One of Little Rock's retailing icons is about to die. Possibly one of the last department store chains in the country to have kept it's original name since being founded in the 1870's, M.M.Cohn will be closed -along with it's parent company, Dunlap Stores of Ft. Worth at the end of 2007.
M.M. Cohn's was to Little Rock, as Neiman's is to Dallas, Sak's to New York... Nordstrom's to Seattle, etc. You always knew that you would always find 'the best' there, whether it was a tie, a bathtowel or a full-length fox. You can read a little about the store's history here. I remember, as a child, my family shopping at this downtown store (pictured above). I remember the elevator operator. Seems like I remember a lunch counter. I remember being in awe of the Christmas windows. I remember so much... I even remember it's neighbors: Pfiefer's and Blass Department Stores (later merged and renamed Dillard's). In all three, the entreprenurial spirit of these families who helped build Little Rock will live on only through memory of those who experienced it.
It is a pity that such a local legend has been allowed to die such a long painful death. Purchased from the original family in 1989 by the Dunlap Co., M.M. Cohn immediately began it's downward spiral. Terrible, since it was once not only the premiere retailer of Little Rock/North Little Rock, but also of Memphis, Oklahoma City & Tulsa. I was sad to also see a Memphis icon, Goldsmith's, fall victim to the nationwide Macy's rename, Marshall Field's in Chicago too, but it hurts more to see our little piece of history closing altogether.
It was our 'own little Neiman's'... now it's gone.