Topic: Last Orders for Guinness

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A glass plate advertising slide promoting Guinness Bros. Ltd.  Accession no. 0169/07/185System ID: 24165 

A retailing dynasty ended in Tauranga when the last Guinness Appliances store closed in June 2011.

Opened in 1908 by Sid and Jack Guinness the store originally traded as Guinness Brothers Ltd at Number One, The Strand. The brothers sold a wide variety of products from agricultural equipment to liquor and even insurance. The business and family were part of the community and contributed to, amongst other things, the Tauranga Municipal Band, the Fire Brigade, the Borough Council and Harbour Board, and later the Orange Festival.

Guinness Bros. was considered such an important part of Tauranga that in 1972 the Tauranga District Museum created a replica of their early store as one of its exhibits. Many of the artifacts which were on display remain in the Tauranga Heritage Collection and offer a fascinating glimpse into the trading activities of the business and the city’s history over the last 103 years.

One particularly interesting object is the store’s Liquor Sales Register. It details every liquor sale made between February and December 1945, listing the name and address of the purchaser and the quantity of beer, wine, and spirits sold. With 258 pages and 37 customers per page it would appear that this was a successful area of the business. In total 187452 bottles of beer, 3940 bottles of wine and 2059 bottles of spirits were purchased. Interestingly in the months of May, August and December liquor sales increased significantly, especially wine and spirits. While Christmas and New Year can account for the December increase, it may be purely coincidental that VE Day was on the 8th of May and the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki occurred in August.

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