Author Archive: sabrina

Luton – Store 52

46-48 George Street, Luton, Beds LU1 2BA

The 52nd Woolworths store opened in Luton on George Street in 1915, occupying two shop units.

Luton Woolworths 1930s

Luton Woolworths 1930s

Source: Postcard from eBay

On 17th June 1933, the store reopened after a rebuild. The design was quite a chaste Art Deco one with a hint of ornamentation.

Luton Woolworths 1950s

Luton Woolworths 1950s

Source: Woolworths Museum

In 1972 the Luton Arndale shopping centre opened, and Woolworths moved in, leaving the building on George Street. This is the exterior view of the shopping centre in the 70s.

Luton Woolworths 1978

Luton Woolworths 1978

Source: Luton Memories

In 1995 it became a prototype ‘City’ store, with a new ‘Kitchenshop’ department. The store closed in 2008.

Luton Woolworths 2006

Luton Woolworths 2006

Today the George Street building still exists – you can see the Art Deco beauty as it is not occupied by ‘Luton Mall’ – 10 units including McDonalds.

Luton Former Woolworths - Luton Mall McDonalds 2017

Luton Former Woolworths – Luton Mall McDonalds 2017

And as for the Arndale centre store, that is now M&S.

Luton Former Woolworths - M&S 2017

Luton Former Woolworths – M&S 2017

Source: symettrys

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Huddersfield – Store 51

49-57 New Street, Huddersfield HD1 2BL

Huddersfield Woolworths opened on New Street in 1915. It was expanded in 1934 to include an entrance on Victoria Lane. The upper trading floor retailed funiture and also had a cafeteria.

Huddersfield Woolworths 1955

Huddersfield Woolworths 1955

Source: Huddersfield Examiner

Huddersfield Woolworths 1956

Huddersfield Woolworths 1956

Source: Pinterest

The shop was expanded again in 1964 from two storeys to six.

Huddersfield Woolworths 1980s

Huddersfield Woolworths 1970s

Source: Pictures of England

In the mid-seventies, a Shoppers World floor opened at Huddersfield – this was Woolworths catalogue shop, like the first ever Argos.

Huddersfield Woolworths and Shoppers World 1970s

Huddersfield Woolworths and Shoppers World 1970s

Source: Woolworths Museum

Shoppers World was very successful but the American owners decided to sell as it wasn’t doing too well over there.

In 1980 the store was extended and refurbished at a cost of £750,000. The work included expanding the Victoria Lane entrance by acquiring two small shops next door.

Huddersfield Woolworths Victoria Lane Entrance 2006

Huddersfield Woolworths Victoria Lane Entrance 2006

Source: Flickr

In 1990, with the introduction of the business rate, Woolworths took the commercial decision to remove the two top floors to reduce their rating liability.  They also split the ground floor into two separate shop units and let them off. Woolworths, as a result traded only on the lower sales floor, which had a ‘frontage’ at the rear of the building onto a pedestrian area. They retained two entrances at front ground floor onto New Street level.

Huddersfield Woolworths New Street 2008

Huddersfield Woolworths New Street 2008

Source: Flickriver

This was the Victoria Lane entrance which used to be the back and is now the front of the store, as it faces the Piazza shopping centre.

Huddersfield Woolworths Victoria Lane 2008

Huddersfield Woolworths Victoria Lane 2008

Source: Huddersfield Examiner

Huddersfield Woolworths Victoria Lane 2008

Huddersfield Woolworths Victoria Lane 2008

Source: Flickr

The store closed in December 2008 when the chain went bust, and Poundland now occupies the building. Here is the New Street back entrance:

 

Huddersfield Former Woolworths New Street Poundland 2017

Huddersfield Former Woolworths New Street – Poundland 2017

And here is the Victoria Lane front entrance:

Huddersfield Former Woolworths Victoria Lane - Poundland 2017

Huddersfield Former Woolworths Victoria Lane – Poundland 2017

You can see how large a Woolworths store it would have been from this photo.

Huddersfield Former Woolworths Victoria Lane - Poundland 2017

Huddersfield Former Woolworths Victoria Lane – Poundland 2017

Source: Acuitus

Leicester – Store 49

50a – 54 Gallowtree Gate, Leicester LE1 1DB

Woolworths opened their 49th store in Leicester on Gallowtree Gate in 1915. The store was substantially enlarged in the 1920s and 1930s, as it was a very popular store.

Leicester Woolworths 1930s

Leicester Woolworths 1930s

Source: Leicester Memories

Leicester Woolworths 1930s

Leicester Woolworths 1930s

Source: Soult’s Retail View

 

A new look F. W. Woolworth store opened in Gallowtree Gate, Leicester in 1965, having been upgraded without actually closing. It was a ‘store of the future, with a new look inside and out – new music (the first to get a “modern” record department), soft goods, grocery (food hall on first floor), fashion and sports counters and a first floor restaurant. It had two large salesfloors, each with a brightly polished terrazzo marble floor in the firm’s distinctive pink and grey chessboard pattern.

Leicester Woolworths 1960s

Source: Woolworths Museum

The store was one of a few that pioneered new lighting, flooring and wooden ‘Clothing Tower’ fixtures. It had a sixty foot (18m) fashion counter featured garments in every colour of the rainbow. Nylon and Courtelle fabrics took the place of wool and cotton, but purchasers rarely returned for more, after finding the fabrics itchy and chafing.

Leicester Woolworths 1960s

Leicester Woolworths 1960s

Source: Leicester Mercury

In the 1980s, the Leicester store modernised again as a prototype ‘Weekend’ store and it was a hit with shoppers.

Leicester Woolworths 1980s

Leicester Woolworths 1980s

Source: Memories of Leicester

But shortly afterwards the building was sold to BHS when Kingsfisher took over and they were selling off city centre stores to make money. This store closed in 1984, there was a 2 year gap and then they opened a new store in Haymarket Shopping Centre in 1986 (Store 1141).

Leicester Former Woolworths - BHS 2010

Leicester Former Woolworths – BHS 2010

Source: Soult’s Retail View

Of course now BHS has also gone bust, so this building is vacant, still with the BHS fascia though. If you are in town, you can see the building, it’s next to The Works and Caffe Nero.

Stockport – Store 48

35-39 Princes Street, Stockport, Cheshire SK1 1SY

Store 48 was Stockport which opened in 1915. The store had a temporary shopfront for several years after World War One. Then a new purpose-built store was built in the 1930s.

In the 1930s a road was built above and along the River Mersey – before that the river cut the town in half. Woolworth and M&S were one of the few stores that lay along its route.

Stockport Woolworths 1960s
Stockport Woolworths 1965

Source: Pinterest

Then in 1965, the Merseyway Shopping Centre above the river, where the road was. The shopping centre is held up by concrete arches above the river! You can see Woolworths in this video of when the shopping centre was built – there are some rare photos here:

The UK’s first outdoor travelator was installed here, n front of Woolworths.

Stockport Woolworths 1965

Stockport Woolworths 1965

Source: Wild, S

Stockport Woolworths 1970s

Stockport Woolworths 1970s

Source: Pinterest

Stockport Woolworths 1970s

Stockport Woolworths 1970s

Stockport Woolworths 1970s or 80s

Stockport Woolworths 1970s or 80s

In the 1985 an experimental V-Shaped red-framed entrance to the store was made, designed to funnel customers into the store. They kept this until the end.

Stockport Woolworths 2007

Stockport Woolworths 2007

Source: Emily and James

The store closed for good when Woolworths went bust at the end of 2008. The unit was split into 3 and is now occupied by River Island, Deichmann and Costa Coffee. If you ever go shopping at Merseyway in Stockport, do have a look above these stores, and have a latte in the corner of the old Woolworths.

Stockport Former Woolworths - River Island Deichmann Costa Coffee

Stockport Former Woolworths – River Island Deichmann Costa Coffee

Source: England, G.

Dover – Store 47

62 – 63 Biggin Street, Dover, Kent CT16 1DD

Woolworths opened their 47th store in Dover in 1915 on Biggin Street. The store was purpose-built, next to a shoe shop called Marchant & Tubb on the junction with Priory Street. Here you can see blackout curtains put in during WWII, and unusually the ‘F.W. Woolworth & Co Ltd’ looks painted on.

Dover Woolworths 1940

Dover Woolworths 1940

Source: Getty Images

There is conflicting information on the Woolworths Museum website that says the store got completely destroyed in WWII, but the below photo is supposedly from the 1950s. Unless that date is wrong.

Dover Woolworths 1950s

Dover Woolworths 1950s (more likely to be 1940s)

Source: Dover Blog

You can see that the building still exists today but you might not recognise it as it’s been painted grey with all the decorative cornicing removed. The corner building next door has gone so perhaps it was bombed but the Woolworths building survived.

 

Dover Former Woolworths - Savers 2017

Dover Former Woolworths – Savers 2017

Woolworths had tried to purchase the whole block between Worthington Street, Priory Street, Biggin Street and Priory Place, but several businesses held out. So Woolworth closed their Dover branch (date unknown), not re-opening until they acquired the old Post Office building on numbers 65-66 on the opposite corner of Priory Road in the 1990s (store 1206).

If you are ever shopping in Dover, do have a look up at Savers. It does look rather terrible with the crumbling flaky paint, but look at the windows and you’ll see these are the originals.

Walsall – Store 46

16 – 22 Park Street, Walsall, Staffs WS1 1NQ

Woolworths opened its 46th store in Walsall in 1915 on Park Street. Some time in the 1920s-30s, a new store was built on the site – the earliest frontage in art deco style to be designed by Woolworths staff architects, incorporating an angular version of the lion-head logo (see them at the tops of the windows) – the lion’s head emphasised Woolworth’s efforts to stock goods of British manufacture in the aftermath of WW1.

Walsall Woolworths 1920 - 1940

Walsall Woolworths 1920 – 1940

Source: Historic England

In 1953 the store was decorated for the Queen’s Coronation.

Walsall Woolworths 1953

Walsall Woolworths 1953

Source: Walsall Council

The back of the store could be seen from the bus station.

Back of Walsall Woolworths 1965

Back of Walsall Woolworths 1965

Source: Fisher R.

In the 1970s the fascia was updated.

Back of Walsall Woolworths 1978

Back of Walsall Woolworths 1978

Source: Jones, S.

I found this comment from a former Saturday boy: “…Woolworths, where I once had a Saturday job. The building to the left used to be Boots. All us Woolies people envied the conditions of the Boots staff – they even had a staff hairdressing salon on the roof.”

Walsall Woolworths 1983

Walsall Woolworths 1983

Source: Black Country History

The store closed soon after the above photo was taken. Years later, a new Woolies opened elsewhere in Walsall Town Wharf (store 1194). The Park Street store became a Currys and Dixons in the 1980s.

Walsall Former Woolworths - Currys Dixons late 1980s

Walsall Former Woolworths – Currys Dixons late 1980s

Source: Pete

Today the building is occupied by Barclays and Diffusion, and you can still admire the elegance of the Woolworths architecture and lion heads above.

Walsall Former Woolworths - Barclays Diffusion 2017

Walsall Former Woolworths – Barclays Diffusion 2017

Source: Chertsey130 Blog

Norwich – 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.

 

 

Kingston Upon Thames – Store 43

6 Clarence Street, Kingston Upon Thames, Surrey

The 43rd Woolworths store opened in Kingston Upon Thames on 14th November 1914, completing a ring of stores around London’s metropolitan areas – the others were RichmondWimbledonLewishamIlfordPeckham, Croydon, Harlesden and Brixton. It was on a prime location between Clarence Street and Church Street, in the heart of town opposite Bentalls Department store and the post office.

Kingston Woolworths 1914

Kingston Woolworths 1914

Source: Woolworths Museum

The store was purpose built in a style that was in fashion at that time, with bold Classical flourishes, a strong centrepiece at the top. The centre of the store was difficult to light so a light well was put in. There was a first floor cafe and a small kitchen. In 1916 the store was widened towards the back and a second entrance was added at Church Street to help cope with the volume of trade, as well as the cafe being converted to another sales floor.

Kingston Woolworths, Clarence Street - 1920

Kingston Woolworths, Clarence Street – 1920

Source: Historic England

10/13 Market Place, Kingston Upon Thames, Surrey KT1 1JZ

Bigger premises were desperately needed, so they relocated to Market Place in 1931, where they demolished a hotel to build a half-timbered building with oriel windows and eyebrow dormers on Market Place. A taste for Old England facades came about at that time, possibly inspired by Liberty’s in London. The new store was built in stages, with sections added in 1933 and 1935.

Kingston Woolworths 1930s

Kingston Woolworths 1930s

Source: Woolworths Museum

The style of the building was considered vulgar by locals, so it was remodelled in 1959.

In 1972 the store was refurbished and a ‘Kwik Snax’ takeaway opened, replacing the old tea bar.

Kingston Woolworths 1978

Kingston Woolworths 1978

Source: Woolworths Museum

In 2003 Kingston was one of the 10/10 trial stores that got a new look, a new fascia and a red walkway in store with counters at an angle.

Kingston Woolworths 2003

Kingston Woolworths 2003

Source: Pinterest

The store closed when the chain went bust in 2008 and it now is Clas Ohlson.

Kingston Clas Ohlson Former Woolworths

Kingston Clas Ohlson Former Woolworths

Source: Local Data Company

The first store at 6 Clarence Street is now Barclays, it seems the little Woolworths building has gone.

Cricklewood – Store 42

154 – 156 The Broadway, Cricklewood, London NW2 3ED

Store 42 was in Cricklewood, North West London, opening late 1914. Iconic premises were chosen at the end of the Broadway. The pub next door was the local transport hub, where buses to and from the city centre terminated.

Cricklewood Woolworths 1914

Cricklewood Woolworths 1914

Source: Woolworths Museum

There is not much information on the store during it’s lifetime. It closed in 1984 and today there is an Iceland in the building.

 

Cricklewood Former Woolworths

Cricklewood Former Woolworths

Source: citykey

Hammersmith – Store 41

84-90 King Street, Hammersmith, London W6 0PY

Store 41 opened in Hammersmith in October 1914 at 84 King Street, right next door to the Hammersmith Cinematograph Theatre – a cinema that went bust in 1915.

Hammersmith Woolworths was one of the best performing and most loved stores in the UK, so in the 1920s there were plans to redevelop the site. The neighbouring buildings were secretly bought. The new store was built at 84-90, finished in Portland Stone and marble, with art deco finishes that were more luxurious than the other stores.

Source: Woolworth’s 100 years on the High Street, Morrison K

Below is a close-up and you can see the windows boarded up during the second world war.

Hammersmith Woolworths 1937

Hammersmith Woolworths 1940

Source: Woolworths Museum

There is this extract from the Woolworths Museum on how they kept trading while building this store:

“The development must have been something to behold. The Board was determined not to allow any loss of trading during the development, so the new building was put up around the old one, with trade transferred into the new section midway through the project so that the old building could be pulled down and replaced before the Upper Floors, including a popular tea bar and restaurant, as well large stockrooms and comfortable staff accommodation could be added upstairs. The new premises were opened in stages through the 1930s, with neon signage added just before World War II as a response to a ‘hated competitor’, which I would be guess would be the British Home Stores branch which opened opposite at that time, run by a rival American consortium.

Weeks after the work was completed, the building was side-swiped by the Luftwaffe, causing minor damage to the facade but destroying the new fascia and breaking most of windows and damaged the polished brass window and door frames. These were hastily repaired/replaced to make the ‘We’re carrying on’ picture, which had to be approved by the Censor before it was published in a special staff magazine for employees serving in H.M. Forces. It was among the first in the country to have a fascia without a reference to ‘Nothing over Sixpence’ or ‘3D and 6D stores’, as the repairs came days after the chain was forced to drop its long-standing fixed prices by wartime inflation.”

 

In 1982, the store was closed and the freehold sold when Kingfisher took over.

Hammersmith Woolworths 1970s 80s
Hammersmith Woolworths 1970s 80s

Source: Pinterest

Today the building is occupied by KFC, Cashino Gaming and a Best Western Seraphine Hotel upstairs. So you can actually have a holiday in an old Woolworths building – who knows, you could be sleeping in the old stockroom!

Hammersmith Former Woolworths 2017

Hammersmith Former Woolworths 2017

Source: Best Western

Colchester – Store 40

48-50 High Street, Colchester, Essex CO1 1DL

Woolworths opened their fortieth store in Colchester in September 1914. They partnered with Burtons to share the building.

Colchester Woolworths 1914

Colchester Woolworths 1914

Burtons insisted on having their name on the roof line as the top floor was a Burtons Billiards Hall – to encourage young men to stay out of pubs and play here, and hopefully shop in the store downstairs.

Colchester Woolworths 1930

Colchester Woolworths 1930

Source: Woolworth’s 100 Years on the High Street, Morrison K.

In 1935 Woolworths bought out Burton’s share of the freehold and took over the whole building.

Colchester Woolworths 1935

Colchester Woolworths 1935

The branch was modernised in the 1960s, which you can see on the left here – typical 60s design, I can imagine it was blue aluminium squares.

Colchester Woolworths 1970

Colchester Woolworths 1970

Source: Laodicean

Then it burnt down in a very serious fire in 1973 – there is a story about who started the fire here – don’t know if it is true or not. The store has to be built from scratch. It spent some time further along the street in temporary premises, which oddly enough burnt down a few years later.

Colchester Woolworths 1980s

Colchester Woolworths 1980s

Source: Silvermusic

Colchester Woolworths Close Up 1980s

Colchester Woolworths Close Up 1980s

This was one of the first stores to be sold-off by Kingfisher in 1984. In the late 1990s, Woolworths returned to Colchester in a new and iconic Store 1202 in Culver Square.

Today, this building is split into 3 units – Brighthouse, Paddy Power and Santander. Not a very exciting building in terms of architecture, but next time you walk past these units in Colchester High Street, at least you now know they were a Woolworths.

Colchester Former Woolworths | BrightHouse Paddy Power Santander

Colchester Former Woolworths | BrightHouse Paddy Power Santander

Source: KLM Retail

 

Glasgow Union Street – Store 39

62 – 70 Union Street, Glasgow, Strathclyde G1 3QS

Woolworths opened their first Scottish store in Glasgow on 2nd October 1914, next to a cinema.

Glasgow Union Street Woolworths 1914

Glasgow Union Street Woolworths 1914

Source: Woolworths Museum

In 1921 the store was extended, taking over the cinema next door. Shortly after the works were finished, a serious fire broke out in the stockroom that affected neighbouring buildings, causing alarm to the City as it was so close to the station.

Glasgow Union Street Woolworths 1921

Glasgow Union Street Woolworths 1921

Source: Woolworths Museum

By the 1950s, the store was considered off-location, as it sales were being dwarfed by the nearly Argyle Street branch. The store was closed in 1971, the freehold sold.

Glasgow Union Street Woolworths - no date

Glasgow Union Street Woolworths – no date

Source: Evening Times

Today part of Poundland and Rymans are where the Woolworths store was. The building is Category B Listed (that’s the Scottish version of Grade II), so although it’s not Woolworths architecture, it is still a historical building to admire.

Glasgow Union Street Former Woolworths | Poundland Rymans

Glasgow Union Street Former Woolworths | Poundland Rymans

Source: NovaLoca


You can read about Store 38 – Swindon here.

 

Bradford – Store 37

12/14 Darley Street, Bradford, Yorkshire BD1 3HJ

The thirty-seventh Woolworths store opened in Bradford in 1914, on the very steep Darley Street. At this time, coal and wool industries made Bradford the boom town of the north.

Bradford Woolworths 1914

Bradford Woolworths 1914

Source: Woolworths Museum

M&S soon opened next door, meaning Woolworths could not extend sidewards. Instead they extended upwards and behind, while keeping their Art Deco front which you can see in the photo below.

Bradford Woolworths 1937

Bradford Woolworths 1937

Source: Woolworths Museum

Below is the store in the 1950s, on the right in between M&S and Boots.

Bradford Woolworths 1950s

Bradford Woolworths 1950s

Source: Francis Frith

Unfortunately the Art Deco frontage has gone, as in the mid-1960s Woolworths built a huge concrete superstore, taking over the Boots store next door. The store closed in 1983 when Woolworths sold the freehold. In more recent years, the store was split into three, shared by Topshop/Topman, Scotts and Dorothy Perkins/Burton/Evans.

Bradford Former Woolworths |Scotts Dorother Perkin Burton Evans

Source: Primelocation

Today Scotts is still there but the other two units are vacant. Still, if you are interested in seeing some 1960s Woolworths architecture, do take a look at this building at 10-14 Darley Street.


These stores have already been written about, here are the links:

Store 35 – Portsmouth
Store 36 – Nottingham
Store 38 – Swindon

Clapham Junction – Store 34

36/44 St John’s Road, London SW11 1PP

Woolworths opened their thirty-fourth store in Clapham Junction, South West London in 1914. There is not much information from the early days, but there is a photo of the toy department from 1987.

Clapham Junction Woolworths Toy Department 1987

Clapham Junction Woolworths Toy Department 1987

Source: Woolworths Museum

From the below photo it looks like the store had a 1930s makeover, probably a smaller store extended to a large store with an Art Deco facade. Over time one side became Superdrug. They were part of the Kingfisher groups in the 1980s, so this may have happened then.

Clapham Junction Woolworths 2007

Clapham Junction Woolworths 2007

Source: Citykey

The store closed before the company went bust, in the summer of 2008 when about 5 stores were closed down.

Today Waitrose has taken its place, with Superdrug still on the side. It really is a beautiful building, with 1930s style windows – do have a look if you’re ever shopping in Clapham Junction.

Clapham Junction Former Woolworths | Waitrose 2012

Clapham Junction Former Woolworths | Waitrose 2012

Source: Ballysundriven


These store have already been written about, here are the links:

Store 33 – Southend
Store 35 – Portsmouth
Store 36 – Nottingham

Dudley – Store 32

38A High Street, Dudley, West Midlands

On 21st March 1914 Woolworths bought a 25 year lease on a narrow-fronted building at 38A Market Place on Dudley High Street. The store was very successful, famous for its queues, but there was no room for extension.

Dudley Woolworths 1914

Dudley Woolworths 1914

Source: Woolworths Museum

They must have got out of the lease early as they moved along the road to 43 High Street 21 years later, with a grand reopening on 12th April 1935. Though this is numbered 34 on the most recent store list.

Dudley Woolworths 1935

Dudley Woolworths 1935

Source: Woolworths Museum

Below you can see the store on the right of this photo in the 1950s.

Dudley Woolworths 1955

Dudley Woolworths 1955

Source: Express and Star

In 1960 a basement floor was added, fronting King Street, which became a Shoppers World store from 1975 to 1983. This was the Woolworths’ version of Argos.

Shoppers World Dudley 1970s

Shoppers World Dudley 1970s

Source: Woolworths Museum

Inside Shoppers World Dudley 1970s

Inside Shoppers World Dudley 1970s

Source: Woolworths Museum

Dudley Woolworths 2004

Dudley Woolworths 2004

Source: Express and Star

The Dudley store closed in 2008. The building has been converted into a mini mall, so it must have been a huge Woolworths inside if there are now loads of shops inside. The building sadly is looking very sorry for itself and could do with a lick of paint. Nevertheless, if you are shopping in Dudley, do have a look above the Plaza Mall and see a bit of Woolies architecture.

Dudley Former Woolworths | Plaza Mall 2017

Dudley Former Woolworths | Plaza Mall 2017

Source: Butler P.

And as for the back basement floor entrance of Woolworths and the former Shoppers World of King Street – this is now the back of Plaza Mall and a former Rock Zombie bar, which closed due to violence.

Dudley Back of Former Woolworths Shoppers World - now Plaza Mall 2017

Dudley Back of Former Woolworths / Shoppers World – now Plaza Mall 2017

Source: Google Maps


 

The next store – Southend Store 33 – has already been written about here.

 

Dublin, Grafton Street – Store 31

65-68 Grafton Street, Dublin, Ireland

Store 31 was the first ever Irish store, opening in Grafton Street, Dublin, on 23rd April 1914. It was on a corner site in fine Edwardian red brick buildings, seen on the left of this postcard.

Dublin Grafton Street Woolworths 1914

Dublin Grafton Street Woolworths 1914

Source: Woolworths Museum

Opening in Ireland had its obstacles. The IRA formed in 1919 to bring about independence, there was violence and antipathy against any retailer selling non-Irish products and there were boycotting campaigns. Woolworths became increasingly reliant on Irish suppliers to fill their counters here.

This is a photo from the store’s 25th anniversary in 1939.

Dublin Grafton Street Woolworths 1939

Dublin Grafton Street Woolworths 1939

Source: Woolworths Museum

In the 1960s it still had it’s unique look, but soon after it was replaced by the standard house style, with all three Edwardian buildings sadly being demolished.

Dublin Grafton Street Woolworths 1960s

Dublin Grafton Street Woolworths 1960s

Source: Ireland Then and Now

The store closed in 1984 when Woolworths decided to leave Ireland. The building was split in two – one half was HMV, the other half Next.

Dublin Grafton Street Former Woolworths | HMV, Next

Dublin Grafton Street Former Woolworths | HMV, Next 2014

Source: Nialler

Today the building shared by Massimo Dutti and Boss – you can see the 60s architecture with it’s triangular windows when you look up. And if you look next door at Monsoon, you can see how the original Edwardian building would have looked.


 

If you are looking for Store 30, Edgware Road, it has already been written about – you can read all about that store here.

 

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 in 1987 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.

 

Darlington – Store 28

78-79 Northgate, Darlington, Durham DL1 1TZ

The twenty-eighth Woolworths store was in Darlington. It opened on Northgate in 1913 with Frank W Woolworth personally opening it.

Darlington Woolworths 1913

Darlington Woolworths 1913

Source: Woolworths Museum

The store was extended in 1927, and this is possibly when an Art Deco facade was added. Graham Soult did a lot of research to find out what the building is today, as it seems the street numbering changes across the decades – you can read more about that here. He worked out by looking at the location of building in old postcards, that the Woolworths store would have been next to BHS at 56-58, formerly Burtons, then a £5 store and now vacant.

Darlington-Former-Woolworths-_-Vacant-2017

Darlington Former Woolworths-Vacant 2017

Source: Google Maps

12-18 Northgate, Darlington, Durham DL1 1TZ

On 20th September 1940, the store relocated to bigger premises at numbers 12-18, joining togther three shops by the looks of it.

Darlington Woolworths 1983

Darlington Woolworths 1983

Source: The Durham Record

In the below photo, you can actually see the old store front further down the road.

Darlington Woolworths 1990s

Darlington Woolworths 1990s

Source: Darlington Local Studies Picture Collection

The store closed in December 2008.

Darlington Woolworths 2004

Darlington Woolworths 2004

Source: Darlington Library

Now this old Woolworths is occupied by Next and the smaller side to the left is occupied by Holland and Barratt (not pictured here).

Darlington Former Woolworths | Next 2012

Darlington Former Woolworths | Next 2012

Source: Soult G.

 

Newcastle-Upon-Tyne – Store 27

15/21 Northumberland Street, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, NE1 7BB

The twenty-seventh Woolworths store opened on 6th September 1913 at 17 Northumberland Street, next to the first Fenwicks department store. Every picture from the early years shows a Carter Paterson’s lorry or container – they brought up goods from the railway station to replenish the counters.

Newcastle-Upon-Tyne Woolworths 1913

Newcastle-Upon-Tyne Woolworths 1913

Source: Woolworths Museum

The store was so successful that it trebled in size by 1936. The elegant, enlarged building was put up around the existing store so shopping could continue while works went on. The style was Art Deco with windows in trios.

Newcastle-Upon-Tyne Woolworths 1936

Newcastle-Upon-Tyne Woolworths 1936

Source: Woolworths Museum

The building stayed relatively unchanged through the decades.

Newcastle Woolworths 1960s

Newcastle Woolworths 1960s

Source: Co Curate

Newcastle Woolworths 1968

Newcastle Woolworths 1968

Source: Newcastle Libraries

Newcastle Woolworths 1971

Newcastle Woolworths 1971

Source: Co Curate

A new fascia was put on in the 1980s, but the store closed shortly after, when Woolworths disposed of city centre stores to save on costs.

Newcastle Woolworths 1984

Newcastle Woolworths 1984

Source: chroniclelive.co.uk

This store closed in 1984 and was pre-let to Next. But Virgin Megastores actually took on the site, which changed to Zavvi in 2007.

Newcastle Former Woolworths | Virgin Megastore 2007

Newcastle Former Woolworths | Virgin Megastore 2007

Source: Mankind

Then it was a Peacocks store.

Newcastle Former Woolworths | Peacocks 2010

Newcastle Former Woolworths | Peacocks 2010

Source: Citykey

and today it is Sports Direct. And despite all these shop changes, it is lovely to see the Art Deco architecture still intact, and looking bright and clean!

Newcastle Former Woolworths | Sports Direct

Newcastle Former Woolworths | Sports Direct

Source: Citykey

Next time you are in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, do have a look up above Sports Direct.

Wood Green – Store 26

48-50 High Road, Wood Green, London N22 6DG

The twenty-sixth Woolworths store opened in Wood Green in north London. It opened in the High Road in 1913. There’s not much information on the store from the early days, but in the 1950s Wood Green had 3 big department stores – Woolworths, BHS and Marks and Spencer (which opened in the late 1920s). I found this interesting extract about shopping in Wood Green in the 50s:

“One source of entertainment was the antics of the “spivs” who illegally sold things (possibly of doubtful origin) out of suitcases in front of the stores (Woolworths, BHS and M&S).  They had a look-out hovering on the kerb who signalled the arrival of the patrolling policeman.  The suitcases would then snapped shut and the spivs would quickly disappear into one of the stores only to re-appear again when the coast was clear.  The day of reckoning came one day when the police came through the stores from the back entrances on Bury Road and several spivs were “nicked”.” Stephen Holliday

Wood Green Woolworths 1981

Wood Green Woolworths 1981

Source: Dowling M.

In the above photo you can see the Woolworths store just behind the bus in 1981. It was next to Marks and Spencer. The store had been extended sideways in 1973/4 so it went behind the other shops to the left and had a separate side entrance (around where Barclays Bank is today). On the reopening day of the new larger store, the pavement was packed with customers queueing to get in (Source: John, former employee)

There is no information on when the store closed. We do know that a new Woolworths opened in The Mall shopping centre – Store 1240 – which closed when Woolworths collapsed.

The building of Store 26 in more recent years was a Dorothy Perkins, which closed in 2016, and a bit of the frontage went to Sainsbury’s. The inside of Sainsbury’s is actually the old Woolworths – so it was quite a big store. The front of this building does look very 60s/70s, I would assume this happened when they did the big side extension in 1973/4.

Wood Green Former Woolworths | Dorothy Perkins 2015

Wood Green Former Woolworths | Dorothy Perkins 2015

Source: Google Street View

The Dorothy Perkins side became a Peacocks store. But now the store is vacant. Again.

Wood Green Former Woolworths | Peacocks 2017

Wood Green Former Woolworths | Peacocks 2017

Source: smithprice.co.uk