History of Weinstock's in Sacramento
by Alex Cosper, May 15, 2021

Stores come and go over the years, but some stand out and stay in our memories. If you lived in Sacramento in the late 20th century, you may remember the department store Weinstock's. It was the same era as less remembered stores such as White Front. Weinstock's was a fixture Downtown on the K Street Mall and at Arden Fair for many decades. Why did this iconic store eventually disappear?

California historian Annette Kassis, whose book Weinstock's: Sacramento's Finest Department Store answers questions about the fate of the region's once popular store, shares some of those insights in this interview. We did the interview at Arden Fair Mall in October 2012 to highlight the fact that what is now Macy's was once Weinstock's. The chain had several stores in the state.

In the first of three brief videos Annette talks about her interests as an historian. She enjoys writing about California, particularly regarding media such as McClatchy Broadcasting, in which the Sacramento Bee was the first newspaper on the west coast to also own a radio station. Her interest in writing about California history led to an opportunity to write about Weinstock's through a national publisher that concentrates on regional markets.

Whatever Happened to Weinstock's? (Part One)

In the second video Annette gives an overview of the store's 120 year history that spanned from the late 1800s through the mid 1990s. The store used other names before taking on the identity of Weinstock's in the 1960s.

In Sacramento it started on 4th and K then moved to 12th and K, which is now where Bank of America is located. The cover photo on Annette's book is at the 12th and K location. Other Weinstock's store could be found at Country Club Plaza, Arden Fair and Sunrise Mall. Ultimately the company was devastated by the late eighties recession and was unable to recover so it went bankrupt and was absorbed by Macy's owner Federated.

Whatever Happened to Weinstock's? (Part Two)

Annette talks about creative ideas that set Weinstock's apart from other department stores, such as live musicians in the 1920s through the 1940s. She says the peak of the store's popularity was in the 1960s and 1970s. The store went through financial trouble in the 1980s and was bought out by Federated in the 1990s.

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