Robbs - under new management. Photograph by Graham Soult 6

Robbs is saved – so what happens now?


Warning: Trying to access array offset on value of type bool in /homepages/20/d138036059/htdocs/soultsretailview/wp-content/plugins/wp-word-count/public/class-wpwc-public.php on line 123

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...

Read more....
Teesdale Mercury article 1

One degree of separation, as Soult meets Shopjacket in the Teesdale Mercury


Warning: Trying to access array offset on value of type bool in /homepages/20/d138036059/htdocs/soultsretailview/wp-content/plugins/wp-word-count/public/class-wpwc-public.php on line 123

One of the things I love about retail is the way that you can always find obscure links between apparently unrelated places, people and shops – such as...

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

Confirmed – Beales buys Robbs of Hexham


Warning: Trying to access array offset on value of type bool in /homepages/20/d138036059/htdocs/soultsretailview/wp-content/plugins/wp-word-count/public/class-wpwc-public.php on line 123

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...

Read more....
Former Woolworths (now Store Twenty One), Stanley (12 April 2010). Photograph by Graham Soult 14

From Stanley to Spennymoor – another gallery of North East former Woolies stores


Warning: Trying to access array offset on value of type bool in /homepages/20/d138036059/htdocs/soultsretailview/wp-content/plugins/wp-word-count/public/class-wpwc-public.php on line 123

Only counting the (33) North East Woolworths stores that closed down following the company’s 2008 administration, my quest to photograph the full set is nearing...

Read more....
Former Woolworths, Seaham (2 April 2010). Photograph by Graham Soult 8

Former Woolworths in Seaham – one store, two stories


Warning: Trying to access array offset on value of type bool in /homepages/20/d138036059/htdocs/soultsretailview/wp-content/plugins/wp-word-count/public/class-wpwc-public.php on line 123

Recent comments on this blog about the former Woolworths in Church Street, Seaham have given me the nudge that I required, having taken some photos of the store back in...

Read more....
The now-closed Alworths in Amersham (14 May 2010). Photograph by Graham Soult 9

Six former Woolies in and around London


Warning: Trying to access array offset on value of type bool in /homepages/20/d138036059/htdocs/soultsretailview/wp-content/plugins/wp-word-count/public/class-wpwc-public.php on line 123

While staying in London a couple of weekends ago, Alworths in Amersham (above) wasn’t the only former Woolworths I managed to visit… Having arrived at...

Read more....
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


Warning: Trying to access array offset on value of type bool in /homepages/20/d138036059/htdocs/soultsretailview/wp-content/plugins/wp-word-count/public/class-wpwc-public.php on line 123

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...

Read more....
Alworths fascia. Photograph by Graham Soult 5

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


Warning: Trying to access array offset on value of type bool in /homepages/20/d138036059/htdocs/soultsretailview/wp-content/plugins/wp-word-count/public/class-wpwc-public.php on line 123

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...

Read more....
Former Linthorpe Road Woolworths, Middlesbrough. Photograph by Graham Soult 6

Logging the North East’s long-closed former Woolies


Warning: Trying to access array offset on value of type bool in /homepages/20/d138036059/htdocs/soultsretailview/wp-content/plugins/wp-word-count/public/class-wpwc-public.php on line 123

Last week’s blog post about the long-closed former Woolworths in Benwell seems to have opened the floodgates to lots of comments and insights about other nearly-forgotten...

Read more....
Former Woolworths in Benwell (28 May 2010). Photograph by Graham Soult 34

Finding old Woolworths stores in unlikely places, courtesy of The New Bond


Warning: Trying to access array offset on value of type bool in /homepages/20/d138036059/htdocs/soultsretailview/wp-content/plugins/wp-word-count/public/class-wpwc-public.php on line 123

One of the things I most love about researching retail history is the way that interesting stories can emerge from the tiniest leads. As a...

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

Newcastle Debenhams scores on customer service


Warning: Trying to access array offset on value of type bool in /homepages/20/d138036059/htdocs/soultsretailview/wp-content/plugins/wp-word-count/public/class-wpwc-public.php on line 123

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....

Read more....
Butchers shop in Barnard Castle (6 March 2010). Photograph by Graham Soult 5

Shopping and lunching in Barnard Castle


Warning: Trying to access array offset on value of type bool in /homepages/20/d138036059/htdocs/soultsretailview/wp-content/plugins/wp-word-count/public/class-wpwc-public.php on line 123

A visit to the delightful County Durham market town of Barnard Castle always lifts the spirits, even if the weather when I was last there in...

Read more....
TK Maxx site at MetroCentre, back in March. Photograph by Graham Soult 4

Joint TK Maxx and HomeSense store to open at MetroCentre in ‘late September’


Warning: Trying to access array offset on value of type bool in /homepages/20/d138036059/htdocs/soultsretailview/wp-content/plugins/wp-word-count/public/class-wpwc-public.php on line 123

The trouble of spending too much of my time visiting town centres and shopping malls is that I end up with more potential blog topics than I ever have...

Read more....
Beales logo 1

Beales “lodges formal notice of interest” in buying Robbs


Warning: Trying to access array offset on value of type bool in /homepages/20/d138036059/htdocs/soultsretailview/wp-content/plugins/wp-word-count/public/class-wpwc-public.php on line 123

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...

Read more....
Site of new Next store in Newcastle (16 May 2010). Photograph by Graham Soult 5

Newcastle’s new fashion meccas take shape


Warning: Trying to access array offset on value of type bool in /homepages/20/d138036059/htdocs/soultsretailview/wp-content/plugins/wp-word-count/public/class-wpwc-public.php on line 123

The opening of St Andrew’s Way back in February – and Hollister, belatedly, in April – may have been this year’s biggest retail events in Newcastle,...

Read more....
Robbs of Hexham. Photograph by Graham Soult 3

Could Beales – or someone else – yet save Robbs?


Warning: Trying to access array offset on value of type bool in /homepages/20/d138036059/htdocs/soultsretailview/wp-content/plugins/wp-word-count/public/class-wpwc-public.php on line 123

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...

Read more....
Joplings in Sunderland. Photograph by Graham Soult 10

Robbs and Joplings owner Vergo Retail in administration


Warning: Trying to access array offset on value of type bool in /homepages/20/d138036059/htdocs/soultsretailview/wp-content/plugins/wp-word-count/public/class-wpwc-public.php on line 123

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...

Read more....
Promo shot for Hollister's spring collection 2

Hollister Newcastle opens 15 April


Warning: Trying to access array offset on value of type bool in /homepages/20/d138036059/htdocs/soultsretailview/wp-content/plugins/wp-word-count/public/class-wpwc-public.php on line 123

Eldon Square’s new Apple Store may have attracted the most buzz at the opening of St Andrew’s Way back in February, but it’s Hollister that’s still...

Read more....
BHS in Newcastle (7 Mar 2010). Photograph by Graham Soult 3

Big Homeware Strength but Barely Helpful Staff


Warning: Trying to access array offset on value of type bool in /homepages/20/d138036059/htdocs/soultsretailview/wp-content/plugins/wp-word-count/public/class-wpwc-public.php on line 123

Its interior may be somewhat dowdy, but I do have a soft spot for Newcastle’s Bhs store, in Northumberland Street. True, the fashionability of some...

Read more....