Pizitz of Tuscaloosa

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This page is about Pizitz of Tuscaloosa. For the larger Pizitz of Birmingham, see Pizitz.
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Pizitz of Tuscaloosa was a family-owned chain of department stores founded in 1913 in Tuscaloosa by Max Pizitz and Joe Saks. Operating independently from the Birmingham Pizitz, the company operated three stores at its peak before its closure in August 1981. Pizitz of Birmingham continued to operate a store at Tuscaloosa's University Mall until its sale to McRae's in 1986.


Pizitz of Tuscaloosa was established in 1913 with the opening of Saks & Company at the Broad Street location in downtown Tuscaloosa. Owned and operated by both Max Pizitz and Joe Saks, in 1919 Pizitz took sole ownership of the company and renamed it the Pizitz Mercantile Company. The store continued to grow through the 1940s during which numerous expansions were completed in adding a second floor sales area and expanding into the neighboring building. Following the death of Max in 1943, ownership of the company came under his sons Sam and Isadore Pizitz. The sons subsequently sold the business in 1959 to John S. Jemison & Associates of Birmingham.

Under the ownership of Jemison, Pizitz opened its first branch store across from Leland Shopping Center on August 16, 1965. On May 18, 1968, an announcement was made that a second branch location was to open in McFarland Mall. The store opened on February 19, 1969. Pizitz of Tuscaloosa continued to flourish until an announcement was made in May 1979 that Pizitz of Birmingham would open a new store in University Mall. In the months following its opening the McFarland Store closed, and in August 1981 the downtown and Alberta stores closed thus ending its 68 years of operation.