Quin and Axten, from acquisition to sale

1940-1949

By Jonathan Blatchford

Photo:Quin and Axten before being purchased by Bon Marche, Brixton Road, 1908

Quin and Axten before being purchased by Bon Marche, Brixton Road, 1908

The Draper, 11 Jul 1908

Briefly

Quin and Axten joined the Partnership in 1940 as part of Bon Marche Brixton. Bon Marche, along with 15 other stores was acquired following the takeover of the Selfridge Provincial Stores group. Quin and Axten was for years the shop next door to Bon Marche. It was a strong competitor until it was actually acquired by Bon Marche in 1920.

Following considerable successes in the early twentieth century, Bon Marche Brixton started a programme of expansion. In 1919, the department store acquired Pratts of Streatham for £90,000. The following year, the next-door of business of Quin and Axens was added to the repertoire. By 1924, the shop boasted 48 different departments, and sales totalling almost £726,800. Two years later, Bon Marche, including its subsidiaries Pratts and Quin and Axten were acquired by Gordon Selfridge. Finally, in 1940 Bon Marche was acquired by the John Lewis Partnership.

In the Partnership, 1940-1949

Under the guise of one company, Bon Marche, Quin and Axten and Pratts had achieved a yearly turnover of £969,644 in 1939. Despite coming from a strong position, Quins was to have a very tough time of things in the coming years. In 1944, Quin and Axten was completely destroyed by an enemy bomb. Luckily, the far more affluent and successful Bon Marche came through relatively unscathed. However, from this point onwards Quin and Axten’s days were numbered. Rebuilding was never properly committed in the post-war years of prosperity. Eventually, the building was sold in 1949, spelling the end of the shop’s short stint in the Partnership. Bon Marche soldiered on until its eventual closure in 1975.

Appeal for information

Very little on Quin and Axten can be found in the Partnership archives. If you have any pictures or any correspondence regarding the shop, please feel free to comment below!

This page was added by Jonathan Blatchford on 11/08/2014.

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