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L.S. Ayres and Company: The Store at the Crossroads of America Hardcover – December 26, 2012

5.0 out of 5 stars 24 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

KENNETH L. TURCHI developed an interest in retailing while working for a clothing store in his hometown of Crawfordsville, Indiana. He worked for L. S. Ayres and Company while in college and later earned a law degree. He has spent most of his career in marketing and strategic planning in the financial services industry. Currently Turchi is assistant dean at the Indiana University Maurer School of Law in Bloomington. This is his first book.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 293 pages
  • Publisher: Indiana Historical Society Press (December 26, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0871953005
  • ISBN-13: 978-0871953001
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 1.1 x 12.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,035,494 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Diana Andrews on March 16, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I miss the Ayres store so much! That store was so much a part of my life and I remember it fondly. I thought Mr. Turchi did a nice job presenting the story of Ayres and the management of the store. I would like to have seen more pictures of the balcony, the music department (with the individual listening booths), and the basement store. This is a book that I will put out for others to enjoy when they come to my house. I recommend it highly!
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I grew up in Indianapolis in the early 1950's. I have so many memories of my grandma taking me downtown on Saturdays.
L.S. Ayres was our favorite store then and remained so for me as I grew up.

As I grew older and worked in downtown Indy, I'd visit the Ayres store several times a week on my lunch hours. The Ayres Tea Room was a favorite of myself and co-workers, or we'd eat at the small cafe on the first floor mezzanine. The photos in this book bring back all those special times with family and friends.

I was so disappointed when Ayres closed their doors downtown. Then eventually the Ayres stores located around the city at the
malls were also closed. This book is so wonderful and contains so much history of L.S. Ayres and surrounding downtown Indianapolis. I highly recommend it to anyone familiar with L.S. Ayres and it's history.
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Format: Hardcover
Even though I wasn't around at the time when LS Ayres and Company was in its prime - I still found this book just amazing to read and browse through (spending hours), enjoying the forgotten triumphs and great photographs that was a major part of the "Greatest Generation"... Highly recommend!!
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Format: Hardcover
A very entertaining book. Easy to pick up and be transported back into the golden age of retail. A thoughtful look at the history of the L.S. Ayres Company. How enjoyable it is to see how merchandising has changed through the decades.
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I've never lived in Indiana, where this store was located, but I grew up with other stores that were similar and hold fond memories for me. This book is FANTASTIC--filled with great photos and fascinating information about a treasured traditional department store. Don't even think about it--buy this book immediately. You won't be dissappointed.
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Format: Hardcover
I am a member of the Indiana Historical Society, thus am being made aware of their new publications. When I saw this book I was really intrigued to obtain and read it since L.S.Ayres had been such a beloved retail institution in Indianapolis.

The book is a wonderful history of this company, beautifully illustrated with many historical photographs of the department store's interior and its changes over time. The author's interviews of dozens of former L.S.Ayres employees and Ayres family members, plus his first hand knowledge of working for L.S.Ayres in Lafayette, Indiana, contribute greatly to this intimate look at an Indiana retailing institution that was so much part of life in Central Indiana in the 20th century.

The strategic take-aways at the end of many chapters in the book are excellent summaries for anybody who is interested in business/retailing. This book should be on the reading list for students of merchandising/retailing.
The only regret I have is that the book does not have an appendix with summary tables detailing the financials of L.S.Ayres over time (although it does contain some revenues/profits information).

All in all : a superb book about an iconic Indiana retail institution that I was truly sorry to see end
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Format: Hardcover
This is a saga of my childhood. L.S. Ayres was part of it before I was even born. The book beautifully relates how this company was founded, the people who helped it every step of the way and what a great part of the Indianapolis and Indiana community it was. My Mother worked for LS Ayres, first as a buyer before I was born, then she was a store manager in Lafayette. I and my sister and brother have so many wonderful memories of going to that store downtown in Indianapolis, the Tea Room, the Christmas displays, the Clock. My Mothers sister, my Aunt Betty, was a fitter in the "foundations" department, my sister was an assistant buyer and I was a sales manager at one time. It was part of us and our family. Ken has done such a beautiful job of writing about it and illustrating it. I will cherish this book and pass it down to my children. Thank You Ken, for such a lovely remembrance of such a fine institution.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Attention anyone interested in writing a book on Department Store history - this is how you do it! As a collector of books on Department Store history, I found this book to be very interesting & informative. It helps that the author had access to the L.S.Ayres archives & photographs, something missing from many other books.
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