Baker-Flick Department Store

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A landmark in Camden for over 30 years, the Baker-Flick Compnay store's origins go back to 1866 when John F. Chew founded what evolved into a dry goods business at 216 Market Street. His sons John H. Chew and Christopher C. Chew both worked in the store. John F. Chew passed away in 1882. Christopher C. Chew took over the business after his father's death in 1882, and by 1890 had expanded the business to 214 Market Street. After Christopher Chew's death in 1899, his wife Jennie ran the business. The store was also known as Chew's Bee Hive... note the hive in front of the fourth floor window.

Christopher C. Chew took over the business, while John H. Chew established a shop of his own next door at 218-220 Market Street. By 1890 Christopher C. Chew had built a new building at 214 Market Street and conducted his trade out of both buildings.

On the night of November 28, 1898 the store of John H. Chew at 218-220 Market Street was destroyed by fire. On October 29, 1899 Christopher C. Chew died of complications from a gunshot wound received while serving in he armed forces during the Spanish American War. John H. Chew re-opened in South Camden, while Christopher C. Chew's widow, Jennie Chew, continued to do business at 214-216 Market Stret.

In November of 1908 the Baker-Flick Company was incorporated by George C. Baker, John A. Flick, and David T. Pyle. They bought Mrs. Chew's business and erected a new building at 214-220 Market Street, with an entrance on North 3rd Street, which remained open under the Baker-Flick name into the late 1930s. 

Partner John A. Flick, who took an active interest in the promotion of business activity in Camden, died on April 1, 1927 at the age of 47. Leonard Baker took over operations and was running the store in the winter of 1938. This may have been a contributing factor to the business' eventual closing as the lack of a succession plan within the family was a factor in the demise of the Hurley department store on Broadway. By 1940 the business had closed. The building was vacant when the 1940 City Directory was compiled.

The Golden Rule Department Store operated in the location for a few years afterward, but had closed 1947.

Philadelphia Inquirer - November 20, 1909

Alfred K. Bennett - David Jester - Charles S. Ackley - Philip Wilson - Frank Devereaux
William E. Anthony - Dallas R. Cann -
Wesley W. Hibbs - John Flick - Francis B. Wallen

Camden Courier-Post * January 18, 1922

4 Big Camden Fires in Six Weeks
Bring Losses of $595,000

Four fires in Camden's business district within the past six weeks have destroyed or damaged a dozen retail stores, entailing losses fixed at $595,000.

They were:

Baker-Flick Department Store


Toone & Hollingshed and five nearby retail stores and shops


Nell's Haberdashery


Economy Store and three other stores


Camden Courier-Post - February 13, 1928

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Camden Courier-Post
February 13, 1928

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Trenton Evening Times
August 16, 1931


Camden Courier-Post - June 9, 1933

Merchants' Association Announces Plans for Three-Day Event

A committee of the Merchants' Cooperative Association, headed by Harry A. Moran, secretary and manager of the the Hurley Store, has announced a three-day co-operative promotion which will be known as Camden's Co-operation Days. 

All merchants of this city have been invited to participate in the event which will be outlined in newspaper and radio announcements. City and store decorations and entertainment features which may include the personal appearances of stage, radio, sports and screen stars are being arranged.

The whole event has been arranged because of recent disclosures, resulting from investigation made by the local publishers proving that local industrial employment and business conditions have shown a decided upward trend in the city within the past several months.

The committee includes Charles Gates, Camden manager of Sears, Roebuck & Company; J. B. Van Sciver, Jr. of J. B. Van Sciver; C. A. McGrew, manager of J. C. Penney; Lester Abrahamson of Lester's; S. Savage of Western Auto Supply; William Rothman of Barrett's Tire Shop; Leonard R. Baker of Baker-Flick; Samuel Auerbach of Auerbach's; N. Futernick of Futernick's; Max Peck of the Fashion Shop; Simon Abrahamson of Simon's; Michael LaSala of DiJulio-LaSala; Joseph Murdock, manager of the Stanley Theatre; W. L. Tushingham, business manager, and F. J. Kinsella, advertising director of the Courier-Post newspapers.

Camden Courier-Post - June 16, 1933

Merchant Leaders Promoting Camden's 'Co-operation Days' Sale

The above business leaders welcomed State Senator Emerson L. Richards to Camden yesterday when he sounded the keynote for the opening of the biggest merchandise sale in Camden in 20 years. 

Left to right, back row: Cutler A. McGrew, manager of the J. C. Penney Company; Frank J. Kinsella, advertising director, 
Courier-Post Newspapers, Edward Callow, district manager Stanley-Warner Theatres; Joseph Murdock, manager Stanley Theatre.

Middle row: W. L. Tushingham, business manager, Courier-Post Newspapers; Samuel Auerbach; Russell Gibbons, Baker-Flick Company; William Rothman, Barrett's Tire Shops; Joseph Kobus

Front row: M. Futernick; Harry A. Moran, chairman Merchants Committee; S. Lester; J. Price Myers, and S. Abrahamson. 

At right, Senator Richards is shown addressing merchants at the court house plaza. 

Camden Courier-Post - October 29, 1935

Miss Jenkins, educational directress, demonstrate the uses and advantages of cotton batting to all interested in the making of comforts in the home. Wednesday, Oct. 30th, 3 o'clock. Baker-Flick Co. See Adv. Page 5.

SHOWING HOW TO MAKE COMFORTERS Miss Jenkins will demonstrate how easily and quickly you can make lovely home made quilts and comforts Wednesday afternoon. Oct. 30th. 3 o'clock. Baker-Flick Co. See Adv. Page 5.

THE ROMANCE OF QUILTING A demonstration and lecture on the art of quilt and comfort 
making by Miss Olivia Jenkins, Wednesday, Oct. 30th. 3 o'clock. Baker-Flick Co. See Adv. Page 5.

Camden Courier-Post - February 17, 1938

Announces Policy

Cash Merchandizing, Curtailed Deliveries
Seen Saving to Customers
Merchants' Association Announces Plans for Three-Day Event

The Baker-Flick Company Department Store, Camden, today inaugurates a new merchandising policy announced by Leonard R. Baker, president.

"We have found it necessary and advisable with the changing economic condition to make everyone's purchasing dollar go farther," Baker stated, "and being located in the industrial section of Camden (Third and Market streets) in which our low rent cost is no small factor in saving the 
customer money, and in order to convince the public why they should shop with us, we have entirely revamped our merchandising policy.

"To accomplish all this it becomes necessary for us to eliminate all lost motion and to reduce all possible expense, and with this in view we have decided upon a cash selling policy, with deliveries only on furniture, bedding and floor coverings."

It was announced also the store will be open tonight and 


tomorrow night and on Saturday nights until 9 p. m.

Baker said "the merchandising policy of reduced expenses, advantageous purchases, cash selling at savings from 25 to 50 percent on fresh seasonable merchandise will be permanent and not confined to a particular sales area.