Garlick Ltd

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Garlick Ltd

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John Garlick: John Garlick was born in Lincolnshire, England, on 22 February 1852. He came to South Africa in 1872, at the age of twenty, and in May 1875 he opened his first store in Cape Town, on the corner of Bree and Strand Streets. He was a true entrepreneur, as demonstrated by his foresight in pioneering both the motor car business and office equipment, as well as establishing leading department stores in several other South African centres. He was a prominent public figure in Cape Town. In 1891 he became a member of the Cape Town City Council and served, with a break of two years, until 1900. In 1903 he was elected to the Cape Legislative Council, in 1904 to the Cape Legislative Assembly, and in 1907, Commissioner on the Table Bay Harbour Board. He married Ellen Rachel Miller in June 1878, and they had eight children. He died in Green Point, Cape Town, on 11 June 1931.

Brief history of the businesses: In 1875, John Garlick opened a small retail, general drapery, store at the corner of Bree and Strand Streets in Cape Town. By the early 1880s he had entered the wholesale trade. In 1893 he opened a new store in Exchange Place on property he had acquired. Here he operated both a retail and wholesale business. Ten years later, to cope with the expanding wholesale operation a new eight storey steel-framed building was built alongside the Exchange Place store. The retail and warehouse functions in Cape Town were originally fairly separate, but gradually evolved into one, a process that was complete by 1925. Because most goods were imported, a London office was established. This office handled purchases and shipping of goods to South Africa, as well as playing an important role in the management of company finances. In addition to merchandising, Garlick also set up manufacturing businesses to supply his store. These included factories for boots and furniture. Branches were opened elsewhere in South Africa, some under the Garlick name. There was a cycle, later motor-cycle, division, and this pioneered the import of motor cars into South Africa. In addition, Garlick also pioneered the use of the typewriter in South Africa through an agency arrangement with Remington Typewriters. Source: South African Dictionary of National Biography

See also The Garlick story by Eric Rosenthal; edited by Sherry Garlick Stanton.

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