Robert Simpson & Sons
Robert Simpson & Sons, General Warehousemen, 1 to 7, Jamaica Street, and 207, Argyle Street.—
No better or more interesting example of a general warehouse, in the modem and comprehensive significance of the term, can be found in Glasgow than that offered by the extensive establishment of Messrs. Robert Simpson & Sons. This old and distinguished house was founded upwards of sixty years ago by the late Mr. Robert Simpson, a native of Saltcoats, who came to Glasgow at the early age of fourteen with the object of entering upon a commercial career. What he accomplished during that career is evidenced in the great business that bears his name to-day. Mr. Robert Simpson died, in his eightieth year, on April 3rd, 1887, after a life that was one long example of probity, right-mindedness, and earnest devotion to the causes of Christianity, philanthropy, and temperance reform. Mr. Robert Simpson’s good works live after him ; the recollection of his kindly personality and benevolent exertion is bright in many a Scottish heart and home to-day, and neither the memory of his noble and earnest life-work among all classes of the people, nor the effect of his untiring labours in the field of action in which he most loved to be found, will take their place among the things that are forgotten for many a year to come. He has been succeeded in the control of the business by his sons, Messrs. J. C. Simpson and R. Kirk Simpson, who were long associated with him in partnership.
The fine premises of this eminent firm, standing at the corner of Jamaica and Argyle Streets, occupy what is probably the most prominent site of the kind in Glasgow. At all events, the position is one of unsurpassed advantage, being in the very heart of the city, at the junction of two of its stateliest thoroughfares, in immediate proximity to the great railway termini, and directly on the line of the main highway from the South Side northwards. How many busy citizens and bustling pedestrians must pass “Simpson’s” in the course of one day of Glasgow’s active, nervous life ! And how many find in it a constant feature of attraction — interesting, instructive, encouraging ! Messrs. Simpson’s business has been carried on at this address since 1851, starting here as a general drapery warehouse, and during later years it has developed by regular stages into one of those comprehensive emporia now so familiarly known under the designation of “General Stores”, its operations embracing the sale of well-nigh every description of household necessities, and all kinds of wearing apparel for man, woman, and child.
The premises comprise five spacious floors, each with an
area of over two thousand square feet, and on these floors all the various
departments of an immense stock are arranged with the most careful consideration
for the convenience of customers. The necessarily brief limits of space at the
disposal of this sketch permit nothing more than an enumeration and general
classification of these department, which include the following.
The Ladies’ Department : silks, satins, and velvets ; French merinoes, cashmeres, dress fabrics, prints ; costumes, mantles, and jackets ; underclothing, furs, millinery, ribbons, laces ; flowers, feathers ; hosiery, gloves ; umbrellas and parasols ; fancy goods ; trimmings and haberdashery.
The Gentlemen’s Department: tweeds, coatings, vestings, trouserings, &c., in all the newest and most fashionable patterns and materials; hats, caps, ties, scarves, gloves, shirts, summer and winter underclothing ; umbrellas, travelling rugs, and mauds.
The Drapery Department : blankets, flannels, napery, prints, sheetings, towellings, curtains, bedding quilts, cretonnes, cottons, table covers, tapestries, mantel border -ings, fringes, &e.
The Bazaar Department: a veritable exposition of unique and interesting goods, with a superb stock of dolls and toys of every description and a choice selection of art pottery for table and window decoration.
The American Department : a complete representation of the many varied and always useful articles in the production of which our Transatlantic cousins excel, the most notable features of the stock being all varieties of home and foreign woodware and furnishings, household novelties in great diversity, clocks, gongs, fire brasses, coal vases, and a fine assortment of electroplate, marked at prices of exceptional moderation.
The Department for Boys’ Clothing is worthy of special praise as one of the most complete of its kind in the city. Messrs. Simpson were practically the pioneers of this branch of the clothing trade some thirty-five years ago, and their splendid stock of juvenile apparel of all kinds shows what a marvellous development has characterised the trade since first they engaged therein.
The principles governing the undertakings of this house involve the selling of only first-class goods at the lowest possible prices, and no business could be conducted in more perfect accordance with the requirements of such a policy. By the constant practice of honourable and straightforward methods, and an equally constant consideration of their patrons’ best interests, the firm of Messrs. Robert Simpson & Sons have built up and maintained a widespread and well-connected trade, that is not less creditable to the judgment of its supporters among the public than it is to the admirable energy and enterprise of the lamented and universally esteemed founder of the house and his capable and experienced successors.
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