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mallguy

Ivey's

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I'd be curious to hear people's recollections of Ivey's, the department store that was bought by Dillard's around 1990. I have good memories of ones in malls outside Charlotte (with an Arthur's restaurant, book and music departments and more upscale merchandise than Belk had at the time), but what was the uptown Ivey's like? What would Ivey's be comparable to today- Parisian?

Thanks!

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I remember Ivey's at SouthPark, and there was a fountain in front of the entrance into the mall. I was 4 or so when they were converted into Dillard's so I don't remember a whole lot.

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Their mall stores were nothing to write home about. Pretty much the same stuff as Belk, Dillards, Nordstrom, Heicts, etc etc. Mostly women's fashions, some kitchen junk etc.

What I do remember seeing however was the original Iveys store on North Tryon when it was still operated as a store. The building was unique including the very interesting elevator, (built when elevators were a big deal) and points back to the era when it was a real downtown deptartment store that used to exist in most cities at the time. Their main competitor was Belk across the street. This would have been in the days when they would have sold everything needed for a household and people would travel to Charlotte from the surrounding cities for special shopping occasions. I only saw this in it's dying days, and unfortunately in Charlotte both the downtown Belk and Iveys are now gone.. The Ivey's building is still there, but unfortunately it went through a horrendous conversion to a condo complex brought to you, I believe, by the same people who built the Arlington.

Their last big investment in Charlotte was their store at Eastland. i will admit that riding up the escalator there above the ice skating rink in the 1970s was very impressive at the time and the Ivey's script sign above the store had an elegance to it that the cold square fonts of Dillards just doesn't have. I hated to see them bought out by a national chain and the dull sameness that came with it.

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My mom told me she worked in on in college. Of the pay, she said "The discount made up for it."

:blink:

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I don't have any memories of the Uptown Ivey's store (unfortunately), but the suburban Ivey's stores made a huge impression on me growing up.

In the days before retail became a stockholder-ruled, sale-laden race to the lowest common denominator, the Ivey's I remember was constantly reaching upscale. They had an excellent logo, Arthur's (even in Greensboro), cool shopping bags and all the special things that you couldn't find at other stores.

The stores themselves were little on the bland side at first, but they always had natural light coming in through windows and skylights. Later in the '80s, the various remodels made them a lot more elegant looking. My ideal retail interior was the Ivey's at Four Seasons in Greensboro, circa 1989. Richly colored woods, marble foors, chrome and mirror accents everywhere, that distinctive angled ceiling over the walkways...it was too perfect.

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I have clear memories of going to the Tryon Street Ivey's in the 1960s and 70s. As a prior post mentioned, our family was one which typically drove 50 miles to Christmas shop at Ivey's and Belk's across the street.

I have memories of it being quite elegant. The route to the top floor was dramatic, and the store definitely seemed posh to a young boy/teenager from Hickory!

My parents' impression of Ivey's at the time was that browsing was fun there, but the prices were too far out of their budget. They looked at Ivey's but mostly bought at Belk's.

I also have a sordid memory of Tryon St. Ivey's. Back in my teenage years I knew two unscrupulous drag queens that drove from Hickory to the Uptown Ivey's soley to shoplift expensive evening gowns~~they were quite brazen about it, and stole dresses that were usually over $200 (quite a bit of money in the early 70s) a poetic justice sidenote: the two jerks broke into an exclusive dress shoppe in Hickory, stole over $50,000 worth of gowns and jewelry. One of their roomates, who had morals, found out and turned them into the police. They each served 4 years in N.C. prison.

No telling how many dresses they stole from Ivey's over the years. And the sad thing is that the expensive dresses didn't help the drag queens in the least. They both still looked ridiculous, even in pricey attire!

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