RETRO: Cole Brothers, Sheffield’s most legendary shop

Cole Brothers Limited, Department Store, Sheffield
Coles Corner, Fargate
Cole Brothers Limited, Department Store, Sheffield Coles Corner, Fargate
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It is a name synonymous with the High Street of Sheffield.

Since 1847, Cole Brothers had been a bastion of the city’s retail scene, and despite the famous department store becoming John Lewis in 2002, many shoppers still refuse to call it anything else.

Cole Brothers Limited, Department Store, Fargate, Sheffield
Coles Corner
April 1964

Cole Brothers Limited, Department Store, Fargate, Sheffield Coles Corner April 1964

Opened by John and Thomas Cole on Fargate in 1847, the store quickly became a vital part of shopping in the area.

The business was one of the first to employ women, in 1909, and became so well regarded that the area around it was known as Cole’s Corner.

Though many may not have realised, the store passing out of local ownership happened as far back as 1927, when it was sold to Selfridges, itself in turn later bought by John Lewis.

It wasn’t until the 1960s that the business moved off Fargate and into Barker’s Pool.

The old building sold for £1 million and the new store proved popular, expanding several times with the buildings around it being bought up.

Sadly, Cole Brothers’ name vanished in 2002 – although the name can still be seen etched in metal in some corners of the store.

Also pictured here in 1945, outside the old store, is a Victory Tram, created especially to celebrate the end of World War Two in 1945.

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Some readers would like to see John Lewis in Meadowhall.

Some readers would like to see John Lewis in Meadowhall.