A WORLD OF REFINEMENT AT FINNEY’S
SHOPPING at Finney Isles and Co in Queen St was Ladies Day in heaven.
The groundfloor floorwalker (in a morning suit with a red carnation in his lapel) smiled, and said, “welcome to Finney’s, madam”.
Madam was personally escorted to a tour of the great emporium to buy what she wanted.
If she wanted exclusive wearables she was shown to the first floor and treated like Madame de Pompadour. If she wanted a facial, she was shown to the Elizabeth Arden Red Door Salon and treated like Tinker Bell in Neverland.
If she wanted something from the menswear department she was made to feel like Greta Garbo shopping for Ronald Colman. If she expressed a wish to lunch, she was elevator-lifted to the fifth floor and Finney’s elite dining room – matching cream table covers and napkins, polished silver cutlery, monogrammed crockery. The tucker was edible haute couture. Madam’s every wish triggered Finney’s desire to please – exotic perfume, fresh flowers, something from the exclusive inhouse bakery or the custom-made softfurnishing workroom. Everything was My Fair Lady.
But nothing lasts forever. In 1956, the great emporium (running from Queen to Adelaide streets) morphed into David Jones, shiny, polished and modern.
My Fair Lady became How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying and a wondrous era of Brisbane retail refinement slipped sadly into the mists of yesterday. C’est la vie.