Bon Marche Stores (Bon Marche Ltd)
By Ryan Aden
Location: 368-372 Hay Street, Perth.
Only the Bon Marche building existed in Hay Street, Perth, in 1884. The company “Bon Marche Limited” would later be incorporated at this same building in 1897. Although both had similar names, they were separate from each other.
In 1884 proprietors Frederick Collins, of The Perth Bon Marche business entity took over the building on the corner of William Street and St George’s Terrace, Perth. Prior to this, Messrs Habgood and Co occupied the building. In the same year, Collins moved from the corner of William Street and St George’s Terrace, Perth, to Hay Street, Perth (with some parts of Hay Street were known as Howick Street and Twiss Street until 1897). Evidence strongly suggests they named or re-named the Hay Street location to the Bon Marche building at this time. Frederick Collins operated in the building until 1885.
Between 1885-1886, Mr and Mrs E T Hope bought their business “E T Hope’s Store” and took over the Perth Bon Marche building at Hay Street, naming the business “Mr E T Hope’s Bon Marche Drapery”. Nearly ten years later, Mr Hope passed away leaving his wife with the business.
In 1895, Mr G H Cargeeg came from Adelaide, SA, to start his own drapery business. He purchased E T Hope’s Bon Marche Drapery at the building on Howick Street (now Hay Street) and carried on the business in the name of “Cargeeg, Dimant and Co”. Mr G F Pitchford subsequently became a partner of the company.
The same company was incorporated in 1897 and became Bon Marche Ltd. The owners of the company, George Cargeeg and Elias Dimant decided to name their company Bon Marche Limited after the famous Parisian store in Paris, France.
The Perth store was acquired by David Jones in 1954. David Jones continues to operate today with stores Australia wide.
The Bon Marche building is still standing today.
There were additional branches in Albany and Fremantle, but they ceased operation long ago.