* You are viewing the archive for the ‘Woolworths’ Category

New Gateshead Poundland to open on 29 March – with existing store retained for now

Site of Poundland, Trinity Square, Gateshead (2 March 2014). Photograph by Graham Soult

Site of Poundland, Trinity Square, Gateshead (2 March 2014)

One of the eight new Poundland stores scheduled to open by the end of March is the long-awaited branch at Gateshead’s Trinity Square development, which Poundland’s new … Continue Reading

As Poundland prepares to float, what are the secrets of “the new Woolies’” success?

Poundland, Hexham (19 Nov 2011). Photograph by Graham Soult

Poundland, Hexham (19 Nov 2011)

As Poundland gets ready to float on the London Stock Exchange this week, in a move expected to value the business at £750m – similar in size to JD Sports Fashion – it’s inevitably prompted analysis of just how Poundland has become so successful, so quickly.

When I wrote a … Continue Reading

Five years after closure, Newton Aycliffe Woolworths may soon be occupied

Externally revamped ex-Woolworths in Newton Aycliffe (5 Jan 2014). Photograph by Graham Soult

Externally revamped ex-Woolworths in Newton Aycliffe (5 Jan 2014)

If you’ve managed to miss me hogging the airwaves this morning – on BBC Radio 5 Live (which you can listen to here), Wales, Scotland, and Coventry & Warwickshire so far – you may not be aware that today is the fifth anniversary of Woolworths finally closing its doors.

On 6 January 2009, the last … Continue Reading

Five years on from Woolies’ collapse, Boyes signs for the Coalville store

Former Woolworths, Coalville (24 Aug 2010). Photograph by Graham Soult

Former Woolworths, Coalville (24 Aug 2010)

It’s hard to believe that it’s five years ago today – on 26 November 2008 – that Woolworths collapsed into administration after trading in the UK for nearly 100 years.

At that time, few could have expected that just 40 days later – on 6 … Continue Reading

Old Woolies fascia exposed as Byker Wetherspoon’s readies for October opening

Exposed 1970s Woolworths fascia at new Byker Wetherspoon pub (28 Aug 2013). Photograph by Graham Soult

Exposed 1970s Woolworths fascia at new Byker Wetherspoon pub (28 Aug 2013)

The Newcastle suburb of Byker will gain a welcome addition when its new Wetherspoon pub – … Continue Reading

Tracking down Darlington’s original Woolworths – 73 years after it relocated

Darlington's Woolworths site from 1940 to 2008 (3 May 2012). Photograph by Graham Soult

Darlington’s Woolworths site from 1940 to 2008 (3 May 2012)

Never one to let a good Woolworths anniversary pass me by, today – 20 September 2013 – represents 73 years since Darlington’s Woolworths store relocated from its original premises, opened on 27 September 1913, to what would become its more familiar location at 12-18 Northgate.

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Opened on 8 July 1933, what’s become of the ex-Woolworths in Morden?

Former Woolworths, Morden (1 March 2013). Photograph by Graham Soult

Former Woolworths, Morden (1 March 2013)

Regular readers will know that I always enjoy an obscure Woolworths anniversary, and today represents the 80th anniversary of the now-defunct chain opening its 498th store, at Morden in south-west London.

Step out of Morden Tube station – an attractive 1920s frontage bizarrely encased in an ugly ’60s office block – as I did back in March, and you could be forgiven for thinking that the … Continue Reading

Eighty-five years on: tracking down the ex-Woolworths in Stafford and Stoke

Original former Woolworths (now River Island), Stafford (3 Feb 2013). Photograph by Graham Soult

Original former Woolworths (now River Island), Stafford (3 Feb 2013)

An anniversary is always as good an excuse as any to write a Woolworths-related blog post, and if you were around 85 years ago today – on 23 June 1928 – you could have enjoyed the opening of not one but two new Woolies stores in Staffordshire: store #320 in Stafford, and #324 … Continue Reading

Ex-Woolies spotting in Inverness, Dingwall and Blairgowrie

Soon-to-be Wetherspoon's (former Woolworths), Blairgowrie (11 May 2013). Photograph by Graham Soult

Soon-to-be Wetherspoon’s (former Woolworths), Blairgowrie (11 May 2013)

If you like looking at shops and high streets, going on holiday to north west Sutherland, in Scotland – as I did earlier this month – isn’t necessarily the best choice.

The scenery is incredible, of course, but Spars and Costcutters are about as exciting as it gets retail-wise. For someone used to living in a city, the idea of the nearest proper high … Continue Reading

Pick ‘n’ mixed grill: the ex-Woolworths that are now Wetherspoons

Plaque at former Woolworths (now Wetherspoon's), Prestwick (21 Nov 2012). Photograph by Graham Soult

Plaque at former Woolworths (now Wetherspoon’s), Prestwick (21 Nov 2012)

As well as covering the long-gone Woolworths stores in Harrow Station Road and Sudbury Hill, another intriguing post on Stuart … Continue Reading

Hunting for long-gone Woolies stores in Harrow and Sudbury Hill

Former Woolworths (now Iceland), Sudbury Hill (10 Feb 2012). Photograph by Graham Soult

Former Woolworths (now Iceland), Sudbury Hill (10 Feb 2012)

It’s been great to see a new Woolworths-related history blog appear this week, courtesy of longstanding former Woolies staff member Stuart Kew.

His blog, Forgotten London Woolworths, does exactly what it implies, visiting “some … Continue Reading

I’ve now visited and tracked a quarter of the ex-Woolies estate – but what have they all become?

Former Woolworths, Newton Aycliffe (5 Jan 2012). Photograph by Graham Soult

Former Woolworths, Newton Aycliffe (5 Jan 2012)

Headlines:

  • 214 ex-Woolworths stores visited, out of the 807 that closed following its collapse
  • Of those, only 12 currently empty (6%)
  • 7 continually empty (3%)
  • 35 with two or more post-Woolies uses (16%).

Looking at my blog, you might be forgiven for thinking that I’ve forgotten about Woolworths in recent months.

It’s certainly true that the number of Woolies-related posts has slowed down a bit – partly due … Continue Reading

Nipper on the brink: is there a future for HMV, and do we care?

Nipper logo at HMV in Coventry (7 Feb 2012). Photograph by Graham Soult

Nipper logo at HMV in Coventry (7 Feb 2012)

If reports tonight are to be believed, it looks like the 92-year-old entertainment retailer HMV could collapse into administration tomorrow (Tuesday 15 January), putting around 235 stores and 4,350 employees at risk. [UPDATE, 15 January: This has now been confirmed.]

No-one can say … Continue Reading

Celtic Tiger: the Danish variety retailer prepares for Glasgow store opening

New Tiger store, Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow (22 Nov 2012). Photograph by Graham Soult

New Tiger store, Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow (22 Nov 2012)

If you follow my tweets you’ll know that I’ve spent the middle part of this week in Glasgow, taking time to explore the Ayrshire coast as well as the brilliant, fascinating, bustling city itself. While I love the sophistication of … Continue Reading

Fifties postcard confirms location of original Alnwick Woolworths

Detail of late 1950s Valentine's postcard of Bondgate Within, Alnwick

Detail of late 1950s Valentine’s postcard of Bondgate Within, Alnwick

Back in April I blogged about the apparent location of Alnwick’s original Woolworths, where the chain traded for the first fifteen years of its 55-year stint in the town. As I reported then, I was “yet to find any photographic evidence of … Continue Reading

Farnham, home to Britain’s poshest ex-Woolies (just don’t try to photograph it)

Former Woolworths (now Evitavonni), Farnham (25 Aug 2012). Photograph by Steve Hack

Former Woolworths (now Evitavonni), Farnham (25 Aug 2012). Photograph by Steve Hack

While former Woolworths up and down the country now play host to Poundland and B&M Bargains – with just the occasional Waitrose – the Surrey town of Farnham has arguably the poshest ex-Woolies of the lot.

Though I’ve now visited and photographed nearly 300 former Woolworths sites across the UK – about 1 in 5 of … Continue Reading

Cardiff city centre’s lost Woolworths

Former Woolworths (now BHS), Queen Street, Cardiff (17 Aug 2012). Photograph by Graham Soult

Former Woolworths (now BHS), Queen Street, Cardiff (17 Aug 2012)

Paying my first visit to Cardiff in twenty years last week, I couldn’t resist tracking down the city centre’s former Woolworths locations – despite the torrential rain making conditions for photography somewhat challenging.

Cardiff still had several Woolworths branches outside the centre at the time of Woolworths’ collapse, in Cowbridge Road East (store … Continue Reading

New-concept Wilko opens in Crawley’s ex-TJ Hughes store

Promotion for Crawley store on Wilkinson website (15 Aug 2012)

Promotion for Crawley store on Wilkinson website (15 Aug 2012)

Wilkinson’s “newest and most exciting concept store” has opened at 14-26 The Broadway in Crawley this morning (15 August).

Designed to “offer the community a more modern and interactive shopping experience”, the new store further evolves the modern look that Wilkinson has been rolling out across its estate, such as … Continue Reading

The discount retailers dominating Suffolk’s ex-Woolworths sites

Former Woolworths (now Peacocks), Stowmarket (2 Aug 2012). Photograph by Graham Soult

Former Woolworths (now Peacocks), Stowmarket (2 Aug 2012)

Alongside its new-look Clintons, the Suffolk town of Stowmarket seems to have come off fairly well from recent retail administrations.

Earlier this year, its ex-Woolworths managed to avoid also becoming an ex-Peacocks, while its … Continue Reading

Reflections on Spennymoor High Street, 85 years to the day from Woolworths’ arrival

Site of original Woolworths(?), High Street, Spennymoor (5 Jan 2012). Photograph by Graham Soult

Site of original Woolworths(?), High Street, Spennymoor (5 Jan 2012)

I suspect it will have passed the townsfolk by, but today – 13 August – is the 85th anniversary of Woolworths opening in the County Durham town of Spennymoor in 1927. However, the location of the new shop (store #278) wasn’t where you might think.

In previous blogs, I’ve written about how the Woolworths … Continue Reading