Sears opened their On The Plaza store in January 1947. In this snapshot, we see the Late Moderne-style building decked out for the 1949 holiday season. 
Photo from State Historical Society of Missouri / J.C. Nichols Company Scrapbook


The Helzberg's House of Treasures emporium opened its doors in December 1948. The store occupied the northwest corner of the West 47th & Broadway Streets intersection.
Photo from State Historical Society of Missouri / J.C. Nichols Company Scrapbook


In this circa-1951 photo, ladies stroll shops along West 47th Street. Note the S.S. Kresge 5 & 10 on the right. Although inherently an upscale shopping center, the original PLAZA did include mid-tier retailers, as well. Over the past 40 years, the complex has been thoroughly gentrified and is now exclusively populated by high-end stores and services.
Photo from State Historical Society of Missouri / J.C. Nichols Company Scrapbook