The end of an era is an overused phrase, but the demise of Watt Brothers is truly that for Glasgow’s once majestic retail history.

The business in the famous art deco building on Sauchiehall Street, is the last of the family owned department stores established in Glasgow early last century.

As many of the names disappeared either through merger, takeover or closure, Watt Brothers survived and the family also maintained ownership and managerial control.

Sauchiehall Street once wore Glasgow’s retail crown as fashionable ladies and dapper gents shopped in stores whose names are now a memory for the older citizens.

Pettigrew and Stephens was across the road, Daly’s nearby and Copeland and Lye further up the street.

Watt Brothers outlived them all and in later years opened stores across Scotland in retail parks and shopping centres.

In the 90 years the family firm has been in the street other bigger names have come and gone.

The old BHS site is empty after the firm’s collapse, C&A disappeared from Scotland years before and even the newcomers like Dunnes Stores have been a mere fleeting presence in comparison.

Watt Brothers is a Glasgow story of a family business growing from a single drapery shop into a well known and much loved institution.

As much a recognisable part of the city’s history as the cone on top of Wellington’s head.

Allan Watt began the venture as a drapery business in the latter years of the 19th century and opened a shop in Elmbank Street..

The store known to Glaswegians today was opened in 1915 when Watt Brothers was founded as a department store and for decades would complement and compete with the dozens already in in the city centre.

In the 1920s the store was extended to six floors in the elegant and ornate style of the time.

As the other names disappeared Watt Brothers remained at the corner of Sauchiehall Street and Hope Street and the still family owned firm expanded opening ten more stores in Scotland.