Southern California's The Broadway chain had its humble beginnings in this store in 1896. It was located in the central city of Los Angeles, on Broadway Street...hence the name.
Photo from the Los Angeles Public Library

May Company California had several locations in the Los Angeles basin by the mid-20th century. In this snapshot, we see the streamline moderne "May's Wilshire" store, which opened -as the chain's first branch- in September 1939.
Photo from Library of Congress

A second May Company branch was built along Los Angeles' Crenshaw Boulevard. Before it could be completed, May Co's retail adversary, The Broadway, broke ground on a store, which was being built directly across the boulevard. The Broadway Crenshaw, seen above, opened for business in November 1947.
Photo from the J. Paul Getty Trust, Getty Research Institute / Los Angeles / Julius Shulman

Washington State's The Bon Marche ("good market") started, in this meager store in the Belltown section of Seattle, in 1890.
Photo from University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections Division