Extract from Discovering Old Huddersfield (1993-2002) by Gordon & Enid Minter:
At the top of Chapel Hill notice, on the right hand side of New Street, the impressive premises of the central branch of the Huddersfield Co-operative Society. The Co-operative Movement was new in Huddersfield when the first store was opened on this site in 1860 and, because of the stigma of socialism then attached to the Movement, shopping there was at first considered to be less then respectable. Consequently, business was poor and to encourage trade it was advocated at a meeting that members of the committee should frequently walk in and out of the store to give the impression to the public that there were plenty of customers.
This ploy must have been successful for in 1887 an impressive new store was erected on the comer of Buxton Road and Princess Street. Subsequently, three new phases of building extended the store: 1894 the section with the dome, 1905 the section with the clock tower and 1936 the easily recognisable end section built very much in the style of the times.Success breeds success and between 1860 and 1901 the Society built and operated a further twenty-two stores all over the Huddersfield area. No doubt, many of our readers will still be able to remember their 'co-op' number.