Bealls Inc. is a privately held company, rich in tradition, still owned by the founding family. Founded in 1915, Bealls includes over 500 stores and BeallsFlorida.com. Bealls is the destination of choice for casual lifestyle and priced-right apparel and home merchandise.
Bealls Stores and BeallsFlorida.com, are owned and operated by Beall's Stores, Inc. and Beall's Westgate Corporation. Bealls Inc. is not affiliated with Stage Stores. Beall spent his entire investment of $2,500 on stock, so he over-turned wooden packing crates that his goods arrived in and used them for display tables! Nothing was priced over $1.00, so he named his store The Dollar Limit.
Following World War I, inflation pushed up prices and in 1920, he changed the name of the store to the V (Five) Dollar Limit. As his business grew, he bought his own property and in 1924, built a larger store a few blocks away on Manatee Avenue. During the Depression, he lost his store to the bank but continued to operate it. In 1944, he was able to repurchase the company.
1940s - Beall's Department Stores In 1940, Robert Beall's son, E.R., joined the family business after graduating from the University of Florida. In 1946, after serving in the army, E.R. rejoined his father. That year they changed the name to Beall's Department Store. Robert Beall ran the original downtown store until just a few months before his death, at age 86. The original store continued to operate until 1987 when it was torn down for new construction. The proceeds from the sale of the building were used to establish the R.M. Beall, Sr. Charitable Foundation in support of youth and education.
The Dollar Limit
In 1915, Robert M. Beall, age 22, opened a dry goods store in Bradentown, FL on the banks of the Manatee River. At that time, the pioneer town had a population of just over 3,000 people and was most easily reached by steamboat from Tampa.
1950s - Expansion
Florida experienced explosive growth during the 1950s. Americans were more mobile than ever before and air conditioning transformed southern living. E.R. foresaw the company's future growth in the new shopping centers serving middle income retirees who were flocking to Florida. In 1956, the first expansion store was opened in Bradenton. The third store followed in Venice, FL in 1961. The following year, sales passed the million dollar mark for the first time.