35 – 37 High Street, Congleton, Cheshire CW12 1AX
Woolworths opened in Congleton in 1927. It was a small store with a typical Woolworths look to the first floor – see below.
Source: Congleton Through Time, Alcock J.
In 1968 Woolworths bought The Bears Head Hotel and Farrell’s Sweet Shop next door. They were demolished along with Banks Car Garage on Market Street to build a Woolworths superstore. At the time Mr. G. Lamb was the store manager, pictured below with his staff. These photos were in The New Bond (The House Journal of F. W. Woolworth and Co. Limited) June/July 1970 – kindly sent in by Richard Northover. He says “This was the forerunner of Woolworths/Woolies News, which was all about people and stores – not the political rag that was Woolies News!! It was named after the original head office in New Bond Street London, which opened after the head office moved from Liverpool.”
Congleton was a unique store in that it was chosen to trial the first franchise Post Office in the 1990s. Colin Higgins managed the project at Regional level in conjunction with the HO store planning team. “Another store we tried it in was 608 Huntingdon around 1995. They were never successfully financially, as the big fee earners for PO operation, such as the BVP, were being phased out at that time.”
According to the Warrington Guardian there were three trial franchise Post Office stores, and Woolworths decided to end the trial in 1999.
The store continued to trade well as a normal Woolworths, lasting until the end. It closed in December 2008.
Shortly after closing, B&M moved in and they are still trading there today.