* You are viewing Posts Tagged ‘Ethel Austin’

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

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

North East stores at risk as high street furnisher Walmsley’s collapses again

Walmsley's, Newcastle (3 Dec 2012). Photograph by Graham Soult

Walmsley’s, Newcastle (3 Dec 2012)

Stores in Newcastle, Sunderland, Blyth and Stockton are among 24 shops that are at risk following the collapse of Walmsley’s, the high street furniture specialist, last month.

The dreaded black and yellow ‘Store Closing’ banners – now so … Continue Reading

Rescued for the fourth time, can Ethel Austin really have a future?

Former Ethel Austin site, Wallsend (30 Jul 2012). Photograph by Graham Soult

Former Ethel Austin site, Wallsend (30 Jul 2012)

When value clothing retailer Ethel Austin fell into administration for the fourth time in as many years three weeks ago, it’s fair to say that its chances of surviving again were not highly rated.

Indeed, the headline in … 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

One of the oldest and one of the newest: ex-Woolies spotting in North Somerset

Former Woolworths (now Poundland), Weston-super-Mare (21 Aug 2011). Photograph by Graham Soult

Former Woolworths (now Poundland), Weston-super-Mare (21 Aug 2011)

In recent weeks, new developments in Newcastle, the collapse of TJ Hughes and the … Continue Reading

A tale of three Tyneside ex-Woolies – Jarrow, North Shields and Wallsend

St Clare's Hospice shop, Jarrow (8 Aug 2011). Photograph by Graham Soult

St Clare's Hospice shop, Jarrow (8 Aug 2011)

While Store Twenty One is about to take over the unoccupied part of South Shields’ former Woolies, the ex-Woolworths in Jarrow – already part-occupied by Store Twenty One – has gained a new tenant for its own vacant section.

As I reported … Continue Reading

Habitat, HomeForm, TJ Hughes: why is it H-H-Hell on the high street?

Habitat, Bristol (22 Feb 2011). Photograph by Graham Soult

Habitat, Bristol (22 Feb 2011)

It’s hard to dispute that the last couple of weeks has been a torrid time for the UK high street, with a succession of well-known names either announcing bad news or collapsing into administration.

While HMV has a stay of execution for now, other retailers in that section of the alphabet – Habitat, … Continue Reading

Poundstretcher expands with purchase of failed Alworths stores

Poundstretcher fascia, Camborne (20 Feb 2011). Photograph by Graham Soult

Poundstretcher fascia, Camborne (20 Feb 2011)

Amid the gloom of Alworths’ collapse into administration last month, it seems that there’s now some good news. Retail Week is reporting that Alworths’ variety store rival, Poundstretcher, has bought 15 of the failed chain’s 17 … Continue Reading

Houghton has a le-Spring in its step – the changing fortunes of the North East’s ex-Woolies sites

Former Woolworths, Newton Aycliffe (1 Mar 2011). Photograph by Graham Soult

Former Woolworths, Newton Aycliffe (1 Mar 2011)

With a dwindling number of empty Woolworths stores remaining in the North East, it doesn’t take too long to check out whether anything’s happening on the ground.

I … 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

Eth-alworth Austin

Shuttered Ethel Austin store. Photograph by Graham Soult

Shuttered Ethel Austin store

As variety chain Alworths celebrates its first birthday today, the opening of stores in Newark and Maidenhead has now been confirmed for later this month – and both will be in former Ethel Austin premises. 

While a rump of 90 Ethel Austin stores were saved in April, and are gradually being converted to a … Continue Reading

Stockton’s original Woolies – and the current state of the town’s High Street

Frontage of original Woolworths store, Stockton-on-Tees (28 June 2010). Photograph by Graham Soult

Frontage of original Woolworths store, Stockton-on-Tees (28 June 2010)

Having missed Stockton-on-Tees’ original Woolworths when I first visited the town nearly a year ago, I’ve been keen to go back and capture a photograph of it for the ever-growing collection.

I was finally able to pay a visit a few weeks ago – the … Continue Reading

Ten minutes in Billingham town centre

Former Woolworths - and former Ethel Austin - in Billingham (28 Jun 2010). Photograph by Graham Soult

Former Woolworths - and former Ethel Austin - in Billingham (28 Jun 2010)

Until a few weeks ago, Billingham on Teesside had been one of only three former North East Woolworths – out of the 33 that closed following its 2008 administration – that I hadn’t yet visited. Finding myself … Continue Reading

A postcard from Caernarfon’s closed down Woolies

Former Woolworths, Caernarfon (July 2010). Photograph by Sally Daffarn

Former Woolworths, Caernarfon (July 2010). Photograph by Sally Daffarn

I’m not quite sure if it should be a cause for celebration or urgent self-reflection when my friends start emailing over photographs of old Woolworths that they have spotted on their travels… Whichever, many thanks to Sally Daffarn for capturing this shot of the former Woolies in Caernarfon, which she “saw on holiday and thought of you!”

Caernarfon is one of the North East Woolworths sites … Continue Reading

Alworths confirms Alloa opening, and heads to Hertford and Tiverton

Alworths fascia. Photograph by Graham Soult

Alworths fascia

Following on from my blog post about Alworths opening in the Clackmannanshire town of Alloa, it has now been confirmed that the new store will open this week, on Wednesday 21 July. The site, at 49 Shillinghill, was occupied by Ethel Austin, prior to that retailer’s collapse earlier this year. 

Quoting the MD Andy Latham, Alworths’ press release about the store opening … Continue Reading

Alworths lined up for non-Woolies site in Alloa?

Alworths fascia. Photograph by Graham Soult

Alworths fascia

Just a week after its first two Scottish stores opened in Forfar and Cupar, the variety store chain Alworths is now “recruiting for enthusiastic, customer focussed individuals to work at its newest store opening in Alloa in July 2010.”

Alloa, in Clackmannanshire, is exactly the type of location that we are getting used to Alworths opening stores in – a small town … Continue Reading

Former Woolworths in Seaham – one store, two stories

Former Woolworths, Seaham (2 April 2010). Photograph by Graham Soult

Former Woolworths, Seaham (2 April 2010)

Recent comments on this blog about the former Woolworths in Church Street, Seaham have given me the nudge that I required, having taken some photos of the store back in April but not yet got round to writing about it.

Just like the … Continue Reading