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Bond Stores



This company was founded in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1914, when Mortimer Slater, with Charles Anson Bond and Lester Cohen, founded the stores as a retail outlet for their suit manufacturing company. Charles Anson Bond, whose name was chosen for its market value and meaning left Cleveland for Columbus, Ohio where he opened a branch of the company. Bond stepped away from active management when he was elected Mayor of Columbus in 1907.

The first store featured fifteen-dollar men's suits. As president Slater built the concern into a million-dollar corporation, increasing the number of employees from fifty to more than 4,000. At his retirement in 1924, the concern had twenty-eight stores in large cities. Charles Anson Bond also sold his interests in the 1920s. Bond Stores, Inc. was organized in Maryland on March 19, 1937, by the consolidation of Bond Clothing Company, a Maryland corporation, and its subsidiary, Bond Stores, Inc. The principal executive offices of the corporation were located at 261 Fifth Avenue in New York City.

During the 1930s and 1940s, it became the largest retail chain of men's clothing in the United States, best known for selling two-pant suits. In 1975, the company was sold to foreign investors, then broken up and sold in smaller groups to its management. For instance, 13 stores were operated by the Proud Wind, Inc. company.

Between 1948 and 1954, Bond Clothes operated a massive sign on the east side block of Broadway between 44th and 45th streets in New York's Times Square. The sign had nearly 2 miles of neon and included two 7-story-tall nude figures, a man and a woman, as bookends. Between the nude figures, there was a 27-foot-high and 132-foot-wide waterfall with 50,000 gallons of recirculated water. Beneath the waterfall was a 278-foot-long zipper sign with scrolling messages. The Bond zipper was made up of more than 20,000 light bulbs. Above the waterfall was a digital clock with the wording "Every Hour 3,490 People Buy at Bond." Some of the sign remained in place to advertise the Bond Stores location until the store's closure in 1977.

Bond Stores

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