I can remember my first experience of going to a department store. My Grandma took me to the iconic Hanningtons in Brighton, and even now, I can recall the thrill of the luxury of it all.Then, as we got older, she’d also take us to Harrods, where the fancy toilets – actually requiring you to ‘spend a penny’ (and food hall of course) – were a personal highlight.As an adult, I often shop in department stores, and am sad to read that Debenhams is closing stores and reporting huge losses. It’s hot on the heels of House of Fraser, whose Oxford Street store was saved, but but fears for its future abound, as it’s taken over by Sports Direct owner Mike Ashley.The closures are no laughing matter, as jobs will, of course, be at risk, as well as the future of our high streets across the country. Department stores are something of a national treasure (I’m still not over losing BHS), and here’s what we’ll lose on a personal … [Read more...] about Everything we love about department stores – and what we’re losing as they shut down
Flemington department store flooring
0 Post a comment Friday, 10 August 2018 - Environment ELPHICKS department store in West Street suffered a minor flood on Friday afternoon following a sudden downpour of rain. Lightning flashes and a few cracks of thunder proceeded a heavy shower at around 3.30pm, overwhelming the store’s guttering.Flood water poured through ceiling tiles on Elphicks’ first floor, but staff were able to quickly move any threatened stock out of harm’s way.The rain soon relented and the store had a water pump on hand to suck up the excess water, avoiding any lasting damage.Guildford’s Friary Centre was less fortunate, however, with reports suggesting the ground floor of the shopping centre had to be evacuated after it was overwhelmed by flood water on Friday.It comes as Elphicks, Farnham’s iconic Victorian department store, is currently undergoing a major £2 million refurbishment.The substantial investment, which includes a 3,000 square foot extension to the rear … [Read more...] about Torrential rain floods Elphick’s department store
Will the traditional department store soon be an anachronism, like trams or gas lighting? House of Fraser has been struggling for some time, and has just been sold to Mike Ashley, the flamboyant owner of Sports Direct. He is bound to close stores, lay off staff and rebrand shops with his own merchandise. In other words, the era of “Are you being served?” is dead and buried. It will be replaced by the bargain bin, the over-crammed rail of sportswear, and the barely interested staff. Recently, I asked a man working in the luggage department of John Lewis in Westfield exactly what the dimensions of a medium suitcase were – back came the answer: “I don’t know”! In the Vodafone shop in the same mall, a sales assistant went from offering to change my phone for £400 to £40, and when I started getting overwrought, called me a racist! Service is certainly not what it used to be – no doubt about that. Currently, Marks and Spencer, Mothercare … [Read more...] about Department stores like John Lewis and museums like the V&A face similar problems – how about a bold solution?
There are renewed fears for the future of Plymouth’s huge Debenhams store after it emerged it is facing a credit squeeze similar to the one that hit House of Fraser. Debenhams shares fell following reports credit insurers have reduced cover for suppliers to the struggling department store chain. Credit insurance company Euler Hermes is among those to have pulled some cover, while Atradius and Coface have refused to cover new shipments. Shares tumbled nearly six per cent to 13.8p on Monday, July 16, as investors took fright at the disclosure. The news represents a major headache for Debenhams, which has already issued three profit warnings during 2018. The chain has a huge store in Plymouth city centre, and, with neighbouring House of Fraser shutting its outlet, if Debenhams were to close it would be a major blow for the city. Credit insurance protects suppliers against the risks of a customer going bust, between the moment of accepting an order and payment being made. If the … [Read more...] about Fresh fears for Debenhams as department store faces credit crisis
Royal Parade was laid out in 1947, but no new buildings graced it until Dingles was completed in 1951 – the first new post-war department store anywhere in the United Kingdom. Progress may have seemed slow to the local population but Plymouth, largely through Lord Astor, his friend Patrick Abercrombie and their influential connections, was ahead of the game nationally. On its first day of opening on September 1, 1951, over 40,000 people flocked through its doors. The department store was a sign of modern Plymouth, it was fashionable and also symbolic of hope and vision - it even had the city's first escalator. Before the Blitz, Dingles was spread out across several different stores - seven of them in total - in adjacent properties in Bedford Street, Cornwall Street, Bank Street and Russell Street. There was also a grocery and provisions store at No.34 Westwell Street, with another in Cobourg Street. But the Second World War changed many things - including the way we shopped. The … [Read more...] about What made and broke Plymouth’s most iconic department store