Category Archives: Department Stores

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.

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Made in UK promotion by John Lewis

Made in UK – John Lewis.

John Lewis Department Stores “Made in the UK” promotion.  The John Lewis Partnership (JLP) have a range of products on sale that are made in the UK, but a lot of the stuff they sell is made abroad so shop with care to choose British made products.

See the link above for more on things they sell that are made in the UK and make a point of asking for UK made products in-store and on-line

For example, their fitted kitchens are made in Birmingham (using foreign sourced raw materials often). Some of their beds and mattresses are made in the UK. Herbert Parkinson, a Lancashire textile mill owned by John Lewis for 60 years, supplies made to measure curtains and blinds to John Lewis customers within seven days, as well as furnishing fabric, and JLP natural-filled duvets and pillows. Also JLP custom made bedroom and office furniture is UK made.  Also, some of their Arthur Price cutlery is made in the UK. JLP custom made lampshades are UK made. JLP sell True Grace candles which are made in the UK and they stock UK made Heyland & Whittle soaps. You’ll find other UK made products in JLP too, but these days most products in John Lewis are foreign made.  Do check before buying that you are buying British made.

Also, please see

Liberty London Department Store

Liberty stock some nice things that are made in the UK.  For example recently in their store I have come across UK made Leathersmith diaries, Paul Smith UK made scarves, Zatchels made in England satchels, Barbour hats (made in Scotland), John Smedley made in England scarves, Dr Martins made in England satchels, Johnstons of Elgin made in Scotland scarves, Liberty mugs made in England by Emma Bridgewater, Grenson made in England mens shoes, Mason Pearce made in England brushes, Burleigh made in England china, Richard James Savile Row made in England mens socks, Pantherella made in England mens socks, Fenella Smith made in England dogs bowls, Donna Wilson made in the UK cushions, Tweedmill made in England recycled throws, and Creighton’s made in England chocolates. With careful shopping you can find some great UK made goods in Liberty.

However, lots of things they sell are foreign made and some things they sell are surprisingly foreign made – mens Liberty pattern (James May) shirts, ladies Liberty pattern dresses, Liberty pattern gifts, caps at £130 each that are poorly made in China, a Liberty book on sewing that is made in China and more.  So, by no means is everything they sell British!

Also, take care not to fall foul of Liberty’s old fashioned, draconian, un-customer friendly no refunds policy on most of the things they sell!

Liberty London 2012

Department Stores in the UK

Some of the UK’s remaining department stores.


Boswells Oxford c. 2010

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Closed Department Stores, Closed Independent Clothes Stores, etc – Big Name Losses on the British High Street

Allders Croydon 4 May 2012

I was sad to see that Allders department store in Croydon closed down yesterday (23.9.12) after 150 years.

I’ve thought of a few more big name losses in recent or not so recent years –

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