Lost in The Rushes: Loughborough’s little piece of Big W history
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Loughborough’s former Big W at The Rushes Shopping Centre may have reopened as a Tesco in February last year, but Soult’s Retail View reader Steve Hack recently spotted a fragment of the building’s Woolies past that lives on.
In the car park, a notice by the travelator still informs shoppers that payment can be made at the Pay Station located on the “Upper Level in front of Big W”. The sign conjures up a vaguely amusing image of customers wandering around in vain looking for the aforementioned Big W – after all, even before Woolies went bust in 2008, the Loughborough store (#1254), just like Stockton and others, had long since been rebranded as a plain ‘Woolworths’.
As in other locations, such as Newark, the opening of Loughborough’s edge-of-town Big W in 2002 prompted the closure of the town’s established Woolworths store (#226) at 39-40 Market Place, in premises now occupied by Primark.
While a dwindling number of stores left vacant by the chain’s collapse retain their Woolworths signage, it’s surprising quite how many other – and less obvious – Woolies clues survive, even when the stores have been taken over by other retailers. Needless to say, if you spot any similarly interesting bits of Woolworths history feel free to post a comment below, drop me an email, or send me a tweet!