In 1882, at the age of 14, a local farmer’s son, William Barker, started his apprenticeship with John Oxendale, who had a small draper’s shop in Northallerton.
As William Barker’s Career progressed, the shop became known as Oxendale and Barker, and eventually Barkers. Today Barkers comprises the High Street Department Store 40,000 sq ft, a 20,000 sq ft Distribution Centre, and the edge of town Barkers Home, recently increased to 60,000 sq ft. and in total over 270 local people are employed.
The Department Store, situated in the centre of the High Street also offers an incredible range of merchandise, including some of the world’s leading brands of fashion, lingerie, menswear, shoes, handbags, cosmetics, cards, luggage, gifts and homewares. On the first floor is a counter service 200 seat restaurant with views over the Applegarth Park and an excellent menu specialising in home cooking. The restaurant is spacious, ideal for families, and easily accessible for the disabled.
Barkers High Street Store also has the 1882 Café and Bistro. The ground floor Café is counter service and specialises in fresh coffees, cakes, paninis, sandwiches, and has a take away service, while the first floor Bistro is waiter / waitress service and has three seating areas, the library, conservatory, and the sewing room. The menu changes with the seasons and offers a wide range of freshly prepared dishes; most ingredients are from local farms and suppliers.
The Home Store, which is one of the largest in the North of England, was purpose built on the edge of town in 1994. It houses a wide choice of high quality upholstery, cabinet furniture, beds, bed linen, flooring, lighting, soft furnishings, pictures and mirrors, as well as the 94 seat first floor Tree View Café serving light meals, and fresh teas and coffees throughout the day. The store has its own free car park with a capacity of 120 spaces, is completely accessible for the disabled, and has a fleet of vehicles offering a free delivery service within 40 miles of Northallerton.
March 2016 saw the Grand Opening of Barkers Home, a rebrand of Barkers Furnishing Store and a celebration of the £3.5 million extension and refurbishment work. The ground floor now has a superb collection of contemporary and stylish ranges from big brands including Stressless, Fama and Collins & Hayes upholstery, upstairs extended to increase the existing floor space of the linen department and also introduced Cook, Wine & Dine, our exciting cook shop, Antler Luggage, Gifts and Outdoor Living. Work will continue after Easter to increase the seating area of Tree View Café and further refurbishment work will also bring the Lighting department up to the high standard set by the rest of the store.
Barkers have been regular Yorkshire in Bloom prize winners for the floral displays on the store front and in the Barkers Arcade, an arcade of 12 speciality shops running the length of the store from the High Street to the 250 space car park at the rear. The company is a privately owned and family run business. The entire team, many of whom have been with Barkers for most of their working lives, are dedicated to offering quality products, good value and a friendly service that is expected from a family company.