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Delve into the history of Wolverhampton's famous department store
1877 Window Display: First known photograph of Beatties window display in Victoria Street. C. 1870s. Courtesy Wolverhampton City Archives.
WOLVERHAMPTON.- A new display looking at the history of Wolverhampton’s most famous shopping destination, Beatties, went on show at Wolverhampton City Archives on Saturday 4 January to Saturday 29 March 2014. A Better Place to Shop: The Story of Beatties features a selection of catalogued material relating to the department store from its founding in 1877 up to present day.

From its opening in the 1870s, Beatties in Victoria Street went on to become widely-known in the region for selling high quality merchandise and for providing excellent customer service. To many people of Wolverhampton and beyond, it really was “a better place to shop” – a slogan which was frequently used by Beatties in its marketing. The collection of archive material, which was previously held at the department store, was donated to Wolverhampton Archives & Local Studies in July this year.

The display at Wolverhampton City Archives gives visitors the opportunity to view items from the collection, from price lists for ladies’ mantles (capes) in the 1890s, to advice for women on how to dress to please a man in the 1960s. A Better Place to Shop: The Story of Beatties reflects on changes to how people shop and dress, as well as changes to social attitudes during the course of over a hundred years of trading.

The collection is not only a significant addition to the city’s archive collection but also highlights an important part of Wolverhampton’s retail history. Visitors will have the opportunity to record their memories of Beatties in a special book that will be catalogued as part of the collection, and will also have the chance to enter a raffle to win a Beattie bear. All proceeds will go to Compton Hospice. Admission to Wolverhampton City Archives and the display is free.






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