Monthly Archives: May, 2015

Salisbury – Store 273

22-30 High Street, Salisbury, Wiltshire SP1 2NS

Woolworths opened in Salisbury in the autumn of 1927.

There really isn’t any information on the history of the store on the internet. What I do know for a fact is that it stood at 22 – 30 High Street in 1972. The building doesn’t have any old-style characteristics, so they may well have traded from another smaller premises in Salisbury in the early days. But that is just speculation.

This is a photo of the High Street in the 1950s, where if Woolworths was at 22-30 High Street, it would have been somewhere to right of the Crown Hotel.

Salisbury High Street 1950

Salisbury High Street 1950

Source: Francis Frith

Here s a photo from 2006:

Salisbury Woolworths 2006

Salisbury Woolworths 2006

Source: Peter Facey [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

Here is the store shortly before it closed in January 2009. You can see they had a refurb since 2006.

Salisbury Woolworths 2008

Salisbury Woolworths 2008

Source: Chris Talbot [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

And today New Look trades from the building.

Salisbury New Look 2015

Salisbury New Look 2015

Source: 192.com

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Swindon – Store 38

23-24 Regent Street, Swindon, Wiltshire

Woolworths opened in Swindon the 12th September 1914 on Regent Street where it traded in a small buildling which was then extended to the left (No, 23) in 1936.

Swindon Woolworths 1939

Swindon Woolworths 1939

Source: 100thbirthday.co.uk

Here it is in the 1950s:

Swindon Woolworths 1950s

Swindon Woolworths 1950s

Source: 100thbirthday.co.uk

And the 1960s:

Swindon Woolworths 1960s

Swindon Woolworths 1960s

Source: 100thbirthday.co.uk

There was a refurb in 1973, which is when I presume they lost their beautiful Art Deco style facade. There was another refurb in 1980 and one more in 1995. It seems Swindon was the true trial store for the chain.

Swindon Woolworths 1995

Swindon Woolworths 1995

Source: Woolworths Museum

Extract from the Woolworths Museum: “As a prototype, the City store at Regent Street, Swindon, which had been one of Frank Woolworth’s first and favourite locations, was relaid, with new products and a new look. Unlike the work at Hounslow in 1994, the transformation was achieved cheaply and the result was spectacular. New ranges included a large cookshop, displayed on wooden tables as well as regular counters. It offered a more fashionable range, including kitchen appliances and a wider selection of china and glassware. Kids ranges were moved towards the front of the dual entrance store, in a carpeted area to the left hand side of the main gangway. The restaurant was moved down to the ground floor and given a new look. Swindon had the look and feel of a modern department store. The idea was repeated in Doncaster, Yorkshire and was refined further in the branch in the Arndale Centre at Luton, Bedfordshire.”

Here is the store in 2006. This is the image many head office folk will remember as we were sent on training courses in Swindon. It truly was enormous inside.

Swindon Woolworths 2006

Swindon Woolworths 2006

Source: Armin Grewe

The store closed down in January 2009, and a year later it reopened as a temporary BHS, while their site was demolished as part of the £25m ‘The Parade‘ redevelopment project that houses stores including BHS, Topshop and River Island. This is now complete.

Temp BHS Swindon 2010

Temp BHS Swindon 2010

Source: ballysundriven

Today the unit has been spilt and is occupied by the oh-so-glam Poundworld, DiscountUK and Peacocks. Priceless next door seems to have disappeared too.

Swindon 2014

Swindon 2014

Source: Property Link

Wolverhampton Victoria Street – Store 13

58/59 Victoria Street, Wolverhamptons, Staffordshire WV1 3PE

Woolworths first opened in Wolverhampton on Victoria Street in June 1912, taking over an ornate tudor-style building that used to be occupied by John Cavitt & Sons. Proud of their prices, they had an eye-catching ‘Nothing in the store over 6d’ sign along the top of the windows.

Wolverhampton Victoria Street Woolworths 1928

Wolverhampton Victoria Street Woolworths 1928

Source: Howe B, Flickr

The store became known affectionately by locals as ‘Little Woolies’ from the late 1920s onwards, as a second larger store had opened in Dudley Street (Store 186).

An extract from George and Kath Peck’s Memories of Wolverhampton“In the 1920s, Woolworths in Victoria Street was one of the most popular shops in the town. It was outstanding, everything was good quality and cost just 6 pence or under. They were the cheapest, nothing was over 6 pence. People bought knives, forks, spoons and things like that to build the household utensils up. There was an upstairs and downstairs and at the time there was just one Woolworths in the town, the other one came later.” 

In the 1930s, Woolworths had got rid of the tudor-style facade (a shame I think!) and built the below building (on the left).

Wolverhampton Woolworths Victoria Street 1930s

Wolverhampton Woolworths Victoria Street mid-late 1930s

Source: Claire, Flickr 

They traded here as ‘Little Woolies’ until the 1960s. With the new superstore Woolworths in the Mander Centre, they was no need for a second store in Wolverhampton.

From the 1970s, Barretts of Feckenham traded from here, they were a store selling outdoor and camping goods.

Today the British Heart Foundation Furniture & Electrical shop is at 58-60 Victoria Street.

Wolverhampton British Heart Foundation

Wolverhampton British Heart Foundation Shop

Source: 192.com

 

Wolverhampton – Store 186

40/41 Dudley Street, Wolverhampton, Staffs WV1 3ES

This store was the second Woolworths in Wolverhampton, opening on 23rd May 1925 (The first Woolworths was in Victoria Street, Store 13, which opened in June 1912).

Wolverhampton Woolworths 1920s-30s

Wolverhampton Woolworths 1920s-30s

Source: Black Country History

The store was extended in 1927 and then in1930. See below on the far right, next to James Baker & Sons.

Wolverhampton Woolworths 1940s-50s

Wolverhampton Woolworths 1940s-50s

Source: Black Country History

In the 1960s it was part of a major town centre redevelopment scheme, with the building of the Mander Shopping Centre. A huge Woolworths superstore opened in stages between 1965 and 1968. This was when Wolverhampton store was the biggest Woolworths in the country! It boasted three floors, with the entire basement dedicated to fresh food, including a fresh fish counter. The ground floor had the more conventional Woolworths layout. The top floor was dedicated to furniture and carpets and had a large Harvester Restaurant!

Wolverhampton Woolworths 1968

Wolverhampton Woolworths 1968

Source: 100thbirthday.co.uk

Wolverhampton Woolworths 1974

Wolverhampton Woolworths 1974

Source: Howe B, Flickr

In 1985 Kingfisher experimented with an Electronic World store, but the withdrawal from food on 16th October 1986 left the store uneconomic. The store was cut down, with the restaurant closed and the upper two floors split off and re-let on 16th August 1988. Below is just before this happened. This floor became Boots.

Wolverhampton Woolworths 1988

Wolverhampton Woolworths 1988

Source: Black Country History

In 1989, Woolworths traded only from their basement floor, following a refurbishment, with their main entrance in the shopping centre and a door into Dudley Street atop a steep flight of steps. See below the small entrance next to the Boots which took over the unit.

Woolworths Dudley Street Entrance, Wolverhampton

Woolworths Dudley Street Entrance, Wolverhampton

In the 2000s, Wolverhampton Woolworths was converted to one of the 10/10 stores.

Wolverhampton Woolworths 2008

Wolverhampton Woolworths 2008

Source: Kidd R

The store closed in December 2008 and the unit remained empty for 4 years! In 2012 DiscountUK Home Store finally opened here:

Wolverhampton DiscountUK 2014

Wolverhampton DiscountUK 2014

Source: Express & Star

But the latest news for the Mander Centre, now that they have new owners, is that 10 discount stores are being ousted, including DiscountUK. Then they are going to turn 39 units into 11 larger units, including one 3-floor Debenhams, as part of a £25 million revamp (see artist’s impression below) – all to made it a better shopping experience for everyone. Wow a new 3-floor Debenhams, like there was a new 3-floor Woolworths in the 60s – history repeating itself!

Wolverhampton Mander Centre Revamp 2017 Estimated Opening

Wolverhampton Mander Centre Revamp – 2017 Estimated Opening

Source: Express & Star

Wrexham – Store 445

56 Hope Street, Wrexham, Denbighshire LL11 1BE

Woolworths opened at 56 Hope Street in Wrexham on 25th July 1931, and extended 5 years later into neighbouring 58. They traded from this location for nearly 40 years. Below is a photo from 1965, and I have circled the Woolworths store on the right.

Wrexham Woolworths 1965

Source: Francis Frith

8- 10 Regent Street, Wrexham, Denbighshire LL11 1SF

On 12th November 1970, they relocated to the new larger premises on Regent Street, where it was 2 floors up, and had an escalator down to a basement floor.

Wrexham Woolworths 1971

Wrexham Woolworths 1971

Source: 100thbirthday.co.uk

It seems as though it was destined to be a trial store for the Woolworths group. In 1984, Wrexham was one of 20 stores that trialled the ‘Daily Provisions’ cornerstone strategy. They reopened with a grocery section, an up-scale offer of bread, cakes and take-away food, and a new delicatessen counter in the basement selling fresh fish and meat. Apparently there was an amazing giant model of a fish on the wall over the fish counter!

In 1988 it tried the comparison store format. Then in 1992 the store was refurbished. And finally in the 2000s, the store was one of the new style 10/10 stores until it closed on 5th January 2009.

Wrexham Woolworths 2011

Wrexham Woolworths 2011

Source: Ballysundriven, Flickr

Wrexham Woolworths back

Wrexham Woolworths (Lord Street back entrance)

Source: geograph

It lay empty from a long 2 and a half years, until August 2011 when Discount UK opened. Today Bargain Buys trades from this location, and The Chinese Buffet is in the basement with it’s entrance on Lord Street.

Wrexham Bargain Buys 2015

Wrexham Bargain Buys 2015

Source: 192.com

The Chinese Buffet, Wrexham

The Chinese Buffet, Wrexham

Source: Groupon

And as for the original Woolworths on Hope Street, this is now WHSmith. It’s a new building, as there was a huge fire in 2001 and the building had to be demolished. Here is how it looks today.

Wrexham WHSmith

WHSmith, Hope Street, Wrexham

 

If you liked reading this, you may enjoy reading about Rhyl – Store 308.