EVEN if you already possess more clothes than you could conceivably wear, there’s something strangely addictive about the sales that lures you through the doors, year after year.

This was the scene in the coats department of the C&A store in Glasgow in June 1954. The solitary man here clearly had an eye for a bargain that was a match for any of the female shoppers’.

C&A was one of the big names on the High Street for 75 years, but its presence in Britain came to an end in June 2000 when the Dutch-based company announced that it was to close all 113 of its UK stores, with the loss of 4,800 jobs.

Loading article content

The company acknowledged that it was losing £1 million a week in this country, having failed to keep abreast of designer fashion.

Back in the era of today’s photograph, shoppers in the big towns and cities had so many department stores to choose from.Glasgow’s included Lewis’s, Fraser’s and Arnott Simpson’s, Pettigrew and Stephens, and Copeland and Lye. Watt Bros is still going strong after a century. In an earlier time, the city had 40 department stores, more than a dozen of them on Sauchiehall Street.

Edinburgh had Patrick Thomson’s, Maules, and Binns; Dundee had Draffens, and Caird and Sons; Perth had McEwens; Aberdeen, Esslemont & Macintosh; and Inverness, Benzie & Miller.