Hanes Once-a-year sale at NOLA stores

Hanes Once-a-year sale at NOLA stores

Hanes hosiery co-op ads at various NOLA stores.

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NOLA stores and Hanes

In the 1970s, Hanes, known for ladies hosiery and underwear, held a “once-a-year” sale. Various NOLA stores, Maison Blanche, D.H. Holmes, Labiche’s, and Gus Mayer, participated in the sale. They leveraged ad budgets by placing Hanes-specific ads for the sale. These “co-op” ads were paid for mostly by the manufacturer. So, the store promoted their brand and the product brand at the same time.

The sale in 1973 took place over the weekend of 13-January. NOLA stores enticed women to come in for the pantyhose and other items on sale. It’s fun to look at the styles from the advertising and art departments of the local stores.

Maison Blanche

westside shopping center

Sign for Maison Blanche in the parking lot of Westside, August, 1958. Sonny Randon Photography via the West Bank Beacon.

OK, yes, I’m a homer. I wrote a book on MB, so we start there. “Hanes sheer-madness annual sale of fashion hosiery in popular shades.” Note the mail-order form as part of the ad. Stores in 1973 were 901 Canal Street, Airline Village, Clearview, Gentilly Woods (The Plaza wouldn’t open until 1974), and Westside.

Labiche’s

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The talented artists at Labiche’s opted for a bolder presentation than MB. A woman wearing nothing but a scarf in her hair and jewelry, and the pantyhose. Gorgeous. Stores for Labiche’s: 714 Canal Street, Carrollton (the old shopping center, where Costco is now), Gentilly Woods, and Westside.

Holmes

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Daniel Henry Holmes’ dry good store on Canal Street grew to a number of suburban locations after WWII. In addition to the flagship store, Holmes locations included Lakeside Shopping Center, Oakwood, Baton Rouge, and Houma. While Holmes didn’t have a Gentilly store, they opened a location in The Plaza in 1974.

Gus Mayer

Originally in the 801 block of Canal Street, just up from Holmes, Gus Mayer built a big store across the street in 1948, demolishing the old Pickwick Hotel building. They also participated in the Hanes sale promotion. Gus Mayer operated not only the Canal Street store, but one at Elysian Fields and Gentilly  Blvd., as well as Carrollton, Clearview, and Oakwood Shopping Centers. While Gus Mayer ATNM as NOLA stores go, they still have stores in Birmingham, Alabama.

Godchaux’s

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Godchaux’s originally occupied the 501 block of Canal, later moving to the 801 block, next to the Boston Club. By the 1970s, they expanded to Lakeside and Edgewater Plaza in Biloxi. Their take on Hanes was different than the other NOLA stores. Godchaux’s opted for a cold-weather appeal,

Labiche Legendre Baronne Street

Labiche Legendre Baronne Street

Labiche Legendre Baronne Street shoe store in the 1930s.

labiche legendre baronne street

Labiche Legendre Baronne Street

Franck Studios photo of the Labiche and Legendre Shoe Store, 307 Baronne Street, 1933. The store moved from 836 Poydras Street to Baronne that year. Albert V. Labiche and Armand A. Legendre partnered in the shoe store. Labiche and Graff was the clothing store. The stores later combined under just the Labiche name. Labiche Legendre Baronne Street moved to Canal Street.

Poydras Market

Labiche and Graff opened their store in the mid-1920s. They acquired 830 Poydras Street. This building was just at the end of Poydras Market, one of locations in the city’s public market system. Public markets operated in neighborhoods all over New Orleans. While we think of the French Market in this role, it wasn’t the only one. Since shoppers made their way to the Poydras Market for fresh meat, fruits, and vegetables, proximity to the market made sense for a clothier.

Labiche and Graff grew and profited. By 1929, Mr. Labiche expanded. He opened a shoe store next to the clothing store. Labiche joined with Armand Legendre in the shoe venture.

Closer to Canal

Labiche decided that proximity to Canal Street would boost business. He looked at locations away from Poydras Market. Labiche and Graff acquired the Kaufmann building at 311-313 Baronne. Labiche also leased the first floor and mezzanine of the de Montluzin building at 309 Baronne, for the shoe store. With NOPSI and Feibelman’s already in the 300 block, the clothing and shoe stores were in good company.

Sales boost

The move closer to Canal boosted sales at both stores. Charles F. Labiche, Albert’s son, commented on this to the Times Picayune on  April 19, 1933.

In dollar volume, our sales are fifty percent ahead of this time last year, and in unit sales, 100 percent ahead. Of course, part of this showing is due to our more advantageous location on Baronne Street, but much of it must be do to the reassurance that has been given to the people by Roosevelt and the steady improvement in our banking situation. We say with emphasis, ‘Let’s Go.’

Charles Labiche saw the stores through the Great Depression and WWII.