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Thank You for Shopping

Thank You for Shopping

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The Golden Age of Minnesota Department Stores

Author Kristal Leebrick, Foreword Dolores DeFore

Minnesota Historical Society Press (November 1, 2018)

Relive the glory days of retail—when a trip to the department store was a special occasion—with nostalgic stories and vintage photos and ads.


Throughout the twentieth century, department stores ruled the retail landscapes of downtown Minneapolis and St. Paul. More than just shopping centers, stores like Dayton's, Powers, Donaldson's, Young-Quinlan, the Emporium, and the Golden Rule were centers of social life. From the legendary Dayton's Christmas displays to celebrating a special occasion at Schuneman's River Room, the department store was a destination for generations of Minnesotans, within the Twin Cities and beyond.

Thank You for Shopping, author Kristal Leebrick presents the history and stories behind Minnesota's great department stores, offering a lively trip back to the glory days. Abundantly illustrated with vintage photos, postcards, advertisements, and artwork, the book explores the experience of shoppers and employees alike. Readers will revel in the fun, the fashion, and the thrill of discovery these stores provided.

The book also includes a chapter dedicated to the signature dishes with recipes, menus, and photos of the stores' esteemed dining establishments. And looking beyond the Twin Cities, Leebrick tells of beloved, locally owned stores in Brainerd (O’Brien's), Winona (Choate's), Duluth (Freimuth's), and other Minnesota cities and towns.

Thank You for Shopping is a nostalgic trip back for anybody who remembers the service, style, and charm of Minnesota's late, great department stores.

Author information

Kristal Leebrick has worked for more three decades as a writer and editor for community newspapers, trade magazines, and websites. She is the author of Dayton's: A Twin Cities Institution as well as several nonfiction juvenile books. Leebrick lives in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Dolores DeFore ran the Oval Room at Dayton's in downtown Minneapolis for many years, and she helped to introduce the "London Look" to American fashion in the 1960s. She later was president of Harold’s, a high-end women’s clothing store in Minneapolis. DeFore has served as a guest curator at the Goldstein Museum of Design at the University of Minnesota.

Reviews and news

Advance Praise:
“A wonderful look back at the history of retail in a state that continues to shape its future.”
Eric Dayton, founder and CEO of Askov Finlayson

Star Tribune
Pioneer Press
Midwest Home
Twin Cities Live
Twin Cities Agenda

Related resources

MNHS Collections UpClose-From Dayton's to Macy's

New Donations from Macy’s Help Tell a Century of Stories at Former Downtown Dayton’s Store

An Inventory of Its Dayton's Downtown Minneapolis Department Store Event Files at the Minnesota Historical Society


  • 224 pages
  • 200 Color and b&w photos and 100 illustrations, index, bibliography
  • 9.25x10.625 inches
  • ISBN: 9781681340975

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