What Your Favourite Retail Stores Used to Look Like
From Walmart to The Gap, you won’t believe how they’ve changed.
Walmart stores might be massive superstores now, but before they took off, founder Sam Walton opened Walton’s 5&10 in Bentonville, Arkansas, in 1950. After his five and dime proved successful, he went on a new venture, opening the first Walmart in 1962 with the goal of driving business with crazy-low prices.
When “The Gap” opened in 1969, it targeted itself toward young people who were battling with the “generation gap” from people their parents’ age. By 1987, where this photo was taken in San Francisco, the clothes store had opened its first international location in London and its first GapKids.
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Before it was H&M, the women’s clothes shop that opened in 1947 was just called “Hennes,” meaning “hers” in Swedish. When it acquired apparel shop Mauritz Widforss, it switched to Hennes & Mauritz. It rebranded to “H&M” in 1974, but stores like this 1992 London location held on to some of the original branding.
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It might not have been the first place to sell Levi’s, but “The Original Levi’s Store” in 1999 featured the looks that are back in style today.
Perhaps what’s most surprising is how little IKEA has changed since 1968 when founder Ingvar Kamprad posed in front of one of his stores. Today’s Bjurån and Norraryd chairs are reminiscent of the ones you might have found in the first 1951 catalogue.
Next, find out the real reason why IKEA products have such weird names.