Monday, 8 October 2012

Dundee Shops - Gone But Not Forgotten - D.M. Brown

In this blog I previously wrote on June 29th 2010 about the changes in Dundee's City Centre evident in Reform Street. Dundee once had a number of large department stores that were unique to the City but now many businesses that traded for decades have long gone, to be replaced with corporate brands that have homogenised the retail landscape across the UK. 

D.M. Brown founded a drapery store at 80 High Street Dundee in 1890. David Millar Brown the son of a Lochee coal merchant served his apprenticeship as a draper with various Lochee and Dundee shops. D.M. Brown set up his own business at the age of 24 employing 3 people. D.M. Brown's department store was a landmark for many generations of Dundee's citizens. The business was so successful that by 1938 D.M.Brown employed 400 people. In 1926 the company was acquired by the Scottish Drapery Corporation, which was in turn acquired by in 1952 by House of Fraser, Glasgow based department store retailers. However the name D.M. Brown continued to be used until 1972 when the name of the store was changed to Arnotts. Arnotts closed in 2002.

In 2003, major redevelopment of the A-listed building was started to divide the store into seven retail units. The project saw the demolition of the existing building, whilst retaining the original facade which faces High Street and Commercial Street. The developers worked closely with Historic Scotland and Dundee City Council to ensure that key features of the building such as the store's ornate pillared tearoom, smoking room, dome and atrium were retained and restored.


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