When the Abikhair store was closing in the mid 1990's AlburyCity were fortunate enough to acquire the complete merchandise and stock from this iconic Albury store for the collection. This included original merchandise and advertising material from previous decades, especially the 1950's.
The store owners and operators; Saad and Betro Abikhair immigrated from Mount Lebanon and opened their Swift Street store in Albury in 1928 after arriving in 1895 as hawkers from Melbourne. At first, Abikhair relied on Melbourne manufacturers and wholesalers but eventually began importing and supplying goods himself. Goods on offer included: girdles, stockings, clothing, household supplies, beauty supplies, toiletry supplies, sewing supplies (haberdashery), shoes, hats – and much more in the style of the Emporium.
The Emporium store had two entries, one each for men and women, which navigated patrons to appropriate sections of the store. As it was considered inappropriate for men to see, let alone purchase, women's unmentionables, the entry for men took them through sporting goods and men's supplies. Women were directed past the women's, children's, men's and household supplies counters before reaching the register.
Emporium is an accessible exhibition that connects to the everyday and our consumer heritage. Stylised 1950's women promote toiletries, women's garments even vacuum cleaners! This stunning marketing material demonstrates the context of the 1950s woman and the society they lived in.
On Display at the Museum's Historic Council Chambers site from Friday 5 December 2014 until Sunday 22 February 2015