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On his return to Dumfries in 1856, a young Robert Barbour opened a drapers shop on Dumfries High Street. The business evolved and expanded becoming R Barbour & Sons and moving to Buccleuch Street on March 20, 1899 and shortly thereafter his son Douglas and then his wife took over responsibility.

The Buccleuch Street store was originally located on the ground floor, with maisonettes above, but the addition of two wings to the building during the 20’s and 30’s allowed for the stores expansion.

Douglas L Barbour, son of James in charge for only a short period of time due to ill health, took over at the helm and continued to shape the store, expanding upwards into the maisonettes in a programme of modernization. Soon soft furnishings, carpets and linens were to be introduced and in 1965 a further store in Stranraer was opened.

The restaurant in the Buccleuch Street store was opened in 1974, and a hair salon the following year. Both to this day continue to be successful additions to the Barbours story.

In the 1980’s Douglas’s sons Peter and Colin, the fifth generation of the family, joined the business and opened a furniture and carpet showroom at the Peel Centre on Lockerbie Road in 1990. This led to Barbours at Home, a 29,000sq feet furnishings store being constructed opposite the main department store, which opened in 2002. The idea to bring all aspects of the store together.

Today, Barbours strive to continue to provide the personal service which was so important to the founder Robert Barbour. Now the oldest independent department store in Scotland, continuous reinvestment and a desire to see the business go from strength to strength push the Barbour family forward to look towards the ongoing changes to retail.


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