The object of this project is to catalogue notable retailers or business magnates, founders of big chain stores etc., linking them to profiles and trees on GENi. These giants mostly started out as ordinary shopkeepers.
The project is international.
See also Shopkeepers where you can add profiles of those who were the backbone of society - ordinary shopkeepers.
Note: Links in bold are to GENi profiles. Where no there is not a profile on GENi (yet) links are to outside resources.
People of great influence, importance, or standing in particular fields of business. "The term characteristically refers to a wealthy individual who controls through personal business ownership or dominant shareholding position a firm or industry whose goods, products, or services are widely consumed". Business Magnate
- Samuel Northrup Castle (1808–1894) Hawaiin Businessman and politician. Co-founder of the firm Castle & Cooke which sold farm tools, sewing equipment, and medicine, and invested in Hawaii's sugar industry with plantations in Kohala & Haiku.
- Amos Starr Cooke (1810–1871) Hawaiian businessman, Co-founder of the firm Castle & Cooke which sold farm tools, sewing equipment, and medicine and invested in Hawaii's sugar industry with plantations in Kohala & Haiku.
- James Drummond Dole (1877–1958), also known as the "Pineapple King'", was an American industrialist who developed the pineapple industry in Hawaii and established the Hawaiian Pineapple Company, or HAPCO, which later to become the Dole Food Company, which now does business in over 90 countries. Dole was a cousin (once removed) of Sanford B. Dole, President of the Republic of Hawaii.
- David Howard Murdock (1923) 'American businessman and philanthropist. Owner of Dole Food and real-estate development company Castle & Cook; Hotelier, golf clubs owner, Arabian horse breeder. He took over the nearly bankrupt Hawaiian firm Castle & Cooke, which owned pineapple and banana producer Dole Food Company. He developed Castle & Cooke's real estate portfolio into residential and commercial properties and turned Dole into the world's largest producer of fruits and vegetables.
- Barnes and Noble 1917
- Charles M. Barnes who opened a book-printing business in Wheaton, Illinois in 1873 and his son
- William Barnes, went into partnership with
- Gilbert Clifford Noble (1860-1936) in 1917
- Henry Walton Smith (1738-1792) founder of W H Smith, one of the United Kingdom's largest bookselling and newspaper vending businesses.
- Tim Waterstone (1939 Glasgow) founder of the United Kingdom bookselling retail chain Waterstones
- Benjamin Ingram
- Sandell Perkins
- Argos is a subsidiary of Home Retail Group - founded by Sainsbury's supermarket chain and Belgian retailer GB-Inno-BM
- Joseph Fry (1728-1803) Founder of Fry's Chocolate
- George Draper Dayton, I (Target)
- Charles Harrod (Harrod's)
- Jeremiah Augustus “Gus” Henderson (1832 - 1877) Gainers Store, Alabama. USA
- Sir John Moores (UK) Founder of the Littlewoods retail chain stores, mail order and football pools businesses
- George White Marston (1850 – 1946) USA
- Sidney (Simcha) Baevski Myer (1878-1934) AU
- J. C. Penney
- H. Gordon Selfridge, Sr. retail entrepreneur MP (1858 - 1947) (UK)
- Michael Marks and Thomas Spencer (Marks & Spencer)
- Alvah Curtis Roebuck (1864 - 1948) Sears, Roebuck and Company. Roebuck also served as president (1909–1924) of Emerson Typewriter Company, where he invented an improved typewriter, called the "Woodstock."
- Richard Warren Sears (1863 – 1914) USA American manager, businessman, Founder of Sears, Roebuck and Company with his partner Alvah Curtis Roebuck.
- Isidor Straus (Macy's)
- Nathan Straus (Macy's)
- James Carr "Jim" Walton (1948) (Walmart Executive Committee) USA
- James “Bud” Walton (1921 - 1995) USA (Walmart)
- Samuel Robson "Rob" Walton (1944) Walmart USA
- Frank Winfield Woolworth (F.W. Woolworth Company)
- John 'Johnie' Walker (1805-1857) Scottish grocer, who originated what would become one of the world’s most famous whisky brand names, Johnnie Walker.
- B&Q (UK)
- Richard Block
- David Quayle (1936-2010)
- Focus UK
- Bill Archer
- Greg Stanley (who had previously built up and sold the DIY chain Fads)
- Mike Williams - Focus Homecentres 1987
- Homebase is a subsidiary of Home Retail Group - founded by Sainsbury's supermarket chain and Belgian retailer GB-Inno-BM
- Henry Dunn Wickes in Michigan. USA in 1854
Drug Retailers (Chemists)
- John Boot (1815-1860) UK
- Charles Rudolph Walgreen (1873 - 1939)
- Charles Rudolph Walgreen, Jr. (1906 - 2007)
- Charles R. Walgreen III - USA
Electrical Appliance Retailers
- William Henry Hoover (1849-1932) USA
- Charles (Selig) Kalms (1897-1978) British retailer and founder of the Dixons chains that expanded to become the UK's largest electrical retail chain.
Fast Food Retailers
- Glen William Bell, Jr. "Glen" (1923-2010) USA (Taco Bell)
- Raymond Albert "Ray" Kroc (1902 – 1984) - franchising agent who opened the first McDonald's restaurant id Des Plaines, Illinois.
- Harland David "Colonel Sanders" Sanders (1890-1980) - Kentucky Fried Chicken
- Jack Carroll Massey (1904-1990) was a venture capitalist and entrepreneur who owned Kentucky Fried Chicken, founded Hospital Corporation of America, and owned one of the largest franchisees of Wendy's
- Richard and Maurice McDonald co-founders of McDonald's
- Bijan Pakzad (1944-2011) Iranian American designer of ultra-luxury clothing, perfume and jewelery
- Daniela Pakzad (1961) USA Creative Director of Bijan
- Nicolas Bijan Pakzad (born c 1992) USA Associate Merchandising Director of Bijan
- Lucian Randolph Ercolani (1888 – 1976) Ercol
- Dirk Jan (D. J.) De Pree (1891-1990) Michigan Star Furniture Company
Grocers - Supermarket Chains
- Aaron Montgomery Ward (1843 - 1913) USA Mail Order
- Henry Ford (1863-1947)
- Charles Stewart Rolls (1877 – 1910)
- Frederick Henry Royce, 1st Baronet of Seaton (1863-1933)
- Alexander Winton
- Sir Richard Charles Nicholas Branson Virgin Records
- William Caxton (circa 1415- nn) English merchant, diplomat, writer and printer. He is thought to be the first English person to work as a printer and the first to introduce a printing press into England. He was also the first English retailer of printed books
Retailers - multi - faceted
- François Pinault (1936) French businessman who runs the retail company PPR. His holding company, Artemis S.A., owns (or owned), among others, Converse shoes, Samsonite luggage, Château Latour, the Vail Ski Resort in Colorado, and Christie's auction house.
- Albert Spalding Founder Spalding Sporting Goods Co MP (1850 - 1915)
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