Idaho and the Development of the J.C. Penney Chain
journal contributionposted on 01.01.2010, 00:00 by David Delbert Kruger
Aside from Joe Albertson's supermarket, most retail chains in Idaho today seem to have very little in common with Idaho's past. Department stores like Falk's, C.C. Anderson, and even Bon Marché have all given way to ubiquitous names like Macy's, Target, and Walmart, and the thought of any national department store ever lining the Main Streets of Idaho's small towns is almost an absurd concept. At first glance, the current JCPenney stores in Boise, Pocatello, and Idaho Falls seamlessly blend into this postmodern retail landscape. However, their modern and massive mall locations belie the fact that in 1902, the first JCPenney store was humbly originating southeast of the state line, in the Wyoming mining town of Kemmerer. Within eight years of James Cash Penney opening that mother store, Idaho became home to six of the first ten stores in the JCPenney chain.