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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

L’Occitane en Provence heads to Newcastle’s Eldon Square

L'Occitane shop in Mestni trg, Ljubljana, Slovenia (26 Jul 2011). Photograph by Graham Soult

L’Occitane shop in Mestni trg, Ljubljana, Slovenia (26 Jul 2011)

L’Occitane en Provence, the upmarket beauty products retailer, is to open a standalone shop in Newcastle’s Eldon Square next month.

Details of the September store opening – which were … Continue Reading

Hammerson reveals Armani and Jamie’s Italian for Newcastle’s Monument Mall – then deletes it

Development work at Monument Mall (27 Jul 2012). Photograph by Graham Soult

Development work at Monument Mall (27 Jul 2012)

It seems that Hammerson, the owner of Newcastle’s Monument Mall, may have inadvertently revealed two of the tenants that it’s signed up for the redeveloped shopping centre.

Just on Monday, eagle-eyed retail enthusiast Mike Ho (@inmh88 on Twitter) … Continue Reading

Redevelopment of Newcastle’s Monument Mall is now underway

Monument Mall, Newcastle (16 Apr 2012). Photograph by Graham Soult

Monument Mall, Newcastle (16 Apr 2012)

Work started yesterday (16 April) on Hammerson’s much-anticipated redevelopment of the Monument Mall shopping centre in Newcastle, which will see the mall’s circulation spaces infilled and new full-depth, street-facing shop and restaurant units created in their place.

The recent departure of … Continue Reading

Edinburgh Woollen Mill saves Peacocks, but ten North East stores close

Peacocks in Newcastle, which has now closed (22 Jan 2012). Photograph by Graham Soult

Peacocks in Newcastle, which has now closed (22 Jan 2012)

Today’s announcement that Edinburgh Woollen Mill has bought fashion retailer Peacocks out of administration is very good news as far as the 6,000 saved jobs and 395 retained stores are concerned. However, 224 stores … Continue Reading

Carphone confirms closure of its 11 UK Best Buy stores – so what went wrong?

Best Buy, Rotherham (3 Nov 2011). Photograph by Graham Soult

Best Buy, Rotherham (3 Nov 2011)

Carphone Warehouse has this morning confirmed that it will close its 11 big-box Best Buy stores across the UK, subject to employee representative consultation, putting 1,100 jobs at risk.

The first store, in Thurrock, … Continue Reading

Newcastle’s new Next readies for April opening

New Next, Newcastle (23 Feb 2011). Photograph by Graham Soult

New Next, Newcastle (23 Feb 2011)

Work has been underway on Newcastle’s former Arcadia site for the best part of a year, as the space is transformed into a 55,000 sq ft Next store. Like the old Topshop store that it replaces, Next will have … Continue Reading

Putting today’s John Lewis sales drop in perspective

John Lewis Oxford Street, London. Photograph by Graham Soult

John Lewis Oxford Street, London

Given how long it’s been since the weekly trading figures for John Lewis department stores last recorded a year-on-year fall in sales, it’s little wonder that the 2.2% sales drop announced today seems to be … Continue Reading

From charity shops to factory shops – the latest announcements on old Woolies sites

Iceland continues to pick up more Woolies stores - this one in Hexham was acquired in January

Iceland continues to pick up more Woolies stores - this one in Hexham was acquired in January

It looks like the pace of Woolworths stores finding new occupants may be picking up, with more than twenty new announcements since I … Continue Reading

John Lewis Bristol and the city’s changing retail landscape

John Lewis Bristol. Photograph by Mattbuck4950

John Lewis Bristol. Photograph by Mattbuck4950

Perhaps it’s a reflection of my status as a retail nerd that one of the first things I usually do on Friday mornings is check out the John Lewis Partnership’s ‘Weekly Figures’.

These weekly stats are strangely compelling in that – probably uniquely for a major UK retailer – John Lewis publishes a store-by-store breakdown for its eponymous department store chain. Hence, … Continue Reading