* You are viewing Posts Tagged ‘Lewis’s’

North East stores invade London as Metro Outlet heads to Croydon’s ex-Allders

Metro Outlet, Gateshead (11 Jul 2013). Photograph by Graham Soult

Metro Outlet, Gateshead (11 Jul 2013)

In the same month that Middlesbrough-based furniture institution Barker and Stonehouse has opened its first London store, in Battersea, it’s been revealed that another firm with a former Boro connection and a current Gateshead one – the discount department store Metro Outlet – is to open in the iconic former Allders store in Croydon, … Continue Reading

Newcastle’s TJ Hughes is saved – but Middlesbrough’s is to close within days

Newcastle's TJ Hughes (8 Aug 2011). Photograph by Graham Soult

Newcastle's TJ Hughes (8 Aug 2011)

There was good news for Newcastle city centre earlier this week, with the announcement that the TJ Hughes store in Grainger Street had been sold, preventing the loss of 76 jobs. However, the … 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

Lewis’s Grotto brings festive cheer to Liverpool

Lewis's Grotto 2010

Lewis's Grotto 2010

With the collapse of Lewis’s and Robbs owner Vergo Retail being one of the year’s major stories at Soult’s Retail View, it seems fitting to mark the festive season with a warming good news story that has emerged from the retailer’s ashes.

For 130 years, generations of locals had visited Santa in his magical grotto at Lewis’s department store in Liverpool, but it seemed that the institution of Lewis’s Grotto would … Continue Reading

Beales pursues Robbs takeover, while The Range owner eyes other stores

Closing down sale at Robbs in Hexham (30 May 2010). Photograph by Graham Soult

Closing down sale at Robbs in Hexham (30 May 2010)

As the uncertainty over the future of the Vergo Retail store empire continues, potential suitors for some of the stores are starting to emerge. Here are the latest happenings…

In Liverpool’s Ranelagh Street, Lewis’s department store … Continue Reading

Robbs and Joplings owner Vergo Retail in administration

The iconic Joplings store in Sunderland. Photograph by Graham Soult

The iconic Joplings store in Sunderland

Department and home store retailer Vergo Retail has gone into administration, placing a question mark over the future of the 19-store business – including the iconic Robbs department store in Hexham and Joplings in Sunderland.   

Sarah Bell and Steven Muncaster, partners at MCR, have been appointed joint administrators, with the stores set to trade as normal while the … Continue Reading

Vergo Retail develops online presence

Screenshot of holding page (15 Feb 2010)

Screenshot of holding page (15 Feb 2010)

Google ‘Vergo Retail’, and the likelihood is that you’ll currently find Soult’s Retail View among the top few search results. Indeed, since this blog launched in July, five of the top ten searches that people have used to find the site have related to the Liverpool-based department store operator, with … Continue Reading

Retailers needs a web presence that informs and inspires

Image by Zoran

Image by Zoran

I was quite chuffed, this morning, to have a short article on web usability published in The Journal. Much of what I wrote is, or at least should be, common sense: essentially, the need to understand what information your customers are looking for, and to give it to them in a way that is clear and engaging. Though the examples I used in the article related to tourism websites, the same principles apply … Continue Reading

Vergo rebranding riddle continues

Looking towards the Co-op / Vergo / unnamed store in Carr Street, Ipswich. Photograph by Tim Marchant

Looking towards the Co-op / Vergo / unnamed store in Carr Street, Ipswich. Photograph by Tim Marchant

Regular readers may recall my post from last month, where I queried how the former East of England Co-op department stores might be rebranded following their takeover by the … Continue Reading

Esslemont & Macintosh – the one that got away

Union Street frontage of former Esslemont & Macintosh store, Aberdeen

Union Street frontage of former Esslemont & Macintosh store, Aberdeen

When I wrote about Vergo Retail’s recent acquisitions a few days ago, it brought to mind the photographs that I took back in February this year of the former Esslemont & Macintosh (E&M) department store in Aberdeen’s Union Street.

When Owen Owen fell … 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

Vergo Retail – the saviour of unloved Co-op department stores?

Co-op Department Store, Great Yarmouth, prior to Vergo Retail’s takeover. Photograph by Stephen McKay

In the last couple of weeks, one interesting news story that has been easy to miss is the takeover of the East of England Co-op’s department store business by Vergo Retail.

Vergo Retail, as you may be aware, is the Liverpool-based operation headed by David Thompson that, in 2007, rescued Lewis’s of Liverpool, Joplings of Sunderland and Robbs of Hexham from the … Continue Reading