London's Lost Department Stores: A Vanished World of Dazzle and Dreams
Once, every high street had a department store, and they marched the length of Oxford Street. Going up to town to shop at one of these grand emporia and lunch in the top-floor restaurant, or take the children to see Father Christmas, was both a huge treat and completely normal.
But the demise of Debenhams, including historic Arding & Hobbs, and Army & Navy at Victoria along with many other House of Fraser stores, confirms that the traditional department store is now an endangered species. In the last five years alone, 83% have gone.Now, for the first time, Tessa Boase chronicles this fabulous world, from Derry & Toms with its roof garden to the Moderne lines of Holdrons in Peckham Rye (now Mr Khan's Discount), as well as Gamages' peerless toy department, Woollands' 21 Shop for cutting-edge Sixties fashion and Chiesmans' menagerie of snakes and lionesses. There is even a guided walking tour of the West End's lost stores.
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