Thursday, November 01, 2007

Vintage Advertisement: Roos/Atkins


Every now and then I run into a vintage ad for a store or shopping center of interest that I can't resist posting. This one is for Roos/Atkins, a San-Francisco-based retailer of clothing. The ad is from August 11, 1966 in the Oakland Tribune.

Roos/Atkins was formed by the merger of Robert S. Atkins and Roos Brothers clothiers in 1957. The chain declined in the Eighties, only to disappear entirely by the early Nineties. During its heyday, Roos/Atkins had 51 stores and would be found in every desirable shopping location.

If you have any memories of Roos/Atkins, I invite you to share them here.

13 comments:

Didi said...

Those are some really pricey sweaters for 1966 pocketbooks. But I guess since they were from Italy they were swanky must haves! Great ad!

Paul said...

I remember Roos/Atkins well. My Bar Mitzvah suit came from R/A in Stonestown in 1970.

Note the large number of downtown stores in that group. R/A operated stores both in shopping centers and downtown locations. San Jose, San Mateo, Sacramento, Fresno all had R/A stores that even had night openings several nights a week. Presumably, that was so Mrs. Grey Flannel Suit could accompany her husband for some after-dinner shopping.

Georob said...

The large number of downtown shopping areas is not unusual for Northern California, as many of them had been established prior to World War II and were still thriving in the mid 1960's. However, the next 10-15 years would see a huge change as the large enclosed malls came onto the scene. But in 1966 there still was no SunValley, Stoneridge, or Eastridge, and places like Valley Fair and Bay Fair were still single-anchor outdoor venues.

Still, I look at that list of locations and wonder if stores like Abercrombie or Jos A. Bank would locate there today, and I think about half of them would likely make it, which is pretty good. Many other locations(such as El Cerrito Plaza) have been successfully redeveloped even though they no longer attract mid to upscale clothiers.

BTW, I seem to recall that during its final years in business Roos Atkins reverted back to the "Roos Bros" name, though I don't know why. It obviously didn't work.

Jackson L. said...

After doing some research on Pat Welsh the voice of ET,I stumbled across quite by accident. Part of her history... her grandfather was Robert S. Atkins. A few years ago I received an e-mail from her sister, Jane... It reads as Follow:
I remember the Robert S. Atkins store at 150 Sutter St. from my childhood - I'm Robert S. Atkins' granddaughter. The store had black and white tile flooring and neat little change cannisters zinging across the ceiling from the cashier's office. It was the only store of his that was left untouched after the earthquake and fire in 1906; all the others were destroyed. My Grandfather was a respected merchant; he was one of the few who paid back dollar for dollar on destroyed inventory, rather than the 50% discount offered. His father, Robert Calvin Atkins, started the business in 1860. My Grandfather carried on until his death in 1933. My Mother then carried on until the store and the name were sold in 1944. I know they carried quality goods - the Harris tweed jacked my husband had in 1950 still looks like new.

I'm not sure if her sister Jane is still around... never received an e-mail back...

Anonymous said...

I live in reno and visited a really small thrift store in search of a unique suit. I stumbled on this roos atkins suit that was black with the most amazing stitching in the collar and cuffs as well as doen the side of the pants.. I paid $7 dollars for the set.. Good Deal???

tamom said...

I WAS JUST googling Roos-Atkins because it was listed as my great grandfathers employer on his death certificate. He was 3rd generation in SF Bay Area, and family was there for the earthquake. I think he went to art school in SF, but not sure what he did for the "clothier" (as it was put on the cert.) He died in 1963 at age 39. Name was James Rolland Morse. If anyone knows anything about him/his work, please contact me:
tammymerritt@cox.net

Eva Baladad-Mal said...

I was born and raised in S.F. and my first job was at Roos Atkins in the late 70s. I worked in the men's shoe dept. I made $4.10/hr and I was still attending high school. That was a lot of money to me:

SeldomSeenSam said...

I have also seen the Roos Bros name on a sign while visiting in Virginia City, NV, a couple years ago. Was wondering if the Roos Bros had begun their haberdashery after they arrived from France during the Comstock era of Nevada history. Roos Bros had great men's clothing when I shopped at their stores. When they merged with Robert Atkins they added the women's clothing as I recall. I miss the quality, service and the entire experience of shopping with Roos Bros. Old tyme favorites from the past.

Anonymous said...

I have two top hats from 150 sutter street Mr Robert S.Atkins store .Look like Boxes were tied and you just walked out of the store.were Hats are Beautifull ! Have no Idia what Thay are worth .wanting to sell. $$

Jack Pacheco said...

Walt Kraemer created some fantastic radio ads for Roos Atkins. I can send an MP3 to you if you email me jack@jpcreative.com

Joaquin Cedano said...

Is this Jack Pacheco from SHH 1960-1962?
Joaquin Cedano
joaquincedano@gmail.com

Joaquin Cedano said...

SJH sorry

Joaquin Cedano said...

Is this Jack Pacheco from SHH 1960-1962?
Joaquin Cedano
joaquincedano@gmail.com