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Lewis's Department Store under construction, The Headrow

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Lewis
Description:
19th February 1932. The construction of the new Lewis's department store is well underway in the Headrow, although it is hard to believe it was ready to open for business by 18th September 1932. Initially there were to be 4 sales floors; the Lower Ground Floor for furniture, soft furnishings, household items, gramophones and records, stationery, toys books, sports and a 'magnificent soda fountain; the Ground Floor, a cooked foods department, confectionary, tobacco, fashion accessories hosiery, bags, gloves, millinery and umberellas, boots, shoes, perfumery, cutlery, glass and china; the First Floor, Men's and Boy's ready to wear and tailored to measure clothes, raincoats, socks, ties, a fabric hall, travel bureau, theatre ticket office and Post Office; The Second Floor was to house a 'complete range of fashion garments' for women, girls and babies, hairdressing, manicure, chiropody and sunray services as well as specialised beauty treatments. At the Briggate end of the second floor there was also a spacious cafe and soda fountain. From July 1932 1000 people were interviewed over a period of 4 weeks, all eager to secure positions within the new store. On opening day 120,000 people poured through the doors and lobsters on sale in the Food Hall at 9d (apporx 4p) each very quickly sold out. A quote from the firm of Lewis's at the time Leeds acquired the new store states "Lewis's Yorkshire Store has been built by a Yorkshire contractor to the design of a Yorkshire architect and is today a tribute, for all to see, to the sterling worth of Yorkshire Labour".

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