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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

B&M recruits for Gateshead Team Valley store ahead of 16 November opening

B&M Bargains site - as PC World - at Team Valley Retail World (2 May 2013). Photograph by Graham Soult

B&M Bargains site – as PC World – at Team Valley Retail World (2 May 2013)

The thriving discount retailer B&M is recruiting staff for its new Gateshead store, which is scheduled to open at Team Valley Retail World on Saturday 16 November.

Various permanent roles, including … Continue Reading

Hessle Road’s long-gone Woolworths and its successors

Sainsbury's Local (formerly Woolworths), Hessle Road, Hull (11 Oct 2011). Photograph by Graham Soult

Sainsbury's Local (formerly Woolworths), Hessle Road, Hull (11 Oct 2011)

While tearing around Barnsley and Hull visiting UGO supermarkets last month, I was pleased to be able to work in an unexpected ex-Woolworths. Not knowing Hull very well at all beforehand, … Continue Reading

Bishop Auckland’s busy Boyes

Boyes, Newgate Street, Bishop Auckland (24 Jan 2011). Photograph by Graham Soult

Boyes, Newgate Street, Bishop Auckland (24 Jan 2011)

The last time I visited Bishop Auckland was nearly a year ago, when the County Durham town’s former Woolworths (store #116) showed little sign of securing a new occupant. A few months later, of course, the Scarborough-based variety retailer Boyes … Continue Reading

Back to Billingham

Billingham town centre (16 Nov 2010). Photograph by Graham Soult

Billingham town centre (16 Nov 2010)

Regular readers of this blog will be pleased to hear that I went back to Billingham yesterday, following my earlier underwhelming visit, back in June. The homogeneity and datedness of Billingham town centre’s design mean that it’s never going to win an award for the quality of its urban spaces, but visiting on a sunny afternoon – rather than … Continue Reading

Bishop Auckland Boyes to open doors on 19 November

Boyes fascia. Photograph by Graham Soult

Boyes fascia

Boyes, the Scarborough-based variety retailer, has revealed that its latest store – in Bishop Auckland’s old Woolies premises – will open for business on Friday 19 November.

With Woolworths gone, Bishop Auckland’s retail focus has been in danger of gravitating too far towards the Newgate Centre and Marks & Spencer. However, the arrival of Boyes – a move apparently welcomed by … Continue Reading

Boyes takes over Bishop Auckland’s old Woolies – could more follow?

Former Woolworths, Bishop Auckland (6 Feb 2010). Photograph by Graham Soult

Former Woolworths, Bishop Auckland (6 Feb 2010)

When I blogged about the remaining vacant Woolies stores in the North East a few days ago, I’d failed to spot that yet another is about to be reoccupied, with Boyes – the iconic northern variety retailer – … Continue Reading

Shopping and lunching in Barnard Castle

Market Cross, Barnard Castle (29 August 2009). Photograph by Graham Soult

Market Cross, Barnard Castle (29 August 2009)

A visit to the delightful County Durham market town of Barnard Castle always lifts the spirits, even if the weather when I was last there in March was truly miserable.

For a town with a population of just over 5,000, Barnard Castle has a surprisingly strong retail offer – the consequence, no doubt, of it being the main settlement in Teesdale, and of the … Continue Reading

Taking a look around Alnwick

Former Woolworths (now M&Co), Alnwick (23 Jan 2010). Photograph by Graham Soult

Former Woolworths (now M&Co), Alnwick (23 Jan 2010)

I’m ashamed to say that in more than a decade of living in the North East, I’d never – until yesterday – paid a proper visit to the attractive and historic Northumberland market town of Alnwick – named by Country Life magazine, in 2002, as the “best place to live … Continue Reading

Photo gallery: more former Woolies around the UK (part 1)

Former Woolworths in Houghton-le-Spring

Former Woolworths in Houghton-le-Spring

Though I can’t claim to make a habit of visiting six old Woolies stores in the same day (including Houghton-le-Spring, above), I have managed to build up a pretty good collection of former Woolworths pics over the last year or so – snapping them as I spot them, and, it must be admitted, making the occasional detour expressly to get another one.

I figured that it … Continue Reading