* You are viewing Posts Tagged ‘Vergo Retail’

Good news for Sunderland as fashion store Utopia takes over ex-Peacocks

Utopia (ex-Peacocks), Sunderland (18 Oct 2013). Photograph by Graham Soult

Utopia (ex-Peacocks), Sunderland (18 Oct 2013)

Sunderland’s ex-Peacocks unit in The Bridges is finally to be reoccupied, after more than 18 months of vacancy.

The prominent Market Square store was one of ten North East branches that closed following Edinburgh Woollen Mill’s rescue of 400 Peacocks stores in February last year. Now, after months of … Continue Reading

As eight Midlands Co-op department stores face closure, what might the future hold?

Co-op department store, Chesterfield (10 Nov 2011). Photograph by Graham Soult

Co-op department store, Chesterfield (10 Nov 2011)

Midlands Co-op has become the latest co-operative society to exit non-food, with its announcement today that eight Fashion & Home department stores are to close within six months.

Most of the affected stores are in the East Midlands, including five full-line department stores – badged as Fashion & Home – … Continue Reading

The discount retailers dominating Suffolk’s ex-Woolworths sites

Former Woolworths (now Peacocks), Stowmarket (2 Aug 2012). Photograph by Graham Soult

Former Woolworths (now Peacocks), Stowmarket (2 Aug 2012)

Alongside its new-look Clintons, the Suffolk town of Stowmarket seems to have come off fairly well from recent retail administrations.

Earlier this year, its ex-Woolworths managed to avoid also becoming an ex-Peacocks, while its … Continue Reading

Lewis’s Grotto brings festive cheer to Liverpool

Lewis's Grotto 2010

Lewis's Grotto 2010

With the collapse of Lewis’s and Robbs owner Vergo Retail being one of the year’s major stories at Soult’s Retail View, it seems fitting to mark the festive season with a warming good news story that has emerged from the retailer’s ashes.

For 130 years, generations of locals had visited Santa in his magical grotto at Lewis’s department store in Liverpool, but it seemed that the institution of Lewis’s Grotto would … Continue Reading

The Range fills the gap left by Stockton’s Big W

Main entrance of The Range, Stockton-on-Tees (31 Jul 2010). Photograph by Graham Soult

Main entrance of The Range, Stockton-on-Tees (31 Jul 2010)

Yesterday I finally paid a visit – by car – to the former Big W on Portrack Lane in Stockton-on-Tees, having twice failed to find a way of getting there by bus from Stockton High Street. Since April this year, the premises have housed a branch of the home, leisure and garden retailer … 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

Alworths plans Cupar and Forfar openings, as Graham pays a visit to Amersham

Alworths fascia. Photograph by Graham Soult

Alworths fascia

It seems that the ‘son of Woolworths’ chain Alworths has two new stores in the offing. Fife Today is reporting that Alworths will be opening up in the former Woolworths store in Cupar, while jobs are already being advertised for a new store in Forfar, in Angus, that is due to open in June.

If confirmed, these … 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

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

Vergo rebranding riddle continues

Looking towards the Co-op / Vergo / unnamed store in Carr Street, Ipswich. Photograph by Tim Marchant

Looking towards the Co-op / Vergo / unnamed store in Carr Street, Ipswich. Photograph by Tim Marchant

Regular readers may recall my post from last month, where I queried how the former East of England Co-op department stores might be rebranded following their takeover by the … 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