Edward Filene- Short Biography
Filene’s was founded and created by Edward Filene’s father. But when this business leader took over, groundbreaking changes occurred that turned not only the financial income of the store but shook the whole retail business industry as well.
In 1912, in the week when the huge Filene Boston store opened, 715,000 people trooped in and shopped, prompting a dramatic increase in sales from $4.8 million to $8.5 million. So how did Edward Filene do it?
Business Leader Edward Filene – A Man Ahead of His Time
Edward Filene, unlike other business leaders, did not need to undergo the painful process of starting his own business from scratch. Filene – the shop – was already there. But what was remarkable during Edward Filene’s takeover is that he injected capital into the business, not in financial form, but through new pioneering ideas that are still being practiced in retail business today.
Some of Edward Filene’s ideas were the following:
- Bargain basements. These are areas in shops where lower priced items are being sold. Up to now, the application of this Filene idea can still be seen in malls and retail stores everywhere.
- Filene also created the money back, if not satisfied guarantee. Again, a tactic used in business today.
Aside from these, Edward Filene promoted good labor policies in the workplace. In his shops, he instituted the following:
- Minimum wage
- 40-hour workweek
- Saturday closings of Filene shops during summer
- Recognition of winter vacations
- Medical insurance for workers
- The Filene Employees Credit Union which was made a national prototype.
Indeed, many agree that the ideas and concepts that Edward Filene had and pushed for are considered extraordinary and well-ahead of his generation. Aside from this, one would learn from Filene that financial wizardry is not only the thing that makes a business become a success. Employees should be treated right and innovativeness should be a priority.
The Edward Filene Quick Bio
Full Name: Edward A. Filene
Date of Birth: 1860
Birth Place: Salem, Massachusetts
Company: Filene’s/ Macy’s
Key success traits: innovative, thinker, a man ahead of his time, humanitarian, sensitive employer, visionary, a man of action
In 1907, while Filene was traveling in small villages in India, he learned (and was convinced) about the importance of financial cooperatives. He brought home this concept with him and created the first credit union in America – the St. Mary’s Bank Credit Union in 1908.