RENDELLS Department Store
The building still says RENDELLS LTD OF KARANGAHAPE ROAD
Rendells was a major retailer of clothing and flourished throughout most of the 20th century supplying ready-to-wear clothes to the people of Auckland.
Although they opened many suburban branches Rendell's maintained a presence in K Road until very recently when the Rendells chain was sold to Postie Plus.
RENDELLS LTD OF KARANGAHAPE ROAD
John Rendell and his wife Emily emigrated from Britain in the 1880s. Rendell had worked in various Drapery establishments in London and Brighton but intended a new life in the antipodes.
He bought a dairy farm in the Waikato but being unsuccessful in that line of work he eventually moved back to Auckland and returned to his old trade.
The Rendells opened a clothing shop on the corner of Pitt and Grey Streets. (Grey Street was renamed Greys Avenue in 1927.) When occupied by the Rendells the building was called Brighton House; the Rendells had lived in Brighton, England and several of their children (six daughters and two sons) had been born there.
m..ost drapery shops of the period sold fabrics rather than actual made up garments, most people at this time made their own clothing at home or employed a dressmaker or tailor.
There was very little in the way of ready to wear clothing available until the Parisian Department Stores of the 1890s ventured into selling Ready-to-wear [or Pret-au-porter] garments.
.“Where the Baby Outfit Parcels come from"
“Where the Baby Outfit Parcels come from"
Rendells specialised in Baby and children's wear and initally were the only specialist babywear retailer in the Colony.
They became very successful because of their standardised "Baby Parcels" (as seen in the advertisement above).
This was a standard set of items which could be ordered by expectant mothers and easily mailed to anywhere in the country (money refunded if unsatisfactory).