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History of Carson Pirie Scott & Co.

Carson`s was founded in 1854 and at the beginning Scotsmen, Samuel Carson and John Pirie founded a dry-goods store in Peru, Illinois. The store was then named Carson & Pirie after its founders. Six years later in 1860, another Scot Patrick McHugh bought the business from them and became their partner. Four years later when Samuel Carson died he left his shares to his brother James who was unmarried at that time.

In 1961, the Carson Pirie Scott & Co. greatly expanded in Illinois by purchasing 20 unit Block and Kuhl chain headquartered in Peoria 

This agency not only had an impact on their surrounding community but also set a precedent for other businesses to follow suit with how they operate as well- proving that even large corporations can care about giving back through philanthropy just like smaller companies do!

So therefore John served as the only original partner until 1868 when James joined and things were back to normal again with three partners once again (Carson, Pirie & McHugh). In 1870, Patrick McNichol McHugh took over leadership and changed the name to the Carson Pirie Scott and Company in 1877.

In 1980, to diversify its business and avoid future stagnation caused by the failing economy at that time Carson Pirie Scott & Co borrowed $108 million dollars from their own states bank in order to buy Dobbs Houses - which is considered now as one of Chicago's most famous landmark buildings because it houses many shops.

What does Carson`s brand do?

The store started as a dry-goods store, but then eventually diversified to include furniture, clothing, and even jewelry due to its success and wherewithal to do so. Today they boast of having over one hundred locations throughout the midwest United States and claim that their company was founded on future success and how it could be achieved.

How many locations do they have?

They currently have over 50 locations in Illinois, Wisconsin, and Minnesota with most of them being concentrated in Illinois.

Carson`s closing and Bon-Ton moving into its spot

Unfortunately, after over 160 years of business, Carson`s is closing all of its locations throughout Illinois, Wisconsin, and Minnesota. This unfortunate news came shortly after Bon-Ton filed for bankruptcy which meant that the company would be forced to shut down most of its locations.

Therefore, it truly made sense for Bon-Ton to buy out Carson's considering how there are only two stores left in both Chicago and Milwaukee. With the entire Bon-Ton collection of stores, including Carson's going into bankruptcy and closing in 2018 it is clear that this was not an easy decision for any party involved.

The company sold off their properties at auction to a holding group who continued operating them under their old name but still made some changes here or there depending on how they felt about certain things like branding just so you knew which store was supposed to be where when everything else fell apart.

Will there be a new Carson`s?

The company's sole location in Evergreen Park has been a glittering example of how to stay classy and operate an effective business during times when others crumble. The COVID-19 pandemic was too much for this fine establishment, though; it closed its doors for good on October 4th, 2020 as a result.

However, the e-commerce giant Carson's is preparing for another relaunch by BrandX, which has also acquired the Stage Store trademarks. At this time they have no brick and mortar stores but only an online retailer presence with plans to launch in November 2021. So, we are still waiting!

Typical Hours of Operation

Mo 12:00 - 22:00
Tu 12:00 - 22:00
We 12:00 - 22:00
Th 12:00 - 22:00
Fr 12:00 - 22:00
Sa 12:00 - 22:00
Su 12:00 - 22:00

Locations: 8 locations in 7 states and 8 cities.


  • Home Decor
  • Home Furnishings
  • Women's Clothing
  • Men's Clothing
  • Children & Infants Clothing
  • Department Stores

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