Bobby & Co. Ltd.

Bobby & Co. Ltd.

Bobby & Co. Ltd. was a provincial department store chain based mainly in seaside towns on the south coast of England from 1887 until 1972.

In 1887 Frederick James Bobby bought an established drapery store in Margate, Kent, located on the corner of High Street and Queen Street. The business grew to incorporate several neighbouring premises.

In 1900 the business became a limited company and began an expansion programme, opening stores in specially selected towns, mostly seaside resorts. Stores were opened in Leamington Spa, Folkestone, Eastbourne, Torquay, Cliftonville, Bournemouth, Exeter and Southport.

Frederick Bobby retired in 1927, selling his shares to a recently formed retail conglomerate called the Drapery Trust. The Bobby & Co. group was run as a separate entity within the trust, chaired by Frederick Bobby’s son.

In 1972 Bobby & Co. Ltd. was taken over by Debenhams. The stores in Margate and Cliftonville were closed, while all other stores trading under the Bobby’s name were rebranded as Debenhams.