Decline and Closure

AH Bull staff at the leaving party

A limited future

The post-war years were disappointing indeed for AH Bull. After the end-of-war euphoria died down and the store settled back into everyday trading, it became apparent that the premises were lacking in a number of aspects. The problem of a lack of space reared its ugly head, a pressing issue that could not be solved. There was no real opportunity at all for the store to be extended upwards, limiting the shop to its current dimensions. With dimensions limited, so was its future. In the Gazette of 2nd May 1953, the Partnership announced that it had acquired the whole of the share capital of another department store, Heelas Limited of Reading. Heelas’ turnover was more than double AH Bull’s in the previous year, and that had been achieved without the Partnership’s buying and selling expertise! The death knoll for AH Bull had well and truly been rung.

Assimilation into Heelas

AH Bull was thus assimilated into Heelas of Reading in May 1953, with Partners encouraged to make the switch, The old shop was sold on to Littlewood’s Chain Stores. With acquisitions such as this aiding the Partnership post-war recovery and more than making up for the destruction of Oxford Street, it was an understandable way to go.

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