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9-20-04 Rich’s ‘Belonged’ To All of Us

The truth of it is, the store has been gone for several years. Now, some corporate image guru in Cincinnati has announced that Federated Department Stores will yank the nameplate that has been a part of Atlanta since 1867 in favor of the single name, "Macy's."

AVOC

 

September 20, 2004

 

Rich’s Was Part of Georgia Heritage

 

By Wendell Dawson, Editor, AVOC, Inc.

 

Rich’s was a long-time landmark in Downtown Atlanta.  Growing up in the 40’s & 50’s, a rare visit to Rich’s was quite a treat.  While I did not ride the Pink Pig, I was always amazed at the size and colorful content of the store.

 

I have watched the Christmas Tree lighted at Thanksgiving and many years of beautiful Christmas music and decorations.

 

It is sad to see Rich’s go.


The Gainesville Times

                http://www.gainesvilletimes.com/

 

September 18, 2004

 

For Rich's, for poorer: First, they take our pig, now our tree

By Harris Blackwood  COLUMNIST

They took our pig and now they're taking our store.  Rich's was our store. It was more than a store; it was an institution. It was where you went to see Santa Claus and ride the Pink Pig. It was magical and special. It was a place unlike any other.

The truth of it is, the store has been gone for several years. Now, some corporate image guru in Cincinnati has announced that Federated Department Stores will yank the nameplate that has been a part of Atlanta since 1867 in favor of the single name, "Macy's."

Morris Rich came to America to live the American dream. He borrowed $00 from his brother and opened a store. Rich and Brothers had five employees and took in $,000 the first year.

Rich's had its good times and was with us in the not-so-good times. When farmers lost their market for cotton, Rich's took their crops in exchange for merchandise.

When the City of Atlanta could not pay its schoolteachers' checks, Rich's took the checks in exchange for merchandise and held the checks until the city could make them good.

There were two downtown department stores in the Atlanta of my childhood, Rich's and Davison's. Davison's was nice, but there was no place like Rich's.  We used to take the old No.10 Cascade Heights bus to go and shop at Rich's.

It wasn't an impulse thing, but an event we planned for days. We wore good clothes and Mamma would make sure that our hair was combed. Sometimes she was slicking our hair back down just before we got downtown. We were, after all, going to Rich's.

There was no time like Christmas at Rich's. Several times we went down on Thanksgiving night for the lighting of the Rich's Great Tree. Choirs would sing on the multi-level bridge between the two store buildings. It was quite a show. Then, somebody would sing "O Holy Night" and they would light the tree.

The next day, we would go down to see Santa. He was at Rich's, too. There was a special elevator that went all the way to toyland. When you arrived you could see Santa and his reindeer and ride the Pink Pig.

Rich's was sold to Federated in 1976. In the early 1990s, they closed the big store downtown. Several things happened before that. When I took my daughter down to ride the Pink Pig on its final year, I found out those people from Cincinnati had shrunk the pig. It was big and giant and wonderful when I was a kid. I came back and found that I could hardly fit. I was outraged.

Up the street, the Davison's name had become Macy's. Last year, they combined the two stores into one brand called Rich's-Macy's. It just didn't fit. It was like calling a car Ford-Chevy. It was like oil and water.

They also tried something they called the Pink Pig "ride." I don't know what y'all think up there in Cincinnati, but the Pink Pig was a flying machine that flew its passengers through toyland. The words "Pink Pig" and "ride" were like the words "Rich's" and "Macy's." They just didn't go together.

And let's not forget about the tree.

There would be something almost sacrilegious about calling that tree the "Macy's Great Tree." You see, Macy's has a parade; Rich's had a tree.  Got it?  So take the nameplate, but leave the tree ornaments and the keys to the pig by the door. And have a nice trip back to Cincinnati.


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