West Ealing’s surprising former Woolies building

Graham Soult

Retail consultant, writer, blogger; helping retailers via CannyInsights.com and CannySites.com. Say hello on Twitter at @soult!

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9 Responses

  1. Jen Medway says:

    I grew up living in Ealing in the 1950′s. Ealing Broadway was a great place for shopping but West Ealing had more of a buzz perhaps because the pavements were narrower there. It used to be packed on a Saturday afternoon.
    The Woolies that you mentioned was huge, with the old style British Home Stores one side of it and Marks and Spencers the other.We would walk there from Ealing,along New Broadway, past the big houses now replaced by office buildings and then the shops began. I particularly remember the Sports Shop, Bensteads the record and music shop, Daniels the department store and past the traffic lights and the park was Rowses a bigger department store and the shop with the biggest queues was always Parkers the bakers shop. There were also some market stalls filling the gaps left by bombing probably. We would go home on the trolley bus,607. Happy Days.

  2. Steve says:

    For ages I’ve been searching for the name of the old toy store that was in Ealing Broadway in the 80s. Being a kid then, I only vaguely remember it, but now know it was called the Kidstore. It was a great idea and annoying they never carried it on. I always thought, although the film came out in 1988 after this store opened, that it was trying to be like the store in the film Big. I now remember (after finding an image) the big calculators and if I remember right, just like in Big, they had the big floor piano.

    It was great.

    Moved away from Ealing in 2004 to the coast. Now looking back at West Ealing since then, it’s shocking how downhill it’s gone. All the big stores have gone. Can’t believe McDonalds has now also gone. But then I guess the trouble from the scummy estate just round the corner probably didn’t help.

    Waitrose is still doing big business. As someone who worked there I knew it use to make a tone of money. It was never designed to take as much money as it did each month. Hence they ended up knocking down the store I worked in and built a brand new, bigger one.

    Ealing Broadway I think is still OK and the Water Glad centre had the unique, for Ealing anyway, Glass Lift and moving platforms when entering the building. Was cool.

  3. Sam Gate says:

    I am surprised you have not mentioned the presence of Lidl in West Ealing. This retailer, no doubt, has made a positive contribution to the image of West Ealing. I disagree with Gabriella. West Ealing does have the amazing feel of a “lived in” high street. There are alway people going places which makes it great for traders. I say.

  4. Gabriella Coscia says:

    West Ealing is bad for retail. Marks and Spencer went in 2001, McDonald’s and WH Smith and even Poundland could not make it work here so it’s not that good.

    Ealing has suffered with the arrival of Westfield White City with Russell and Bromley Closing, Bentalls (Fenwicks) then Beale’s going, Arcadia pulling all brands out including Evans, Burton, DP, Miss Selfridge and Wallis it really is a shadow of it’s former self.

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