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Out for Value (clip 2)

Department Store in 1930s Aberdeen

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A promotional film for the Aberdeen department store Isaac Benzie, it shows a family enjoying a day's shopping in the store, visiting all its various departments, taking lunch and tea in the tearoom, and even taking a bath! This clip begins with the husband parking his car and joining the family party at lunch in Isaac Benzie's restaurant. We are shown the kitchen premises and the staff there at work. After lunch, the husband leaves, while the rest of the party go shopping. A variety of departments are visited, with the family looking at china, hats, material and children's clothing. The clip then highlights the tube delivery system for sending cash between the shop floor and accounts department. One of the ladies makes use of the bathing facilities before the party reconvene for tea in the restaurant. The family are escorted to their car by a porter and they drive away.

Questions & Activities


  • What type of shop is this and what type of clientele is it intended to attract?
  • Why are they wearing hats?
  • What occupation do you think the man in the family had?
  • Why are women buying material rather than finished dresses?


History: Research the development of department stores from the late nineteenth century.

Art and Design / Home Economics: Describe the clothes, fashions and hair styles that you see for both the children and adults.

History / Art and Design: Examine the different hats worn by people in the film. How were hats a social indicator of class?

Business Studies: Here the department store is presented as the dominant retail outlet of the time. Research what the dominant retail output is today.

Business Studies: Describe the service in the shop and how this differs to the service we receive today.

English / Art and Design: Make a list of all the departments you see in the film and compare to what you would find in a department store today? Design your own department store for today or the future.

Clip Details

Record Id 007-000-002-259-C
Resource Rights Holder Out of copyright
Project Ref 2152
Date c.1931
Genre Promotional
School Subject History, Social Studies, Geography, Media Studies, Health and Wellbeing, Art and Design, Business Studies
Who Isaac Benzie's Department Store (sponsor), Jay's Film Service (production company)
Where Aberdeen
Attributes Black and White, Silent
Clip Length 9:33
Film Length 16:25