Clover Day Tradition To Continue

Posted: August 16, 1996

``Clover Days,'' the advertisement trumpets. ``The tradition continues.''

Last month, the new owners of Strawbridge's said they had decided to scotch Clover Day sales in favor of a more standard-issue ``One-Day'' sale. But newspaper ads yesterday indicated that Clover Day would return tomorrow.

The original decision by May Department Stores Co., which bought Strawbridge & Clothier last month, to abandon the 90-year Clover Day tradition had met with disapproval from area marketing consultants and retail experts. They said they couldn't imagine why May would not want to capitalize on one of the best-known sales in the region.

Apparently, May, which operates the stores renamed Strawbridge's through its Hecht's division, changed its mind.

Nancy Chistolini, Hecht's spokeswoman, couldn't be reached for comment, and Thomas Rittenhouse, the senior Strawbridge & Clothier official winding up the Philadelphia company's affairs, said he hadn't been tracking Clover Day.

The first Clover Day occurred on March 6, 1906, at the Eighth and Market Streets store. Shoppers were expected to stumble across bargains in a fortuitous bit of serendipity - the same way a four-leaf clover brings good luck.

Restoring Clover Day is ``probably a good move,'' said Mike Alberts, a former Strawbridge & Clothier supplier, who tracks retail stocks for Bryn Mawr Investment Group. ``It's obviously a nice gesture, and it makes good business sense.''

``It sounds like they said, `Maybe we really blew it,' '' he continued. ``Philadelphians, to a fault, like tradition.''

|
|
|
|
|