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Exclusive: Lego Store set for 29 November opening at Intu Metrocentre

Soult minifigure at the Trinity Leeds Lego Store (15 Aug 2013). Photograph by Graham Soult

Soult minifigure at the Trinity Leeds Lego Store (15 Aug 2013)

The new Lego Store at Gateshead’s Intu Metrocentre is to open on Friday 29 November, I understand.

The imminent opening of the store seems to have prompted much excitement among North East Lego enthusiasts – many of them somewhat older than the Danish toy brand’s core market – since the appearance of job adverts … Continue Reading

As Stratford City opens, I check out John Lewis’s answers to the lack of other new schemes

John Lewis fascia. Photograph by Graham Soult

John Lewis fascia

As the vast Westfield Stratford City opens its doors today, it’s little wonder that most of Twitter’s retail commentators seem to have decamped to east London. With 300 stores (though not yet all open) and a floor area of 1.9m sq ft (177,000 sqm), the opening of “Europe’s largest urban shopping … Continue Reading

November opening for Jesmond Waitrose… in Grimsby

Waitrose Jesmond... in Grimsby (23 Aug 2011)

Waitrose Jesmond... in Grimsby (23 Aug 2011)

Map blooper stories are always good value, whether it’s because they’ve erased Wales or located Shrewsbury in the middle of a river. Now, potential John Lewis Partners in Lincolnshire may be disappointed to find that Waitrose is not, in fact, about to … Continue Reading

Harris: “We believe, long term, UGO has a good future”

UGO offers leaflet

UGO offers leaflet

Interview headlines:

  • UGO stores need to “trade better” but are not “at danger level”
  • IT and ordering issues will be addressed
  • More UGO stores planned – new Leeds store “in negotiations”
  • Own-brand bakery products to be stocked at UGO imminently
  • Admits that “full weekly shop” idea was a mistake – “fine-tuning” required on product and price
  • Main plan now is to “bed down” UGO

The first part of my interview with Arthur … Continue Reading

Poundworld’s multi-price format, Discount UK, lands in Middlesbrough

Discount UK (former Woolworths), Middlesbrough (4 May 2011). Photograph by Graham Soult

Discount UK (former Woolworths), Middlesbrough (4 May 2011)

Down on Teesside last week, I’d only really planned to have a quick look around Middlesbrough while waiting for my connecting bus to Redcar. However, I was startled to notice that the ex-Woolies (and ex-Waremart) unit in the town’s … Continue Reading

Remembering Shoppers World: Woolworths’ early Argos-style experiment

Shoppers World locations, 1975 (adapted from Woolworths Virtual Museum graphic)

Shoppers World locations, 1975 (adapted from Woolworths Virtual Museum graphic)

It’s always good to receive updates on former Woolies sites that I’ve previously featured here at Soult’s Retail View, so I was pleased to get an email yesterday from Martin, a regular Midlands-based contributor.

He told me that he’d visited both Burton upon Trent and … Continue Reading

As Clas Ohlson pledges “long-term commitment” to UK, I check out the Leeds store

Clas Ohlson, Leeds (21 Jan 2011). Photograph by Graham Soult

Clas Ohlson, Leeds (21 Jan 2011)

Things have been pretty quiet on the Clas Ohlson front since the Swedish hardware retailer announced the latest stage of its UK expansion, back in August. Those new stores in Cardiff, Doncaster and Norwich have subsequently opened, just before Christmas, but there’s no news yet on where the next additions to Clas … Continue Reading

Leeds’ “retail soulmate” starts to take shape

Trinity Leeds logo (21 Jan 2011). Photograph by Graham Soult

Trinity Leeds logo (21 Jan 2011)

During my recent visit to Leeds city centre, one of the most visible retail developments was the ongoing construction work for Trinity Leeds, with cranes towering over the adjacent 18th century church that gives the new shopping scheme its name.

After a one-year hiatus caused by the economic downturn, … Continue Reading

Woolies spotting in Leeds

Original Woolworths (now House of Fraser), Briggate, Leeds (21 Jan 2011). Photograph by Graham Soult

Original Woolworths (now House of Fraser), Briggate, Leeds (21 Jan 2011)

As you would expect, I used the opportunity of being in Leeds last week to check out the city centre’s former Woolies sites.

Leeds’ original Woolworths in … Continue Reading

Haldanes pledges that UGO will be “the icing on the Netto cake”

UGO cake

UGO cake

Following my recent post about Asda’s divestment of 39 surplus Netto stores, I had the pleasure of being invited to my first press conference last Friday, in Leeds. 

Appropriately held just a short distance from Asda’s corporate HQ, the event was organised by Haldanes, the fledgling independent grocer who, as I blogged before, … Continue Reading

A Woolies twist to every story

Former Zavvi, Newcastle (27 Sep 2009). Photograph by Graham Soult

Former Zavvi, Newcastle (27 Sep 2009)

Well, that’s a surprise! I’ve only just discovered that I’ve been photographing and blogging about a former Woolworths store – here, and more recently here – without even realising it. 

While I was vaguely aware that there had been a … Continue Reading

Clas Ohlson heads northwards… though not quite far enough north yet

Clas Ohlson's existing Croydon store

Clas Ohlson's existing Croydon store

Happy New Year to you! You may recall that back in August last year (referring to 2009 as ‘last year’ is bound to take some getting used to) I blogged about the latest Scandinavian arrival to these shores, the self-styled “really useful shop” Clas Ohlson.

Back then, the retailer had already opened stores in Croydon (1,900 sqm / 20,451 sq … Continue Reading