History of Foy’s

Foy's Arcade Info

Did you know Foy’s Arcade was named after the “Foy’s roof-top fun park” of the old Foy and Gibson department store?

There were Pony rides, Ferris wheel, wild west popup stalls, boat and train rides made free for all the children of Melbourne. We wanted to bring back the innovative attitude and respect the rich history, creativity and playfulness that Mark Foy brought to the crossroads of Melbourne’s CBD in the 50s and 60s.

We discovered the Foy and Gibson department store induction manual from 1963. Step back in time with us and read what it was like to be a new employee in the 60’s. 

The Foy & Gibson Story embraces a period of almost a century. In 1859, a young Irishman — Mark Foy — arrived in Melbourne, opening the first Collingwood Store in 1868. He was followed by William Gibson who arrived from Scotland in 1882. The Foy and Gibson partnership was born on 6th March, 1883. 

Our Building was the Foy’s main Melbourne branch, erected in 1936. The store was hugely successful, and an iconic part of the city in the first half of the 20th century, occupying a similar niche to the Myer Department store, Foy’s great rival.

“Firmly entrenched in public esteem, and with the certain knowledge that it has played, and is playing, its part in the progress of the State, Foy & Gibson maintains its onward march — resourceful, efficient, and thoroughly worthy of the sound principles on which it was founded, and which are capably carried out in this modern age.” – Foy and Gibson staff induction document (“Welcome to Foy’s” – Melbourne University digitised collections https://digitised-collections.unimelb.edu.au/handle/11343/21261)