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Owen Owen was a Liverpoolmarker-based operator of department stores in the United Kingdommarker.

Owen Owen was founded by an individual called Owen Owen in Liverpool, where he opened a drapery shop on London Road. Over the years the store expanded, but when the retail scene moved away from the London Road area, the Owen family lent the company the money to move to a better position on Clayton Square where a large purpose-built department store was erected. The company then purchased rival chain T J Hughes and moved that firm's Liverpool store into the empty London Road premises.

Owen Owen then expanded by building a store in Coventrymarker, which was bombed during World War II. After the war it continued to expand, purchasing G W Robinson in Canadamarker and adding other stores to the UK portfolio.

In the 1980s the Owen family sold the business. T J Hughes was split off and G W Robinson sold. In 1991 the firm purchased several Lewis's stores from administration and was known briefly under the business name of 'Lewis's Owen Owen', before being taken over by Philip Green. In 1995 he released the brand Kid's HQ in 4 of his Lewis's and Owen Owen Stores. The company was then stripped of its assets which included the closure of the flagship Liverpool branch of Owen Owen (now a Tescomarker Metro and TK Maxx) and was cut from twelve stores to one, Lewis's of Liverpool, following the sale of many stores to other chains including Alldersmarker and Debenhams.

Then, in early 2005, Philip Green sold his stake in the business to David Thompson who began a new phase of expansion at Owen Owen, acquiring Joplings and Robbs from the now defunct Merchant Retail Group and purchasing Esslemont & MacIntosh from the Esslemont family. The Owen Owen brand name was no longer used, but remained the name of the operating company.

On 28th February 2007 Owen Owen entered administration, with the affairs, business and property of the company being managed by the joint administrators, P.F. Duffy (ICAEW) and D.J. Whitehouse (IPA). The administrators acted as agents of the Company under contract without personal liability. The reason claimed for Owen Owen's demise was the disruption in Liverpool city centre caused by the Big Dig. The Aberdeenmarker, Esslemont & MacIntosh, store was closed down on the 5th May 2007. Also in May 2007, however, the Liverpool, Hexham and Sunderland stores were sold as a going concern to Vergo Retail Ltd., controlled by the previous owner of Owen Owen, David Thompson, and enabling the stores to continue to trade.

References



Further reading

  • David Wyn Davies: Owen Owen: Victorian Draper (Gwasg Cambria, Aberystwyth, 1983) ISBN 0-900439-16-5


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