Barrow's Stores

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Barrow's Stores
ProductsGrocery and homeware
1928 Christmas Catalogue cover

Barrow's Stores, also known as Barrow's, was an upmarket department store located in Birmingham, England.


Barrow's Stores was originally started by Richard Cadbury, of the Cadbury family. Richard opened a small drapery store in 1794 in Bull Street.[1] By 1824 the Cadbury family opened a new shop next door selling tea, coffee and cocoa.[1]

However, in 1849 John Cadbury transferred the business to his cousin Richard Cadbury Barrow so they could concentrate on the manufacture of chocolate.[1][2] The business was renamed Barrow's Stores.

By 1905 the store had been rebuilt with a new cafe on the first floor for the customers to try the company's products, and had numerous departments from glass & china to food. The business provided Christmas lists of goods available for customers to purchase,[3][4] while their fleet of vehicles delivered goods across Birmingham and to areas such as Wolverhampton & Lichfield.

In the 1960s Barrow's moved from their location on the corner of Bull Street and Corporation Street to a smaller store on Corporation Street opposite Lewis', where the new store concentrated on food. The business was purchased by Fitch Lovell in 1964, and in December 1973 merged Barrow's into its chain Key Markets Supermarkets.[5][6]

His fascination for Barrow's led J.R.R. Tolkien to name his student club T.C.B.S. (acronym for: Tea Club and Barrovian Society) after the store.[7]


  1. ^ a b c "Barrow's Stores, Birmingham -". Archived from the original on 22 January 2012. Retrieved 30 November 2014.
  2. ^ "Barrows Stores Ltd, Corporation Street (Archive Reference: 590)". Archived from the original on 4 December 2014. Retrieved 30 Nov 2004.
  3. ^ "Barrow's Stores Christmas list". The Iron Room. 19 December 2011. Retrieved 30 November 2014.
  4. ^ "Barrow Stores, Birmingham -". Archived from the original on 17 December 2014. Retrieved 30 November 2014.
  5. ^ Roy Grant (1968). "Distribution Management". p. 152. ISBN 9780220798703. {{cite magazine}}: Cite magazine requires |magazine= (help)
  6. ^ Sir Ambrose Keevil (1972). The Story of Fitch Lovell, 1784-1970. ISBN 9780850330748.
  7. ^ "Community: Tea Club and Barrovian Society". Lives of the First World War. Imperial War Museums. Retrieved 19 August 2022.