Expansion in the West and East

In Saskatchewan, Eaton's went head-to-head with Simpson's. Simpson's built an eight-storey warehouse in Regina in 1916. Eaton's established distribution centres in Saskatoon and Regina to provide faster delivery of heavy goods to customers in Saskatchewan, Alberta, and British Columbia. There was a strong relationship between the stores and the mail-order catalogues. New stores, with mail-order salesrooms, opened throughout the region. Eaton's was slow to open stores in British Columbia because of the strength of the competition, Woodward's.

In response to the Canadian government's Soldiers' Land Settlement Scheme after the First World War, Eaton's produced a booklet for soldiers planning to farm in the West, containing "the full requirements of a soldier." The economy on the Prairies boomed and a second nine-storey building was built in Winnipeg in 1921.

Eaton's Atlantic headquarters was built in Moncton in 1920, the same year that Eaton's mail-order business peaked at $60 million. The catalogues remained important in the West throughout the settlement period, although the value of individual orders dropped during the Depression. In the 1930s, Eaton's introduced a monthly payment plan for large ticket items. With growing urbanization in the post-war period, the catalogues decreased in importance.
by Catherine C. Cole

© Canadian Museum of Civilization Corporation

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