Burlingtons’TM traces its origins to the first quarter of the 1900s, when the pioneering aesthete Shori Lal Kapur opened what would historically be known as India’s first department store in Lahore. Devichands was the name of its first avatar. “The Selfridges of the East” is what the store came to be remembered as, and rightly so since Shori had in fact apprenticed under Sir. Gordon Selfridge, Chairman of the legendary London-based Selfridges’ Group.
Devichands was the consequence of Shori Lal’s spectacular imagination, which fancied bringing the West’s finest luxury items to the East at a time when the British East India Company had colonized India’s indigenous market. In 1925, Shori Lal opened his five-story department store featuring an elegantly curated selection of exotic items, from Austrian cut glass to Belgian lace to extravagant textiles, jewelry, and garments from the West; the culmination of his intense travels to Europe to source the merchandise that would then line his shelves.
His venture seduced the Lahori elite and proved so successful and in demand that Shori Lal felt persuaded to open branches in Rawalpindi and Murree. In 1943, he expanded operations to New Delhi under the branding of “Shalakas,” based in the commercial hub of Connaught Place.