END OF AN ERA Bailey’s closes after more than century of service
Bailey's closes after more than century of service
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.
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.
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.
SAYING GOOD-BYE: Lex Bailey has announced the closure of iconic Toowoomba clothing store Bailey’s.
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.
Lex Bailey on the last day at Bailey’s store on the corner of Margaret and Ruthven Sts in August 2008.
Bailey’s as it was on the corner of Margaret and Ruthven Sts in the CBD. It sold the building to Lincraft in 2008.