ABC Carpet & Home: 100 years in the making

Retail Editor 2, Lissa Wyman, September 16, 2002

The ABC Carpet & Home phenomenon only took a hundred years to happen.

Sam Weinrib arrived in New York from Austria in 1897 and started selling used carpet and linoleum from a pushcart on Manhattan's lower East Side. His son, Max, turned the pushcart into a floor covering store. Max's son, Jerome, moved the store to 881 Broadway at 19th Street.

The store was then virtually hallowed ground for retailing. It was in the middle of New York's "Ladies' Mile," an elegant shopping district that extended up Broadway from Union Square to Madison Square. By the 1930s, however, the posh stores had moved uptown.

In the post-World War II years, ABC was a single-unit carpet shop in a neighborhood whose glory days seemed to be over. Across the street from ABC was a dilapidated structure that once had been an architectural jewel, the old W&J Sloane building.

Jerome "Jerry" Weinrib recalled his father's stories about Ladies Mile and envisioned a rebirth of that shopping area. At the center of this activity he saw ... ABC Carpet & Home.

By the early 1990s, that dream had became reality.

An ABC Outlet store opened in Delray, Fla., in the mid '90s, and a new warehouse unit opened recently in Hackensack, N.J. ABC also operates a huge warehouse store in the Bronx and a large leased rug department in the famed Harrod's department store in London.

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