110 Year Anniversary Celebration!

Celebrating 110 Years  of Customer Friendships!

110 Years of Customer Friendships!

We’re putting on PARTY hats and taking a look back. In 1910, with WHOLESOME hometown beginnings and HONEST VALUES, we began with one goal: to treat our customers as we treat our FRIENDS. For over a century, we’ve done that - by offering RELIABLE, QUALITY clothing for the YOUNG AT HEART. It’s all because of you.


Here's to you and to many more years ahead!


Building Friendships, One Customer at a Time

Building Friendships

It was 1910. People sat on their FRONT PORCHES in Warren, PA, greeting each other BY NAME. With SMALL TOWN values at heart, John L. Blair followed suit, addressing customers by name and building FRIENDSHIPS – through the mail. In the Great Depression, our new friends came to us for EASY, AFFORDABLE SHOPPING. In 1947, the iconic Blair clock was placed in the TOWN SQUARE, where it still stands today.


Join us as we take a look at the decades that follow!


We’re celebrating our 110th year with the BEST: great customers like YOU!

Downtown Warren, PA
Early Beginnings

We're reflecting on our beautiful small town, back when people sat on front porches and ate Grandma’s apple pie. Back when everyone joined in the excitement of summer parades and when riding a bike was not only a means of transportation, but also a social event. Yep, we're remembering the good old days! Like you, Blair is happy to have a history worth looking back on. It's true – we've stood the test of time but we wouldn’t be here without you. So, we'd like to share our story and invite you to join us in celebrating our exciting journey.

John L. Blair
John L. Blair

A picturesque town, a friendly community and the vision of an honest, hardworking man… this is how Blair began in 1910. Now, 110 years later, we continue to write this incredible small-town story. The man was John L. Blair, a law student at the University of Pennsylvania. He was asked to be a sales manager by a fellow student who had recently inherited a raincoat factory. Mr. Blair said yes and made nearly 50 sales visits on his way home for Easter vacation. He sold one raincoat. Not one to give up, Mr. Blair decided to use direct mail to reach his market – the customers he believed would buy his raincoats: undertakers, ministers and businessmen. So, with just $500 in borrowed capital and a set of unwavering values, he mailed flyers across the country. And sold 1200 raincoats. The business was then named the New Process Company. Mr. Blair's relationship with his customers set the standard for service then and still does today. Customers are our first priority and our focus is to make their lives easier. That's why we design our styles to fit your shape, your lifestyle and your budget.

Growth

Blair Headquarters Concept Sketch

The company was family-grown with John's father, brothers and sister working with him to send ads and fill orders. And every order was prized; the Blair family knew every customer by name. John’s smart and innovative approach to business did not go unnoticed. After he sent a letter to President Franklin Roosevelt offering advice on the economy, he was invited to dine with the first family at the White House where he was ultimately offered a position with the United States Treasury. He declined and focused on running his business instead! Though short-lived, the very first catalog ever published was in 1919. Then, in 1923, the first retail store opened right here in our hometown of Warren. The response was incredible with a line of people waiting to shop. Aren't you glad you don't have to wait to shop at Blair?

The Blair Store in Downtown Warren, PA
The Blair Store

The Test of Time

The New Process Company Clock

The company continued to grow under John Blair's commitment to honest values by offering quality, reliable clothing for young-at-heart men and women as well as products for the home. Blair was a household name across the nation and in 1947, the iconic Blair clock was erected in the town square. It continues to keep (almost) everyone in town on time. So, it's fitting to mention again, that while Blair has stood the test of time, we wouldn’t be here without you. Our leaders taught us well and we appreciate you.

Catalog Success

Blair Offices

In 1962, Mr. Blair turned over the reins to his son, hardworking John L. “Jack” Blair who led the company with the same honest values and commitment to customer service as his father. The old adage, “If at first you don't succeed, try, try again,” was apparently one the Blair family believed in wholeheartedly. Catalog tests were published unsuccessfully in 1973 and 1983. And while Jack Blair retired in 1987, the Blair family's perseverance propelled the company forward and in 1993, the world of catalog shopping finally caught up with Blair's efforts. A beautiful full-color direct mail treasure filled with products for the home was published and sent to customers all over the country. As our beloved predecessors predicted, it was a success. A catalog for men was published in 1995 with the women's catalog following in 1996. The men's and women's catalogs are still a colorful delight to be found in the mailboxes of our many happy customers.

Catalog Covers, Then & Now

1950s Blair Catalog Cover

1950s

Hey Good Lookin'

Mail-order flyers in brilliant hues promoted fashionable styles, featuring new fabric technology and unbeatable prices.

1960s Blair Catalog Cover

1960s

I'm a Believer

Comfortable, fun-loving clothes were the rage. We made shopping for them easy and affordable.



1970s Blair Catalog Cover

1970s

Dancing Queen

Customers loved our mix & match pieces and cool colors almost as much as they loved the wide-leg bottoms of the disco era.

1980s Blair Catalog Cover

1980s

The Look

Designer styles were in! Our customers appreciated the trendy-looking, reasonably priced outfits we offered.


1990s Blair Catalog Cover

1990s

Unforgettable

John Blair began catalog tests in 1919. In 1993, the world of catalog shopping caught up with his forward-thinking ways and the business took off.

2000s Blair Catalog Cover

2000s

Beautiful

We joined the world wide web with our online store. Shopping has never been the same! It's easier than ever at BLAIR.COM.


2010s Blair Catalog Cover

2010s

Perfect

Alongside the web, our catalog business continued to grow. We took approx. 11 million phone calls in 2010 – our 100th year in business.

2020s Blair Catalog Cover

2020s

Adore You

OUR Iconic Fleece Jacket The most popular style in Blair history continues to rise to the #1 spot, year after year. Customers wear it everywhere and in so many colors!

Here's to 110 more!

The Blair Building

Since its beginning, the company has evolved and developed in many incredible ways. But John Blair's legacy, hometown values and spirit of innovation have never changed. They're alive and well inside the Blair headquarters in the small town of Warren and always will be. We’re excited to continue offering everything you’re looking for: flattering, comfortable and effortless clothes, designed to keep you feeling your best. We hope you enjoy wearing these styles as much as we've enjoyed creating them for you! Thank you for shopping with – and relying on us – to deliver comfort and value at an honest price. You can depend on us to listen and change as your needs change, so we’ll always have just what you want. For 110 years and counting, you take the lead and we’ll follow!

Our 2020 Best Sellers


Through the Years

It all started with a simple black raincoat

1910-1920s

1910

John L. Blair sells his “Keep-Dry” raincoats by mail as the New Process Rubber Company, sending over 10,000 letters to undertakers, ministers and businessmen. The foundation of Blair’s business is built on direct mail, featuring personalized letters packaged with product sales flyers.

1922

Blair begins to patent nearly everything he sells, including the original raincoat design. Free trial offers, a cornerstone of the New Process Company, was unique in the direct-mail industry at the time.

1924

New Process Company goes public on the American Stock Exchange and remained one of the oldest continually traded stocks until it was purchased by Orchard Brands in 2007.

1940-1960s

1940

As sales for women's apparel rapidly increases and the customer base grows, an Adressograph machine makes it easier to address the thousands of mailers being sent to prospective buyers. At this time, over 11 million address plates are stored by the company.

1947

The New Process Company Clock

The iconic Blair clock is erected. For over 70 years and counting, it stands tall as a landmark in Warren Pennsylvania.

1965

The first computers and data processing systems are installed at headquarters.

1970-1980s

1973

Operations begin at a new state-of-the-art, 300,000 sq. ft. distribution center.

1979

In-house credit, named the Easy Payment Plan, is offered to customers.

1989

The company name officially changes to Blair.

1990-2000s

1993

Blair introduces its first catalog in the fall for home products and is followed two years later by a menswear catalog in fall, 1995. The first womenswear catalog is introduced in spring, 1996.

1994

Blair makes its initial entry into online marketing.

2010-Present

2007

Blair becomes part of the Orchard Brands portfolio.

2015

Blair, as part of Orchard Brands, joins the Bluestem Group.

2020

Blair is aquired by BLST Operating Company.

Blair is committed to offering the quality, style and value we’ve been delivering for the past 110 years. Our goal is to make friendships, one customer at a time and we look forward to serving you now, and in many years to come!