75 photographs [approx.] : b&w, colour ; 25 x 20 cm or smaller
Scope and Content
The accession consists of materials collected by Evelyn Goodman from the years when she and her husband Marvin ran Lipton’s retail clothing company. The majority of the records are promotional materials and publications, including catalogues and brochures, advertisement clippings, Lipton’s newsletters, two key chains and a notice of sale card. The scrapbook contains clippings of the Ask Evelyn column and advertisements used to promote the store in the 1960s. Additionally, there are handwritten and typed drafts of Evelyn’s articles in a file.
Materials that document the operation of the Lipton’s business include speeches, planning documents and notes, advertisement drafts, articles by Marvin Goodman, employee reference and training materials, and motivational and managerial materials. There are also several copies of Lipton’s letterhead and business cards.
There are a variety of photographs documenting the stores and various events, including an early fashion show and Marvin and Evelyn with awards. There is also an extensive series of black and white photographs documenting the Lipton’s company operations, including images of offices and warehouse facilities.
Finally, there are clippings and photocopies of articles written about the store and the Goodman’s themselves.
Records were donated by Evelyn Goodman in September 2009.
Evelyn and Marvin Goodman ran Lipton’s retail clothing company together from 1950 until they closed its doors in 1995. The couple grew a single store into a diverse chain of stores and became leaders in fashion retailing in Canada.
Evelyn Lipton was born in Toronto on January 2, 1929 to Jack and Sonia Louise (Rodd) Lipton. Her father, Jack, came from Russia with an uncle and subsequently changed his family name from Lipchitz to Lipton. Her mother, Sonia Rodd, was a Russian orphan. Her father ran the well-known Lipman’s store in the Parkdale area.
Marvin Goodman (1925-2007) was born to Samuel and Tobe Goodman on May 22 in Toronto. He was apprenticing to be a pharmacist before Evelyn and Marvin married in 1949 and opened the first Lipton’s store together. The couple used their wedding money and a bank loan to open the store at Bloor and Royal York Road in the west end of Toronto on March 4, 1950. At the time, Evelyn was also enrolled in the University of Toronto and would earn her Bachelor of Arts that same year. To advertise the store in these early years Evelyn began writing the advice column “Ask Evelyn”, in which she counseled women on all of their fashion questions.
The couple opened a second store in 1971 in Sherway Gardens mall, and by 1989 they were operating over 65 stores in Canada. Beyond the Lipton’s stores, the couple also opened a variety of specialized stores, including: Heritage House, Goodman Manteau, Easy Pieces, Finds and Xanthé. Additionally, they manufactured their own private label for sale in their stores. Lipton’s filed for bankruptcy in 1995, its assets were sold, and the company was closed.
The Lipton’s company was known for its generous treatment of employees through the provision of profit-sharing, incentives, and progressive benefit packages. The Goodman’s were also committed to having predominantly women run the business throughout the years. The store also won a number of Judy Awards from Canada’s fashion industry and was listed as one of the best companies to work for in the 1990-1991 edition of the Financial Post’s 100 Best Companies to Work for in Canada.
Evelyn and Marvin had two children over the years, Stephen and Barbara, who would later become involved in the business when they were adults. After a long struggle with illness, Marvin passed away on July 5, 2007. Evelyn now has 6 grandchildren and 2 great grandchildren.