Last Updated : 22 Dec 2009




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As one might expect for Englands "third city", Liverpool has always played a major part in shopping. Woolworth opened his first British store in Church Street, Liverpool in 1909. His third one was in London Road, Liverpool. Littlewoods stores were part of the huge empire that had started with football pools in Liverpool.

Department Stores
Blackers Store in 1976 on the left with the side of the massive Lewis's Store in the background. The building on the right has now gone to make way for a corner of the 'Clayton Square' shopping mall.Probably the most famous one is Lewis's (not to be confused with John Lewis's). The store's long history began in 1856, when 16-year-old David Lewis (formerly Levy), the son of a Jewish merchant, set up a small men's and boys' clothes shop in Liverpool. He had been apprenticed to the Lord Street-based tailors and outfitters Benjamin Hyam & Co, and his success was due to his business mind. By 1885 Lewis's became easily the biggest store not just in Liverpool but in Northern England. The store was totally rebuilt after being destroyed in World War II.

The photo on the right shows part of the Blacklers store when it was still in business. The building has since been split-up and reused for various purposes. Blacklers was started by Richard John Blackler in 1908 and soon got a good name in Liverpool and beyond. By the late 1930s the store employed 1200 people. The store was reduced to its steel skeleton in 1941 during the blitz but was rebuilt and eventually fully re-opened in 1955. Blacklers finally closed in 1988.

Owen Owen was started by a Merioneth farmer after he came to Liverpool in 1868 to make his fortune. T J Hughes was founded in Liverpool in 1912 with the first store being the one in London Road. The company now has 49 department stores throughout the UK. George Henry Lee was a department store in Liverpool that had been originally founded in 1853 and by 1910 employed over 1200 people. It was sold to Selfridge just after World War I and in turn to John Lewis in 1940. The George Henry Lee building has only recently been vacated with the transfer of John Lewis to the new "Liverpool One" complex.

Boodle & Dunthorne's Store at Lord Street and North John Street [Copyright: Ron P Smith]Boodle & Dunthorne was founded in Liverpool in 1798. The original co-founders specialised in the creation and export of objets d'art and art nouveau silver and jewellery, starting a tradition in the company that remains to this day. Another well known jeweller - "H.Samuel" has a story that began in 1862 when Harriet Samuel took over her father-in-law's clock-making business in Liverpool.

Downtown Shopping Centres in 2009
Cavern Walks
Clayton Square
Liverpool One
St. Johns