Spencer's (department store)
|Former type||Department store chain|
|Fate||Stores sold to Eaton's|
|Headquarters||Victoria, British Columbia|
|Products||(Full-Line Department Stores) Clothing, grocery, footwear, bedding, hardware, furniture, appliances, music, cosmetics, jewellery, china, imported specialties, housewares, sporting goods, stationary, toys, home textiles, restaurant.|
|Parent||David Spencer Ltd.|
Founded in the city of Victoria in 1873 by David W. Spencer, the first store, located on Government Street, consisted of a dry goods shop operating under the name "Spencer and Denny". The store prospered and expanded, and a second store was opened in 1890 in Nanaimo. The Vancouver store, which opened in 1907, was so successful that it soon expanded to occupy almost an entire city block. Other stores later opened in Chilliwack and New Westminster.
For a number of years, Spencer's was a rival to the Woodward's department store, another British Columbia-based chain. In 1948, however, Spencer's was acquired by the much larger Eaton's department store chain, which had stores across Canada. The nine Spencer's stores in the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island were converted into Eaton's stores.
The second Spencer's store in downtown Victoria, at 1150 Douglas Street (which replaced the original Government Street store), operated as an Eaton's store until the late 1980s, when it was demolished to make way for the Victoria Eaton Centre shopping mall (now called the Bay Centre).
Spencer's downtown Vancouver store, on Hastings Street, operated as an Eaton's store until 1972, when Eaton's opened its new Vancouver flagship store in the newly constructed Pacific Centre shopping mall. Unlike its Victoria cousin, however, the former Spencer's store was not demolished; it was later occupied by Simpsons-Sears (which now occupies the former Pacific Centre Eaton's store as Sears Canada), and today it serves as the downtown "Harbour Centre" campus of Simon Fraser University. The building itself is currently called the Harbour Centre.
The last operating vestiges of the former Spencer's chain disappeared with the demise of the Eaton's chain in 1999.
- Current view of Spencer Building in Vancouver
- Current view of Spencer Building in Vancouver (in foreground of photo)
- Footage of Spencer's Toy Parade, ca 1927, terminating at downtown Vancouver store, City of Vancouver Archives
- Welsh Immigrant Who Built a Department Store Chain at the Celtic Connection