Grant opened his department store operation in 1906 with a 25 cent-limit on all merchandise. Grant created this 25 cent niche market at a time when department store prices began at 50 cents and Kresge and Woolworth sold their merchandise at 5 cents and 10 cents. At the end of World War I, when Grant had established a chain of 30 stores, the 25 cent-limit on merchandise was raised to one dollar. W. T. Grant Company evolved into one of the largest retailing companies in the nation. By the time of Grantís death in 1972, the company had nearly 1,200 units, sales of $1.2 billion, and 60,000 employees.