David Kemp & Son
Messrs. David Kemp & Son, Silk Mercers, Mantle and Costume Manufacturers, &c., 37, Buchanan Street.ó
One of the most prominent and attractive of the notable commercial establishments of Buchanan Street is that controlled by Messrs. David Kemp & Son. This distinguished house was founded in 1832 by Mr. David Kemp, now retired, and under his name and management it progressed in magnitude of operation and influence of reputation. About twenty years ago Mr. Kemp assumed his son as partner. The present title was then adopted, and the career of the firm since that date has been one of continuous and uninterrupted prosperity. The premises are entirely the property of the Kemp family.
They comprise a most extensive and stately block of five large and commodious floors, with a fine street frontage, great depth, and splendid accommodative capacity. The interior is a perfect study in the several details of convenience, commodiousness, and beauty of appointment. Each department is separate and distinct from its neighbours, but all share alike in completeness of equipment. Messrs. Kemp & Son have developed one of those veritable trade palaces of which there are not a few in Glasgow, though certainly none to surpass this.
At the rear of the principal floors of showrooms is an extensive factory of splendid equipment and capacity. Here the various and important productive operations of the firm are carried on, notably the making of mantles, costumes, dresses, millinery, &c., for which the house is famous. All these workrooms are spacious, airy, and well-appointed, and are populous throughout the working hours of the day with a busy and highly efficient operative staff, under whose deft fingers the pliant material or fabric assumes those countless shapes and forms so irresistibly attractive to the firmís host of lady patrons in the warerooms close by. All the work done here is of the very highest and best class, for the status of this eminent house is among the foremost of its kind in Great Britain. Messrs. Kempís was formerly a shawl warehouse, famous in all parts of the country in that particular line.
The great specialities of the house, for which it has won a national reputation, are mantles, costumes, millinery, lingerie, silks, dress goods, shawls, and furs. The firm make an exhaustive study of ladiesí dress in its every phase and feature, and they justly pride themselves upon the minuteness with which they exemplify every detail and particular of the costumierís art. They display the very latest and most select novelties of Paris and London. A special lady artist is retained to sketch for the benefit of customers every novelty that makes its advent in the worldís great centres of fashion ; and no trouble or expense is spared by the house to afford its patrons every facility possible. The fitting-rooms, situate on the upper first floors of the establishment, are simply models of comfort, convenience, and elegant appointment. Messrs. Kemp hold, altogether, one of the largest, most valuable, and most select stocks of superior goods to be found in Great Britain, and employ, in all, a regular staff of about two hundred and fifty hands.
The firm of Messrs. David Kemp & Son have enjoyed for more than half a century a commercial reputation of the highest order. The founder of the concern was famous for his great taste and sound judgment in all matters relating to the trade, and received a medal as one of the jurors of the Great Exhibition of 1851. The mantle of mercantile ability and success so appropriately worn by him has descended upon the shoulders of his son, Mr. James Kemp, a Glasgow citizen of known worth, and a former member of the City Council. He is ably assisted by his partner, Mr. W. R. Greive, whose long experience of the best houses of London and Paris has been invaluable to the firm. By these gentlemen the business is now conducted with conspicuous capability ; and in their hands the reputation of the house and all its commercial affairs are sure of the maintenance and proper administration necessary to the due preservation of every one of its honourable characteristics.
Back to Index of Firms (1888)