Welshman Dan Harries Evans opened his department store at 320 Oxford Street in 1879. He started with just two assistants. Business grew so fast in just a few years. D. H. Evans was soon one of the most prominent businesses on the West End. The company went public and offered shares in 1893. Evans quickly expanded, taking over adjoining space along the Oxford block and monopolizing one of the main thoroughfares of London.
When Evans resigned as managing director of D. H. Evans, he was replaced by a Harrods manager. Thus, it was almost inevitable when D. H. Evans merged with Harrods department store in 1928. They built a new store, which opened in 1937. In 1954 when Harrods was purchased by House of Fraser, D. H. Evans was a wholly owned subsidiary of Harrods.
The Oxford store lumbered on, trying to keep up with the times through two remodels in the 1980s. In 2001, it was renamed House of Fraser. Now, House of Fraser is closing, as of January 18, 2022. After 140 years as a department store, the Art Deco building will be converted into an office complex, with gyms, shops and a rooftop restaurant.
The liquidation sales are in process as buyers head to the store for the last time to catch a bargain perhaps or maybe to revisit a historic place that they’ve known since their childhood and their great, great grandparents might also have known in theirs.
It’s yet another end of an era.