THEN, as now, the winter sales were big business. Last month’s sales saw bargain-hunters flock to malls and high streets, or otherwise pursuing deals via laptop or smartphone. (The rest of us, deciding we had too much stuff already, marvelled at the bargain-hunters’ stamina and seemingly limitless resources). Back in 1950, sales still brought people out in force. This picture, taken on Tuesday, January 3, shows shoppers waiting more or less patiently in the cold and rain for the doors to open at Pettigrew & Stephens, a venerable department store on Sauchiehall Street. Many other stores were slashing their prices too. Copland & Lye, on the same street, began its winter sale that same day. “Early shoppers will secure the best of the bargains at this short, sharp clearance of surplus stocks,” ran its print advert. Rowans, on Buchanan Street, started its “great four-day sale” the following day. The sale at Daly’s, on Sauchiehall, had been going well. Sinclair & Thomson, on West Nile Street, was offering overcoats and suits at reduced prices. In Edinburgh, enthusiastic shoppers were preparing to descend on Jenner’s, Binn’s. Greensmith Downes, Patrick Thomson (‘P.t.’s) and Alexander Wilkie’s. And doubtless there were others then, too, who, deciding they had too much stuff already, marvelled at the shoppers’ stamina and seemingly limitless resources ...

Loading article content