Kaufman’s Men’s Store

Kaufman's Student Outfitters window display

Kaufman’s Student Outfitters window display, circa 1917

Portrait of Jacob Kaufman

Portrait of Jacob Kaufman

16-18 Main St., Champaign

(1899-1966)

Jacob (1865-1921) and Aaron Kaufman (-1938), two brothers from Indiana, moved to Champaign joiningtheir uncle. Aaron arrived first in 1879 and started a clothing business. Jacob came in 1881. In 1884, the brothers each took a position in their uncle’s store, Ottenheimer & Co, located at 18 Main St. In 1887,Aaron relocated to Decatur, and Jacob purchased his brother’s interest in the store. By 1899, Jacob Kaufman had become the sole proprietor of Ottenheimer’s and changed the name to J.M. Kaufman & Co. 

Interior of Kaufman's architectural rendering

Interior of Kaufman’s architectural rendering and execution, circa 1950s-1960s.

Interior of Kaufman's

Interior of Kaufman's

Primarily a men’s clothing store, Kaufman’s expanded quickly. They were the first business in the area to add a women’s department, to have a modern beauty salon and barber shop, to offer payment plans, and to feature a military department. Jacob Kaufman’s son Stanley (1900-1977) took over the store upon his father’s death in 1921. Kaufman’s expanded into two locations: the original Kaufman’s Men’s Store in downtown Champaign and Kaufman’s Country Fair Shopping Center in Champaign. Stanley Kaufman sold the stores to Karoll’s of Chicago in 1966.