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Hammerson reveals Armani and Jamie’s Italian for Newcastle’s Monument Mall – then deletes it

Development work at Monument Mall (27 Jul 2012). Photograph by Graham Soult

Development work at Monument Mall (27 Jul 2012)

It seems that Hammerson, the owner of Newcastle’s Monument Mall, may have inadvertently revealed two of the tenants that it’s signed up for the redeveloped shopping centre.

Just on Monday, eagle-eyed retail enthusiast Mike Ho (@inmh88 on Twitter) … Continue Reading

Newcastle’s revamped Wilkinson is better and brighter

Wilkinson, Newcastle (28 Jun 2012). Photograph by Graham Soult

Wilkinson, Newcastle (28 Jun 2012)

Since Wilkinson, the family-owned hardware and variety chain, quietly launched its new logo and store format over three years ago, the refreshed look seems to have been rolled out to much of the 370-strong estate. To the company’s credit, it hasn’t simply been a case of sticking a new logo over an unchanged store environment – … Continue Reading

Celebrating Britain’s indie department stores: Atkinsons, Banburys and Barkers

Browns' iconic York store (17 Jul 2010). Photograph by Graham Soult

Browns' iconic York store (17 Jul 2010)

Among all the retail gloom that the newspapers seem to like writing about, it was refreshing to read last week that Browns of York is to open a new department store in Gainsborough, with the creation of … 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

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

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

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

Photos from the 90s – Sheffield’s Castle House Co-op department store

Sheffield Co-op in 1997

I’ve been sorting through some of my old photos recently – for old, read ’1990s’. Very few of them have much interest from a retail point of view, but then it was generally more usual in those days for me to take pictures of historic buildings and attractive landscapes, rather than of shops.

However, I did come across a couple of shots of Castle House, the now-closed Sheffield Co-op department store in Angel Street (click on the images to view … Continue Reading

Is Apple Store coming to Newcastle’s Eldon Square?

It certainly looks like it, according to the latest, publically available version of the Eldon Square South letting plan.[broken link removed] What’s more, it also appears that there’s going to be a branch of the trendy fashion brand of the moment, Superdry.

Here’s a screenshot:

Screenshot of ES South lettings map, September 2009

Screenshot of ES South lettings map, September 2009

At present, the only Apple Stores in the north of England are in Manchester (Trafford … 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