THE DAYTONA BEACH, S. H. KRESS & CO. STORE was built in 1932 and "KRESS" was the trade name of a chain of "five and dime" retail department stores which operated from 1896 to 1981. The chain of S. H. Kress & Co. 5-10-25 Cent Stores was established in 1896. Samuel H. Kress opened his first store in Nanticoke, Pennsylvania in 1887. Throughout the first half of the twentieth century Kress stores were a familiar "Main Street" sight in hundreds of cities and towns.
The Kress building’s rare art deco architecture is one of the most significant in Central Florida. Samuel H. Kress envisioned his stores as works of public art. This led him to hire New York architect Seymour Burrell, who designed more than fifty Art Deco S. H. Kress & Co. stores between 1929 and 1944. Daytona's Kress Building was built in 1931 and is one of Mr. Burrell's finest works.
In 1964 the company abandoned its center-city stores and moved to newly created shopping malls. A liquidation of the chain followed with a closing of the Kress stores in 1980. Today S.H. Kress buildings around the country have become notable historic artifacts and a collection of adaptive reuse opportunities like the historic building on Daytona's South Beach Street.