Site of future Charles Clinkard store in Shrewsbury (21 Dec 2013). Photograph by Sam Stockley 4

Charles Clinkard Q&A: “Maintaining good relationships with suppliers is key”


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Think of a great northern city, and the chances are that you’ll bring to mind one of the great northern retailers that’s based there. Bradford...

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Spring Fair website (2 Feb 2014). Photograph by Graham Soult 1

Tips for indie retail success at Spring Fair today


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In what seems to be becoming a regular occurrence, I’m off to Spring Fair International at the NEC today (Monday 3 February) where – as...

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Former Woolworths, Newton Aycliffe, with improved public realm (5 Jan 2014). Photograph by Graham Soult 0

Five years after closure, Newton Aycliffe Woolworths may soon be occupied


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If you’ve managed to miss me hogging the airwaves this morning – on BBC Radio 5 Live (which you can listen to here), Wales, Scotland,...

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Screenshot of Home Decor Company website (2 Dec 2013) 0

Promoting the fair trade cause: Retailer Q&A with The Home Decor Company


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Though navigating the economic downturn continues to challenge many stores, one of the fascinating subtexts has been the growth of new independent retailers, sometimes borne out...

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Former Woolworths (now Boyes), Bishop Auckland (19 Nov 2013). Photograph by Graham Soult 1

Five years on from Woolies’ collapse, Boyes signs for the Coalville store


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It’s hard to believe that it’s five years ago today – on 26 November 2008 – that Woolworths collapsed into administration after trading in the...

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Hoardings outside Metrocentre Lego Store site (6 Nov 2013). Photograph by Graham Soult 0

Exclusive: Lego Store set for 29 November opening at Intu Metrocentre


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The new Lego Store at Gateshead’s Intu Metrocentre is to open on Friday 29 November, I understand. The imminent opening of the store seems to have prompted...

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The Longest Stay listing at the Home Interiors Directory (12 Nov 2013). Photograph by Graham Soult 0

“We present a new way of shopping”: Retailer Q&A with The Longest Stay


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As you’d expect, running the Home Interiors Directory (part of my CannySites.com business) means that I get to work with a lot of etailers who are...

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Reopened Game store in Grainger Street, Newcastle (24 Oct 2013). Photograph by Graham Soult 2

Resurgent Game reopens axed stores in Newcastle and Sunderland


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A year and a half after 21 North East stores closed following Game’s collapse into administration, two of those shops – in Grainger Street, Newcastle and...

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Fenwick Christmas window in preparation last year (30 Oct 2012). Photograph by Graham Soult 1

Fenwick Newcastle’s autumn window impresses – but WHSmith opposite falls short


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Newcastle’s iconic Fenwick department store is rightly known for its annual Christmas window – which can’t, scarily, be very far off making its appearance for 2013....

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Adidas announcing its presence at Eldon Square (14 Oct 2013). Photograph by Graham Soult 0

Adidas and Toys R Us move quickly to fill Intu Eldon Square voids


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In recent months, the St Andrew’s Way section of Newcastle’s Eldon Square has seen its first tenant departures since opening in February 2010, with the...

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B&M jobs site (18 Oct 2013) 5

B&M recruits for Gateshead Team Valley store ahead of 16 November opening


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The thriving discount retailer B&M is recruiting staff for its new Gateshead store, which is scheduled to open at Team Valley Retail World on Saturday...

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Utopia (ex-Peacocks), Sunderland (18 Oct 2013). Photograph by Graham Soult 1

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


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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...

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Original Woolworths (now A&S Discount Store), Byker (28 Aug 2013). Photograph by Graham Soult 2

Old Woolies fascia exposed as Byker Wetherspoon’s readies for October opening


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The Newcastle suburb of Byker will gain a welcome addition when its new Wetherspoon pub – The High Main – opens at 63 Shields Road on 22...

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Vacant section of Darlington's ex-Woolworths at 18 Northgate (3 May 2012). Photograph by Graham Soult 10

Tracking down Darlington’s original Woolworths – 73 years after it relocated


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Never one to let a good Woolworths anniversary pass me by, today – 20 September 2013 – represents 73 years since Darlington’s Woolworths store relocated...

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Pure Essence Greetings website (31 Aug 2013) 0

Celebrating Britain’s new indie retailers at Autumn Fair


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Regular readers will know that one of my favourite things about working in retail is discovering really interesting and successful independent shops – whether that’s...

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Me (left) and local retail expert Sam Stockley in The Square, Shrewsbury (10 Jun 2013). Photograph by Graham Soult 4

Shrewsbury: the town where independents are keeping the high street buzzing


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Regular readers will know that I visit a lot of British high streets – including more than 400 different ones in the last four years...

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Sage Blog (17 Jul 2013). Photograph by Graham Soult

Got a question about starting a retail business? Ask a Sage Business Expert


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As you may recall, one of the many hats that I wear is as a Sage Business Expert. Set up by the Newcastle-based software company nearly...

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Metrocentre Red Mall entrance - pre-Intu (11 Jul 2013). Photograph by Graham Soult 1

Gateshead’s Metrocentre prepares for overnight Intu-fication


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I understand that Gateshead’s Metrocentre is to gain its first Intu-branded external signage overnight tonight (11 July), ahead of a weekend of celebrations to mark...

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Barker and Stonehouse store in Newcastle (18 Jun 2012). Photograph by Graham Soult 1

North East stores invade London as Metro Outlet heads to Croydon’s ex-Allders


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In the same month that Middlesbrough-based furniture institution Barker and Stonehouse has opened its first London store, in Battersea, it’s been revealed that another firm with...

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Former Woolworths, Morden, London (1 March 2013). Photograph by Graham Soult 3

Opened on 8 July 1933, what’s become of the ex-Woolworths in Morden?


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Regular readers will know that I always enjoy an obscure Woolworths anniversary, and today represents the 80th anniversary of the now-defunct chain opening its 498th store,...

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