Whiteleys is one of London’s iconic department stores and ideal place to satisfy your shopping cravings. Like most places in London, this store has a quite a history, so here’s a guide to make your visit that bit more enjoyable.
William Whiteley, a young man from Yorkshire, left his home in 1845 to pursue a prosperous career in London. The 24 year old arrived with not much in his pocket, but nevertheless had the aspiration to create a store that had something for everyone. By 1875, he was successfully following his entrepreneurial path, and by 1890, had over 6,000 staff in the business. Everything was looking up for Mr Whiteley, particularly when the business gained a listing on the Stock Exchange in 1899.
Tragedy soon struck William Whitely, when a man, declared that he was his illegitimate son and murdered him in his own store on the 24th January 1907. Whiteley’s two sons carried on his legacy, and by 1912 a new Whiteleys store was opened. The store was then remodelled by 1925, to build the colonnaded exterior that still exists today.
A new Whiteleys opened in 1985, complete with a variety of shops and entertainment that catered to all genders and ages.
Whiteleys now hosts a range of departments and shops, from fashion, to beauty, fitness and art. You can spend your time perusing the shops for the latest fashion with brands such as H&M, Gap, Kurt Geiger and London Time. For the kids, take a trip to Toys R Us and for those looking for some culture to spruce up their home, Haute Collage offers high quality and affordable oil paintings. With such a variety, William Whiteley’s dream of having something for everyone now exists.
If shopping isn’t your thing, entertain yourself at Whiteleys in cinema, bowling alley and restaurant, ideal for families. The Lounge is a luxury cinema experience for over 18’s. Whiteleys also caters for any gym bunnies out there, and is home to LUX Fitness, a personal training studio. For a bit of pampering and preening, Whiteleys hosts a variety of beauty services, so you can leave feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.