Whiteley's Department Store, Bayswater, Greater London

Whiteley's Department Store, Bayswater, Greater London
Photograph taken 1921 © Reproduced by permission of Historic England Archive ref: BL25617

William Whiteley set up a haberdashery shop in the 1850s on Westbourne Grove. Whiteley's new department store was built in 1908-12 by Belcher and Joass. It was constructed from Portland stone with a steel frame. The new vast Victorian department stores, with huge windows, were deliberately aimed at women. They displayed an enticing range of goods. These were sold at lower, fixed prices, instead of the old system where bargaining was normal. The many layers of clothing worn by middle and upper class women meant that they needed to buy large amounts of clothing. The stores also employed an army of working class women to make and sell the goods.