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Hilco has rescued HMV, but now the hard work really starts

1951 advert for HMV, featuring the iconic Nipper image. Photograph by Graham Soult

1951 advert for HMV, featuring the iconic Nipper image

It’s been nearly three months coming, but now the news that everyone wanted to hear has been confirmed: the iconic entertainment retailer HMV, which collapsed in January, has been … Continue Reading

Four North East stores to go in first wave of HMV closures

HMV, South Shields (18 Jun 2010). Photograph by Graham Soult

HMV, South Shields (18 Jun 2010)

As you may well have seen last week, four North East locations are among the 66 loss-making HMV stores that will close within the next couple of months, following an announcement by the firm’s … Continue Reading

Upmarket chains prepare for Newcastle openings as L’Occitane reveals Eldon Square launch date

L'Occitane en Provence, Eldon Square, Newcastle (25 Sep 2012). Photograph by Graham Soult

L’Occitane en Provence, Eldon Square, Newcastle (25 Sep 2012)

L’Occitane en Provence, the high-end beauty products retailer, will open its Newcastle store on 25 October.

When news of the new Eldon Square store was revealed last month, it was expected to open in September – indeed, that’s what … Continue Reading

Mixed news for North East high streets as 22 Peters Bakery shops are saved, but 34 close

Peters Bakery logo

Peters Bakery logo

Scarborough-based Cooplands snapped up 22 stores from Peters Bakery yesterday, following its Durham-based rival’s collapse into administration back in June.

The deal announced by the administrators KPMG – which also includes Peters’ retail van business and its factory and HQ on the Dragonville Industrial Estate – has saved … Continue Reading

Poundworld takes over Middlesbrough’s ex-Peacocks, as it opens its 30th store in 15 weeks

Former Peacocks, Middlesbrough (7 Mar 2012). Photograph by Graham Soult

Former Peacocks, Middlesbrough (7 Mar 2012)

Middlesbrough might have lost its Pure Party store in the fallout from Clinton Cards’ collapse, but as some retailers depart the town others are arriving – or expanding.

Just now, it seems that the once thing the town can’t get enough of is discount variety … Continue Reading

Twenty-one North East stores close immediately as Game collapses

Game in Sunderland's High Street West - now closed (13 Mar 2012). Photograph by Graham Soult

Game in Sunderland's High Street West - now closed (13 Mar 2012)

Twenty-one Game and Gamestation shops in the North East are among the 277 stores that have closed immediately following Game Group’s collapse into administration this morning.

While the administrator, PwC, … 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

Hexham Poundland opens; Ashington to follow

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

Poundland, Hexham (19 Nov 2011)

Poundland opened the doors of its new Hexham store last Thursday (17 November) – and I understand that another Northumberland Poundland will be opening in Ashington soon.

The new Hexham store was having a ‘family fun day’ when I visited on Saturday, with the result that every child in Hexham town centre seemed … Continue Reading

Superdry readies for 18 November opening in Durham

Soon-to-open Superdry, Durham (16 Nov 2011). Photograph by Graham Soult

Soon-to-open Superdry, Durham (16 Nov 2011)

Superdry – the SuperGroup-owned fashion chain of the moment – is gearing up to open its new store in Durham’s Silver Street at 9am this coming Friday (18 November), though the shop was still under wraps when I went past this morning.

By opening in the midst of the Durham Lumiere festival – which runs from 17-20 November, and attracts … 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

Durham – a rare blip in the Waitrose success story

Waitrose fascia

Waitrose fascia

In recent weeks, hardly a day has gone by without some good news involving Waitrose – if it isn’t stellar sales figures, it’s been news about stocking 100% British own-brand dairy products, snapping up Duchy Originals, … Continue Reading