Search This Blog

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Department Store

In 1813 Suffolk-born shopkeeper William Debenham (April 18, 1794 - September 24, 1863) invested in a draper’s store at 44 Wigmore Street, London. Together with his partner Thomas Clark he expanded the business with stores on both sides of Wigmore Street, one known as Debenham & Clark and the other known as Clark & Debenham. The shops grew into Debenhams department stores, which today is a public company with 240 stores in 27 countries.

Debenhams on Briggate in Leeds. By Mtaylor848 - wikipedia Commons

The first passenger elevator was installed at E V Haughwout’s New York department store on Broadway on March 23, 1857. It was rather slow travelling at 40 feet per minute.

Macy's was founded by Rowland Hussey Macy, who between 1843 and 1855 opened four retail dry goods stores in Massachusetts, which all failed. Macy moved to New York City and established a new store named "R. H. Macy & Co." on Sixth Avenue between 13th and 14th Street. On the company's first day of business on October 28, 1858 the gross receipts totaled $11.08.

The UK's first purpose-built department store was Compton House, completed in 1867 for the Liverpool retailer J.R. Jeffrey. it was the largest store in the world at the time.

At 28 John Lewis opened his first shop on Oxford Street in 1864 selling ribbons and haberdashery. He is listed as a silk merchant in the Post Office Directory for London in 1874.

London’s first large department store, Selfridges, was opened by American retail showman Harry Gordon Selfridge on March 15, 1909. He tried to make shopping fun and a form of leisure rather than a chore and introduced the phrase, ‘the customer is always right’.

Advertisement for the opening of the London store in 1909.

Shirley Temple stopped believing in Santa at the age of 6 after her mother took her to see him in a department store and he asked for her autograph.

Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer, was created in 1939, in Chicago, for the Montgomery Ward department stores for a Christmas promotion.

The first ballpoint pens went of sale at Gimbels department stores in 1945 for $12.95.


Giorgio Armani began his career in fashion when went to work at the La Rinascente department store in Milan in the mid-1950. He became menswear buyer and fashion coordinator there.

The tallest department store in the world, Hudson's flagship store in downtown Detroit, closed on January 17, 1983 due to the high cost of operating. At one time it had claimed to be the second largest department store (next to Macy's) in the United States, in terms of square footage.


THE world's largest department store is in Busan, South Korea, and measures. 293,905 sq m or 3.16 million sq ft. It includes a spa, ice rink and 60-tee golf driving range.

No comments:

Post a Comment