ON OUR NOSTALGIC journey, we’ve been to Woolworths and Our Price Records. As we continue to walk down the nostalgic high street, the next stop is C&A. Unlike Woolies and Our Price, C&A are still very much alive and kicking in Holland and Germany – you can argue that Woolworths are still going in South Africa and Australia, but, for this post, let’s assume this UK ruling: Woolworths and C&A are sadly dead and buried beneath the high street concrete.
A touch of class
The television adverts oozed style. Once in store you’d be dazzled by the stylish clothes on offer at reasonable prices. The likes of M&S, Debenhams, House of Fraser, and Selfridges, stretched your budget to breaking point, whereas at C&A, you’d get the glam look at a price that’s not bargain-basement or skyscraper high, but just right. You’d think their clothes were were from the chic city of Paris… you’d be wrong… Plymouth! (see video at end of post). At C&A you could afford to look glamorous without splashing out too much cash.
What does C&A stand for?
Some fictional suggestions are as follows:
Child & Adult
Coats & ‘Ats
Fact: C&A stands for Clemens & August! Clemens & August were brothers from the Brenninkmeyer family.
The company began in 1841 in Sneek, Netherlands. The first UK store opened in 1922. In 1965 C&A began selling the new mini skirt and Twiggy was involved in designing fashion clothing for the company in 1967. Whistle stop history lesson over!
The crazy clothing carousel ride
An all too familiar story of fierce competition and a plunge in profits. On the clothing carousel ride are Marks & Spencer, Top Shop, Next, Burton, Dorothy Perkins and of course C&A. More importantly, the Primark, Asda, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Peacocks and Matalan are also enjoying the ride on the clothing carousel. As the rotational speed of the carousel gathered pace, C&A decided enough is enough – the nauseating feeling combined coins flying out from the pockets of their latest designs meant it was time to jump off.
It’s reassuring to know that there’s a chance the C&A logo may catch your eye when visiting other parts of Europe – C&A have found other clothing carousel rides, which for now, seems to have a bit more stability.
C&A UK: 1922 – 2001
A fun and factual look back at British advertising, leisure and entertainment from the 70s & 80s are featured in the Section N Underpass: the retro book with enough clout to send you flying back through the 80s and 70s. Get your copy below:
Section N Underpass
The retro hardback with enough clout to send you fly back through the 80s and 70s. Includes P&P – UK only