John Barnes Department Store was established in 1900, on Finchley Road in north-west London. Its name memorialised one of its six founders, the leading retailer John Barnes, who died in a steamship accident in 1899, a year before the store opened its doors to the public. The store was taken over by Selfridges Provincial Stores Ltd. in 1926, which was in turn taken over by the John Lewis Partnership in 1940. By this stage, it was a very different building from the original conversion of shops and private houses. Between 1934 and 1938, nos. 191–217 Finchley Road were rebuilt to house the store, as well as St. John’s Court private flats. The new design, by the architect T. P. Bennett, was typical of the period, and has been described as resembling an ‘ocean liner’. The most successful of the store’s departments seems to have been the food hall, and this is reflected in the final major development in its history. In 1981, the department store closed for good, but the food hall was taken over by Waitrose, which remains on the site today.