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British Shops. Famous English Stores

Harrods  Knightbridge  London

Harrods Knightbridge London

British shops stores

On of the first places, I wanted to go when I visited London as a teenager was the Department Store Harrods. I suggest each time you visit England you put Harrods down as no 1 store to visit.

Winston Churchill was once quoted as saying ""England is a nation of Shopkeepers."and well might he be happy because many shops in England have grown to be world famous.

Department stores and small specialty stores; The English have a habit of producing exceptional shops. Take for example Harrods probably the most famous of them all. Set in the heart of London's rich suburb of Knightsbridge, Harrods has become synonymous with all things that are better about British shops at a price of course. The store's 330 departments offer the widest range of products and services. Interesting when the store was burn to the ground in 1883. Harrods fulfilled all of his commitments to his customers to make Christmas deliveries that year — and made a record profit in the process. In short order, a new building was raised on the same site, and soon Harrods extended credit for the first time to its best customers, among them Oscar Wilde, famous actresses Lillie Langtry And Ellen Terry, Noel Coward Sigmund Freud, A. A. Milne, and many members of the British Royal Family. One of the famous parts of the shops is the food hall.

Once it was said that the store ran out of Princess Anne's favourite color of lipstick. As a consequence, a provision was sent over from New York By Concorde at once and delivered to the store...

Harrods was established in 1834 in London’s East End when founder Charles Henry Harrod set up a wholesale grocery in Stepney, with a special interest in tea. In 1849, to avoid the evil of the inner city and to capitalise on trade to the Great Exhibition of 1851 in nearby Hyde Park, Harrods took over a small shop in the district of Knightsbridge on the site of the current store. It more recent times ownership of Harrods has been held by the Fayed Family. One of the sons famously courted the Late Princess of Wales whom died in a tragic car accident in a Paris tunnel in 1997.

Since the deaths of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Fayed Mohamed Al Fayed's son, two memorials commissioned by Al Fayed have been erected inside Harrods to the couple.

For several years, Mr Fayed accused the Duke of Edinburgh of dirty tricks in relation to the death of Dodi Fayed and the Princess of Wales a number of inquests were held both in France and England, but nothing became of them.

Recent the Fayed family disposed of the Harrods store.

Marks & Spencer

When my mother came over at Christmas I said please briing me a couple of Marks & Spencer white shirts size 43. Marks and Spencer, known colloquially as "Marks and Sparks", "Markies", or "M&S", made its reputation in the 20th century on a policy of only selling British-made goods (a policy eventually discontinued in 2002).

The company was founded by a partnership between Michael Marks a Polish Jew from Slonim, Poland (now in Belarus), and Thomas Spencer, a cashier from Yorkshire.On his arrival in England, Marks worked for a company in Leeds, called Barran, which employed refugees (see Sir John Barran , 1st Baronet ). In 1884 he met Isaac Dewhurst, the owner of a Leeds warehouse, which resulted in him opening his own stall on Kirkgate Market, in Leeds.

The company put its main emphasis on quality, including a 1957 stocking size messing system. but for most of its history. It also had a reputation for offering fair value for money. When this reputation began to waver, it encountered serious difficulties. Arguably, M&S has historically been an iconic retailer of 'British Quality Goods'

The uncompromising attitude towards customer relations was summarized by the 1953 slogan- "The customer is always and completely right!".

Debenhams  Leeds.

Debenhams Leeds.


Debenhams early days started in 1778 by Messrs Flint and Clark who began trading at 44 Wigmore Street in London as a drapers store under the name Flint & Clark. The modern Debenhams group grew from the acquisition of department stores in towns and cities throughout the UK, under the leadership of its Chairman, Ernest Debenham. The first of these purchases, Marshall & Snelgrove at Oxford Street in London, was acquired in 1919.Later purchases included Harvey Nichols in London's Knightsbridge in 1920. Most stores acquired retained their former identities until a unified corporate image was rolled out across the stores. The Company was first listed on the London Stock Exchange in 1928 In the last decade it has been subjected to a number of mergers and takeovers on the Stock Exchange.

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Burton's Tailoring

As A youngster my dad took me into Burton Tailoring where he was measured up for a suit. After that then I bought a few pairs of trousers that lasted years of heavy use. The story goes In 1903, Montague Burton was only 18 years old when he borrowed £100 from a relative to open the Cross-Tailoring Company in Chesterfield.

"Good clothes develop a man's self-respect," was one of Burton's insights. He was dedicated to providing high quality made-to-measure suits at a reasonable price, revolutionizing the industry with his promise of "A five guinea suit for 55 shillings."

At the start of World War I, production changed from suits to uniforms which clothed nearly a quarter of the armed forces. By 1929 Burton had four hundred shops, factories, and mills when the company went public.

His ambition was not only to clothe the nation and to raise the bar on the quality of life for his employees, but also to co-operate and collaborate with those working for the advancement of culture and education worldwide. The House of Burton played a major role in creating the United Nations Association.

In 1934, the Princess Royal Mary visited the Burton factory in Leeds where she met throngs of cheering factory girls and complimented Sir Montague on his magnificent achievement in creating a pioneering welfare system for the workers.

After World War II Montague Burton offered men the chance to buy a full suit, which included jacket, trousers, waistcoat, shirt and underwear and became known as 'The Full Monty."

Lobb & Co shoemaker

It goes without saying that probable the best shoes are made by hand by John Lobb Bootmaker is a company that manufactures and retails a very exclusive luxury brand of shoes and boots mainly for men, but also for women. It is based near St Jame's Palace, at 9 St James's Street, London. Founded in 1849, Lobb is one of England's oldest makers of bench-made shoes, worn by clients such as King Edward VII, famous 20th century opera tenor Enrico Caruso, and actor Daniel Day Lewis John Lobb shoes are also worn by Ian Fleming's fictional character James Bond At Lobb, special care is taken to select the fine leather skins—with crocodile skin shoes for about USD 8000 at the top of the range. More recently the Prince of Wales Prince Charles get his shoes made by Lobb

The original, family-owned Lobb still hand makes shoes one pair at a time, while Hermès who acquired use of the John Lobb name in 1976 broadened the reach of the John Lobb brand name through its ready-to-wear line. The production of each pair of John Lobb ready-to-wear shoes is so time-consuming that only about 100 pairs of shoes are finished per day.  An actual cast can be taken of your foot and retained by the store for the production of your next pair.  One can only imagine the comfort of made-to-measure shoes...

Regent street

Regent street

Shops in Regent Street

The specialty shops in Regent Street London are synonymous with all that is exciting about British shopping...

Aquascutum has been synonymous for creating the perfectly designed raincoat or Anorak. Very important considering the British climate.

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Shops in Oxford Street

Another great shoppping street is Oxford Street. Most of the famous brands that you are all familiar with can be found on this top London street and more, much much more. Most of the shop are open till 7.00 pm so those who like to shop at Dusk in the summer are well catered for. Including Selfridges

Well I hope you enjoyed visiting this hub. If you click on the links on the highlighted words you can get a direct link to the shops website and even do some on line shopping if you wish. the wonders of modern technology which extend beyond hub pages. If you liked this hub please rate me up and leave comments. Please visit the other Hub-mob sites also. AND Enjoy !


Kristina O from London, United Kingdom on July 06, 2012:

this is a lovely article.

I love Harrods and absolutely agree that it is a must visit. Try to go when they have their seasonal sale. They have some great reductions.

if you want to get more ideas for fashionshopping in London then this is a great guide for inspiration

Sam Hood on February 18, 2011:

Great list of some of the best British stores about!

Laura on November 19, 2010:

Shopping is one reason why people love London. Harrods, Debenhams Leeds, Regent Street and many more are world class. Londoners and tourists spend more time in these shopping centers and have great time.

Barry Rutherford (author) from Queensland Australia on October 05, 2010:

lol Want to ship should be want to shop

Helen Turley on October 05, 2010:

Harrods is fantastic!!!! I visit London regularly and can never resist temptation!

Barry Rutherford (author) from Queensland Australia on May 30, 2010:

Definitely if you have money and want to ship london is the place to go !

2uesday on May 08, 2010:

This has made me think I really should visit London sometime to see these shops; so long since I went there. I always felt a bit lost in Harrods. Liberty's shop was like stepping back in time, I wonder if it is still the same. Thank you, for this stroll through the London stores I enjoyed it.

Barry Rutherford (author) from Queensland Australia on April 21, 2010:

Indeed Ethel indeed !

Ethel Smith from Kingston-Upon-Hull on April 06, 2010:

Very English, that's for sure

foreignpress from Denver on April 04, 2010:

It's nice to know that quality clothiers and specialty shops still exist. So much work is either sent to third world countries or is copied. My goal this year is to visit Burberry's in London and buy a trench coat. Perhaps you could post a photo essay on how a small shop makes shoes. I can't get enough of the old world.

Money Glitch from Texas on April 04, 2010:

O.k. I'm ready to go to England and shop! What a very wonderful informative hub about these historic stores that I one day hope to have the privilege of visiting each one of them. Thanks for sharing. Thumbs up! :)

M Selvey, MSc from United Kingdom on April 04, 2010:

Well done on writing an article that is must-have information for anyone coming to visit the UK. I live here but Harrod's is must every time I go to London... And, Marks and Spencer, we sometimes take it for granted but you can always be assured that the Marks and Spencer products are top quality. Great food as well! I did not know about Lobb and Co and Burton's, will visit next time in London.

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