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Kendal, Milne & Co. Building, Manchester

Kendals was the name mostly used by Mancunians of a department store in Manchester, England now operated as House of Fraser.[1] The store had previously been known during its operation as Kendal Milne, Kendal, Milne & Co, Kendal, Milne & Faulkner, Harrods or Watts.


The store was opened as Watts' in 1832, and became Kendal, Milne & Faulkner when three employees bought out the business and re-opened it in 1836.[2] The founder John Watts had begun a drapery business in Deansgate in 1796 which became prosperous and was later known as "The Bazaar" and expanded onto a site on the other side of Deansgate.[3] The store building of 1836 (on the east side) was reconstructed after the street widening of 1873 by the architect E. J. Thompson. The site of the present store was occupied by the cabinet showrooms, workshops and packing departments.[4]

It was purchased by Harrods in 1919, and was called Harrods for a period in the 1920s, but the name swiftly reverted to Kendal Milne following protests from customers and staff.[2]

The Harrods group, along with Kendals, was taken over by House of Fraser in 1959.[2] The store continued trading as Kendals until 2005,[2] when, after extensive refurbishment, the store was renamed House of Fraser Manchester. Despite the re-branding of Kendals, the 'Kendal, Milne and Co' name is still clearly visible on marble fascias above the store's entrances.

The store is located in a purpose-built Art Deco building on Deansgate, with 280,000 sq ft (26,000 m2) of retail space, making it Manchester's second largest department store (the largest being Debenhams on Market Street) at 420,000 sq ft (39,000 m2). The present store was designed by Harrod's in house architect, Louis David Blanc, with input from a local architect J. S. Beaumont, in 1938 and completed in 1939.[5] It operated for many years alongside the Victorian store building on the opposite side of Deansgate (opened in 1873). A large multi-storey car park stands to the west of the store.

Cultural references[edit]

The store was mentioned in an episode of BBC One's drama series Ashes to Ashes in April 2009. On seeing DS Ray Carling using a mirror, DCI Gene Hunt commented, "Sorry, is this an incident room or the make up counter at Kendals?"[citation needed]

Kendals was also referred to in a scene in ITV1's Coronation Street.[when?] Noticing that Mary Taylor's eyes looked different, as she was trying to convince him to accompany her on a cruise, Norris Cole was told that they were "smoky" thanks to the beautician working in cosmetics at Kendals.[citation needed]


  1. ^ "House of Fraser premium department store in Manchester". Retrieved 2016-05-23. 
  2. ^ a b c d Ottewell, David (28 October 2005) "Kendals name dropped forever" (Retrieved: 19 February 2010)
  3. ^ Linton, Deborah. "Kendals celebrates 175 years of trading". M E N Media. Archived from the original on 11 November 2010. Retrieved 2011-08-16. 
  4. ^ Atkins, Philip (1976) Guide Across Manchester. Manchester: Civic Trust for the North West; p. 55
  5. ^ Dictionary of Scottish Architects: Louis David Blanc

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 53°28′54″N 2°14′52″W / 53.4818°N 2.2479°W / 53.4818; -2.2479