In June of 1890 Mr John Bodger and his wife announced to the citizens of Ilford that they had taken over premises on the high street, originally occupied by The Manchester Drapery Establishment. Mr and Mrs Bodger re-opened their doors on 14th June with a ten day clearance sale, which started at 6pm!
They commenced to build up a large and flourishing business which was to become a household word in Ilford and an integral part of the Ilford scene.
Further expansion soon became imperative and two more shops were added to the existing premises to house dress materials, curtains and rugs.
Years of sound trading resulted in steady progress being made and, in 1927, a bold venture was decided upon. Six shops in the station were demolished and an imposing building erected on this site as part of a comprehensive scheme to develop Station Road as a shopping centre.
The continuation of this scheme allowed opportunity years later to redecorate a vacated showroom as a modern tea lounge, which proved a popular meeting spot for friends.
Plans and projects for further improvements to the stores facilities came to a standstill on the outbreak of war, and the store itself did not go unscathed. Over the next few years the shops opposite the station were rebuilt in conjunction with a road widening scheme, giving Bodgers a new, modern front.
Morleys Stores Group acquired the business in 1959, carrying out further building extensions in the 70s and 80s.
Bodgers has been at the centre of the community for 125 years; as Ilford’s favourite discount department store it prides itself on the best service and unbeatable prices.