Whiteleys takes its name from visionary entrepreneur, William Whiteley, who in 1863 opened his first ‘Fancy Goods’ shop in Westbourne Grove. A little over a decade later he had strategically acquired a number of stores in pursuit of his dream of establishing a single store where almost anything could be bought; the modern department store.
Mr Whiteley eventually succeeded in creating a vibrant destination that formed the focus for the surrounding residential neighbourhood. By 1890 more than 6,000 staff were employed in his business. His two sons continued to build the business after his death in 1907, with the colonnaded façade that still dominates the Bayswater scene today completed in 1925. The building is Grade II listed.
Over recent years Whiteleys has lost the strong sense of identity and purpose created by Mr Whiteley. It has been knocked down and rebuilt, had numerous ugly additions at roof level and is not working as a retail destination. It is our vision to recreate the vital sense of place by reimagining this historic landmark for 21st Century life.