1994: Amazon and Sunday Trading


19941994. Jeff Bezos was launching Amazon from his garage in Bellevue, Washington.

Meanwhile at Cardens we were already outgrowing our serviced office so we took the next big step of taking on a lease.

We moved into a basement office in Redland which had two small offices and the use of a nice boardroom for client meetings. We had private parking which even then was a luxury as the streets of Bristol had already started to get clogged up with cars.

Michael (seen looking very fresh faced in the picture) left his job as a Chartered Surveyor and devoted the next year to qualifying as a financial adviser. He passed with flying colours and eventually joined Cardens to work alongside our then investment adviser, Steve.

Sunday trading became legal and the first shops opened on the 28th August. At the time I’d say most people I spoke to were pretty ambivalent about it. And I remember my first trip to a big Sainsbury’s one Sunday not long after the law change. It almost felt a bit naughty! There were very few people and the shelves were badly stocked. Hard to imagine that now.

It’s an interesting coincidence that big high street retailers Marks & Spencer and Waitrose had opposed Sunday opening at a time when their nemesisĀ Amazon was just starting out as an online bookshop.

Other Events In 1994…

  • BMW takes control of Rover, leaving Britain without a major carmaker.
  • Popular film: Four Weddings and a Funeral.
  • The Provisional IRA declares a ceasefire.
  • German discount supermarket Lidl opens its first 10 stores in Britain.
  • Cash for Questions: The Guardian reports that two Conservative MPs took bribes from Harrod’s Mohammed Al-Fayed.



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