Fenwick (department store)
|Headquarters||Newcastle upon Tyne|
Fenwick (founded 1882, Newcastle upon Tyne) is an independent chain of department stores in the United Kingdom. The store's founder, John James Fenwick, was born in Richmond, North Yorkshire in 1846. The original store sold only mantles, silk goods, dresses, fabrics and trimmings and did not broaden into a department store until John's eldest son Fred Fenwick joined the business in 1890. Fred had trained in retail in Paris and is said to have been inspired by Le Bon Marché, which is regarded as one of the first ever department stores.
The group has its headquarters at the original Fenwick department store in the centre of Newcastle upon Tyne, one of the largest department stores in the UK. It is widely viewed as one of the most luxurious department stores in the UK, specializing in a wide range of luxury products, as well as the famous 'Wine Shop' which has one of the largest selection of wines and spirits in the North East. Other stores are located in London (in Bond Street and Brent Cross), Leicester, York, Windsor, Canterbury and Tunbridge Wells. Fenwick acquired the Bentalls group during 2001 which at that time comprised five department stores. Three of these were subsequently sold to J E Beale with Fenwick retaining only two of the stores, in Kingston upon Thames and Bracknell. In 2007 the group further expanded by purchasing Williams & Griffin, a well regarded independent department store, in Colchester, Essex.
As of 2012, the chain is still owned by the Fenwick family and the company is chaired by Mark Fenwick. The company is reported to be valued at £452million.
The Newcastle store is the original store in the chain and is famous locally for its Christmas window display which in 2011 held its 40th anniversary. The store has expanded since its original launch in 1882 and now has a layout made up of several interconnected buildings with entrances onto Northumberland Street, the main shopping street in Newcastle, Eldon Square, Monument Mall and Blackett Street.
In 2008, the Sunday Times Rich List revealed that Fenwick's was the single most profitable branch of any department store chain in the United Kingdom with assets totalling in excess of £330 million.
Branches in Bond Street (where Fenwick have had a branch since 1891), Leicester which was taken over in the 1960's from Joseph Johnson’s. York and Windsor outlets offer a limited range of departments, specializing in clothing, fashion accessories and cosmetics as the focus of their range. Fenwick was the anchor department store for the 1976 opening of Brent Cross shopping centre in London, which was the first large enclosed shopping centre in the UK. Williams & Griffin in Colchester is another Fenwick outlet.
Pronunciation of name
The pronunciation of 'Fenwick' is 'Fen-ick'.
- "Fenwick - A history".
- Wearmouth, Rachel. "Mike Ashley is North East's richest after £500m boost in fortune". The Chronicle (ncj Media Ltd). Retrieved 29 April 2012.
- Butcher, Joanne (2 November 2011). "Kids flock to Fenwick Christmas window display". The Evening Chronicle. Retrieved 29 April 2012.
- Anne Pimlott Baker, ‘Fenwick family (per. 1882–1979)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004 accessed 29 April 2011
- "Brent Cross History".
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