Whiteleys Shopping Center
Whiteleys was Britain’s first department store located in the Bayswater area of London (UK), with its main entrance on Queensway. It is now a shopping centre.
The original Whiteleys department store was created by William Whiteley, who started a drapery store at 31 Westbourne Grove in 1863. By 1867 it had expanded to a row of stores, containing 17 departments.
By 1890 over 6,000 staff were employed in the business, most of them living in company-owned male and female dormitories, having to obey 176 rules and working 7am to 11pm, six days a week. Whiteley also bought massive farmlands and erected food-processing factories to provide produce for the store and for staff catering.
The first store, described as ‘an immense symposium of the arts and industries of the nation and of the world’, was devastated in an enormous fire in 1897, one of the largest fires in London’s history.