Category Archives: Department Stores

Clothing made in the UK – British clothes manufacturers and British Made Clothes – UK made clothes and accessories. Who made your clothes?

British made menswear, British made womenswear, British made children’s clothes.  Clothing made in the UK.

Is ANYTHING you’re wearing made in Britain?

#BuyBritishMadeClothes

This article on British made clothes is very comprehensive – please give it a few seconds to load. You may wish to use ‘find on page’ to help you look for something in particular.

I sense a revival of British clothes manufacturing. Much has gone, but there is still a fantastic choice of British made clothes out there, whether you want to spend a lot or not very much money.

Here you can find links and information, in no particular order, about British made clothes, for men, women and children. This article is ongoing and I will add to it when I discover more British clothes manufacturers and suppliers. Only companies that actually make or supply clothes made in the UK will be featured here, not simply companies that used to make clothes in the UK or are just selling clothes in the UK. The products I list here are genuinely made in the UK, not simply labelled to imply British heritage or manufacture.

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Selfridges (Oxford) Ltd – a very brief history‏

 Selfridges (Oxford) Ltd – a very brief history‏

Selfridges (Oxford) Ltd opened its doors in around 1972. Selfridges (Oxford) Ltd was a large and very prestigious department store located at 27 Westgate, Oxford, OX1 1LP. Sears (who by then owned Lewis's, who were also the owners of the Selfridges London store) re-branded the store as Lewis's in around 1989 and it traded under the Lewis's name until around 1996 (from around 1991 Lewis's had come under the ownership of Owen Owen). It then traded as Allders until around 2005 (Allders having purchased a number of the Owen Owen stores in 1996), when the store closed.

Selfridges (Oxford) Ltd opened its doors in around 1972. Selfridges (Oxford) Ltd was a large and very prestigious department store located at 27 Westgate, Oxford, OX1 1LP. Sears (who by then owned Lewis’s, who were also the owners of the Selfridges London store) re-branded the store as Lewis’s in around 1989 and it traded under the Lewis’s name until around 1996 (from around 1991 Lewis’s had come under the ownership of Owen Owen). It then traded as Allders until around 2005 (Allders having purchased a number of the Owen Owen stores in 1996), when the store closed. This photograph circa 1988.

Selfridges (Oxford) Ltd from inside the Westgate Christmas time 1988

Selfridges (Oxford) Ltd from inside the Westgate Christmas time 1988.

Selfridges from inside the Westgate 1987.

Selfridges from inside the Westgate 1987.

Selfridges from inside the Westgate Shopping Centre in 1986 (the Westage had just had a £3m re-vamp at that time).

Selfridges from inside the Westgate Shopping Centre in 1986 (the Westage had just had a £3m re-vamp at that time).

A pre-1986 photograph of the inside of the Westgate Centre (note that great menswear shop, now long gone, Dunn and Co)

A pre-1986 photograph of the inside of the Westgate Centre (note that great menswear shop, now long gone, Dunn and Co). Selfridges is to the left, out of shot.

The Westgate Centre takes shape in 1972, Selridges as will be on the left hand side

The Westgate Centre takes shape in 1972, Selfridges (as will be) is on the left hand side. The construction of the new Westgate Centre cost £1.8m at the time of building.

Selfridges under construction, c. 1974. Note the Selfridges and Lewis's signage on the left.

Selfridges under construction, c. 1974. Note the Selfridges and Lewis’s signage on the left.

pennyfarthing place oxford

The staff entrance to Selfridges / Lewis’s was in Pennyfarthing Place (on the left, out of shot). This photograph was taken on 17th April 2008. St Ebbe’s Church is on the right and the brick building on the left used to be a small Fenwick’s Department Store. The Westgate Centre is behind (out of shot). The Pennyfarthing pub was behind to the left. The Blenheim pub is straight on between the Church and what was Fenwick.

Selfridges Brewer Street warehouse

Selfridges Oxford had a warehouse on Brewer Street, the building with the white garage type doors in this (undated) photograph. The site has since been demolished and re-developed by Pembroke College. The slightly taller building to the right, number 7, is still there. The Brewer Street building was used by Selfridges to store stock items of furniture and furniture awaiting delivery to customers. The upstairs was used to store shop fittings. It was a long building and led right through to a parking garage on the other side where the store managers used to park their cars. The entrance to the parking garage must have been on the corner of Littlegate Street and Albion Place I think. The site was re-developed in 2010/2011, so that above photograph must pre-date that, perhaps taken around 2010.

Brewer Street Selfridges Warehouse and Hall the Printer, circa 2010

Another view of what was the Brewer Street Selfridges Warehouse and also Hall the Printer, circa 2010. Both now demolished and replaced with new buildings by Pembroke College. The address of Hall the Printer was 6 Brewer Street, leading me to think that the Selfridges warehouse was at 6a Brewer Street.

The side entrance to Westgate shopping centre Oxford. July 2009

The side entrance to Westgate shopping centre Oxford. July 2009.

Part of the back of the Westgate Shopping Centre. The entrance to Selfridges loading bay is under the overhanging part of the building. June 2009.

Part of the back of the Westgate Shopping Centre. The entrance to Selfridges loading bay is under the overhanging part of the building. June 2009.

Entrance to Westgate loading bay, October 2009

Entrance to Westgate loading bay, October 2009

The Westgate multi-storey car park. July 2009.

The Westgate multi-storey car park. July 2009. The Westgate multi-storey car park is being demolished in 2015, but it is not clear yet what will go in its place. Since the mid-1990s there has been talk of re-developing the Westgate Centre. The latest plan (as of 2016) to re-develop the Westgate Centre, like some previous plans, includes a John Lewis department store.

Footbridge connecting muti-storey car park to Westgate Centre, March 2008

Footbridge connecting muti-storey car park to Westgate Centre, March 2008.

Sefridges 1973 under construction. Selfridges has earlier taken over Coppers Department Store.

Sefridges 1973. The Westgate Centre under construction. Selfridges has earlier taken over Coppers Department Store in around 1972.

Selfridges 1972

Selfridges 1972

Selfridges being built 1973

Selfridges being built 1973

Selfridges under construction 1974

Selfridges under construction 1974.

A double decker bus advertising Selfridges in 1975 - “City of Oxford AEC Renown 343 (343 TJO) in Luton on August 18th 1975 having worked in fromAylesbury on the 61 while on hire to United Counties."

A double decker bus advertising Selfridges in 1975 – “City of Oxford AEC Renown 343 (343 TJO) in Luton on August 18th 1975 having worked in from Aylesbury on the 61 while on hire to United Counties.”

Allders Oxford, March 2001

Allders Oxford, March 2001.

At some point during the Lewis’s era a premises “sell and lease-back” scheme led to the front entrance and front part of the store (including the main window displays) being given over to independent shops. The main Westgate entrance, the back entrance (near Sainsbury’s) and the other display windows remained. This must have reduced footfall considerably, as it was no longer possible to cut through the store from the Westgate Centre multi-storey car park and go straight out onto Queen Street. At this time the basement was slightly expanded from a customer point of view by re-modelliing the pre-retail and staff toilets area into selling space.

Sources – Personal knowledge +

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Selfridges,

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allders,

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lewis%27s,

http://www.oxfordmail.co.uk/archive/2014/03/11/11066308.Is_long_wait_for_a_new_Westgate_nearly_over_/ – photograph from the Oxford Mail.

http://www.selfridges.com/content/our-heritage

http://www.oxfordmail.co.uk/news/11634175.Westgate_shopping_centre_through_the_years/?ref=mr

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Westgate_Shopping_Centre,_Oxford

http://www.oxfordmail.co.uk/news/9866119.Stories_of_Oxford_s_old_mortuary/

https://www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/cms/content/pictures-and-photographs

http://www.oxfordtimes.co.uk/news/11634175.print/

https://www.flickr.com/photos/8076308@N06/3994520431/in/photostream/

https://www.flickr.com/photos/browniebear/2319468158/in/photostream/

https://www.flickr.com/photos/johnshum_net/9126951643

http://www.oxford-chiltern-bus-page.co.uk/270205.htm

http://m.oxfordmail.co.uk/news/11624777.Live_Blog__The_Westgate_planning_meeting/?ref=mr

http://www.oxfordtoday.ox.ac.uk/features/oxford-city-centre-be-spruced-westgate-shopping-centres-£500m-makeover#

Lewis' Liverpool - From 1856 to 2010 it was the flagship store of the Lewis's empire.

Lewis’s Liverpool (in 2009) – From 1856 to 2010 it was the flagship store of the Lewis’s empire. There’s a brilliant pictorial history of the Liverpool store in the Liverpool Echo with some fantastic images of their iconic Liverpool building. The Liverpool store was badly damaged by bombs during World War 2 and re-built after the war. Over the years Lewis’s had department stores in Oxford (Selfridges Oxford), Liverpool, Manchester, Blackpool, Birmingham, Glasgow, Leeds, Hanley in Stoke-on-Trent, Leicester, and Bristol, as well as short lived stores in Sheffield, and Newcastle + Selfridges London. Lewis’s also had their own bank. Lewis’s branches also had their own Travel Bureau (Travel Agents), cigarette kiosks, hairdressers, and restaurants. For example Selfridges Oxford had 3 public restaurants – The Grosvenor Rooms on the 2nd floor (the staff restaurant was on the 2nd floor too), a coffee shop on the 1st and in the basement – the 1st floor coffee shop became non-smoking in the late 1980s). Stores had all the other departments you would expect – haberdashery, furniture, beds, lighting, mirrors and pictures, furnishing fabrics, bedding, curtains, carpets, ladieswear, menswear, childrenswear, stationery, perfumery, cosmetics, toiletries, gifts, small electrical. large electrical, white goods, china and glass, etc. Some Lewis’s stores had food halls. Lewis’s toy departments and Santa’s grottos were famous. At one point in the 1960s Lewis’s Liverpool had their own zoo. The Manchester store had a full scale ballroom on the fifth floor, which was also used for exhibitions. At some point, the Manchester store adopted a Venice theme, complete with flooding the basement and gondolas on which the public could ride. The Manchester branch was the first store outside of London to be fitted with escalators. The Manchester store was bombed by the IRA in 1975, as was the Selfridges London store. Lewis’s was one of the first stores to use plastic mannequins, giving rise to the well known phrase “standing there like one of Lewis’s“. Wikipedia has a fairly comprehensive history of Lewis’s. This blog also has some good photographs of Lewis’s in Liverpool and this blog has a good article on the Manchester store.

A Lewis’s staff badge, as used by a staff member in Lewis’s Glasgow.

A Lewis’s staff badge, as used by a staff member in Lewis’s Glasgow.

A Selfridges (Oxford) Ltd staff badge.

A Selfridges (Oxford) Ltd staff badge.

Jubilee Celebrations, Lewis's, Manchester. 1977.

Jubilee Celebrations, Lewis’s, Manchester. 1977.

Lewis's Blackpool. Photograpgh taken in Spring 1966. This landmark department store was next to Blackpool tower. The Blackpool branch was built in 1964 and closed 1993. After closure, the frontage was removed, and most of the upper floors were demolished.

Lewis’s Blackpool. Photograpgh taken in Spring 1966. This landmark department store was next to Blackpool tower. The Blackpool branch was built in 1964 and closed 1993. After closure, the frontage was removed, and most of the upper floors were demolished.

Lewis's department store - Blackpool. Enjoy all your holiday shopping at Lewis's - next door to the Tower. Undated from an old theatre programme.

An old advert for Lewis’s department store – Blackpool. Enjoy all your holiday shopping at Lewis’s – next door to the Tower. Undated from an old theatre programme.

Lewis's at Blackpool. The Blackpool branch of the Liverpool-based department store Lewis's, opened in 1964, closing in 1993. This is the view of the roof from the tower on 4 June 1970.

Lewis’s at Blackpool. The Blackpool branch of the Liverpool-based department store Lewis’s, opened in 1964, closing in 1993. This is the view of the roof from the tower on 4 June 1970.

11th July 1947. View of South-East corner of Lewis's Department store on the corner of the Headrow and New Briggate, Leeds.

11th July 1947. View of South-East corner of Lewis’s Department store on the corner of the Headrow and New Briggate, Leeds. The Lewis’s / Owen Owen / Allders in Leeds closed in 2005.

Lewis’s should not be confused with John Lewis – they were completely separate companies. Out of interest, in the 1940s, the 16 remaining smaller provincial Selfridge stores were sold to the John Lewis Partnership (including A H Bull in Reading which was later merged with Heelas and now trades as John Lewis; Caleys in Windsor, which was closed in 2006; and Robert Sayle in Cambridge, which now trades as John Lewis), and in 1951 the original Oxford Street store was acquired by the Liverpool-based Lewis’s chain of department stores.  Lewis’s and Selfridges were then taken over in 1965 by the Sears Group. In 1966 the group launched Miss Selfridge Fashions, which would later become a store chain in its own right. Most Lewis’s stores had a Miss Selfridge concession.

The sign outside Selfridges, London, 14.9.11. Photograph by author.

The sign outside Selfridges, London, 14.9.11. Photograph by author.

London Oxford Street in 1987, with Selfridges on the right.

London Oxford Street in 1987, with Selfridges on the right. Note C&A to the right too (C&A closed all its UK stores in 2001 but remains in Europe).

Original cast of Are You Being Served.

The original cast of Are You Being Served. Captain Peacock, Mr. Lucas, Mr. Harmon, Mr. Rumbold, Miss Brahms, Mrs. Slocombe, Mr. Granger, Young Mr. Grace, and Mr. Humphries. c. 1972. The fictional department store in this BBC comedy, Grace Bros, was loosely based on Simpson of Piccadilly – the London store where comedy writer Jeremy Lloyd once worked and which closed in 1999. It was not set in Selfridges but I am reminded of Selfridges when I watch this brilliant comedy.

A response from John Lewis is a very heartening read! – A Truly British Family – Consumer champions of manufacturing & farming

A response from John Lewis is a very heartening read! – A Truly British Family – Consumer champions of manufacturing & farming.

An update on John Lewis’s progress in buying more British goods from the British Family. JLP have delivered (and indeed it seems exceeded) on their promise to stock more British made goods. This article from the British Family gives you the detail and as James & Emily point out “his seems to be driven by a consumer demand for items made in the UK, which is exactly what needs to happen”. Well done JLP.

John Lewis to ‘repatriate’ textile manufacturing in made in Britain push – Telegraph

John Lewis to ‘repatriate’ textile manufacturing in made in Britain push – Telegraph.

I originally saw this on the Tumblr blog by Spoke – http://spokefit.com – https://twitter.com/spokefit – Spoke have their men’s trousers made in London, England and the prices are reasonable.  Made using mostly Italian components.*

*Having looked at the spoke website and blog again today (22/11/14) I can find no reference to any of their products being made in England and on Facebook it says they are made in Europe, so this is wrong.  Spoke clothes appear to be foreign made after all, although they do say they use some British fabrics.

It would be nice if JLP really does increase their proportion of British made products they sell. If they can bring more textile manufacture back to the UK in doing so all the better.

Disappointingly John Lewis do not always label their products with the country of origin and where this is the case the products in question are foreign made.  JLP still have quite a way to go, as most of the products in their stores are foreign made.

The article also mentions “on-shoring” by other companies, including:

  • Topshop giving more work to British suppliers.
  • DFS increasing its UK production.
  • Hornby planning to make a new range of Airfix kits in Newhaven, East Sussex.
  • And online bathroom company Bathrooms.com giving more work to British suppliers.

Long may this trend continue.

 

Save Jacksons of Reading

Further update – it appears nothing could be done to save the store (or nothing was done perhaps). Today (21st December 2013) there was very little stock left in the shop, but there were lots of customers buying what little was left in the sale. Most of the stock will be sold at an auction in the store to be held on January 4th 2014. The store will close on Christmas Eve. It will be a sad loss for its loyal customers and for the town of Reading. It will be even harder now to find those hard to find things and to find somewhere that sells quality goods at realistic prices. Truly it is all very upsetting.

One positive thing is that Jacksons have sold their schoolwear business to Stevensons (who now have another shop in the Market Place), because Stevensons have a policy of “sourcing from UK manufacturers wherever possible” – http://stevensons.co.uk

Jacksons of Reading 21st December 2013 - the fabulous store will close its doors for the last time this Christmas Eve.

Jacksons of Reading 21st December 2013 – the fabulous store will close its doors for the last time this Christmas Eve. Photograph by author.

Update on what is happening to Jacksons of Reading Department Store.  It is to close at Christmas 2013, unless a buyer is found 😦

Jacksons Corner sign - Jacksons of Reading

Jacksons Corner sign – Jacksons of Reading

Today (14.02.2013) I got UK made socks and UK made boxer shorts there.  It’s a quirky store and they sell stuff you won’t find anywhere else and pride themselves on their customer service.  It is a beautiful building inside and out, with a fabulous pneumatic tubes to handle cash. Why not visit this fabulous traditional department store and buy something – that could save the store? Or maybe buy the store?  It would be such a shame to see Jacksons close – save Jacksons of Reading!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-berkshire-19890722

I came across this fabulous facebook page all about Jacksons today – https://www.facebook.com/J.TWOMS.

Jacksons The Family Store. Usual Opening Hours 9.00 – 17.30 Monday to Saturday.

E. Jackson & Sons, Jacksons Corner, Reading, berkshire, RG1 3AS. Telephone 0118 957 4477. (On the corner of High Street and Kings Road).

Also, see the interview below with the Managing Director, Brian Carter.

Jacksons of Reading Department Store, December 2012

Jacksons of Reading Department Store, December 2012

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jacksons of Reading 1875 – 2013

A little history of Jacksons of Reading (taken from their website):

Jacksons History

 

Jacksons of Reading website 8.10.14 thanking their customers.

Still from Jacksons of Reading website 8.10.14 thanking their customers.

BOYES Department Stores

http://www.boyes.co.uk

Boyes are based in Scarborough in North Yorkshire where the Head Offices and Central Distribution Warehouses are located. BOYES have been trading since 1881 and now operate forty plus stores located in Yorkshire, Humberside, the North East, Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire & Leicestershire. I’m from Yorkshire tell us a bit about the history of Boyes on their website (and kindly credit me for the photograph below). Pay a visit to Boyes next time you are up north. Fab stores.

Boyes Scarborough through the ages window display July 2016.

Boyes Scarborough through the ages window display July 2016. Photograph by author.

Boys own brand British made writing pads and envelopes on display in the Scarborough store July 2016.

Boys own brand British made writing pads and envelopes on display in the Scarborough store July 2016.

Boyes' flagship store in Scarborough (16 Aug 2010)

Boyes’ flagship store in Scarborough (16 Aug 2010)

 

 

 

Jacksons of Reading – in praise of a good old fashioned department store

Jacksons of Reading

Jacksons of Reading is a rabbit warren of a department store in Reading, Berkshire, England where you can get all those things you can’t find anywhere else and in a fabulous environment with lots of wood panelling, wood and drawers and counters.  For example gifts, accessories, sewing stuff, knitting stuff (I found acrylic made in England from companies like Robins but sadly no British wool), linens and haberdashery, textiles, a good shoe department (specialising in wider fittings) and a large crafts section.  They have a massive school and scout uniforms department, dancewear, bowls clothes, lingerie, nightwear, ladies fashions and a superb menswear department.  Yesterday (8.12.12) the store was quite busy and I came across UK made HJ Hall socks at very reasonable prices and lovely James Aubrey men’s duffle coats.  You’ll find brands like Peter England, Tootal, Somax and Double Two here too, but these days such brands manufacture abroad. Plus they have a great suits department and they sell things like British made braces.  Look for the giant Jacksons Corner neon lights!  Open Mon-Sat 09:00 – 17:30. The store unashamedly markets itself at the over 40s and prides itself on serving customers. This is most definitely not a self-service store.   It is a beautiful building inside and out, with a fabulous pneumatic tubes system to handle cash.  Founded in 1875 and still family run, this store is a must visit place when shopping in Reading.

http://www.jacksonsofreading.co.uk

Shelves, drawers & Belts at Jacsons of Reading (menswear) May 2008

Shelves, drawers & Belts at Jacsons of Reading (menswear) May 2008

Jacksons bags

Jacksons bags

Jacksons of Reading still has an operational Lamson pneumatic tube system with nine stations over two floors, dating from the 1960s

Jacksons of Reading still has an operational Lamson pneumatic tube system with nine stations over two floors, dating from the 1960s

One of the first Jacksons receipts

One of the first Jacksons receipts

Jacksons of Reading Department Store, December 2012

Jacksons of Reading Department Store, December 2012