Norwich John Lewis staff pose for first shop photo in store’s 136-year history

Hundreds of partners from the John Lewis store in All Saints Green, Norwich, lined up for a celebrat

Hundreds of partners from the John Lewis store in All Saints Green, Norwich, lined up for a celebratory photo. - Credit: Archant

It has been a welcome presence in the Fine City for 136 years.

Richard Herne Bonds shop

Richard Herne Bonds shop - Credit: Archant

And this week for the first time in its history, staff of the store still known and loved as Bonds posed for a group shop photo.

Gathered on the banisters outside the department store in All Saints Green, hundreds of staff celebrated a record year of trading.

The store was opened in 1879 by Robert Herne Bond as a small drapery business at 19 Ber Street.

It was sold to John Lewis in 1982, but remains Bonds as far as many locals are concerned.

John LewisRoom with a view - Norwich from the eleventh floor penthouse apartment at Westlegate Tower

John LewisRoom with a view - Norwich from the eleventh floor penthouse apartment at Westlegate Tower. Photo : Steve Adams - Credit: Archant


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Staff of John Lewis are called partners as they co-own the business and share in its success through an annual bonus linked to its profits.

Richard Marks, head of the John Lewis Norwich branch, said: 'Last year John Lewis Norwich achieved record sales and to celebrate this we wanted to capture a shop photo of our partners for the first time in the shops 136 year history.

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'The shop's success is real testament to all 500 partners who work here and it was great to see so many of them from all areas of the shop turn up on Thursday morning to be part of the photo.'

After Robert Bond opened his small shop he pursued an early expansion programme with members of his family joining the business which kept on growing.

The store was hit during the air raids of the Second World War.

In June of 1942 the shop and the beautiful Thatched Cinema next door were destroyed.

Within days the shop was trading from old buses on the bomb site.

It was rebuilt with the help the talented Robert Owen Bond and fitted in well with the bold City of Norwich Plan of 1945.

Bonds was at the forefront of a new shopping era.

The new shop was completed in 1953 and it continued to develop, meeting the changing needs of customers.

In 1982 the Bond family sold it to John Lewis, and the name changed followed 20 years later.

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