A Hall & Co
An advertisement in the Town & Country Journal for 1897 claimed that A Hall & Co were ‘the largest home furnishers in NSW’ with stock ‘displayed in 20 large showrooms’.
The company began trading at 567 George Street in January 1889, but quickly expanded to occupy 561-567 by 1897. Although established by Thomas Hall, the company was named after his wife Annie, and according to an 1897 billhead their head office was in Great Eastern Street London.
An advertisement in the Town & Country Journal for 1897 claimed that A Hall & Co were "the largest home furnishers in NSW" with stock "displayed in 20 large showrooms". A Hall & Co initially imported all of their furniture and furnishings. However, it seems that the company began to manufacture furniture locally by 1897 as a number of locally made items are illustrated in the catalogue of this date. For a few years in the early 1920s, a furniture factory was located on the corner of Goulburn and Brisbane Streets in Surry Hills.
The firm advertised extensively in country newspapers and had a thriving mail order business. To accommodate the growing trade, A Hall & Co extended their premises in 1913 and then again in 1919 to double the floor space to six storeys. A 1910s Furnishing catalogue (FTC 749.20492 HAL) shows that stock encompassed a huge range of furniture, mattresses and bedding, mangles, fenders & fire irons, carpets and linoleum, table covers, blinds and curtains. However, other trade literature from this period suggests Hall & Co's focus was on furniture: this is demonstrated by their 1915 Mission Furniture catalogue (FTC 749.20492 HAL/1) and bill posters from the 1910s and 20s (TE 749.20492 HAL).
In 1934 A Hall & Co moved premises to 364-370 Pitt Street. The move was an indication of the growing retail strength of Liverpool/Pitt Street and the declining power of the southern part of George Street following a major relocation of tram routes from George to Pitt Street and the opening of Museum underground railway station in 1926. The department store, Anthony Hordern & Sons, was also prompted in this period to realign its Brickfield Hill emporium by constructing a spacious new Pitt Street entrance.
A Hall & Co remained in family hands for much of its existence but was eventually sold to E A Greenwood Ltd in 1962 and the entire stock sold off by May 1965.