A FIRM favourite of many Potteries shoppers, Huntbach’s department store, Hanley began life in 1876 when Michael Huntbach bought a shop, in Lamb Street, from Charles Vyse.
The story of the sales and details were immortalised in Arnold Bennett’s book The Feud.
Michael Huntbach died in 1910, the year of the city’s federation.
In those early days the store was huge, occupying some 20,000 sq ft and employing 300 staff. The department store was Hanley’s first glimpse of ‘big retail’ much to the detriment of the other neighbouring potteries towns.
Other stores of similar footing would also begin to take hold in the town with the likes of Bratt & Dyke and Lewis’s eating up huge spaces within Hanley offering shoppers a wide ranging and cosmopolitan selection of clothes and home furnishings.
Like the rest of its competitors, however Huntbach’s is no longer standing. It was demolished in 1985 to make way for an even bigger shopping emporium – The Potteries Shopping Centre.