Federal Department Store, or Federal's, was a department store chain based in Detroit.

Founded1929; 93 years ago (1929) in Detroit, Michigan
FounderDavison brothers
Defunct1980; 42 years ago (1980)
Number of locations
Area served
Metro Detroit
ProductsClothing, household goods


Federal's was founded in 1929.[1] In 1961, Federal's merged with Kobacker's of Columbus, Ohio and in 1969,[2] it bought Shifrin-Willens Jewelers.[3] The chain filed for bankruptcy in 1972.[4] That same year, the Federal's stores in Lansing and Kalamazoo were closed.[5] Steven Watstein, also known as Steven West, purchased Federal's in 1978.[6] The chain was liquidated in 1980.[7][8]

One of Federal's holdings at the time of the bankruptcy was the Hoffritz for Cutlery chain, which was sold off in 1975 in a leveraged buyout.[9]


  1. ^ Journal of the House of Representatives. Vol. 2. State of Michigan. 1980. p. 1814. OCLC 3825172 – via Google Books.
  2. ^ "Davidson Bros., Detroit, Buy Kobacker Stores". The Blade. Toledo. January 28, 1961. p. 15.
  3. ^ "Federal's Buys Shifrin-Willens". The Wall Street Journal. April 29, 1969. p. 7. Alternate Link via ProQuest.
  4. ^ Rizzo, Michael F. (2007). Nine Nine Eight: The Glory Days of Buffalo Shopping. Lulu Inc. ISBN 978-1430313861. OCLC 128202051.
  5. ^ "Store Closings Set By Federal's Chain". The New York Times. December 27, 1972. p. 68. Alternate Link via ProQuest.
  6. ^ "Steven West Assumes Control at Federal's Inc". The Wall Street Journal. March 20, 1978. p. 7. Alternate Link via ProQuest.
  7. ^ Whitaker, Jan & Lisicky, Michael. "More questions and comments about department stores from readers". The History of Department Stores (blog). Archived from the original on 2012-08-17. Retrieved 2014-01-07.
  8. ^ Gleaves, Rebekah (August 29, 2002). "Wild, Wild West: Once convicted of fraud and in debt to the IRS for a cool million, Steven West is some kind of businessman". New Times Broward-Palm Beach.
  9. ^ Trying a Jump-Start at Hoffritz, The New York Times (December 17, 1994)