Sebastian Spering Kresge and Detroit Dime Store History with Video

In the early 20th century, a man named Sebastian Spering Kresge had a vision to create a chain of stores that sold items for no more than a dime. This concept was revolutionary at the time, as most stores charged significantly more for their products. Kresge, who was born in 1867 in Pennsylvania, had a natural entrepreneurial spirit and a desire to succeed.

Born in 1867 in Pennsylvania, Kresge grew up in a modest family and had to work from a young age to help support his family. He eventually landed a job at a hardware store in Detroit, Michigan, where he gained valuable experience in the retail industry. In 1899, Kresge opened his first store in Detroit, which he called the S.S. Kresge Company.  By 1912, Kresge had over 85 stores and had become a household name.

Kresge’s success was due in large part to his dedication to customer service. He made sure that his stores were always clean and well-stocked, and he encouraged his employees to be friendly and helpful to customers. He also invested heavily in advertising, using radio and newspapers to promote his stores.


Over time, Kresge’s stores began to sell more than just items for a dime. He expanded his inventory to include a wide variety of products, such as clothing, toys, and housewares. He also changed the name of his stores from “dime stores” to “Kresge’s,” reflecting the expansion of his business.

Despite the expansion of his stores, Kresge never lost sight of his commitment to low prices. He continued to offer affordable products, which made his stores popular with working-class families. This was especially important during the Great Depression when many people were struggling to make ends meet.

Kresge’s legacy continues today, as his stores evolved into the Kmart chain of discount stores. While Kmart has had its share of struggles in recent years, it is still a testament to Kresge’s vision and dedication to providing affordable products to all. And while the dime store concept may be a thing of the past, Kresge’s commitment to customer service and low prices remains an important lesson for businesses today.

In conclusion, S.S. Kresge was a visionary entrepreneur who revolutionized the retail industry with his dime store concept. His commitment to customer service, low prices, and affordable products made his stores popular with working-class families across the country. Kresge’s legacy lives on today through the Kmart chain of discount stores, and his impact on the retail industry is still felt to this day.

Kresge Foundation Website



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