Mark Foy's

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Mark Foy's Limited
Founded Sydney, New South Wales (1885 (1885))
Founders Francis Foy, Mark Foy
Defunct 1980 (1980)
Headquarters Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Services Department store

Mark Foy's Limited or Mark Foy's was a department store in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, founded by Francis Foy (1856?–1918) and his brother Mark Foy (1865–1950). The department store was named after their father, Mark Foy (senior) and traded between 1885 and 1980.

Trading history[edit]

After first establishing a store on Oxford Street in 1885,[1] the Foy brothers started trading from its Liverpool Street premises in 1909; and its piazza, chandeliers, marble and sumptuous ballroom made it a Sydney institution and one of Australia's foremost fashion stores. The store had Australia's first escalator.[1] The store stretched around a whole city block and gave rise to the colloquial saying, when referring to a person of overweening confidence, "You've got more front than Mark Foy's."[2] In 1964 Mark Foy's opened a store in Eastwood and in 1966 at Burwood.[citation needed]

It is claimed that the Foy family, Irish-born Roman Catholics, would only employ Catholics and stocked uniforms of the major Catholic schools, in an environment when government organisations had a policy to not employ Catholics, and David Jones specialised in Anglican school uniforms.[2]

In 1980, when it ceased trading after going into receivership, the City Piazza building briefly became "Grace Bros Piazza" until 1982. The natural shift of the retailing hub further north of the CBD, around Pitt Street Mall, led to its closure.[citation needed]

The building is now used as a complex of state courthouses known as the Downing Centre. However, its former role is preserved in the ornate tilework on the facade and surroundings. The Mark Foy's warehouse is a heritage brownstone building located in nearby Goulburn Street, which has been converted into residential apartments known as Sydney Mansions.

Other business interests[edit]

Mark Foy also founded the Hydro Majestic Hotel at Medlow Bath near Katoomba,[1] and Australia's oldest open boat sailing club, the Sydney Flying Squadron, founded in 1891.



  1. ^ a b c Walsh, G. P. (1981). "Foy, Mark (1865–1950)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. National Centre of Biography, Australian National University. Retrieved 24 June 2013. 
  2. ^ a b McInnes, William (2010). The Making of Modern Australia. Hachette Australia. ISBN 978-0-7336-2780-4.