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The Rise and Fall of Seattle’s Jay Jacobs

When 28-year-old Jay Jacobs opened his first retail women’s clothing store in downtown Seattle in 1941, the first link to what would become the Jay Jacobs chain of retail clothing stores was established. Although the company later would operate nearly 300 stores in more than 20 states, decades would pass before anyone would refer to Jay Jacobs’ enterprise as a chain.

Jay Jacobs’ EverPark Garage store in Everett, Washington with the short-lived logo redesign in 1975.

The company did not open its second store until a decade after the first, and the third store did not open its doors until the second had already celebrated its tenth anniversary of existence. It was not until the mid-1970s—more than 30 years into the company’s history—that Jay Jacobs, Inc. could rightly be referred to as a chain. With ten stores in operation in 1974, the company represented a discernible yet modest force in the Pacific North-west retail fashion industry, but by the end of the decade the chain would begin to expand with decided aggression, increasing exponentially the number of stores it operated throughout the western United States… read more >

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