The History of our Store

Mr. C. W. (Chart) Nicholl and his family moved to Penticton from Castor, Alberta in 1920. They purchased “Penticton Department Store” from Mr. W.A. Wagenhauser. This store was on the corner of Mail and Westminister where the Bank of Montreal is today.

By 1922, they had outgrown the small store and contracted J. Haugen to build a brick building on the east side of Main Street. The new brick structure boasted the finest in electric lighting and pipeless heating. It opened for Christmas in 1922.

Mr. Nicholl kept his grocery business in the old store and even partnered with druggist A. McLellan to share the premises.

The new store had an odd system of completing transactions; a moving belt ran the length of the store and the cash travelled along to the main office on a mezzanine where change was made and returned the same way. Cash was promoted in all advertising “It pays to pay cash at Nicholl’s.”

Charters and Grace Nicholl were war supporters in 1939 and purchased a large ranch in Okanagan Falls that shipped livestock to the war effort. It was during the war that Mr. Nicholl sold the store to the Hudson’s Bay Company. They remained in Penticton for the rest of their time, living long, happy lives. Chart died at age 84 in 1968 and Grace at 89 in 1971.

The Bay store opened in 1947 and soon took over the OC building next door that was home to a Café and a Men’s Wear. The Bay lasted in this location until it moved to the corner of Main and Wade in 1954.

On April 14th, 1955, Wilcox and Hall opened a Marshall-Wells Department Store location. It remained until The Hudson’s Bay Company purchased the Canadian Franchises in 1978 and it became a Field’s store. It remained until 1994 when the SmartShopper Value store moved in.