5 – 7 High Street, St Peter Port, Guernsey, Channel Islands
Woolworths opened their second Channel Islands store in Guernsey on 20th August 1927 – six years after their first Channel Island store in Jersey. It was in the Guernsey capital of St Peter Port.
“Both (Channel Islands stores) proved popular with local people, and attracted considerable trade from tourists during the summer holiday season, quickly establishing themselves as two of the most profitable stores operated by the British company.” Extract from Woolworths Museum.
Guernsey was occupied by the Germans on 30th June 1940. Company records show the store as “closed – under enemy occupation” from 1st July 1940 until July 1945. You can read more about that time on the Woolworths Museum.
The below photos of the store are from the harbourside, so are the backs of the shops. The fronts were on the narrow high street.
Guernsey St Peter Port Woolworths 1957
Source: Magnolia Box
After liberation, Woolworths set to modernising the 3-storey store, which presumably took while, as the looks modernised in the 1960s photo below.
Robert Baker was the store manager of 270 Guernsey from 1990 to 1995. He says, “It was refitted whilst I was there. Guernsey and Jersey and the two managers’ houses were the only properties still owned by Woolworths Co Ltd – the trading name for Woolworths in the Channel Islands. Guernsey and Jersey both had separate laws which managers had to follow. Videos had to be displayed by classification. So we could not follow head office planograms. Visitors from Head Office did not always understand this and would start to tell managers off. It was fun letting them rant on, before telling them they could change it but I would have to inform the police and they would be arrested.”
Below is a photo of the back of the store from the 2000s, and you can see how the high street looked from the harbour – very pretty.
After closure in December 2008, I think M&S who are next door (and run by Creaseys) extended into the Woolworths building. It’s hard to tell on Google Street view as the high street is so narrow, and there are no harbourside photos. But I think it is this building (high street side).
6 King Street, Jersey (St Helier), Channel Islands
Woolworths opened their 95th store in the Channel Islands, in Jersey, in 1921. The building was a former drapers shop, in fact there is a whole history of number 6 King Street written here.
This is a photo of the store, next to Burtons, in happier times before the war.
In 1940 the Channel Islands were under German control. There was no contact allowed with the mainland, stocks ran low. The manager initially had the Jersey close on Thursdays, before closing down totally until the end of the war. You can read more about what happened here.
In 1945, the Channel Islands were liberated and Woolworths set to reopen and modernise the Jersey store in time for Christmas. The store became one of the most profitable ones in the chain.
This photo shows people queueing for Battle of Flower tickets in 1957, they just happen to be outside Woolworths.
In 1966 the Jersey store had a ‘Diamond Bar’ installed, and it remained a talking point in the 1980s.
And below is the store in more recent times, before it closed for good in December 2008.
Today the building is occupied by New Look.
Source: Jersey Evening Post