Civil Service Supply Association

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Civil Service Supply Association was a department store on the Strand, London. Founded in the 1860s on Victoria Street, the shop moved to the Strand in the following decade, remaining open until 1982.


In 1864, a group of clerks in the General Post Office joined together to buy a half chest of tea. Their first transaction resulted in them saving 9 pence to the pound, and they decided to extend their purchasing to coffee, sugar and other grocery products.[1]

In January 1865, they formed the Post Office Supply Association, a co-operative with forty members. The co-operative was so successful that by April the scheme had been opened up to all civil servants and the name changed to the Civil Service Supply Association.[1] Civil servants could purchase tickets for 2 shillings and sixpence, which would entitle them to purchase goods at the store or from firms associated with the association.[2]

Their first premises were on Victoria Street, but by 1877 they had moved to 425 Strand, a building designed by architects Lockwood & Mawson.[3] In 1927, the co-operative was incorporated as a private company, becoming a fully fledged department store and severing its links with the Civil Service. The building was completely rebuilt at this time in the art deco style.[4] The store remained open until 1982 when it was closed following a severe fire.[1]


  1. ^ a b c The London Encyclopaedia Edited by Ben Weinreb, Page 189
  2. ^ "Dickens Dictionary of London by Charles Dickens Jnr". Retrieved 4 December 2014.
  3. ^ "Civil Service Supply Association - archiseek". Retrieved 4 December 2014.
  4. ^ "The Shops of Old London". Retrieved 4 December 2014.

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Coordinates: 51°30′35″N 0°07′25″W / 51.5097°N 0.1237°W / 51.5097; -0.1237