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Second City of The Empire: 1830s to 1914

Everyday Life


By W Hamish Fraser

"Mrs Brisbane goes her messages" In the second half of the 19th century patterns of shopping underwent a major transformation. Shopkeepers began to introduce marked prices in place of the older pattern of fitting the price to the customer. Customers were being enticed into shops through attractive displays, plate-glass windows and bright lighting and were encouraged to browse. Some stores began to increase the range of products which they offered and by the 1870s the department store had appeared. At the same time specialist dealers began to open branches and, from the 1880s, the multiple shop with numerous branches was well established. At the turn of the century, a day in town shopping, with tea at one of Miss Cranston's tearooms, was an established leisure pursuit.

John Anderson John Anderson was one of the pioneers of innovation when in the 1840s he began to use low, clearly-marked prices to attract customers to his drapery shop in Clyde Terrace. New lines were added and the store moved first to Jamaica Street and then to Argyle Street, becoming Anderson's Royal Polytechnic. By the 1850s there were a number of warehouses following a similar model. James Arthur and Hugh Fraser had twenty-one departments in their Miller Street premises. J & W Campbell in Candleriggs were providing both wholesale and retail drapery. Purpose-built shops began to appear. Walter Wilson had the iron-framed "Colosseum" in Jamaica Street. Wylie & Lochhead moved to their elegant new furniture store in Buchanan Street in 1855. But there was also a drift to Sauchiehall Street, with Copland & Lye's "Caledonian House" opening in 1878 soon to be followed by Pettigrew & Stephen, Tréron &' Cie and Daly & Co.

R & J Templeton The traditional shop also faced competition from multiples. Thomas Lipton, from his first store in Stobcross Street opened in 1871, had four branches by 1880 and soon had scores of branches nationwide. Massey's, Templeton's, Cochrane's and Galbraith's soon followed, all specialising in a limited range of foodstuffs, eggs, ham, cheese, butter and tea. Soon multiple branches appeared in shoe shops, clothes shops and patent medicine shops, with names like Bayne & Duckett and Boots beginning to appear on the scene. There was also a growing number of co-operative stores where customers received a dividend based on the amount they purchased.

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