RETAILING MEGA-MERGER : Broadway Stores’ Convoluted History

1896: Arthur Letts opens the Broadway Department Store, a 4,000-square-foot shop at 4th Street and Broadway in Los Angeles.

1950: The company becomes Broadway-Hale Stores with the purchase of Hale Bros. Stores of Northern California.

1969: Broadway-Hale acquires Neiman-Marcus and Waldenbooks and merges with Emporium Capwell Co. of San Francisco.

1972: Philip M. Hawley is named president. The company purchases Bergdorf Goodman of New York.


1974: The company is renamed Carter Hawley Hale Stores.

1978: The company buys John Wanamaker of Philadelphia and Thalhimers of Richmond, Va.

1984: Specialty retailer Limited Inc. launches an unsuccessful $1.1-billion takeover bid.

1986: Limited Inc. and shopping mall developer Edward J. DeBartolo Sr. make a $1.93-bil$1.93-billion takeover bid for Carter Hawley, which rejects the bid and announces a plan to spin off its specialty retailing division, including Neiman-Marcus and Contempo Casuals.


1987: Carter Hawley says restructuring will cost more than $1 billion, and it unveils an employee ownership plan to discourage hostile takeovers that would leave workers owning more than 50% of the company. Shareholders approve the restructuring; the stock hits a record high of $77 a share.

September, 1989: Profit for the fiscal year falls to $13.5 million.

October, 1990: Carter Hawley reports a loss of $26 million for the fiscal year and says it will reduce its work force by 1,000. The stock sinks to $3 a share.

December, 1990: Carter Hawley sells its Thalhimers division to May Department Stores for $317 million.


January, 1991: Carter Hawley announces a plan to sell its credit card division, but the deal falls through and the stock tumbles again.

February, 1991: Carter Hawley files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

May, 1992: Carter Hawley Hale announces $800 million in new General Electric Capital Corp. financing; first-quarter losses decline and sales rise.

October, 1992: Carter Hawley Hale emerges from bankruptcy after Chicago investor Sam Zell assumes about a third of the firm’s debt and pumps in $50 million in return for 75% ownership.


1993: Carter Hawley Hale names David Dworkin chief executive, succeeding Hawley. Company issues 10 million shares of new stock to help finance an ambitious store remodeling plan.

June, 1994: Company changes its name to Broadway Stores Inc.

March, 1995: Broadway Stores returns to profitability, but quarterly earnings are far below Wall Street expectations.

May, 1995: Broadway Stores reports a first-quarter net loss of $43.3 million.


Aug. 7, 1995: Shares of Broadway Stores lose nearly half their value after reports that manufacturers and financiers have cut off credit.

Aug. 14, 1995: On the brink of bankruptcy, Broadway agrees to be acquired by Federated Department Stores.