29th June 2019

George & George Ltd, Melbourne:

The Argus, 17 April 1880. This was to be the start of one of Melbourne’s most famous stores.

In 1880 London-born brothers William Henry Harrison George (1855-1935) and Alfred Harley George (1857-1930) opened their drapery store at 11-17 Collins Street, moving to larger premises in 1883 at 280 Collins street. In 1888 they merged with Equitable Co-operative Society at 162-168 Collins street to become George & George Limited.

1885: 280 Collins Street prior to the merger.

Post merger.


Weekly Times, 11th June 1887: A. Harley George, and the Emporium below.

A disastrous fire in 1889 destroyed the 280 Collins St premises, as well as killing 3 firemen and injuring 10 others. They moved into the other premise, refurbishing and extending 2 years later. William had lost a lot of money during the depression of the late 1880s. He left for New Zealand where he ran another business until about 1920 when he returned.

The firm was known as Georges & Georges Pty. Ltd. from 1914-1933, but was known as “Georges'” from at least 1908 onwards. The store motto was “What we do, we do well”, with an emphasis on exclusive , quality goods and meticulous service.

Melbourne Punch, 11th Oct 1894. Outfit available at George & George Ltd.

c. 1908. The store boasted an indoor garden cafe with an aviary, water features and live music.

The store was taken over by Cox brothers from 1960-66, then David jones from 1981-1995 when it finally closed.





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