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Tracking down Darlington’s original Woolworths – 73 years after it relocated

Darlington's Woolworths site from 1940 to 2008 (3 May 2012). Photograph by Graham Soult

Darlington’s Woolworths site from 1940 to 2008 (3 May 2012)

Never one to let a good Woolworths anniversary pass me by, today – 20 September 2013 – represents 73 years since Darlington’s Woolworths store relocated from its original premises, opened on 27 September 1913, to what would become its more familiar location at 12-18 Northgate.

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Critiquing the Achica experience as I try out the “members-only luxury lifestyle store”

Spice chest at Achica (20 Aug 2012)

Spice chest at Achica (20 Aug 2012)

Since its launch less than three years ago, the private sales etailer Achica – badged as the ”members-only luxury lifestyle store” – has been something of a quiet success story.

Launched by Asos co-founder Quentin Griffiths in partnership with former TradeDoubler CEO Will Cooper, the business’s strong online … Continue Reading

Coffee shop lined up as Hexham Millets confirms 21 September closing date?

Millets, Hexham (25 Aug 2012). Photograph by Graham Soult

Millets, Hexham (25 Aug 2012)

Hexham’s Millets store in Fore Street is to close on 21 September, after trading in the town for seven years.

Though the Hexham Courant broke the news of the store’s expected closure three weeks ago, the retailer’s owner, JD Sports, had “refused to comment on a timescale”. However, when I visited the store … Continue Reading

Bright, Hip and Stylish: Newcastle’s new BHS impresses – for the most part

BHS, Newcastle (20 Apr 2012). Photograph by Graham Soult

BHS, Newcastle (20 Apr 2012)

Given my extensive coverage of the build up to Newcastle’s new BHS store in Northumberland Street, you won’t be surprised to learn that I’ve paid a couple of visits since it opened its doors on 19 April. So, what’s it like?

From the outside, it’s hard to be anything but impressed. The new glazed frontage … Continue Reading

Revealed: frontage of Newcastle’s new BHS is unwrapped

New BHS, Newcastle (9 Apr 2012). Photograph by Graham Soult

New BHS, Newcastle (9 Apr 2012)

As I suspected when I blogged last week, the scaffolding around Newcastle’s new BHS has now been taken down ahead of its opening in ten days’ time.

Though there are still some finishing touches to be made … Continue Reading

Newcastle’s new BHS to open on 19 April

BHS fascia. Photograph by Graham Soult

BHS fascia

Newcastle’s new BHS store in Northumberland Street will open on 19 April, I can reveal.

Work on site has been going on since last summer, as BHS transforms the former Next premises into a four-storey flagship store. As reported previously, the shop is expected to … Continue Reading

What does 2012 hold for Newcastle city centre?

La Senza closing down in Newcastle (2 Jan 2012). Photograph by Graham Soult

La Senza closing down in Newcastle (2 Jan 2012)

Since this is my first post of 2012, I must begin by wishing all Soult’s Retail View readers a very Happy New Year! Thank you to everyone who has commented, emailed, tweeted or visited during 2011, and I hope you will find many more posts to spark your interest during 2012.

As we enter 2012, the retail picture … Continue Reading

Newcastle’s new BHS finally announces its presence

New BHS Newcastle site (28 Dec 2011). Photograph by Graham Soult

New BHS Newcastle site (28 Dec 2011)

Work on the new BHS store in Newcastle has been underway for more than six months, though the lack of any mention of BHS on site meant that anyone passing by would have been none the wiser about what exactly was happening. This always seemed … Continue Reading

Next and New Look open up in Perth’s former Woolworths premises

New Look and Next (formerly Woolworths), Perth (24 Nov 2011). Photograph by Steve Hack

New Look and Next (formerly Woolworths), Perth (24 Nov 2011). Photograph by Steve Hack

The fashion retailers Next and New Look opened the doors to their new stores in Perth yesterday (24 November), on the site of the town’s former Woolworths store (#197). My friend Steve … Continue Reading

Swindon’s former Woolworths store – past, present and an uncertain future

Former Woolworths (now temporary BHS), Swindon (11 Sep 2011). Photograph by Graham Soult

Former Woolworths (now temporary BHS), Swindon (11 Sep 2011)

If you saw my earlier post about the shiny new BHS in Swindon, you might be wondering what happened to the retailer during the 18-month period that its old store was being redeveloped. Well, rather … Continue Reading

Newcastle retail in good health as design of 114,000 sq ft Primark is revealed

3DReid's proposal for the remodelled Primark/ex-BHS building

3DReid's proposal for the remodelled Primark/ex-BHS building

Interesting retail things always seem to happen on Tyneside while I’m on holiday! This time, I returned from Slovenia yesterday – hence the lack of recent blog posts – to find that the planning application for Newcastle’s new Primark flagship has been submitted while I’ve been away.

While the news of Primark’s … Continue Reading

Radical Dalziel & Pow design for four-level Newcastle BHS

How the new BHS will look. Image by Dalziel & Pow

How the new BHS will look. Image by Dalziel & Pow

Plans for Northumberland Street’s new BHS store have been submitted to Newcastle City Council, and propose a more radical than expected transformation of the … Continue Reading

John Lewis Tamworth takes shape

John Lewis Tamworth (17 Jun 2011). Photograph by Graham Soult

John Lewis Tamworth (17 Jun 2011)

Following the confirmation, in April, that John Lewis will indeed be opening one of its ‘At Home’ stores in Tamworth, work on site seems to be proceeding rapidly ahead of the Ventura Park store’s planned … Continue Reading

Next, BHS, Primark, Clas Ohlson – photo updates of Newcastle’s new retail developments

New Next, Newcastle (10 May 2011). Photograph by Graham Soult

New Next, Newcastle (10 May 2011)

I had a quick wander around Newcastle city centre today, where the new Next flagship store is gearing up for its opening at 11am this Thursday (12 May).

Barriers around the outside of the building mean that it’s still quite difficult to get a look inside. However, all the new glazing and … Continue Reading

Newcastle Next flagship set for 12 May opening

New Next, Newcastle (14 Apr 2011). Photograph by Graham Soult

New Next, Newcastle (14 Apr 2011)

The timescale may have slipped a little from the original April target – which is still being proclaimed by the external hoardings – but I understand that Next is now expecting to open its 55,000 sq ft Newcastle flagship store on or around Thursday 12 May.

I dropped by to check on progress yesterday morning, and … Continue Reading

Recording Northumberland Street’s retail (r)evolution

Northumberland Street, Newcastle (14 Mar 2011). Photograph by Graham Soult

Northumberland Street, Newcastle (14 Mar 2011)

I took advantage of today’s gorgeous weather, and the fact that I was in town anyway, to capture some shots of Newcastle’s Northumberland Street before the quite significant changes to its retail tenants get underway next month.

I’m always conscious of taking relatively few … 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

Newcastle’s new Next readies for April opening

New Next, Newcastle (23 Feb 2011). Photograph by Graham Soult

New Next, Newcastle (23 Feb 2011)

Work has been underway on Newcastle’s former Arcadia site for the best part of a year, as the space is transformed into a 55,000 sq ft Next store. Like the old Topshop store that it replaces, Next will have … Continue Reading

Is John Lewis coming to Tamworth?

John Lewis logo. Photograph by Graham Soult

John Lewis logo

No, don’t choke on your cornflakes… that’s a serious question.

My interest was piqued last month when the Tamworth Herald ran a story under the headline ”Striking design’ of unit to be built next to Herald offices’, on the town’s ever-growing Ventura Retail Park.

In it, the piece gave a few more details about … Continue Reading

Over to you – your ex-Woolies pics from Warrington, Batley and Beverley

Former Woolworths (now Poundland), Warrington (27 Dec 2010). Photograph by Beth Anderson

Former Woolworths (now Poundland), Warrington (27 Dec 2010). Photograph by Beth Anderson

With Woolworths having occupied something like 1,400 UK sites over the years, the chances of any one person having the time (or inclination) to track them all down is pretty slim. So, I’m always pleased when friends and colleagues help me out by snapping the occasional ex-Woolies that they … Continue Reading