Crowley Milner and Company
, generally referred to as Crowley's
, was a department store
chain founded in Detroit
in 1909. After several years of financial difficulties, the company ceased operation in 1999 and its assets were sold.
Its flagship store, corporate office and warehouse complex occupied two blocks in downtown Detroit for almost 80 years. The store was a direct competitor of the J. L. Hudson Company
and the Ernst Kern Company
until Kern's closed in 1959. Crowley's and Hudson's were both noted for their lavish annual Christmas displays. Faced with a decline in retail traffic in downtown Detroit, Crowley's closed its downtown location in July 1977. The firm operated a store in Detroit's New Center area that remained open until the chain's demise in 1999.
In 1995, the chain acquired Steinbach
in the northeast US. When Crowley's ceased operation in 1999, several of its locations were purchased by discount chain Value City
. Three in the Detroit area were rebranded Crowley's Value City
and remained part of the Value City chain until it also ceased operating in 2008.
In 1909, Joseph J. Crowley, his brothers William and Daniel, and William L. Milner joined to save the Detroit-based store of Partridge & Blackwell that was struggling financially. Joseph Crowley previously worked as a credit manager for the Detroit wholesale firm of Burnham Stoepel and had great experience reorganizing struggling ventures. He and his brothers opened the Crowley... Read More