Branching out

Harvey Nichols paper bag

Harvey Nichols is a nice department store. It has had its up and downs. Depending on how interesting the buying is, it is sometimes somewhere you are guaranteed to see interesting things or is looking a bit like very other department store in London town.

But I like it because it is (and always has been) unashamedly about fashion. The London store always has interesting (if not always beautiful) windows. It is in a lovely 1880’s building on a lovely corner site in Knightsbridge. And it has recently woken up to its own history and is putting together an archive of some sort – better late than never, I say.

I contacted the shop because I wanted to find dates for the little known Bournemouth branch of Harvey Nichols. The one that this paper envelope name checks. I came across a mention in one of my retail history books a while back but could find nothing else. Although Harvey Nichols is spreading it’s reach these days (has been since 1996 when Leeds got a branch) the early expansion to Bournemouth is a bit of a mystery.

The archivist kindly told me: “There was a Harvey Nichols store present in 120-128 Commercial Road, Bournemouth by 1942 (it was not there in 1928). It was still running in 1961 (but not in 1975). We have very little other information about it other than the descriptions that can be found in the street directories, where it is listed as ‘home furnishers, decorators and upholsterers’. We know they also did removals as we have a photo of a Bournemouth removal van.”

So far so obscure. But this paper bag lives on. It looks to be late 1950s, early 1960s to me. Nice paper cut-out patterning. Maybe it is a Christmas envelope. I hope it is.


Burt kaplan

If you like I will be happy to email you a metal label inside a chest of drawers that shows Harvey Nichols (for Knightsbridge London) Complete Home Furnishers Bournemouth.
I suspect it to be for circa 1920’s.


I actually worked for Harvey Nichols removals in Bournemouth and started in 1963 at the Commercial Road shop.The shop closed and we moved into Bobbys in the Square with the removals business soon moving to Heatherbank Road in Westbourne,Bournemouth which was still in business when I left in 1971.
Would like to see the removal van photo!

shelf appeal

Great to know, thanks. I’d like to see the photo too. Let’s hope they do something online with their material.

Ursula I-J

I have a Harvey and Nichols London and Bournemouth hat box which I am just about to put on ebay uk together with 7 vintage hats donated after its owner died for the UK hft charity for people with learning difficulties.
I wanted to download the photo but was not sure how to do it within this box!

Martyn Van Lancker

I have just bought a linen press with a Harvey Nichols Furnitiure Repository sticker on the back , stamped “Chubb” and with “111” handwritten. The top right hand corner of the press has 318 staped in the wood. I just saw this and loved it!!


I have a vintage dresser with a metal label inside a drawer which reads …
‘Harvey Nichols & Co Ltd (of Knightsbridge London.) Complete house Furnishers Bournemouth’

It’s a large dressing table/dresser with a large heart shaped trifold mirror attached-with original side lights.

I’ve been trying to find out some history about the Bournemouth store, when it first started trading there and trying to track down some furniture catalogues to identify the dresser I have.

stephanie dedmon

I too have a piece of furniture with the same tag. I thought it was metal but it is a plastic. I’m interested to track down info on my piece. All info is welcome.


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