Norwich Woolworths – Store 44

21-25 Rampant Horse Street, Norwich, Norfolf NOR 50E

In November 1914, the 44th Woolworths store opened in Norwich on Rampant Horse Street. The store was popular despite initial resistance to chain stores and national brands. Bigger premises were needed so in 1929, a larger store was built on the opposite side with a cafeteria on the first floor (pictured below).

Norwich Rampant Horse Woolworths 1929
Norwich Woolworths, Rampant Horse Street 1929

Source: Woolworths Museum

In 1937 Woolworths won the award for best dressed store in Norwich for the coronation of King George VI.

Norwich Woolworths 1937
Norwich Woolworths, Rampant Horse Street 1937

Source: Woolworths Museum

The store got destroyed in the Blitz of WW2 in 1942, and was rebuilt in the 1950s. While it was being rebuilt, staff were transferred to the Magdelen Street branch, store 556, where they worked for nearly a decade.

Norwich Woolworths, Rampant Horse Street 1950s
Norwich Woolworths, Rampant Horse Street 1950s

Source: Pinterest

The new Norwich store had a high ceiling, fluorescent lighting and a shiny terrazzo marble floor. The new stores significantly outperformed the old pre-war stores, which inspired a major upgrade programme during the Fifties and drove rapid sales growth.

Inside Norwich Rampant Horse Woolworths 1951
Inside Norwich Rampant Horse Woolworths 1951

Source: Woolworths Museum

The store closed shortly after the below photo was taken, when Woolworths moved into the shopping centre in the 1980s.

Norwich Rampant Horse Woolworths 1986
Norwich Rampant Horse Woolworths 1986

Source: Eastern Daily Press

Today it is part of M&S. The main part of M&S is to the left so this is almost the forgotten bit. Next time you are in Norwich, now you’ll know this was a Woolworths.

Norwich Former Woolworths now Marks and Spencer 2018
Norwich Former Woolworths now Marks and Spencer 2018

Source: Lees, I.

 

 

4 Comments Add yours

  1. Matthew Tink says:

    It moved to the former Sainsbury’s store in St Stephen’s Street when this site closed.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. James Parker says:

    It didn’t move to St Stephen’s Street straight away though – there was a gap of several years with no Woolworth’s in Norwich. (I believe that St. Stephen’s had a different store number). When the St Stephen’s store opened there was a significant advertising campaign on local radio – “Woolies are Back”…

    Like

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