. They have disdain for the brands and no intention on bringing them back.

http://www.retrodepartmentstores.com/

http://www.topix.net/content/prweb/2011/09/macys-files-opposition-to-block-the-use-of-their-expired-2

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 months later...
  • 1 year later...

how old is that brochure? It's demographic data is WAY off...

 

Sometimes, I feel like I'm the only mostly white person around in that area... LOL

 

2000 census, apparently. The average income shoots up dramatically for the "within 5 miles" category by figuring in Bellaire.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 5 weeks later...

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
×
×
  • Create New...