From Bainbridges to John Lewis

The exterior of Bainbridges by 1988, the department store's 150th year

In September 1988, Bainbridges, the world’s first department store, celebrated its 150th year of trading. Since its move to Eldon Square, the shop continued to go from strength to strength;¬†a new Place To Eat restaurant was¬†installed, along with a brand new first-floor entrance into the shop.

New century, new name

In 2002 the Partnership took the decision to change the department store’s name from Bainbridges to John Lewis Newcastle. This was a brave move. Bainbridges was a Newcastle institution, having been in the city for well over 150 years by this point. In fact, many locals still refer to the store as Bainbridges. By 2002 however, it was felt that the John Lewis name was strong enough to stand up for itself, and in a nationwide project to unify its department stores under the one John Lewis name, the store became John Lewis Newcastle on 30th September 2002.

In 2008 a Waitrose supermarket opened opposite John Lewis Newcastle, in an extension of the Eldon Square Shopping centre.

Comments about this page

  • I still refer to the store as Bainbridges. I feel it was a shame to move away from the history of the brand. Could we not reclaim the name.

    By Karen (09/02/2024)

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