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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

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

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

Tesco’s express demolition: photographs of the Gateshead store biting the dust

Demolition of Tesco Gateshead (13 May 2012). Photograph by Graham Soult

Demolition of Tesco Gateshead (13 May 2012)

Demolition of Gateshead’s old Tesco superstore is nearing completion, just three weeks after it closed its doors to customers.

After trading from the site since 1972, the store closed on … Continue Reading

Oops! Tesco’s Gateshead mailout sends customers to Poundland

Tesco Gateshead mailout (13 Apr 2012). Photograph by Graham Soult

Tesco Gateshead mailout (13 Apr 2012)

Ahead of the Gateshead superstore’s closure on 22 April, Tesco has mailed details of its temporary store to local customers – but they may have trouble finding it using the map provided.

While the leaflet gives the correct address for the former Kwik Save premises, the attached map locates the store on … Continue Reading

From textured berber to veggie burgers: new uses for Devon’s old Woolworths

Poundstretcher (formerly Woolworths and Alworths), Tiverton (9 Sep 2011). Photograph by Graham Soult

Poundstretcher (formerly Woolworths and Alworths), Tiverton (9 Sep 2011)

With another shop-spotting visit to Devon scheduled for later this month, now seems like an opportune time to share the ex-Woolies photos that I took during my last trip to the county, back in September.

I blogged about the Sidmouth store (#729; now M&Co) last month, while the Tiverton ex-Woolies at 18 Fore Street (#404) … Continue Reading

Monmouth’s ex-Woolies and its place in our retail heritage

Former Woolworths (now Iceland), Monmouth (8 Oct 2011). Photograph by Graham Soult

Former Woolworths (now Iceland), Monmouth (8 Oct 2011)

On 9 April 1932, Woolworths opened its doors in Monmouth, in Wales. Today – the 80th anniversary – therefore seems like a good time to dig out the photos from when I visited the store at the end of last year.

Opened as store number 464, the building at 24 Agincourt Square is one of those instantly recognisable purpose-built … Continue Reading

Historic Alnwick’s original Woolworths – and a modern-day successor in Wilkinson

Original Woolworths location, Alnwick (31 Mar 2012). Photograph by Graham Soult

Original Woolworths location, Alnwick (31 Mar 2012)

In the same way as Houghton-le-Spring’s Woolworths was originally in a different location to where it ended up, I recently discovered that Alnwick, too, has a long-vacated ex-Woolies site. Having enjoyed my previous visit to … Continue Reading

Birtley’s ex-Netto Co-operative Food – shiny, but still a Co-op

The Co-operative Food, Birtley (28 Feb 2012). Photograph by Graham Soult

The Co-operative Food, Birtley (28 Feb 2012)

Travelling back from Chester-le-Street yesterday, I was finally able to visit – and do a shop in – The Co-operative Food store in Birtley, which opened back in October.

Regular readers will recall that the store was formerly a Netto, but fell within the … Continue Reading

Poundland to take over Heron Foods site in Hexham

Poundland fascia. Photograph by Graham Soult

Poundland fascia

One of the few empty shops in Hexham will soon be occupied again, with Poundland set to move into the former Heron Foods site in Priestpopple.

Though no opening date has been confirmed yet, store jobs have been advertised and a planning application submitted for “one internally illuminated fascia sign and one internally illuminated hanging … Continue Reading

Conversion of North Shields Netto to Asda set to begin

Notice at Netto North Shields (8 Aug 2011). Photograph by Graham Soult

Notice at Netto North Shields (8 Aug 2011)

I paid my first visit to an ex-Netto Asda Supermarket last weekend – more of which in the coming days – but meanwhile the process of converting 147 Netto sites by the end of November continues apace.

North Shields is … Continue Reading

Work starts on converting Tyneside Netto stores to Asda Supermarkets

Netto, Old Fold Road, Gateshead (28 May 2010). Photograph by Graham Soult

Netto, Old Fold Road, Gateshead (28 May 2010)

Less than six months after the carve-up of the Netto estate was confirmed, the Danish supermarket fascia is well on its way to disappearing from the UK retail landscape.

Haldanes – currently distracted by the … Continue Reading

New Mountain Warehouse reaffirms Hexham’s status as a retail hotspot

Mountain Warehouse, Hexham (1 Jan 2011). Photograph by Graham Soult

Mountain Warehouse, Hexham (1 Jan 2011)

Visiting Hexham on New Year’s Day, I was interested to see that a new branch of Mountain Warehouse had sprung up since I was previously in the town, barely a month earlier.

The expanding outdoor retailer – which opened its 100th store earlier in 2010 – has taken over the Fore Street premises previously occupied by a tired … Continue Reading

Haldanes not ruling out purchase of “great” Netto Birtley store

Netto, Birtley (24 Jan 2011). Photograph by Graham Soult

Netto, Birtley (24 Jan 2011)

When Asda’s sale of 39 surplus Netto stores was announced a couple of weeks ago, I noted that Birtley – a small town close to here, within the Borough of Gateshead – was home to one of the eight remaining Netto stores that Asda is still required to divest by the OFT.

As … Continue Reading

Asda’s sale of surplus Netto stores: who gets what in the North East

Netto store in Gateshead. Photograph by Graham Soult

Netto store in Gateshead

As I blogged earlier, Asda’s acquisition of Netto’s UK business moved a step closer yesterday, with the news that it has reached agreement to sell most of those Netto stores that overlap with existing Asda sites.

Back in May, when Dansk Supermarked A/S … Continue Reading

Morrisons to acquire Tamworth’s Netto store

Morrisons store. Photograph by Graham Soult

Morrisons store

The Netto store in my old hometown of Tamworth is one of 16 sites that Morrisons is set to acquire following Asda’s purchase of the Netto UK business. The stores are among 47 that the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has required Asda to sell to competitors, to avoid a … Continue Reading

Belper’s fine mix of supermarkets and indie retailers

Former Woolworths (now Iceland), Belper (23 Dec 2010). Photograph by Graham Soult

Former Woolworths (now Iceland), Belper (23 Dec 2010)

Following on from my 2009 visit to Alfreton, Heanor and Ripley in Derbyshire, I was able to pay a fleeting visit this festive season to the nearby town of Belper – famous for its history of textile making, and today part of the … Continue Reading

The Original Factory Shop in Morpeth – a shift towards more upmarket locations?

Original Factory Shop fascia. Photograph by Graham Soult

Original Factory Shop fascia

The rapidly expanding mini-department store retailer, The Original Factory Shop, opened its seventh North East store, in Morpeth, last week. It adds to the retailer’s existing stores within the region at Stanley, Prudhoe, Ashington, Crook, Spennymoor and Shildon.

As noted previously, The Original Factory Shop has been snapping up quite a few … 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