- Laurel Park Place, Livonia
- The Village at Rochester Hills, Rochester Hills (Photo)
- The Mall at Partridge Creek, Clinton Township (Photo)
- Exclusive to Michigan
- Customer Service
- Middle to High-End Department Store
The history of the Parisian Department Store is as fully developed as our own Detroit-established and beloved J.L. Hudson’s Department Store. It started out 130 years ago in Alabama and eventually became a family enterprise. As it evolved over the years, it found a niche as a medium-to-upscale store catering to a localized, southern clientele. The chain enjoyed a change in focus in the 1970s, however, with the leadership of Donald Hess, a grandson of the store’s 1920s owner. He put an emphasis on the store’s now renowned customer service –- “You’re Somebody Special at Parisian” -- when he took it public in the 1980s and launched its expansion into other states.
The first Parisian store in Michigan opened in Laurel Park Place in Livonia in 1993; but a series of mergers and acquisitions found the chain owned and operated by a series of mega chains like Saks, Inc. thereafter. In March of 2006, the chain was sold to Belk, Inc., and the majority of its stores were converted to the Belk brand. Five of the chain's 40 stores, however, were sold by Belk, Inc. in October of 2006 to Bon-Ton Stores, Inc., including the store at Laurel Park Place, The Village of Rochester Hills and the as-then-under-construction store at Partridge Creek in Clinton Township.
Bon-Ton:Ever heard of Bon-Ton? If not, you might find it pretty hard to find information about Parisian. While the Parisian name still exists, it only exists in Michigan. In fact its headquarters are at the Rochester Hills location. Because the three Michigan stores represent such a small segment of the original brand and are ultimately owned by Bon-Ton Stores, Inc., the website is www.bonton.com.
The irony is that the Parisian Department Store no longer exists in Alabama, the state in which the name carries 130 years of tradition and memory. Like our beloved J.L. Hudson Company that evolved into Dayton-Hudson’s and then was swallowed up in succession by bigger chains (Marshall Fields and Macy’s), Parisian is lost to posterity in Alabama and most of the nation. The remaining stores, however, found a community that misses its own regional chain and may very well embrace a store that is exclusively Detroit’s –- maybe Bon Ton knows what it is doing by not rebranding the Parisian stores in Michigan.
Reflection of Hudson’s:
The Parisian Department store was likened by Alabamaretail.org to Hudson’s, as well as Lord & Taylor and/or Nordstrom’s. It carries middle to high-end family apparel. While owned by Bon-Ton Stores, Inc., Parisian joins other chains operated under the Bon-Ton umbrella -- Carson Pirie Scott, Younkers -- that have retained their own regional history and brand.