Remembering Shoppers World: Woolworths’ early Argos-style experiment

Graham Soult

Retail consultant, writer, blogger; helping retailers via and Say hello on Twitter at @soult!

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24 Responses

  1. Roger H says:

    There was a Shoppers World store in Newcastle-under Lyme, Staffordshire. It was chaotically organised and one had to wait for up to half an hour for the goods to arrive at the counter whilst the staff ran around in ever decreasing circles!

  2. JAMS says:

    Many moons ago when I was little, there used to be a Shopper’s World in Castle Street, Edgeley.
    We used to go in practically every week and go hunting through their catalogue of goodies before purchasing something nice. It was the early concept of Argos.

  3. Jayne Omara says:

    I worked at shoppers world in coalville on a yts program i loved it there so much

  4. Richard Smith says:

    There was a shoppers World in Leicester, opposite the indoor market which has now been demolished, it was in the row of shops opposite, I remember buying my Star wars Bob’s Fett 12″ figure there in around 1983.

  5. Johnny says:

    I may be wrong as I was under 8 years old at the time. But I’m sure there was a branch of Shoppers World on Queen Street in Morley, which is a town to the south of Leeds which has its own high street with shopping precincts and covered market

    • chris says:

      you are right Johnny it was where the yorkshire bank moved into, opposite the queens hotel , had quite a large side entrance for the goods deliveries up the little side road

  6. Bogey says:

    When the new Spring Hill estate was built in Birmingham in the early to mid 1970s, the shopping centre which was built at the same time included a Shoppers World, as well as a Co-op and a number of independent shops. Never having come across an Argos up to this point, this was my introduction to the concept of catalogue shopping, and as a child, particularly in the run up to Christmas, it led to many hours annotating pages and circling toys.

    • Peter says:

      I was the manager of this store from 1979until 1983 when the business folded. Happy days, break ins weekly !

  7. Safir Ahmed says:

    The Shoppers World store did occupy the Home Bargains unit in about 1978. I remember visiting the store and its entrance was inside the Merrion Centre opposite Morrison’s.

    The unit that was vacated by Shoppers World (can’t remember who was there after they left but before Woolworths took over) and around 1986 was occupied by Woolworths who had downsized from their Briggate Leeds store until Woolworths closed down due to the company going into administration.

    The former Woolworths site on Briggate in Leeds city centre was taken over by House of Fraser who have continued to occupy the site since then.

    The Merrion Centre may have further information.

  8. Graham Soult says:

    Thanks Michael! I was aware that both Sale and Knutsford were early Woolworths closures, but not that they had closed for conversion into Shoppers World. Most useful!

  9. Michael Laybourn says:

    There was a Shoppers World in Sale,Knutsford which were both Woolworth stores….whilst at Northwich,part of Woolworths was given over to Shoppers World.

  10. michelle says:

    I bought my parents Christmas present at the accrington branch with my Christmas paper round tips in the early 80’s! I loved shoppers world!

  11. Thejnutts says:

    There used to be a shoppers world in accrington on little Blackburn road were Argos is now. My mum bought me my 1st digital led watch for my birthday. Happy days

  12. helen cooper says:

    I worked in the shoppers world store in derby in victoria st istarted at 16 when i left school in 1979 till the store closed i THINK IT WAS EARLY 1983 our manager was called to a a meeting on the day we heard the news on the radio in the shop that the stores were closeing was not even told about it i loved working there and have very happy memories

  13. Gary Hale says:

    I remember that Evesham’s Woolworths had a Shoppers World (I so want to pop an apostrophe in there!!), right at the back of the store. Suffice to say, it didn’t last long, and then the store was shortened to make way for the brand new Abbey Gates (now called Riverside) Shopping Centre. I would been about 5 at the time of Shoppers World, but unlike many, I do actually remember it!!!

  14. Peter Lewis says:

    Re your appeal for info regarding the location of both the former Shoppers World and Woolworth store in The Merrion Centre in Leeds. they definitely did not occupy the same unit.The Shoppers World had a street facing frontage along Woodhouse Lane approximately where there is currently a small Sainsburys store and I think may have interconnected with main interior mall although I’m not totally certain of this, whereas the Woolworth store was within the mall where the Pound store is that you show a photograph of.
    Hope this helps.
    Love the site.

  15. Helen Catterall says:

    Shoppers World was before my time, but it is interesting to think what has happened to all the old Woolworths store locations in the last couple of years. This is perhaps one of the most significant changes on the high streets of the UK in my lifetime.

  16. Adam Walton says:

    There was a Shoppers World store incorporated into the large old Woolworths store on The Moor in Sheffield (photograph in Remember the Sixties, Seventies and Eighties in Sheffield book)

    • Graham Soult says:

      Excellent – thanks Adam! I’m starting to wonder how many Shoppers World stores were actually on newly acquired sites, as opposed to being a) a former Woolies or b) a carved-off portion of an existing Woolies.

  17. Lee Dymond says:

    Also part of Kings Heath is now Poundland

  18. Lee Dymond says:

    There was a Shoppers World in Huddersfield, this was a pat converted Woolworths which had entrances on two street with one being converted to Shoppers World, (photo link )This is now the new Ethel Austin brand Life and Style.

    There was another in Edgeley, Stockport. (Link ). Now occupied by Life & Style, Greggs and a charity shop.

    According to ( Link ) another Shoppers World was at Kings Heath, Birmingham. This store also briefly traded as a Woolco, and returned to Woolworth main chain in 1983, and survived to the bitter end. Now open as Peacocks.

  19. Retrogadget says:

    HOT NEWS!!!!
    According to todays (18/2) Burton Mail the empty Woolworths in Burton is to be occupied by B&M Bargains.

  1. February 14, 2011

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Duncan Stephen, Graham Soult. Graham Soult said: New retail blog post – Remembering Shoppers World: Woolworths' early Argos-style experiment – #li […]

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