Justine Griffin / Sarasota Herald – Tribune – BRADENTON, Fla. One hundred years ago, a man named Robert M. Beall opened a little establishment on Old Main Street in downtown “Bradentown.”
That small general store, which debuted in April 1915, would be the first of hundreds to open across the country under the name of that young entrepreneur.
Bealls, a retail company known for selling apparel and home goods in department and outlet stores in Florida and across the country, is celebrating its 100th year in business this year.
Staying in business for a century — and continuing to grow — has been no small feat. But the Bradenton-based retailer has managed to reinvent itself through the years without sacrificing its core image.
“Bealls really has an understanding of the marketplace and a good idea of what the consumer wants,” said Rick McAllister, CEO of the trade group the Florida Retail Federation, in which Bealls has been an active member since the 1950s. “They listen to their customers and know what Floridians are interested in, which has served them well over the years.”