Dec 222009

Versiune în română

In an effort to draw customers inside, many stores have joined in the holidays spirit and decorated their facades with lights, Christmas trees and ornaments. Such is the case of the store in today’s photo, the Victoria Department Store on Calea Victoriei. Department store is a bit of a misnomer because last time I was inside it the store looked more like an chaotic indoor bazaar rather than a shopping mall. Once upon a time Victoria Department Store was called Galeries Lafayette, a modern store modeled after the great Parisians stores. When it was built, the idea of a “universal store” (as it was called at the time) was a new one in Bucharest where people were used to the small shops that stood right nearby on the area called Lipscani. It was built in 1928 in Art Deco style after plans made by architect Herman Clejan. Under the communists the store’s slogan was “Victoria Department Store, 50 stores in one” and this inspired one of the most famous jokes of the regime about a salami that was also called Victoria, whose slogan said the joke was “one salami in 50 stores” hinting to the lack of basic food during that time.

  2 Responses to “Holiday lights & salami”

  1. Interesting story, I saw something like that in other Eastern European countries in the early 90s.
    It is bad time almost everywhere for this kind of stores: one of ours was replaced last year by a huge Zara shop and the others aren't going too ell.

  2. It looks beautiful from the outside lit up like this. Fifty stores in one, eh? I like the joke. It sounds like Bucharest has come a long way during the past two decades.

    Merry Christmas!

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