Quick Click From the Davidson Digital Archive, Nov. 10, 2016
Reading the Detroit Free Press last week, once again I saw an advertisement for one of Detroit’s long-standing retail businesses: Henry the Hatter.
So, I went into the William Davidson Digital Archive to see what I could find on this legendary enterprise. For starters, there were 254 entries for Henry the Hatter.
The first mention of the store was in an advertisement for Henry the Hatter in the March 10, 1916, issue of the Jewish Chronicle. This was the second issue of the Chronicle, which was first published on March 3, 1916. And there was a spring sale. Faymus hats were only $2; those more expensive Stetson hats were $3.50-$5. What a deal!
Perhaps the most amazing aspect to the Henry the Hatter story is that this business, established in 1893 by Henry Komrofsky, has survived for more than 119 years, despite all the booms-and-busts of the economic cycles in Detroit. Many businesses did not… which leads to another very interesting story by the late Bill Carroll — “Remembering the Retailers” — in the June 14, 2012, issue of the JN that illustrates this point.
Henry the Hatter still stands. In this day and age of Target, Kohl’s and Office Max, it is good to know there is still some room for the old-fashioned store where service and expertise is the focus.
Want to learn more? Go to the DJN Foundation archives, available for free at www.djnfoundation.org.
By Mike Smith
Detroit Jewish News