The Federal's Department Store chain was a discount retailer that was founded in Hamtramck, MI in 1929. The chain spread across Detroit, with 18 stores by 1955, and 54 by the 1970's.
In 1949 Federal's built a new store on the corner of Grand River Boulevard and Greenfield Road in northwest Detroit. Like many of its previous stores, the 144,000 square foot Grand River location was designed by noted architect Charles N. Agree, and featured a tower on the corner with a clock underneath the logo. The store had two main floors connected by stairs and twin escalators, as well as a basement.
Though the chain had experienced steady growth as it opened new stores, Detroit's population peaked in the 1960's and began to fall. By 1969 Federal's was losing money as its core market began to move away, and never regained profitability. The company filed for bankruptcy in 1972, and began shuttering stores.
In 1977 a businessman by the name of Steven West commenced a hostile takeover of the Federal's chain, succeeding in 1978. West dropped the first two letters off of Federal's name, renaming most locations to Deral's Department Store. However, the location on Grand River was renamed "Ed's," with the non-pertinent letters removed from the exterior signs. Ed's closed unexpectedly in December of 1980.
Several former Federal's locations were bought by Kingsway Department Stores, another Detroit-based chain that had established locations in marginal neighborhoods that lacked shopping outlets. In May of 1981, Kingsway took over Federal's store on Grand River and Greenfield, and held a grand opening. By 1987, though, Kingsway was looking to sell the money-losing Grand River location. The company went out of business in May of 1990.
The last tenant of the store was Mammoth, a budget department store that opened on November 26th, 1990. Mammoth closed in the early 2000’s, and the building has been vacant since.
In early 2003, plans to renovate the store were announced by developer Herb Strather. The Grand River Place mall would feature 20 stores inside, featuring youth-oriented retailers, music, and clothing that would make the mall "hip-hop central." Two large plasma-screen televisions would be mounted on the corner tower, and plans called for a virtual reality auto showroom.
In early 2011 a sign for the Forman Mills clothing warehouse chain appeared on the front of the store, but the plan never came to fruition.