history [edit ]
The company was founded by Sydney Lewis and Frances Lewis. Sydney Lewis, a lawyer educated at Washington & Lee and Harvard Business School, worked with his forefather managing an encyclopedia sales operation in Richmond. Lewis thought of selling extra trade along with the bills for encyclopedia. In 1957, the Lewises sent out their first base catalog. The inaugural showroom was at 4909 West Marshall Street in Richmond, barely across the street from the new Willow Lawn Shopping Center. The caller had a strong sense of forwarding and artistic sensibilities ; it was legend in aesthetic circles that it would trade storehouse merchandise for artwork. As a resultant role, the company, vitamin a well as the Lewises, gathered a meaning solicitation of 20th-century artwork. much of the Lewis Collection can be seen at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.
Reading: Best Products – Wikipedia
sculpture in the environment [edit ]
In the 1970s, Best Products contracted with James Wines ‘ “ sculpture in the Environment “ ( SITE ) architecture firm to design nine highly irregular retail facilities, notably a facetiously structure called the “ Indeterminate Facade ” in Houston, Texas with a sternly distressed facade. This build purportedly “ appeared in more books on 20th-century computer architecture than photograph of any other modern structure ”. [ 1 ] In Richmond, the party built the Peeling Wall showroom that appeared to have a skin facade ( located on Midlothian Turnpike ) arsenic well as a Forest showroom that appeared to have trees growing out of it ( located at 9008 Quioccasin Road ). The store in Sacramento besides had a unique design. In the good morning, its recess entrance would slide open, and would slide back exclude at night. The social organization, with its breakaway entry removed, is now a Best Buy. [ 2 ] Photographs of these storefronts appeared in several Best catalogs. One anchored the Eudowood Plaza in Towson, Maryland, featuring a careen front. As of 2007, most of these distinctive buildings have been converted into conventional buildings by removing the architectural embellishments, or in a few cases, demolished. The only building to retain its distinctive features is the Forest build in Richmond, now home to the West end Presbyterian Church, which has stated that the afforest in the entrance has been an asset to the church ‘s environment. Their Parham Road headquarters, built in 1981 and designed by Hardy Holzman Pfeiffer, was celebrated for an american Institute of Architects award and the use of Art Deco eagles rescued from a New York build. [ 3 ] The giant BEST letters of the headquarters could be seen along Interstate 95 at Parham Road. Hardy Holzman Pfeiffer subsequently designed the West Wing of the Virginia Museum, which was funded by the Lewises.
retail concept [edit ]
Best employed the “ catalog showroom ” concept for many of its product offerings. Although some product categories ( such as sporting goods and toys ) were stocked in traditional self-serve aisles, the majority of products ( notably consumer electronics, housewares, and appliances ) were featured as unbox display models. Customers were permitted to examine and experiment with these models, and if found to be desirable, they could be purchased by submitting orders to store personnel. salable versions of the trade ( normally boxed and/or in its original packaging ) would then be retrieved from storage and delivered to a customer service area for subsequent purchase .
Acquisitions [edit ]
As a cost-saving measure, Best jointly published its catalogue with Service Merchandise ( founded by Harry Zimmerman ) and Modern Merchandising ( founded by Harold Roitenberg ), and had regional non-compete agreements with those chains.
In 1982, Best acquired catalog competitors : Basco, a chain with 19 catalogue showrooms in the Northeast and Ohio ; and Modern Merchandising, headquartered in Minnetonka, Minnesota with 76 showrooms under the names LaBelle ‘s, Dolgin ‘s, Jafco, Miller Sales, Rogers and Great Western. This was followed by the skill of Ashby ‘s, a 9-store women ‘s clothing chain, and the opening of four Best Jewelry stores in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia. [ 4 ]
bankruptcy [edit ]
Best filed doubly for chapter 11 bankruptcy security. The first base bankruptcy time period began in January 1991 and lasted through June 16, 1994. The second and final examination file was made on September 24, 1996. At the time of the second file, Best operated 169 Best stores and 11 Best jewelry stores in 23 states, and a countrywide mail-order service. Best Products was traded on the NASDAQ rally as “ BESTQ. ” It was de-listed on November 29, 1996, and Best did not appeal the NASDAQ decision. The last Best stores closed on February 9, 1997. [ 5 ] [ 6 ] [ 7 ] [ 8 ] By May 1997, Best had liquidated most of its assets and was declared bankrupt. Best vacated its bodied headquarters in Richmond in January 1998 and mailed out final examination checks to unbarred creditors the play along December ( paying 96 cents per dollar owed ) .