Derby – Store 29

27-32 Victoria Street, Derby, Derbyshire DE1 1EU

The twenty-ninth Woolworths store opened in Derby on Victoria Street. You can see it to the right of this postcard – it was quite a large store. The store got into trouble in the early years, when ‘Woolworths girls’ went on strike for habitually being made to work overtime, and for failing to give staff the correct half-day holiday in accordance with the Shops Act of 1911 (Woolworth’s 100 Years On the High Street, Morrison K.)

Derby Woolworths 1938

Derby Woolworths 1938

Source: Soult’s Retail View

The store traded here until 1975 when it moved into the Eagle Centre (now intu Derby, previously Westfield). It is rather a shame to see how the building looks today, divided up with ugly storefronts. It should be a beautiful building, but this side of Victoria Street is neglected due to all the shops being inside intu Derby. Nevertheless, if you pop into Savers, do take a look up at the original architecture.

Derby Former Woolworths | Savers + Vacant 2017

Derby Former Woolworths | Savers + Vacant 2017

Source: auction.co.uk

In 1975, a huge Woolworths superstore with two floors was built inside the new Eagle Shopping Centre. There was a super modern cafe inside (well, modern for the 70s) – carpets and plush leatherette seating, with a warm orange-brown colour scheme, boldly patterned walls, individual lamps hanging over each table – it’s sounds like the retro styling that is back on trend now.

Derby Eagle Centre Woolworths 1975

Derby Eagle Centre Woolworths 1987

Source: Derby Telegraph

The store closed on 16th January 1988 when Woolworths decided it was too big – they planned to sub-divided the store into 10 units and lease out, with Woolworths Properties acting as landlord. I think the store was next to C&A, which closed down in 2001. It was boarded up for a while until Woolworths decided to come back to this Derby shopping centre as store 1242 (1 London Road) – but then it closed down in 2008. It is now Poundland – so I’m guessing the original Eagle Centre Woolworths unit would have been near that Poundland somewhere.

 

The next store – Store 30 – Edgware Road has already been written about, you can read all about that store here.

 

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2 responses

  1. Hi Sabrina,

    I would like to thank-you for all the hard work you must put into the “woolies’Buildings” bloggs. From a personal point of view, I profoundly appreciate them . Not only are they great to read, one can learn things they never knew – even the ardent Woolworth obsessive like myself!

    I would like to know if you are going to anything Colchester (040) my birth town and (044) – Norwich, where I have lived. Colchester isu interesting. F W W himself chose the site. Bit apart from the fire in 1973, there are little pictures and data about the store. Norwich has very little 1980’s data .

    I look forward to further bloggs!

    Kind regards,

    Like

    1. Hi Lee, I’m so glad you like the blog 🙂 Yes I will be doing Colchester and Norwich soon – I’m doing the stores in number order so I should get to them in the next couple of weeks. That’s interesting that FW himself chose the site, hopefully I can find some more details. Stay tuned!

      Like

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