NEW YORK — Samuel M. Halpren, owner of Halpren’s Tots n Teens and Halpren’s Junior Debs, a retail clothing chain throughout Philadelphia and its suburbs, died Oct. 2 at the age of 87.
This story first appeared in the October 11, 2002 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The cause of death was endocarditis, an infection of the heart valve, according to his son, Bennett.
Halpren’s was at one time the largest and oldest independent children’s and teenage apparel retail chain in Pennsylvania. It was also the largest camp outfitter in the Philadelphia area.
Halpren grew up in South Philadelphia. After graduating from South Philadelphia High School in 1932, he started working in his family’s business, Halpren’s Tots n Teens on Point Breeze Avenue in Philadelphia, which was founded by his parents in 1910.
He took over the business around 1950, and later opened Halpren’s stores in the Bala Cynwyd Shopping Center in Bala Cynwyd, Pa., and the Exton Mall in Exton, Pa. The last of the stores was closed in 1990.
In 1955, Halpren was honored as National Brand Name Retailer-of-the-Year. He was also president for many years of the Bala Cynwyd, Haverford Avenue and Point Breeze Merchants’ Associations.
A resident of Wynnewood, Pa., Halpren founded Halpren’s Boys Club and Halpren’s Girls Club. He was a benefactor to numerous local orphanages, and frequently took children on various outings, such as Major League Baseball games and National Football League games, as well as the zoo and the Ringling Bros. Circus.
He contributed clothing to the Salvation Army, local orphanages and the needy abroad. He was also a volunteer at Lankenau Hospital in Wynnewood, Pa., for more than 25 years.
In addition to his son Bennett, Halpren is survived by his wife, Sylvia, another son, Bruce, and two grandchildren.