Sunday, October 21, 2012

Swan & Edgar

Swan & Edgar Ltd., a department store located at Piccadilly Circus, London, was established in the early 19th century. The premises were rebuilt and integrated in 1910-20 to a design by Sir Reginald Blomfield.

On November 21, 1911 the shop-front was one of the West End businesses targeted by the Suffragettes in their window-breaking spree; 6 years later the store was hit by the last Zeppelin raid on London in 1917.

The business was taken over by the Drapery Trust in 1927 and later by the Debenham Group, which closed it in 1982 due to excessive remodernization costs.

The building lay empty for a few years until it became the flagship UK store for Tower Records. It was bought by Richard Branson of the Virgin Group in 2003 and became a Virgin Megastore. The Virgin name disappeared in 2007 and was replaced by Zavvi; Zavvi went into receivership in 2009. The Sting, a fashion department store with branches in the Netherlands, Germany, and Belgium, opened in the building in July 2010.

by Paul Green

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