Bullock's was founded in 1907 at Seventh & Broadway in downtown Los Angeles by John G. Bullock. In 1944 Bullock's acquired I. Magnin & Co. This was followed by the acquisition of the then public-owned Bullock's/I. Magnin organization in 1964 by Federated Department Stores. In the 1970s, to differentiate itself from the full-line Bullock's stores, the very exclusive Wilshire location dropped its apostrophe, became Bullocks Wilshire, and began its own expansion.
Bullock's, Bullocks Wilshire, and I. Magnin retained their autonomy under Federated, as well as their carriage-trade niche, with I. Magnin expanding into the Chicago and Washington, D.C. metropolitan areas and Bullock's opening stores in Phoenix, Las Vegas and Northern California. In 1983 however, Federated shut the Bullock's North division and sold most of its locations to a Seattle, Washington upstart: Nordstrom. In 1996—following the acquisition of Broadway Stores, Inc.—Federated consolidated all its traditional department-store business in California under the Macy's nameplate, ending 89 years of Bullock's.