Baker & Rouse began their Victorian retail operations at 260 Collins Street which not only sold Austral and Baker & Rouse products, but was registered as a sole distributor of imported American Eastman Kodak products in 1896 (Beale, p 48). Baker & Rouse acquired the British-owned Kodak Limited store in the Block Arcade, 284 Collins Street, around 1905 and for a time, these two stores ran in conjunction until number 260 was absorbed into the main store.

Australian Kodak Limited was formed in 1908 and went through several name changes before storefronts around the country were painted with the company name 'Kodak Australasia Pty Ltd' in 1920. In 1925, a Swanston Street store was opened specialising in Stromberg-Carlson radios and Kodak receivers. This wasn't profitable for the company and it closed in 1930 (Beale, 1983).

In 1931, Harringtons Limited was purchased by Kodak Australasia and the Harringtons' premises at 266 Collins Street was acquired. This continued to run under the Harringtons' name, but moved premises to 77 Elizabeth Street and 308a Flinders Lane circa 1933 (Beale, 1983, p.40). At this time Kodak Australasia was planning to upgrade from their Block Arcade store to a brand new multistorey retail centre up the street at number 252 Collins Street. Kodak House opened at this location in 1935, with a store, showroom and Kodak offices occupying the basement to second level, and other floors leased to separate businesses. So there was a network of Kodak-owned photographic stores across Melbourne's Central Business District, though the Harrington's stores finally closed in the 1950s.

After World War II, all of Kodak's Victorian (and Tasmanian) branches were managed from Collins Street and 221-225 La Trobe Street, which housed a wholesale and commercial sales department and offices. Prior to this, retail operations were managed from Sydney and Abbotsford. Eventually all retail branch and wholesale management moved to Kodak House in the 1960s, and then to Kodak's Coburg headquarters in 1979. All Victorian photo dealers and processing laboratories then dealt directly with Kodak sales teams based at head office in Coburg.

In 1983, the Kodak store at 252 Collins Street closed, and a new store with contemporary design and the latest merchandising techniques (including ambient background music in-store) was opened in Shop 8, Australia Arcade, 270 Collins Street.

References

 'Advertising', The Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 - 1954), 15 Feb 1938, p. 12. , viewed 13 Apr 2017, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article206742123

Archive File - Kodak Archive, S3, SS8, File 5, 'Correspondence re Purchase of 221/225 LaTrobe Street Melbourne', 12 May 1949

'Australian Kodakery', 1983, No 149, p.7

Beale, N. 1983, 'The History of Kodak in Australia'

 

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