Macy’s Employee Retires After 73 Years
Published: September 7, 2012
Macy’s Employee Retires After 73 Years, When Rose Syracuse Richardone, 92, started in the NYC store, wool sweaters cost only $2.14. After 73 years, Macy’s longest-serving employee retires, When Rose Syracuse Richardone started working at Macy’s, women’s wool cardigans cost $2.14 each. Cotton gabardine raincoats for girls were $2.98, old ads show; twin-size sheets were $1.11 and stainless steel flatware was just 16 cents per piece, on sale.
A lot has changed since then, and Richardone — who retired on Wednesday at the age of 92, after a record-breaking 73 years of service in the N.Y. flagship store — has seen it all.
“Rose is an hourly worker. She clocked in every day,” Robin Hall, Senior VP of the Macy’s Parade and Entertainment Group, told Yahoo! Shine in an interview. “It’s just a passion of hers to be here. She’s not a person who seeks attention. She just loves to work.”
Born in Pennsylvania, Rose Syracuse and her family moved to New York when she was just a child, so that her brothers wouldn’t have to end up working in the coal mines. The family settled down in Brooklyn, where they watched the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade every year.
She started working for Macy’s in 1939, as an authorizer in the Deposit of Accounts department of the flagship store on 34th Street in New York City. She was a 17-year-old girl fresh out of high school, and had never worked anywhere else before.
“There was actually a bank on the fourth floor of the store,” she told the New York Daily News in 2008. “At that time, there were no credit cards. People set aside money with us to use in the store. They would send up the sales receipt in the pneumatic tubes, which would suck them up and we would authorize purchases.”
In 1939, Macy’s was “a one-stop store,” Richardone said. “You could get meat, straight pins, really anything,” she said in 2008. “We had an apothecary, liquor store, and even a butcher shop. We have obviously evolved since then.”
She didn’t shop at Macy’s before she started working there (“I couldn’t afford Macy’s at that time!” she exclaimed), though when she married Carmine Richardone in 1944 they bought their furniture there. And in 1947, she and other employees watched as “Miracle on 34th Street” was filmed inside the store.
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