In 1880 Prentis Cobb Hale and his two brothers opened the Criterion store in Downtown Sacramento, and in 1881 they renamed it Hale Brothers & Company. The company opened large branches in San Francisco (1892) and San Jose (1896), Salinas, Stockton and Petaluma, and via an acquisition of Whitthorne & Swann in 1906, Oakland.
In 1949, Hale's bought their Sacramento rival, Weinstock, Lubin & Co. In the same year, Hale's merged with Los Angeles-based Broadway Department Stores, becoming Broadway-Hale Stores, Carter Hawley Hale Stores, and later Broadway-Hale Stores.
Hale Bros. had 30% ownership of J. M. Hale Co., also known as Hales, in Los Angeles, founded by one of the Hale Brothers, James M. Hale (1846-1946).
- Weinstock's: Sacramento's Finest Department Store, Annette Kassis, p. 119
- "REAL ESTATE: San Francisco's Lurie". Time. 4 October 1943.
- "DEPARTMENT STORES OF NORTHERN CALIFORNIA – HALE BROS – SACRAMENTO", Plummer & Associates' Blog
- Sacramento Room Digital Collection, Sacramento Public Library
- "Historic Register" (PDF), City of Sacramento
- National Register of Historic Places
- Weinstock's: Sacramento's Finest Department Store, Annette Kassis, p. 94