, or The J.L. Hudson Company
, was a retail department store
chain based in Detroit, Michigan
. Hudson's flagship store
, on Woodward Avenue
in downtown Detroit (demolished October 24, 1998), 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 record growth of the city 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 operated the store until his death in 1912 when his four nephews, James, Joseph, Oscar and Richard Webber assumed control. The third generation of the family assumed control in 1961 when Joseph L. Hudson, Jr. became president of the company.
Over time, the store grew from its modest beginnings in the Detroit Opera House to a 25-story building with and occupying an entire city block. Hudson's was known for customer satisfaction and its liberal return policy and would even pick-up merchandise that customers purchased years earlier, but never used. In 1952, Hudson's total sales were $
175 million however it... Read More