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Few companies in Canada can claim as rich and long history as Bowring. Established in Newfoundland in 1811, Bowring is one of the oldest and most respected names in Canadian retailing.
Bowring was started by Benjamin Bowring, an English watch and clock maker, who in 1811 came to St. John’s, Newfoundland and set up shop. His wife also opened a general dry goods shop. This shop later evolved into a thriving general department store and the clock-making was eventually phased out.
Over the next century, five generations of the Bowring family built the enterprise into a vast global empire. In the 1850’s through to the 1870’s Bowring was best known for its ships including oil tankers, cargo fleets, passenger liners and a coastal mail service. The company logo “Terra Nova”, was a Bowring ship which was chartered by the British Navy for Admiral Scott’s famous journey to the Antarctic in 1911. The ship logo is still used today.
Two world wars wiped out a large share of the Bowring shipping fleet. Following World War II, the main activity of the company in Newfoundland was retailing. The company operated its famous Department Store on Water Street in St.John’s, which was later expanded into a chain of “little shops”. These shops were the basis for the current national chain of Bowring stores across Canada.
Though no longer connected to the Bowring family, Bowring Canada remains a privately held, family owned company, which is one hundred percent Canadian owned and operated. Those “little shops” have grown in size and today Bowring has over 35 locations across the country.
Bowring is proud to bring you beautiful and elegant decorative accents for your home. Perfect to give or receive.
always beautiful. always affordable.