The Pacific Outfitting Company was founded in 1907 as a part of a larger chain of stores, including the Eastern and Columbia Outfitting Companies. The corporation was founded in 1887 by Alfred Shemanski, a Polish immigrant. Pacific opened in Seattle in a storefront at 422 Pike Street, and eventually set up stores in Spokane and Bellevue. Pacific started as a clothing store for women, soon expanding to sell men’s apparel as well. The store was managed by Max Lipman from 1912 until his death in 1953. Lipman used World War I to establish the store by gaining a monopoly on credit. Lipman was also able to keep the store open during the Depression, something many of his neighbors were not able to do.