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Monday, November 1, 2010


Here is a photo of Victoria's heritage supermarket, Wellburn's. It is situated on the edge of downtown on the corner of Cook and Pandora Streets. The building itself is interesting with quite a lot of ornate moldings and cornices but for me there is equal interest in the narrow slice of North American marketing history this store represents. This is neither a corner store nor a modern supermarket but seems to be a transitional stage in the evolution of the modern supermarket. For me this comes from the era when Department Stores had come to the forefront of marketing, before they lost out to the suburban shopping malls. Department stores didn't have much to do with food and stores like Wellburn's were an attempt to use the same everything under one roof technique to sell grocery items. I'm sure the history of marketing is much more complex than my ideas of it, but passing by Wellburn's always makes me think of how things change and how we got where we are. Wikipedia has interesting articles on both supermarkets and department stores and their development.

I hope any local history buffs out there will tell us more about Wellburn's. I know it's been around for a long time in that building but I don't know much more than that.


JoJo said...

They are lucky that they are still in business. It's good to know that there are enough loyal shoppers to keep it going.

Dean Lewis said...

That place is an institution and it's full history would be quite interestiing. I always think it would be comforting living directly above a food source like that. :)

Anna said...

Wow, I'd nearly forgotten about that store. Funny, since I lived in two places nearby - one a flat within smelling range of Mt Royal Bagel Factory, and another a basement suite further on up Cook Street.