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Do you have a favourite department store?

(54 Posts)
Dinahmo Wed 25-Mar-20 15:15:38

When I was a lot younger, living in London, a trip round the department stores was one of my ideas of heaven. Sadly some of the best are long gone and I was wondering if there are any that you miss (anywhere)

My choices are Galeries Lafayette (on Regent Street, now Hamleys - unless that's now gone), Simpsons of Piccadilly and Woollands (Knightsbridge). 50 years on I can still remember shoes that I bought in the first two.

MawB Wed 25-Mar-20 15:19:14

John Lewis 😢😢😢😢😢

eazybee Wed 25-Mar-20 15:28:24

Rackhams in Birmingham, later House of Fraser, now departed.
My wedding dress and going away outfit, some maternity clothes, and many many shoes and handbags came from there.

GrannyGravy13 Wed 25-Mar-20 15:30:40

John Lewis is always my first choice, Selfridges second.

Dinahmo I can assure you Hamleys is still there, all five floors shock

Missfoodlove Wed 25-Mar-20 16:00:33

Liberty, always Liberty.

Greyduster Wed 25-Mar-20 16:04:08

Another big John Lewis fan here; but we also have a very good independent department store, trading in our city 1872. It is one of the ones that had the sense to move with the times, but is still run by the same family, selling good brands and offering excellent service. We had several department stores when I was growing up and they went to the wall one by one, but this one stayed the course and is a pleasure to shop in.

GrannyGravy13 Wed 25-Mar-20 16:05:25

Missfoodlove how could I forget Libertys. My paternal Grandpa worked in Carnaby Street and when I went to work with him on Saturday mornings from about 9 years old I was allowed to browse Libertys and Galts Toyshop on my own. I felt so grown up but it is inconceivable nowadays.

Each year we buy a Christmas Bauble from there.

grannysue05 Wed 25-Mar-20 16:09:32

Lewis's in Manchester sold just about everything. If you wanted to be really upmarket there was Marshall and Snelgrove.
The beauty assistant there (were they called that in those days?) , told me I had far too much make-up on for a child.
I was eighteen !

TerriBull Wed 25-Mar-20 16:14:34

John Lewis, my nearest one is a mere 10 minute walk away, closed of course at the moment. I'd hate to lose them off the high street.

Yes I remember diving into Simpsons of Piccadilly Dinah many moons ago when I worked up in town, then of course there is Harrods, but I never really liked it that much, well not enough to buy anything, although one of my sons forced me to buy a Star Wars toy there that was 3 times the price of what it would cost locally, but it was a quid pro quo pact he'd set up on the basis that he wouldn't moan whilst we went to an exhibition at The Royal Academy mercenary little git Although I did like to visit the pet department in my late teens, where you could buy a lion if you so wished, as one did back in the day shock Fortnums lovely to wander around and frightfully naice for a cuppa and a slice of arm and a leg cake!

Not a department store, but Daunt Books in London, if I could be locked in for the night anywhere it would be there.

BBbevan Wed 25-Mar-20 16:17:09

John Lewis is or was our go to shop. Now we live in SW Wales it is a fair old trek to Cardiff. We did order a new television from them. DH was delighted when it came in a proper JL delivery van. Snobbish. Nooooo.

TerriBull Wed 25-Mar-20 16:17:25

Oh forgot Libertys, all those lovely prints, and Biba in Kensington High Street, friends and I would do regular pilgrimages there on a Saturday to gaze at the clothes we couldn't afford sad

LullyDully Wed 25-Mar-20 16:28:28

We lived near Birmingham and I can't imagine the city without Rackhams ( or the" back of Rackhams come to that.)

Their foodhall was nearly as good as Harrods albeit not as large.

PS " back of Rackhams" is a Birmingham joke.

TrendyNannie6 Wed 25-Mar-20 16:39:48


ninathenana Wed 25-Mar-20 17:09:26

Before we were married I liked visiting DH in London and going to Jones Bros. in Holloway Road. Aladdin's cave for this country bumkin back in early 70's.
No department stores for 50 miles

Soupy Wed 25-Mar-20 17:18:57

John Lewis

And David Jones when I visit family in Sydney! Very much like JL.....

eazybee Wed 25-Mar-20 17:35:17

Fortnums and Masons was an experience, but only to look at the customers, and the floor walkers!

GagaJo Wed 25-Mar-20 17:39:58

Bonds of Norwich. Now John Lewis. Peter Jones of Chelsea. Now John Lewis.

Used to love M&S but now so dowdy.

GagaJo Wed 25-Mar-20 17:40:31

Oooo Liberty!

GabriellaG54 Wed 25-Mar-20 17:42:05

JL are not going to price match any more so it's a 👎 from me.
I used to like John Lewis in Liverpool but that went decades ago.
Now there is no real choice. HoF has concessions but no floor staff and less choice within those concessions. Debenhams...a sinking ship.'s a blank.

GabriellaG54 Wed 25-Mar-20 17:44:53

Meant to type Lewis's in Raleigh Street Liverpool, not John Lewis which is (or used to be) George Henry Lee in L'pool.

GabriellaG54 Wed 25-Mar-20 17:45:37

Ranleigh Street - auto correct.

annsixty Wed 25-Mar-20 17:47:41

Jessops in Nottingham, now JL.
Griffin and Spalding also Nottingham, now the most awful Debenhams and then when we moved to Manchester, Kendals, on either side of Deansgate, with a subway under the road going from one store to the other.
That is now House of Frazer and rather like a jumble sale to me

Ellianne Wed 25-Mar-20 18:02:04

Fenwicks in Bond Street makes me feel I'm somewhere special. I remember being taken to Bourne & Hollingsworth for clothes as a child.

Chewbacca Wed 25-Mar-20 18:04:08

You're so right grannysue05, Lewis's and Marshall & Snelgrove were wonderful stores, especially at Christmas with their beautiful decorations throughout the store. When I was a teenager, I went to work as a Saturday girl in Affleck & Browns. It was so luxurious on the shop floor but a completely different behind the scenes! Working there was like being in Are You Being Served! grin

Kalu Wed 25-Mar-20 18:13:35

So many good stores we had in Glasgow city centre have gone😰
Pettigrew & Stevens
Watt Brothers
Lewis’s are the ones that come to mind

House of Fraser still a good store selling good quality items.
Not too keen on John Lewis, best of a bad bunch compared to Debenhams which I have never liked

Gabriella, I spent 6 months in Liverpool in 1069 when I was involved with working at The Everyman, our watering hole was The Phil. Happy memories of my time there.