John Lewis Newcastle

John Lewis Newcastle is a major department store in the North East England city of Newcastle upon Tyne. Until 2002, the store was known as Bainbridge, a name that dates back to 1838 and which is still in common usage amongst some shoppers.

Today the store is located in the Eldon Square complex in central Newcastle and now belongs to the John Lewis Partnership.


The origins of John Lewis Newcastle date back to 1838, when Emerson Muschamp Bainbridge went into partnership with William Alder Dunn and opened a drapers and fashion shop in Newcastle's Market Street. Despite success the two partners fell out and went their separate ways.

In terms of retailing history, one of the most significant facts about Bainbridge’s shop is that as early as 1849 weekly takings were recorded by department, making it one of the earliest of all department stores. This ledger survives and is now kept in the archives of the John Lewis Partnership. Emerson Bainbridge died in 1892 and his sons took over the business. In 1897 the business became a private limited company. During the Depression, which hit the Newcastle area badly, the store introduced agents who operated in less prosperous areas, collecting payments in weekly instalments. This meant that people on low incomes could continue to buy from the shop and it kept the Bainbridge name and reputation known in areas where otherwise it might have faded away.

In 1952 an offer from the John Lewis Partnership was accepted and ownership transferred to John Lewis in the following year, although the store continued to operate under the Bainbridge brand, alongside the words "A branch of the John Lewis Partnership". In 1976 the store was relocated to the major new Eldon Square shopping centre in the city.

In 2002 further refurbishment took place, and in the same year (following a suggestion from the store partners) [cite news
title =Business as usual as era comes to an end
work =The Journal
publisher =
date =2002-09-14
url =
accessdate = 2007-02-18
] the store was re-branded as John Lewis.

At the time of its demise, the Bainbridge name was one of the longest continuously traded department store brand in the world. [cite web
title =The world’s oldest department store?
work =The history of John Lewis Newcastle
publisher = John Lewis Partnership
url =
accessdate =2007-02-18

External links

* [ John Lewis Newcastle web page]


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