London, ON department store Kingsmill’s is closing after 148 years

One of Canada’s last independently-owned department stores will close next month. The iconic Kingsmill’s department store in downtown London, Ontario, will close after operating for 148 years. It will clear its merchandise as part of a sale beginning Thursday, March 6th.

Founded in 1865 as a dry goods store, Kingsmill’s has continuously operated in downtown London. It is one of the few remaining independent, family-owned and operated department stores in Canada, and after several renovations and expansions, currently occupies more than 73,000 square feet over five separate floors.

The store has an interesting history. In 1865, Thomas Frazer Kingsmill, an Irish immigrant, opened a dry goods store on Dundas Street in London, Ontario. The first store was 1,800 square feet. The store has burned down and been rebuilt twice during its 148-year history. The current building, built in 1932, features the original tin-plated ceilings and hardwood floors. The original pneumatic tube system is still used to send paperwork and change throughout the store, and the old-style elevator, complete with operator, continues to help customers get from floor to floor. These features have survived over the years due to a conscious effort to maintain the character and elegance of the building.

Kingsmill’s offers a wide range of merchandise categories including home furnishings, fine china and collectibles, women’s, men’s and children’s fashions, cosmetics, linens, gifts, kitchenware and luggage, among others. 

The store’s ‘Going Out of Business Sale’ will continue as long as inventory levels allow. Once the store’s inventory is gone, Kingsmill’s will officially close.

Source: press release

Article Author

Craig Patterson
Craig Patterson
Now located in Toronto, Craig is a retail analyst and consultant at the Retail Council of Canada. He's also the Director of Applied Research at the University of Alberta School of Retailing in Edmonton. He has studied the Canadian retail landscape for the past 25 years and he holds Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Laws Degrees. He is also President & CEO of Vancouver-based Retail Insider Media Ltd.

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