Marshall Field's History

700 Nicollet Mall
Minneapolis, Minnesota 55402-2040

Telephone: (612) 375-2200
Fax: (612) 375-2795

Division of Target Corporation
Incorporated: 1901 as Marshall Field & Company, Inc.
Employees: 26,000
Sales: $2.58 billion (2003)
NAIC: 452110 Department Stores; 454110 Electronic Shopping and Mail-Order Houses

Company Perspectives:

At Marshall Field's stores, the guest is always first. This guest-focused approach has inspired millions of shoppers across the Midwest and beyond to look to Marshall Field's for fashion leadership, superb guest service and a commitment to community involvement.

Key Dates:

Potter Palmer opens a retail dry goods store called P. Palmer & Company on Lake Street in Chicago, soon finding success creating an upscale emporium catering to women.
Marshall Field and Levi Z. Leiter buy into Palmer's enterprise, which is renamed Field, Palmer & Leiter.
Field and Leiter buy out Palmer, renaming the firm Field, Leiter & Company.
Field and Leiter move their store to State and Washington Streets.
The store is destroyed in the Great Chicago Fire; three weeks later, it reopens at a temporary site.
The retail store reopens in a new building at State and Washington.
Another fire burns the store to the ground, forcing another temporary relocation.
Field, Leiter & Company returns once again to State and Washington.
Field buys out Leiter and renames the firm Marshall Field & Company.
Field's retail store opens its bargain basement area.
The company is incorporated as Marshall Field & Company, Inc.
Marshall Field dies, leaving ownership of his company to a complex family trust; John G. Shedd takes over as president.
Field family trustees sell 90 percent of their company shares to the firm's officers and managers.
The Frederick & Nelson department store in Seattle, Washington, is acquired.
The company finishes construction of the mammoth $35 million Merchandise Mart, new home of the wholesale and manufacturing divisions; Marshall Field & Co. offers shares to the public for the first time; the Field family retains a 10 percent stake.
At the height of the depression, Marshall Field & Co. posts a net loss of $8 million.
James O. McKinsey is brought in from the outside as chairman and CEO to direct the liquidation of the wholesale division.
The Merchandise Mart is sold to Joseph P. Kennedy for $12.9 million.
Marshall Field completes the divestment of its manufacturing operations, selling Fieldcrest Mills.
The company leads the development of Old Orchard, a new shopping center in Skokie, Illinois, featuring a Marshall Field's store.
The Field family sells its last remaining holdings in Marshall Field & Co.
Water Tower Place, half-owned by the company, is completed on Chicago's North Michigan Avenue and includes a new Marshall Field's store.
Carter Hawley Hale Stores, Inc. launches a takeover bid that is rejected by Marshall Field's board.
The first Marshall Field store outside the Midwest opens in Houston, Texas.
To fend off a takeover bid led by Carl Icahn, Marshall Field sells itself to BATUS Inc., a division of B.A.T. Industries PLC, for $367.6 million.
A $110 million, five-year renovation of the flagship State Street store is launched.
To fend off a hostile takeover led by James Goldsmith, B.A.T. Industries announces that it will sell off its U.S. retailing operations.
Dayton Hudson Corporation acquires Marshall Field's for $1.04 billion.
Marshall Field's exits from the Texas market, selling its four stores there.
Dayton Hudson changes its name to Target Corporation.
Target rebrands its Dayton's and Hudson's department stores under the Marshall Field's banner.
Target announces that it will explore a possible sale of Marshall Field's.

Company History:

Further Reading:

  • Baeb, Eddie, "Field's a Smaller Department for Target: As Chain Grows, Local Retailer Becomes Less Important," Crain's Chicago Business, July 24, 2000, p. 1.
  • Barmash, Isadore, "BATUS Bid Is Accepted by Field," New York Times, March 17, 1982, p. D1.
  • Berg, Eric N., "Marshall Field Deal by Dayton," New York Times, April 20, 1990, p. D1.
  • Berner, Robert, "Dayton Hudson's Once-Fashionable Stores Tread Water," Wall Street Journal, August 1, 1996, p. B4.
  • Blackburn, Tom F., "Hard Times Nurtured Marshall Field," Nation's Business, February 1932, p. 55.
  • Chandler, Susan, "Target Corp. Makes Field's Day: Renaming Ends Era of Dayton's, Hudson's Stores," Chicago Tribune, January 13, 2001, p. 1.
  • ------, "Under the Gun at Dayton Hudson," Business Week, May 20, 1996, pp. 66+.
  • Dayton, George Draper, II, Our Story: With Histories of the Dayton, McDonald, and Winchell Families, Wayzata, Minn., 1987.
  • Fallon, James, "Now It's Saks and Field's Up for Sale," Women's Wear Daily, September 27, 1989, p. 1.
  • Fass, Allison, "Marshall Field's Decides It's Time for a Big Branding Effort," New York Times, September 11, 2001, p. C8.
  • "Field's and Its Foe Go Their Own Ways," Business Week, March 6, 1978, p. 33.
  • Gallun, Alby, "The Targeting of Field's," Crain's Chicago Business, April 15, 2002, p. 1.
  • Gill, Penny, "Macke Maps Plan for Dayton Hudson," Stores, November 1991, pp. 28+.
  • Goff, Lisa, "Bringing Back Field's Glory Days," Crain's Chicago Business, December 15, 1986, p. 1.
  • Griffin, Dick, "Marshall Field: Is Independence Worth It?," Fortune, February 12, 1979, pp. 106-09.
  • Heller, Laura, "Frango Fracas Peeves Chicago," Discount Store News, April 5, 1999, pp. 3, 47.
  • Hull, Hamilton, Marshall Field & Company: The World's Greatest Merchandiser, Chicago: Marshall Field & Co., 1907.
  • Jones, Sandra, "Pressure to Dump Field's," Crain's Chicago Business, November 17, 2003, p. 3.
  • ------, "Target: Fresher Field's," Crain's Chicago Business, November 3, 2003, p. 3.
  • Koehn, Nancy F., "Marshall Field, 1834-1906," in Brand New: How Entrepreneurs Earned Consumers' Trust from Wedgwood to Dell, Boston: Harvard Business School Press, 2001, pp. 91-130.
  • Levy, Melissa, "An Old Firm, a New Name: Target Corp.," Minneapolis Star-Tribune, January 14, 2000, p. 1A.
  • Madsen, Axel, The Marshall Fields: The Evolution of an American Business Dynasty, New York: Wiley, 2002.
  • "Marshall Field & Co.," Fortune, October 1936, pp. 78-87+.
  • "Marshall Field: Seeking New Markets in the South and West," Business Week, March 23, 1981, p. 125.
  • "Marshall Field, the Store," Fortune, December 1945, pp. 142-47+.
  • Merrick, Amy, "Field's Lures New Brands to Polish Image," Wall Street Journal, July 8, 2003, p. B1.
  • Moin, David, "Marshall Field's Newest Dream," Women's Wear Daily, October 9, 2003.
  • Moore, Janet, "The Store Formerly Known As Dayton's: Dayton's and Hudson's Department Stores to Use Marshall Field's Name," Minneapolis Star-Tribune, January 13, 2001, p. 1A.
  • Nazem, Susie Gharib, "Marshall Field's Too Successful Strategy," Fortune, March 22, 1982, pp. 81-82, 84.
  • Palmer, James L., The Origin, Growth, and Transformation of Marshall Field & Company, New York: Newcomen Society in North America, 1963.
  • "Professor's Purge," Time, December 27, 1937, p. 42.
  • Prokesch, Steven, "British Conglomerate to Sell Off Saks and Marshall Field Chains," New York Times, September 27, 1989, p. A1.
  • "Putting Some Pizazz into Marshall Field's," Business Week, August 22, 1983, p. 87.
  • Rutberg, Sidney, "Dayton Hudson Win Marshall Field's," Women's Wear Daily, April 20, 1990, p. 1.
  • Salmans, Sandra, "Behind the Slippage at Marshall Field," New York Times, March 17, 1982, p. D1.
  • Tebbel, John William, The Marshall Fields: A Study in Wealth, New York: Dutton, 1947.
  • Turner, Melissa, "Field's Hopes Restructuring Will Pay Off," Women's Wear Daily, July 8, 1995, pp. 1+.
  • Twyman, Robert W., History of Marshall Field & Co., 1852-1906, Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1954.
  • ------, "Potter Palmer: Merchandising Innovator of the West," Explorations in Entrepreneurial History, December 1951.
  • Veverka, Mark, "The Battle Field's: Fighting for a Focus," Crain's Chicago Business, November 28, 1994, p. 1.
  • ------, "A Down Field's Heads Upstream," Crain's Chicago Business, November 13, 1995, p. 1.
  • Webber, Oscar, J.L. Hudson: The Man and the Store, New York: Newcomen Society in North America, 1954.
  • Wendt, Lloyd, and Herman Kogan, Give the Lady What She Wants! The Story of Marshall Field & Company, Chicago: Rand McNally, 1952.
  • "Why Profits Shrink at a Grand Old Name," Business Week, April 11, 1977, pp. 66+.
  • Wieffering, Eric J., "Refashioning Dayton's," Corporate Report Minnesota, April 1994, pp. 60+.
  • Williams, Alfred Harry, No Name on the Door: A Memoir of Gordon Selfridge, London: W.H. Allen, 1956.
  • Wilson, Anamaria, "Through the Years," Women's Wear Daily, October 9, 2003.
  • Wilson, Beth, "Dreams of Field's: Famed Chicago Store Embarks on Overhaul," Women's Wear Daily, June 30, 2003, p. 1.
  • Zuckerman, Gregory, and Ann Zimmerman, "Target Indeed: Unhappy Investors Take Aim," Wall Street Journal, February 4, 2004, pp. C1, C3.

Source: International Directory of Company Histories, Vol.63. St. James Press, 2004.