Beautifully engraved antique stock certificate from Buffums' dating back to the 1970's. This document, which carries the printed signatures of the company President and Secretary, was printed by the Jeffries Bank Note Company, and measures approximately 12" (w) by 8" (h).
The vignette features the company's ornate crest.
You will receive the exact certificate pictured.
Buffums, originally written as Buffums' with an apostrophe, was a chain of upscale department stores, headquartered in Long Beach, California.
The Buffums chain began in 1904, when two brothers from Illinois, Charles A. and Edwin E. Buffum, together with other partners, bought the Schilling Bros., the largest dry goods store in Long Beach, and renamed it The Mercantile Co. The store grew to a large downtown department store, and starting in the 1950s, grew slowly over the years to be a small regional chain of 16 speciality department stores across Southern California at the time of its closure in 1990.
Over the years, the stores gained a reputation as the “Grand Dame” of department stores in the area. The stores’ interiors were known for large chandeliers and other upscale touches. The chain marketed itself as “Buffums Specialty Store,” in an attempt to differentiate itself from other local chains, including The Broadway and Bullock's, and the national stores such as May Co. and Robinson’s.
Its most famous advertising line, “I’ve been to Buffums,” was used in newspaper and television advertisements during the 1970s and '80s. It was also known for its “Bag-A-Bargain” promotion that placed actual shopping bags (printed with a discount offer) in local newspapers.
Like other local department stores of the era, Buffums was challenged by old-fashioned business models, changing consumer tastes, and the arrival of Seattle-based retailer Nordstrom. The chain was bought in the 1970s by the Australian-based David Jones Ltd, which looked to sell the struggling chain in the 1980s. By the time of the sale it had become part of Adelaide Steamship, an Australian conglomerate, who never found a buyer. In a last-ditch effort to modernize, Buffums installed new IBM point-of-sale registers in all stores in 1990 (to complement their data center's newly purchased AS/400, IBM's then-new midrange computer), only to enter liquidation following the 1990 Christmas shopping season.