Secret Details of Southern Retail

Gus Mayer

Gus Mayer

Gus Mayer has long been one of the best-kept retail secrets in the South. Being founded in 1900, the original Gus Mayer department store was located on Canal Street in downtown New Orleans, Louisiana. Little did anyone know that just one-year before the Pizitz family had already begun to build their yellow brick retail road that would ultimately lead to acquiring Gus Mayer, the fashion-forward store that they’re known for today.

Pizitz was a family-owned chain of department stores founded in 1899 in Birmingham by Louis Pizitz as the Louis Pizitz Dry Goods Company. It became one of the best-known names in local retailing. At its peak there were 13 Pizitz stores in operation; nine in Birmingham, two in Huntsville, and one each in Florence, Tuscaloosa and Montgomery. Completed in 1925, the flagship store was located in the 7- story Pizitz building, which is currently undergoing renovations, at the store's original location at 2nd Avenue North and 19th Street. Meanwhile, the first Gus Mayer Birmingham location opened in 1922 in the Retail Block on 5th Avenue North. By the mid-1950s, the chain had stores all over the Southeast - later moving from the Retail Block to Highland Avenue, now home to Bottega Restaurant and Cafe. In 1975, when the stores were being sold off individually, the Pizitz family stepped in and purchased the Birmingham operation and later added the Nashville location. Soon after being purchased by the Pizitz family, Gus Mayer made their move to Brookwood Mall.


Nashville, Tennessee

Birmingham, Alabama

Today, Gus Mayer is a Birmingham, Alabama based, family-owned upscale specialty department store. Owned by the Pizitz Management Group, Gus Mayer has two locations - The Summit in Birmingham, Alabama and The Mall at Green Hills in Nashville, Tennessee. Gus Mayer today is a leading fashion retailer offering compelling, fashion-forward and exclusive clothing, shoes, accessories and cosmetics and fragrance for women. Since 1975, Gus Mayer has been the premier specialty retailer to turn to. Dressing women from generation to generation is a special thing that they pride themselves on. It’s their way, because the southern lady adores getting dressed up no matter what the occasion. It’s an integral part of the theater, the drama that weaves into the Southern lifestyle. Not only is Gus Mayer known for their impeccable style and collections, they strive to provide their customers with the best possible service from their professional sales team.

We invite you to experience this shopping expertise at Gus Mayer, and then you too can understand what is so special about the undeniably unique experience that has delighted Southern women for decades.