If I mention the name David Levy to you, it probably won’t mean a lot, David Levy was the son of a Jewish merchant in London who came to a then booming, Liverpool in 1838. On his arrival I the city he Anglicised his name to the one we are all familiar with, David Lewis. He first worked as an apprentice for the Lord Street tailoring firm of Hyam and company and at 32 chose a premises on Ranelagh Street to set up his boys clothing shop. The shop was no more than 24 feet long with a single entrance.


Bon Marche Church Street

Davis Lewis’s philosophy was to sell his clothing at the lowest possible price, with a promise to exchange items that had not been worn or were not damaged and to sell goods for cash with no bartering allowed. This was unusual at the time because people were used to haggling over prices, but in Lewis’s this was not allowed as the items were all priced. His motto was “Lewis’s are friends of the people”, and indeed it seemed that the people believed this to be so as the people of Liverpool, supported his venture and the Lewis’s brand grew in popularity. With the popularity of Lewis’s came much larger premises, David Lewis also bought Bon Marche in Church Street which later became George Henry Lee and opened his second, a major retail department store, in Manchester 1880. Lewis's was the first department store in the world to install a grotto and use full size mannequins in its shop windows.
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