* You are viewing Posts Tagged ‘Robbs’

Hexham store closures create space opportunities for new retailers

Closed-down Peters Bakery - and Greggs - in Hexham (25 Aug 2012). Photograph by Graham Soult

Closed-down Peters Bakery – and Greggs – in Hexham (25 Aug 2012)

While Hexham’s soon-to-close Millets looks to have a new tenant waiting in the wings, a couple of other closures since my … Continue Reading

The closure of Hoopers department store in Carlisle, and what might replace it

Hoopers, Carlisle (9 May 2012). Photograph by Graham Soult

Hoopers, Carlisle (9 May 2012)

The recent news that Hoopers in Carlisle is to close is clearly a disappointing development for the city, but it’s also very sad for anyone – like me – who values the role that independent department stores play on our high streets.

Across the country, the big three department store chains … 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

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

Why does Stockton have so many empty shops? BBC1 tonight at 7.30 might have some answers…

Graham filming with the BBC's Chris Jackson in Stockton High Street

Graham filming with the BBC's Chris Jackson in Stockton High Street

Those of you in the North East and Cumbria (or anywhere else with access to Freesat), may be interested in watching BBC1 at 7.30 pm tonight (Monday 6 December)! [UPDATE: The programme is now available to watch on iPlayer.]

The … Continue Reading

Horley’s old Woolies – long closed, but hard to miss

Former Woolworths, Horley (4 Sep 2010). Photograph by Graham Soult

Former Woolworths, Horley (4 Sep 2010)

During the summer, I’ve built up a veritable stack of photos of old Woolworths stores, from all kinds of places across the UK – not that you’d necessarily realise from my recent blogging output. That’s the trouble of fine weather – it’s just so tempting to head off and photograph interesting things, rather than staying inside and writing about them.

However, … Continue Reading

Robbs transformation is un-Beale-ievable

Improvements to the store frontage underway (19 Aug 2010). Photograph by Graham Soult

Improvements to the store frontage underway (19 Aug 2010)

Less than three months after acquiring Robbs of Hexham, indie department store operator Beales has wasted no time at all in sprucing up the store and its ranges ahead of next … Continue Reading

Wallis to open concession in Robbs of Hexham

Job ad for Wallis in Hexham

Job ad for Wallis in Hexham

Delivering on its promise to bring quality concessions to its recently acquired Robbs of Hexham store, it seems that Beales has already signed up the Arcadia-owned womenswear brand Wallis.

A job ad has gone live today[broken link removed], advertising the “fantastic opportunity for Sales Advisers and Senior Sales Advisers to join our brand new … Continue Reading

Robbs is saved – so what happens now?

Out with the old, in with the new at Robbs (12 Jun 2010). Photograph by Graham Soult

Out with the old, in with the new at Robbs (12 Jun 2010)

With just over a week now passed since Beales’ takeover of Robbs of Hexham was confirmed, details of what the welcome change of ownership might mean for the historic 192-year-old store are starting to become clearer.

First up, it’s worth remarking … Continue Reading

Confirmed – Beales buys Robbs of Hexham

Robbs of Hexham store. Photograph by Graham Soult

Robbs of Hexham store

Just announced this morning – independent department store operator Beales has acquired Robbs of Hexham from MCR, the administrator of Vergo Retail, for £250,000.

Sarah Bell, Partner of MCR, officially announced the news:

“Following an effective administration process, we are delighted to confirm the sale of such an iconic store in … 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

Beales “lodges formal notice of interest” in buying Robbs

Beales logo

Beales logo

It seems like it’s not just me who thinks that Beales taking over Robbs would be a good idea, with today’s Hexham Courant reporting that the Bournemouth-based department store operator “has lodged formal notice of interest in the store with administrators MCR”. 

The article adds that “representatives of Beales were looking round the property yesterday”. Meanwhile, MCR has reportedly asked the owners of the … Continue Reading

Could Beales – or someone else – yet save Robbs?

Robbs of Hexham. Photograph by Graham Soult

Robbs of Hexham

If you read the Hexham Courant, you’ll have seen the extensive coverage in Friday’s paper of Robbs’ impending closure, following the announcement, by the administrators MCR, that the department store will close within four weeks. The Courant devoting three pages to the story is hardly surprising given Robbs’ status as the largest and most prominent store in Hexham town centre – … 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

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

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