Fenwick (department store)
|Founder||John James Fenwick|
|Headquarters||Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom|
Number of locations
|Mark Fenwick (Chairman)|
Williams & Griffin
Fenwick Fenwicks (pronounced fenn-icks) is an independent chain of department stores in the United Kingdom. It was founded in 1882 by John James Fenwick in Newcastle upon Tyne, and today consists of 10 branches. 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 store's founder, John James Fenwick, was born in Richmond, North Yorkshire in 1846. The original store opened in Newcastle upon Tyne in 1882 and 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.
Fenwick has since expanded its operations. In 1888 it opened a store in Sunderland, but it closed within the year. In 1891 it opened a branch in Bond Street, London. This store was later doubled in size in 1980.
The company bought the Joseph Johnson store in Leicester in 1962. This store was subsequently rebranded as Fenwick. 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.
Outlets in Windsor and York followed in 1980 and 1984 respectively, but offer only a limited range of departments, specialising in clothing, fashion accessories and cosmetic. The Ricemans store in Canterbury was acquired in 1986, and rebranded Fenwick in 2003. The Tunbridge Wells store opened in 1992.
Fenwick acquired in 2001 the Bentalls group of department stores for £70.8 million, with stores in Bracknell, Ealing, Kingston upon Thames, Lakeside, Tonbridge and Worthing. The Lakeside store was closed, and three branches (in Ealing, Tonbridge and Worthing) were subsequently sold to J E Beale, with Fenwick retaining only the stores in Kingston upon Thames and Bracknell. In 2007 Fenwick purchased Williams & Griffin, an independent department store in Colchester, Essex; this continued to trade under the Williams & Griffin name until a 2016 refurbishment, after which it adopted the Fenwick identity.
On 5 January 2017 Mark Fenwick declared that the Leicester store was to close and the store closed in June 2017.
In April 2017 Fenwick had also announced the closure of their store in Windsor which had closed later that year.
In 2017 the Bracknell Bentalls store closed due to a town centre regeneration and in September 2017 a new Fenwick store was opened within Bracknell.
The Newcastle store is the original store in the chain. The store has expanded since its launch in 1882 and now consists of several interconnected buildings with entrances onto Northumberland Street, Eldon Square, Monument Metro Station and Blackett Street.
It specialises in a wide range of luxury products. The store is known locally for its extravagant Christmas window display, filled with detailed sets and sophisticated moving figures, which has appeared since 1971. The themes are taken mainly from fairy tales and children's stories. The figures move and are accompanied by music. 
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- The Retail Bulletin, 2016-09-01
- Butcher, Joanne (2 November 2011). "Kids flock to Fenwick Christmas window display". The Evening Chronicle. Retrieved 29 April 2012.
Media related to Fenwick (department store) at Wikimedia Commons