Forfar business still going strong after 138 years

As the country celebrated the historic milestone of HM the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, a long-established Forfar business has been reflecting as it continues to go from strength to strength after more than 138 years of service.

By
Mark Dowie
Monday, 6th June 2022, 12:26pm
Forfar business still going strong after 138 years

Jarvis Brothers is a family-owned business that has been serving the Angus area and further afield for more than 130 years. In 1952, when Queen Elizabeth II ascended to the throne, the business became a limited company and accelerated its transition to become a fully-fledged department store.

The store was originally founded in 1884 by William and George Jarvis, who built the shop’s current premises on Castle Street in Forfar in 1892 for £4000. The business initially manufactured clothing and curtains, and supplied carpets and rugs for customers in the local area.

Jarvis Brothers grew as a store through the First World War, the Great Depression, the Second World War and other tumultuous global events.

With buying habits changing, the business began to focus on providing ready-made, high quality products to sell in store and began stocking a variety of brands including Barbour and Glenmuir.

Jarvis Brothers drew a wide-ranging customer base from across the country and continues to develop under the ownership of Charles Jarvis.

The department store originally partnered with the British Linen Bank, which then became part of Bank of Scotland in 1969, which have remained by the business’s side from 1884.

Owner Charles Jarvis believes the department store will continue to go from strength to strength.

He said: “We’re tremendously proud of our business here in Forfar. We’ve been operating from the Victorian era through to the Elizabethan era and from the Great Depression through until the financial troubles of 2008.

"While we’ve experienced hard times, we’ve developed a strong sense of resilience and I believe we’ll continue to serve the people of Scotland well for the foreseeable future.

Gordon Paterson, manager at Bank of Scotland said: “Despite operating through some of the most difficult times in recent memory, it’s terrific to see the store still trading strongly and looking to the future with such optimism.”

“The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee gives us the opportunity to reflect on the past 70 years. While there has been a lot of change in the Scottish business community, there has also been a great deal of continuity, as illustrated by Jarvis Brothers.”

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