Life Story of Sir Thomas Lipton
Grand Plans

Soon after his return he took over his parents' shop and quickly turned its fortunes around. This wasn't without some resistance from his father who, when faced with Thomas's grand plans commented "Ah, no Tom, we'd be getting above ourselves. The neighbours would say that the peas were getting above the sticks". (Crampsey, p28)

Lipton’s first shop at Stobcross Street, Glasgow After two years working in his parents' shop, on his 21st birthday, Lipton opened his first shop at 101 Stobcross Street in Glasgow.

In the heart of industrial Glasgow, full of smoke and fog, the shop was said to be so brightly lit that at night it became a beacon in the street. Goods were stacked in the American fashion, not for the convenience of the proprietors, but with the purpose of catching the customers' attention. Lipton used another selling technique learned from his mother. When his parents had opened their small shop, Mrs. Lipton, rather than deal with middlemen at the markets, dealt directly with the farmers of her homeland. Lipton followed this example. He bought his bacon, eggs, butter and other produce directly from Irish farmers.

Lipton’s shop in Dumbarton Road, Glasgow He lived, worked and breathed his shop. His days were 18 hours long and often he would sleep on a makeshift bed under the counter. His shop at Stobcross was doing so well that in 1876 he moved to larger premises at 21/27 High Street; he later added shops in Paisley Road, Anderston and Robertson Lane. By 1882 he had shops in Dundee, Paisley, Edinburgh and Leeds.