We are an independent department store with a history spanning over 100 years. Our longevity is due to the way we respond to the needs of our customers, our different product offering and our focus on serving our community.
As members of A.I.S and Play-Room buying group, we pride ourselves on being able to source a great variety of different products that are high in quality and great in price. Our ground floor is home to Ladies Fashions and Accessories; Lingerie, Nightwear and Hosiery; Haberdashery and Wool and our Baby Shop with clothing, gifts and toys up to 36 months. Our First Floor houses our Linens, Homewares and Toy departments with the final stop being our Coffee Shop for a much deserved rest!
Mr John Sanders started his department store in Ealing in 1865 after spotting the area's potential due to its new found access to London via the Great Western Railway. After originally setting up his business as a draper, John Sanders decided to extend it to include hosiery, millinery, outfitting, furnishing stores, family mourning services and furnishing funerals. He gradually acquired shop after shop to add to his row of shops and thus the John Sanders department store evolved.
By 1896 John Sanders was a well-known figure in Ealing. He bought the first horseless car to the town and allowed the public to ride in it on the payment of one shilling which was donated to a nearby hospital. Sanders himself said the proceeds would have been greater if absent minded passengers had not inserted into the fare box “pennies and other modest coins of the realm”.
In 1925, John Sanders retired at the age of 83. He sold his business to the Rowse brothers who were known for their drapery business in West Ealing. In 1932 John Sanders Department Store was remodelled and made into one store. In this year also the Rowse brothers held an Anniversary dinner to celebrate John Sanders' 90th birthday. His failing health kept him at home, but 300 members of the firm’s staff were present to do him honour and to make a presentation to his wife. John Sanders died at the age of 91 on the 11th December 1933. A memorial service was held at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in Ealing and he was buried in his native Devon Village.
The 1980’s saw a major refurbishment to the area and with the opening of the Ealing Broadway Centre the store went from strength to strength. In 1985, our chairman and owner, Richard Rowse purchased the leasehold of Lyttons Department Store in Ruislip. In 1990 the store in Ealing was sold to Marks and Spencer and many of the original staff then moved from Ealing to the Ruislip store.
When Lyttons of Ruislip was purchased in 1985 some radical changes were introduced immediately, the most visible of all was that of the name from Lyttons to John Sanders. Over the next few years two successful product areas were added, Housewares in 1986 and Toys in 1989.
The millennium saw the store trading nationally with our toy website www.toys-uk.co.uk. June 2009 saw the opening of our first standalone toy shop; Toys-UK in Didcot, heralding another exciting chapter in the company’s history. This was followed by branches in Aylesbury, Hemel Hempstead and High Wycombe in 2011.
We pride ourselves on offering products that are different, of high quality and at good prices. As a company we aim to offer:
1. Service that takes the customer's breath away through traditional values, care and assistance
2. To offer breadth and depth in our ranges of stock that provide customers with good choice
3. To offer a happy, caring working environment for our staff to work in.