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R. H. Macy and Company was founded in New York City and had its first store at 18th Street and Broadway on the "Ladies' Mile," the 19th century's elite shopping district, for nearly 40 years.

It moved uptown to Herald Square, 34th Street and Broadway in Manhattan in the 1920s. Beginning with one building, and through expanded new construction or merging, eventually it grew into the world's largest department store, with some 10 million square feet of selling floor. (Some claim that the GUM store is Moscow, Russia is larger.) Macy's now occupies the entire block from 7th Avenue to Broadway and 34th to 35th Streets -- except for one small brownstone on the corner of 34th and Broadway, which remains a separate property, though rented by Macy's annually for a legendary figure, and camouflaged with giant signs.

The same property problem presented itself when Macy's built a store on Queens Boulevard in Jackson Heights, Queens, New York, This resulted in a architecturally unique round department store on 90% of the lot, with a small privately owned house on the corner. It was a case literally of the "little lady who wouldn't sell."

Macy's is a nationwide fleet of department stores in the USA, with a presence in every American state.

Macy's has entered the popular psyche of the United States in a number of ways: