Macy's Herald Square, originally known as the R. H. Macy and Company Store, is the flagship of Macy's department stores, located on Herald Square in Manhattan, New York City. The building's 2.2 million square feet (almost 205,000 square meters) made it the World's largest department store from 1924 until 2009, when the South Korean chain Shinsegae opened a store of nearly 3.16 million square feet (293,905 square meters) in Busan. As of 2011, the store has stood at the site for 110 years. The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places as a National Historic Landmark in 1978.
Macy's was founded by Rowland Hussey Macy, who between 1843 and 1855 opened four retail dry goods stores, including the original Macy's store in downtown Haverhill, Massachusetts, established in 1851 to serve the mill industry employees of the area. They all failed, but he learned from his mistakes. Macy moved to New York City in 1858 and established a new store named "R.H Macy Dry Goods" at Sixth Avenue on the corner of 14th Street. On the company's first day of business on October 28, 1858 sales totaled $11.08, equal to $297.09 today. From the very beginning, Macy's logo has included a star in one form or another, which comes from a tattoo that Macy got as a teenager when he worked on a Nantucket whaling ship.
As the business grew, Macy's expanded into neighboring buildings, opening more and more departments, and used publicity devices such as a store Santa Claus, themed exhibits, and illuminated window displays to draw in customers. The store later moved to 18th Street and Broadway, on the "Ladies' Mile", the elite shopping district of the time, where it remained for nearly forty years.
The original Broadway store, designed by architects De Lemos & Cordes and built in 1901-02 by the Fuller Company. It has a Palladian facade, but has been updated in many details. Other additions to the west were added in 1924 and 1928, and the Seventh Avenue building in 1931, all designed by architect Robert D. Kohn, the newer buildings becoming increasingly Art Deco in style. The store boasts one of the few wooden escalators still in operation.