In 1976 The Joseph Horne Company would open their second Ohio store and their first in the Cleveland market at the brand new Randall Park Mall. Though they were considered the new kid on the block in Cleveland, The Joseph Horne company had already been in business for 127 years with 13 stores in the Pittsburgh area as well as a branch location in Youngstown.
Though the Joseph Horne Company was part of the much larger Associated Dry Goods Company the move was still considered “gutsy” as the Cleveland market already featured retail heavyweights such as Higbee’s, The May Company, The Halle Brothers, JCPenney, and Sears.
Looking to make a splash, The Joseph Horne Company spent nearly 3 years on design and construction of the Randall Park store making sure to place extra emphasis on the stores interior design quality. After all, what better way to accentuate the quality of the items being sold than to show them off in the most attractive environments and settings?
When finally completed the store would be sheer elegance from top to bottom with genuine wool carpets, real teak wood floors imported from Bangkok, velvet wallcoverings, brass accents, and in one area gold leaf molding around the ceiling.
The company’s hard work would pay-off though. On the stores opening day busloads of people jammed the aisleways to get their first look at the new kid from Pittsburgh. It was so busy there were lines just to get in. One frustrated shopper was quoted in The Plain Dealer as saying “What good is it to come to a store if you can’t even get in?”.
Just inside the stores main entrance shoppers would find the men’s sportswear department with light ash wood cabinets and wall trim and a pattern of burgundy and gold carpet squares.
The stores central core would house a 58 foot bay area where two escalators would carry shoppers to different departments on each level of the store. This area would be dominated by a 23 foot high crystal chandelier. The chandelier would take 4 months to build and weigh in at a lofty 2,300 pounds with 1,900 of that in crystal alone. Dark mirrors would line the walls surrounding the escalator to reflect the lights of the chandelier throughout the escalator well.
Directly beneath the chandelier was the cosmetics department which had a geometrically designed carpet of brown and white color.
From cosmetics following along the herringbone patterned teak wood path would bring you to the nearby accessories department, where shoppers would find handbags, jewelry, and scarfs all showcased in a Brazilian Rosewood display cabinet trimmed in brass.
The houseware’s department would feature a sunny yellow tile quarried in California. The area also had display racks made of butcher block and knotty pine and an 8×8 copper hood to showcase the stores wide assortment of brass pots and pans.
In the juniors department walls were lined with mirrors and accented with neon. A large white neon “JR” would be a beacon shining bright to indicate the departments target age group and lure young customers in.
Even the dressing rooms at Joseph Horne’s had an extra touch of class, with louvered doors trimmed with brass “S” shaped handles.
If that weren’t enough, the store also boasted a restaurant on the third level, Josephine’s Eating and Drinking Emporium, that could seat 150. With an impressive collection of art and antiques along and plenty of window seating to offer patrons breathtaking views of the North Randall countryside, Josephine’s was the perfect dinner spot to wind down a long afternoon of shopping.
Waiter! I’ll take the Quiche Lorraine please.
One Reply to “The Joseph Horne Company Enters the Cleveland Market”
I had never been to the Horne’s store at Randall Park until years later after Burlington Coat Factory took over a large portion of it. I have read that the store also had a mezzanine level, is that true? If so, was this between level 1 and 2 or 2 and 3? I am fascinated by this.