END OF AN ERA Bai­ley’s closes af­ter more than cen­tury of ser­vice

Bai­ley's closes af­ter more than cen­tury of ser­vice

The Chronicle - - Front Page - TOM GILLE­SPIE tom.gille­[email protected]­i­cle.com.au

BEV Young has been shop­ping with Bai­ley’s for more than 65 years – and this bag of clothes will prob­a­bly be her last pur­chase.

The iconic Toowoomba cloth­ing store has an- nounced it will shut its doors, bring­ing to a close the 115year-old fam­ily busi­ness.

Start­ing in Al­lora in 1903, Bai­ley’s en­tered the Too- woomba CBD in 1927 and was a per­ma­nent fix­ture on the in­ter­sec­tion of Ruthven and Mar­garet Sts un­til 2008.

Now owner Lex Bai­ley will close its small shopfront on Ruthven St, much to the sad­ness of his cus­tomers.

‘‘ THERE HAVE BEEN A LOT OF CUS­TOMERS WHO HAVE BEEN IN TEARS, ASK­ING WHERE THEY’RE GO­ING TO GO.

LEX BAI­LEY

WHEN Lex Bai­ley closes the door on his fam­ily’s 115-yearold busi­ness for the fi­nal time in a cou­ple of weeks, he knows its legacy re­mains in­tact.

The leg­endary cloth­ing busi­ness Bai­ley’s, which was founded in 1903 and has been a Toowoomba in­sti­tu­tion since 1927, has started a mas­sive clos­ing-down sale at its base on Ruthven St in the CBD.

Mr Bai­ley was the fourth gen­er­a­tion of Alexan­der Richard Bai­leys to run the store, which started in Al­lora as a place to buy chil­dren’s toys and boots.

He said a ma­jor sup­plier’s de­ci­sion to cease whole­sale trad­ing was the trig­ger to close.

“We grew to be the largest out­let in Queens­land of (cloth­ing brand) Black Pep­per, which we still are,” Mr Bai­ley said.

“About six months ago, they de­cided that they were only go­ing to sup­ply to their own shops in the fu­ture.

“If I was 10 years younger, I’d go out and find some other brands but it’s all too hard now. Black Pep­per has made the de­ci­sion for us.”

Through qual­ity prod­ucts and ex­cel­lent cus­tomer ser­vice, Mr Bai­ley said the busi­ness had earned a fiercely loyal cus­tomer base.

“I still en­joy talk­ing to our cus­tomers who have been long-term cus­tomers,” he said.

“I had one cus­tomer come in the other day and I asked her how long she’d been shop­ping with Bai­ley’s.

“She said she started when she was 17, and she’s now 90.

“There have been a lot of cus­tomers who have been in tears, ask­ing where they’re go­ing to go.”

One of those loyal cus­tomers was Bev Young, who ad­mit­ted she had been shop­ping with Bai­ley’s since she was a teenager.

She said she would miss the small things they did for her that were hard to find else­where.

“I’ve been 65 years shop­ping here, be­cause I’m 85 now and I got my first bra from here,” Ms Young said.

“I only found out the only day and they told me to come down.

“I’m very sad that it’s go­ing, be­cause it’s handy here and they are so good to work with.

“I’ve been deal­ing with them for years now.”

With the end ap­proach­ing, Mr Bai­ley said he was proud of what his fam­ily had achieved in Toowoomba as well as its pre­vi­ous stores in Gat­ton and Al­lora.

“I’ve re­tailed right across Aus­tralia, and it’s pretty unique what we have here,” he said.

All cloth­ing in Bai­ley’s is now half-price as part of the clos­ing down sale.

For more in­for­ma­tion, phone 4632 3577.

Photo: Kevin Farmer

LAST PUR­CHASE: Bai­ley’s owner Lex Bai­ley with Bev Young who has been shop­ping at the iconic Toowoomba store for 65 years. The cloth­ing busi­ness will shut within weeks.

Photo: Kevin Farmer

SAY­ING GOOD-BYE: Lex Bai­ley has an­nounced the clo­sure of iconic Toowoomba cloth­ing store Bai­ley’s.

Photo: Bev Lacey

Bai­ley’s man­ager Anne Box­all closes the door on the last day of trad­ing when the store was on the cor­ner of Mar­garet and Ruthven Sts back in 2008.

Lex Bai­ley says he’s proud of what he and his fam­ily have achieved in Toowoomba.

Bai­ley’s on the cor­ner of Mar­garet and Ruthven Sts is seen in this un­dated pho­to­graph from The Chron­i­cle Ar­chives.

Photo: Bev Lacey

Lex Bai­ley on the last day at Bai­ley’s store on the cor­ner of Mar­garet and Ruthven Sts in Au­gust 2008.

Photo: The Chron­i­cle Ar­chives

Bai­ley’s as it was on the cor­ner of Mar­garet and Ruthven Sts in the CBD. It sold the build­ing to Lin­craft in 2008.

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