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Columbus is home to 10% of Biggest US Retail Brands

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From The Dispatch:

Columbus is headquarters for five of the biggest retail brands
By Margaret Harding

Columbus is home to five of the 50 most valuable retail brands in the U.S., and it is the only city of its size in the country to be able to say so, according to a new study.

Local officials and experts said the rankings speak well for the area, which has become a hub for retail activity nationally.

Limited Brands’ Victoria’s Secret had the highest ranking of Columbus-based brands, at 16th. Abercrombie & Fitch was next-highest at 27th. Limited’s Bath & Body Works ranked 35th, while Abercrombie-owned Hollister was 40th on the list. Big Lots, the closeout retailer, came in at 43rd.

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  • It almost feels like cheating to have B&BW and Victoria’s Secret listed separately (same goes for A&F and Hollister I suppose)…

    Still, that’s a pretty cool showing for Columbus.

    If anyone’s interested, the full list can be found here:


    Shame on the Dispatch for not linking it from the article. :P

  • JonMyers

    I don’t know the history of why retail is in Columbus in the first place. What’s the history of it pre-Wexner?

  • From here: http://www.easternct.edu/depts/amerst/MallsHistory.htm

    1928 – Grandview Avenue Shopping Center – Don M. Casto designed a strip of 30 stores (including four super-markets) and off-street parking for 400 cars, not associated with an exclusive residential area. This general plan became the prototype of shopping centers for several decades.

  • Also significant: http://history.sandiego.edu/gen/soc/shoppingcenter.html

    1949 Don M. Casto opened the Town & Country in the suburb of Whitehall east of Columbus: “Nighttime shopping was inaugurated at Town & Country Shopping Center in Columbus, Ohio, when developer Don Casto hired Grandma Carver (a woman who dived from a 90-foot perch into a 4-foot pool of flaming water), to perform her act in the lighted parking lot, bringing shopping center promotion to a new level.”

  • Pablo

    Don’t forget the influence of Lazarus. In 1929, it was one of the 4 founding members of Federated Department Stores. Fred Lazarus, Jr. successfully lobbied President Franklin Roosevelt to permanently fix Thanksgiving as the fourth Thursday in November – they had clout.


    I’m not much of a shopper, but I do miss the 6 story Lazarus downtown – it was great!

  • I didn’t know those were both his. Interesting to compare the two nowadays.

  • Neil J.

    It’s even a little more impressive when you figure that the Columbus Metro area only makes up about .6% of the current US population.

    I wonder what percentage of Restaurant Chains are based in Columbus. Off the top of my head I can think off Wendy’s, White Castle, Bob Evans, Max and Erma’s, and Cameron Mitchell Restaurants. Anyone know?

  • Well, that list is a bit shorter these days ;)

  • I’d say the reputation started with and largely stems from Lazarus, it was quite the department store innovator back in the day. Very influential for a long time. Thought I read somewhere they came up the 99 cent idea among other things (although I suspect that was probably as “invented” as often as the Forward Pass was in Football).

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