Category: Department Stores

Ex-TJ Hughes in Middlesbrough, prior to reoccupation by Metro Outlet (5 Jan 2012). Photograph by Graham Soult 8

Metro Outlet takes over Middlesbrough’s TJ Hughes site, but ex-TJ’s elsewhere remain empty


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Middlesbrough had some retail good news on Saturday, as a new store opened its doors in the town’s former TJ Hughes premises – following on...

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House of Fraser (Binns), Darlington (1 Mar 2011). Photograph by Graham Soult 0

Soult’s Retail Loo: Darlington House of Fraser spruces up its facilities


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It’s not one of my most well-read posts, but some of you may remember my blog from last March about the disappointing state of the toilet facilities...

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Isabel Macdonald outside her new store 6

Interview: Isabel Macdonald, Branch Manager, John Lewis at Home Tamworth


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Tamworth’s new John Lewis at Home opened its doors on Wednesday (12 October), eight months after I broke the news of its impending arrival. The 42,000 sq ft...

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Sheffield's existing John Lewis in Barker's Pool (18 Aug 2011). Photograph by Graham Soult 6

As Stratford City opens, I check out John Lewis’s answers to the lack of other new schemes


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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...

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Newcastle's TJ Hughes (8 Aug 2011). Photograph by Graham Soult 12

Newcastle’s TJ Hughes is saved – but Middlesbrough’s is to close within days


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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,...

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...how it looked before (1 Mar 2011). Photograph by Graham Soult 1

How to loos customers – and send your brand image down the pan


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Apologies for the Richard Whiteley-style headline and the rather gruesome photograph, but if Mary Portas was looking for another retail-related programme idea she could do worse...

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John Lewis logo. Photograph by Graham Soult 3

Is John Lewis coming to Tamworth?


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No, don’t choke on your cornflakes… that’s a serious question. My interest was piqued last month when the Tamworth Herald ran a story under the...

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John Lewis Oxford Street, London. Photograph by Graham Soult 0

Putting today’s John Lewis sales drop in perspective


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Given how long it’s been since the weekly trading figures for John Lewis department stores last recorded a year-on-year fall in sales, it’s little wonder that...

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Sports Direct, Stafford (30 Sep 2010). Photograph by Graham Soult 6

Familiar discount names in Staffordshire’s former Woolies stores


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The more former Woolworths stores I blog about, the more predictable it gets that I’ll be mentioning now-familiar discount names such as B&M Bargains, Home...

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Lewis's Grotto 2010 0

Lewis’s Grotto brings festive cheer to Liverpool


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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...

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Former Woolworths, Horley (4 Sep 2010). Photograph by Graham Soult 4

Horley’s old Woolies – long closed, but hard to miss


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During the summer, I’ve built up a veritable stack of photos of old Woolworths stores, from all kinds of places across the UK – not...

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Boyes, Dundas Arcade, Middlesbrough (17 Sep 2009). Photograph by Graham Soult 4

Boyes takes over Bishop Auckland’s old Woolies – could more follow?


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When I blogged about the remaining vacant Woolies stores in the North East a few days ago, I’d failed to spot that yet another is...

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A sign of change (19 Aug 2010). Photograph by Graham Soult 5

Robbs transformation is un-Beale-ievable


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Less than three months after acquiring Robbs of Hexham, indie department store operator Beales has wasted no time at all in sprucing up the store...

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Christmas decoration. Photograph by Graham Soult 1

Christmas comes early again at Selfridges


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Today’s BBC News story about Selfridges’ imminent opening of its Christmas shop made me wonder whether I should just dust off and recycle my blog post...

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Job ad for Wallis in Hexham 1

Wallis to open concession in Robbs of Hexham


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Delivering on its promise to bring quality concessions to its recently acquired Robbs of Hexham store, it seems that Beales has already signed up the Arcadia-owned...

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Image from 'Scotland's Shops' book, courtesy of Historic Scotland 0

New book examines the architectural history of Scotland’s shops


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One of the nice things about running my own architecture subject gateway, Sapling.info, is that I get the opportunity to read about plenty of interesting buildings and places.  Earlier...

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Robbs - under new management. Photograph by Graham Soult 6

Robbs is saved – so what happens now?


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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...

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Robbs' in 2009, before Beales' purchase. Photograph by Graham Soult 3

Confirmed – Beales buys Robbs of Hexham


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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...

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Closing down sale at Robbs in Hexham (30 May 2010). Photograph by Graham Soult 7

Beales pursues Robbs takeover, while The Range owner eyes other stores


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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...

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Newgate Street frontage, Debenhams Newcastle. Photograph by Graham Soult 2

Newcastle Debenhams scores on customer service


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Though I’d had a wander around several times before, today was the first occasion that I’d actually bought something from Newcastle’s recently opened Debenhams store....

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