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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

Fifties postcard confirms location of original Alnwick Woolworths

Detail of late 1950s Valentine's postcard of Bondgate Within, Alnwick

Detail of late 1950s Valentine’s postcard of Bondgate Within, Alnwick

Back in April I blogged about the apparent location of Alnwick’s original Woolworths, where the chain traded for the first fifteen years of its 55-year stint in the town. As I reported then, I was “yet to find any photographic evidence of … 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

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

M&Co and the ex-Woolies in Sidmouth and Sherborne

Former Woolworths (now M&Co), Sherborne (5 Sep 2011). Photograph by Graham Soult

Former Woolworths (now M&Co), Sherborne (5 Sep 2011)

In previous posts, I’ve noted the difficulty I have in finding time to blog about all the former Woolworths sites that I’ve visited – not a great surprise, now that I’ve passed the 200 mark!

Though I previously mentioned its … 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

Shopping and lunching in Barnard Castle

Market Cross, Barnard Castle (29 August 2009). Photograph by Graham Soult

Market Cross, Barnard Castle (29 August 2009)

A visit to the delightful County Durham market town of Barnard Castle always lifts the spirits, even if the weather when I was last there in March was truly miserable.

For a town with a population of just over 5,000, Barnard Castle has a surprisingly strong retail offer – the consequence, no doubt, of it being the main settlement in Teesdale, and of the … 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

Former Woolworths stores – status update

Closing down sale at Woolworths

Closing down sale at Woolworths

There have been a few more announcements of new occupants for old Woolworths stores over the last couple of weeks: