End of an era as Newcastle’s BHS holds closing down sale

Closing down sale at BHS Newcastle (14 Jan 2011). Photograph by Graham Soult

Closing down sale at BHS Newcastle (14 Jan 2011)

Newcastle’s iconic Northumberland Street is set to see its most dramatic retail shake-up since the departure of C&A and Littlewoods more than a decade ago.

The BHS store is currently holding a closing down sale, and will shut its doors for good in three weeks’ time. The retailer has traded from its present site for decades, apart from a short absence for rebuilding in the early 1970s.

1930s postcard of BHS, Northumberland Street, Newcastle

1930s postcard of BHS, Northumberland Street, Newcastle

However, a member of staff told me that BHS will be reopening further along the street in October, taking over the premises that will be vacated by Next when it moves into Eldon Square later this spring. In turn, the staff member revealed that Primark next door is set to expand its existing premises into the space freed up by BHS, doubling the size of its current store.

Current Next - and soon to be BHS - in Northumberland Street, Newcastle (5 Feb 2010). Photograph by Graham Soult

Current Next - and soon to be BHS - in Northumberland Street, Newcastle (5 Feb 2010)

The news brings to an end speculation about which retailer would move onto the current Next site. Though the premises are smaller than the present BHS, the move means that Newcastle will become one of the first locations to benefit from a modern, new-concept BHS store, as first unveiled at the Chimes shopping centre in Uxbridge in May last year.

Meanwhile, the expansion of the Primark store is further demonstration of the retailer’s continued success both on Tyneside and in the country as a whole, coming just weeks after its plans to open a flagship 60,000 sq ft store at MetroCentre – on the former Woolworths sitewere confirmed.

Site of new Next, Newcastle (14 Jan 2011). Photograph by Graham Soult

Site of new Next, Newcastle (14 Jan 2011)

Arguably, there’s a slight sense of disappointment that Next’s move isn’t going to see an exciting new retailer moving into Northumberland Street. On the other hand, it can only be a good thing for Newcastle city centre that its BHS, Primark and Next stores will be among the most impressive and up to date in the UK.

10 Responses to “End of an era as Newcastle’s BHS holds closing down sale”

  1. Soult's Retail View » The return of “I haven’t seen one of those in a while…” said:

    Jan 19, 11 at 11:48

    [...] Newcastle store, which is about to close down, features the more recent ‘signature’ logo on a greeny blue background, and with [...]

  2. Soult's Retail View » Clas Ohlson to take over Collectables unit in Newcastle’s Northumberland Street said:

    Mar 10, 11 at 13:18

    [...] large footprint stores at a premium on Northumberland Street, perhaps the most interesting piece of information is the one thing not included in the press [...]

  3. Soult's Retail View » Recording Northumberland Street’s retail (r)evolution said:

    Mar 14, 11 at 17:45

    [...] a fortnight ago. This will give BHS the best part of six months to transform the site ahead of the planned opening of its new store in October. Former BHS, Northumberland Street, Newcastle (14 Mar [...]

  4. Soult's Retail View » 24,000 sq ft BHS to fill Hartlepool’s ex-Woolies site said:

    May 09, 11 at 20:15

    [...] new Restaurant.” This suggests that Hartlepool’s BHS may open slightly ahead of the new Northumberland Street store in Newcastle, thereby giving us a tantalising taster of what we can expect to see here on Tyneside later in the [...]

  5. Soult's Retail View » Next, BHS, Primark, Clas Ohlson – photo updates of Newcastle’s new retail developments said:

    May 10, 11 at 23:57

    [...] will presumably start soon on transforming the site into Newcastle’s ‘new concept’ BHS store, ahead of its planned autumn opening. Meanwhile, boards are now up around BHS’s old [...]

  6. Soult's Retail View » Radical Dalziel & Pow design for four-level Newcastle BHS said:

    Jun 22, 11 at 12:03

    [...] for Northumberland Street’s new BHS store have been submitted to Newcastle City Council, and propose a more radical than expected [...]

  7. Soult's Retail View » Newcastle retail in good health as design of 114,000 sq ft Primark is revealed said:

    Jul 28, 11 at 16:27

    [...] the news of Primark’s expansion has been known since the adjacent BHS store began closing down in January, the planning application is significant in revealing for the first time the shape, size and [...]

  8. Soult's Retail View » Swindon’s BHS provides a taster of what Newcastle and Hartlepool can expect said:

    Sep 15, 11 at 15:13

    [...] on the site of the previous rather tired BHS store (above). Many older BHS shops, such as the now-closed Newcastle store, feel sprawling and overspaced, and it’s telling that the redevelopment has provided room [...]

  9. Soult's Retail View » What does 2012 hold for Newcastle city centre? said:

    Jan 04, 12 at 19:25

    [...] door, work to enable Primark’s expansion into the former BHS unit is also well underway, and, together with the new BHS, seems to be keeping local scaffolding [...]

  10. Soult's Retail View » Newcastle and Gateshead retail developments roundup said:

    Apr 05, 12 at 15:55

    [...] ago, ready for the creation of its glazed staircase corner. While the part of the property that used to house BHS has been under wraps for some time, scaffolding now also covers the existing Primark store [...]


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