Hudson's Bay Company


Hudson's, or The J.L. Hudson Company, was a retail department store chain based in Detroit. Hudson's flagship store, on Woodward Avenue in downtown Detroit (demolished October 24 1998), was the tallest department store in the world as of 1961, and, at one time, claimed to be the second largest department store (next to Macy's) in the United States, in terms of square footage.


Founded in 1881 by Joseph L. Hudson, the store thrived during the growth of Detroit and the auto industry during the first half of the 20th century. The family also founded the Hudson Motor Car Company, which eventually became part of the American Motors Corporation.

Hudson's expanded into suburban Detroit, starting with the anchor store at Northland Center in nearby Southfield, Michigan, the largest shopping center in the United States when it opened in 1954. Similar suburban malls followed (Westland Center and Eastland Center), as well of other stores throughout the tri-state region. The Dayton Co. of Minneapolis acquired The J.L. Hudson Co. in 1969 to form the Dayton-Hudson Corporation, although "The J.L. Hudson Co." continued to operate as a semi-autonomous entity. Dayton-Hudson eventually acquired and sold several other department store chains.

The flagship Hudson's store closed January 17, 1983 (at the nadir of Downtown Detroit's decline). After closure, Hudson's maintained its headquarters staff of about 1,100 in the downtown store. In May 1984, The J.L. Hudson Co. formally merged into The Department Store Division of the Dayton Hudson Corp., although Hudson's stores continued to carry the Hudson's name. All executive and buying positions transferred to Minneapolis, and other staff moved to space at the Northland store in Southfield. The last corporate department in the downtown Detroit building, credit operations, moved out in October 1986. Dayton Hudson sold the building in December 1989, and it was imploded on October 24, 1998. Hudson's longtime warehouse on Brush St. in downtown Detroit closed to make room for the new Detroit Lions stadium, Ford Field. Ford Field partially incorporated the warehouse into its design.

In 2000, Dayton-Hudson Corporation took the name of its most successful operation, becoming Target Corporation, and one year later re-branded all Hudson's and Dayton's locations with the Marshall Field's moniker, an operation purchased by Dayton-Hudson in 1990. After being briefly owned by May Department Stores, the former Hudson's stores fell under the ownership of Federated Department Stores in 2006 and all Marshall Field's stores were renamed Macy's.

Former locations

All locations were converted to Marshall Field's in 2001 and Macy's in 2006, unless noted otherwise.



New York

  • Buffalo - Specialty store for men's and boy's wear operated on Main Street starting in 1886. In 1932, purchased by AM&A's and operated under the Hudson's name until 1946. This store was operated by Joseph L. Hudson's brother William from 1896 until his death in 1928.


See also


Further reading

  • Hauser, Michael, and Marianne Weldon. (2004). Hudson's: Detroit's Legendary Department Store. Charleston, SC: Arcadia Publishing. ISBN 0738533556.

External links

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