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Photo blog: ten shop fascias that time – and the retailers – forgot

Marks & Spencer, St Helens (10 May 2012). Photograph by Graham Soult

Marks & Spencer, St Helens (10 May 2012)

Whether it’s long-forgotten remnants of departed retailers, or 1980s fascias that chains have forgotten to update, there’s something satisfying about coming across bits of retail heritage in … Continue Reading

Birtley’s ex-Netto Co-operative Food – shiny, but still a Co-op

The Co-operative Food, Birtley (28 Feb 2012). Photograph by Graham Soult

The Co-operative Food, Birtley (28 Feb 2012)

Travelling back from Chester-le-Street yesterday, I was finally able to visit – and do a shop in – The Co-operative Food store in Birtley, which opened back in October.

Regular readers will recall that the store was formerly a Netto, but fell within the … Continue Reading

The South Shields shop that’s been a Woolworths… and nearly every supermarket name too

Former Woolworths (now Sainsbury's), Prince Edward Road, South Shields (21 Feb 2012). Photograph by Graham Soult

Former Woolworths (now Sainsbury's), Prince Edward Road, South Shields (21 Feb 2012)

When I recently got hold of a copy of the 1972 Woolworths store list, I was surprised to see a reference to a North East store that I hadn’t previously known about, at 335-345 Prince Edward Road in South Shields – an apparent addition to the … Continue Reading

Co-op returns to Birtley with purchase of Netto store

Netto, Birtley (24 Jan 2011). Photograph by Graham Soult

Netto, Birtley (24 Jan 2011)

The Co-operative Group has announced today that it is to acquire the Netto store in Birtley, Gateshead – one of the six remaining sites that Asda is required to divest following … Continue Reading

Work starts on converting Tyneside Netto stores to Asda Supermarkets

Netto, Old Fold Road, Gateshead (28 May 2010). Photograph by Graham Soult

Netto, Old Fold Road, Gateshead (28 May 2010)

Less than six months after the carve-up of the Netto estate was confirmed, the Danish supermarket fascia is well on its way to disappearing from the UK retail landscape.

Haldanes – currently distracted by the … Continue Reading

Store closures loom as indie grocer Haldanes calls in administrators

Haldanes logo

Haldanes logo

The independent supermarket chain Haldanes looks set to become the latest retail casualty, after filing for an administration order today.

In a statement this afternoon, Arthur Harris, the CEO of Haldanes Stores Ltd and Ruston Retail, said:

“Following advice from our lawyers and an insolvency practitioner, we have made the decision to seek an administration order for Haldanes Stores Limited and Ruston Retail Limited … Continue Reading

From no sprouts to no claims – an unusual use for an old Safeway

Former Safeway, Byker (6 Jun 2011). Photograph by Graham Soult

Former Safeway, Byker (6 Jun 2011)

It’s amazing how a throwaway remark can prompt an entire discussion on something unexpected…

In my January post about the divvying up of Netto’s North East store estate following the chain’s acquisition by Asda, I made passing reference to Birtley’s former Safeway – a store … 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

Haldanes not ruling out purchase of “great” Netto Birtley store

Netto, Birtley (24 Jan 2011). Photograph by Graham Soult

Netto, Birtley (24 Jan 2011)

When Asda’s sale of 39 surplus Netto stores was announced a couple of weeks ago, I noted that Birtley – a small town close to here, within the Borough of Gateshead – was home to one of the eight remaining Netto stores that Asda is still required to divest by the OFT.

As … Continue Reading

Asda’s sale of surplus Netto stores: who gets what in the North East

Netto store in Gateshead. Photograph by Graham Soult

Netto store in Gateshead

As I blogged earlier, Asda’s acquisition of Netto’s UK business moved a step closer yesterday, with the news that it has reached agreement to sell most of those Netto stores that overlap with existing Asda sites.

Back in May, when Dansk Supermarked A/S … Continue Reading

Morrisons to acquire Tamworth’s Netto store

Morrisons store. Photograph by Graham Soult

Morrisons store

The Netto store in my old hometown of Tamworth is one of 16 sites that Morrisons is set to acquire following Asda’s purchase of the Netto UK business. The stores are among 47 that the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has required Asda to sell to competitors, to avoid a … Continue Reading

Belper’s fine mix of supermarkets and indie retailers

Former Woolworths (now Iceland), Belper (23 Dec 2010). Photograph by Graham Soult

Former Woolworths (now Iceland), Belper (23 Dec 2010)

Following on from my 2009 visit to Alfreton, Heanor and Ripley in Derbyshire, I was able to pay a fleeting visit this festive season to the nearby town of Belper – famous for its history of textile making, and today part of the … Continue Reading

Alworths lined up for non-Woolies site in Alloa?

Alworths fascia. Photograph by Graham Soult

Alworths fascia

Just a week after its first two Scottish stores opened in Forfar and Cupar, the variety store chain Alworths is now “recruiting for enthusiastic, customer focussed individuals to work at its newest store opening in Alloa in July 2010.”

Alloa, in Clackmannanshire, is exactly the type of location that we are getting used to Alworths opening stores in – a small town … Continue Reading

Site for sixth Alworths store announced…

Alworths fascia

Alworths fascia

…and it’s going to be in Cosham, a northern suburb of Portsmouth, Hampshire.

Due to open in February, this will be the first new Alworths store since the initially flurry of five stores that launched back in November. With a total of 22 stores slated to open during Alworths’ first year, one assumes that further announcements will be forthcoming over the coming months.

So … Continue Reading

Durham – a rare blip in the Waitrose success story

Waitrose fascia

Waitrose fascia

In recent weeks, hardly a day has gone by without some good news involving Waitrose – if it isn’t stellar sales figures, it’s been news about stocking 100% British own-brand dairy products, snapping up Duchy Originals, … Continue Reading