BOWS EMPORIUM (Mr. William Bow Proprietor), 65, High Street, Glasgow.
Among the popular and prominent business establishments of Glasgow holding a distinctly representative position, Bows Emporium, occupying historic ground in High Street, claims special mention in this volume.
Mr. William Bow, whose enterprise and ability have built up the great business centred there, started operations eighteen years ago, on a limited scale, in premises at 91, High Street. But business grew fast under his spirited control, and, to be brief, when the City Improvement Trustees, in 1888, put up the site of the present premises to auction, Mr. Bow purchased it and erected the Emporium after the most approved plans.
The elevations of the double frontage are of handsome modern design, and rise to three storeys, surmounted at their junction by a square lantern tower. The interior, we need hardly say, is arranged on the most improved principles, and is appointed and equipped with every convenience for conducting and expediting the business, including a complete set of speaking tubes and a cash railway. The several departments of the business on the three floors are distinguished by a letter of the alphabet, and the assistants each by a number. The goods are conveniently classed, and indeed throughout, system and organization, without being carried too far, are maintained in the highest state of efficiency.
The stock on the ground floor is arranged in five departments : Cutlery and electroplate; heavier ironmongery ; brushes, baskets, door mats, perambulators, rugs, etc. ; fancy goods and toys ; glass, china, earthenware, etc. To enumerate the special features of the immense and varied stock in hollow ware, fine cutlery, electroplate, etc., shown on this floor would far exceed our limits ; suffice it to say that anything, from a spade to a tea-set, from a pegging top to a perambulator, can be had or seen here at prices to suit all tastes and purses.
The second floor is divided into several show and sale rooms, containing also the counting house and office. Here are brass and iron bedsteads, couches, grates, stoves, fenders, fire-irons, screens, toys, fancy goods, china (in pieces and sets), etc. The third floor serves for reserve stock and the top flat for paraffin lamps, which are a speciality. The lamps, indeed, might well claim particular notice, embracing as they do all varieties from the most expensive after antique or modern designs down to those sold at a few pence. Among the latter we noticed one at 5 1/2d. made by Mr. Bow,, which has commanded an enormous sale. In a word, the judicious house-wife, or the engaged, bent on house-furnishing will find in Bows Emporium a wide selection of the best goods of home and foreign production, not sold indeed below cost price, or at 75 per cent, less than cost, but at the smallest figure possible. A large wholesale trade, steadily growing, is also done.
Mr. Bow personally directs the whole concern and has evidently an eye for capable and courteous assistants.. The staff is unusually large, as the run on the place on Saturdays is enormous averaging a thousand or twelve hundred customers. The public support is the best testimony to the character of the house, and speaks more for the savoir faire of the popular proprietor than a long string of adjectives.
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