2 Market Place, Loughborough, Leics LE11 3EP
Woolworths opened in Loughborough in 1926, originally at number 2 Market Place in what used to be a furnishing warehouse, next to Barclays Bank.
See it on the right of this postcard.
An interesting photo here, I can’t quite make out what is happening. There seems to be a lot of animals.
Woolworths is on the left of this 1950s photo.
Woolworths moved across the road in 1959 – this photo shows the old store still open on the left, and the new store being built on the right.
The old building still exists – it is now Superdrug.
39 – 40 Market Place, Loughborough, Leics LE11 3EL
The new store opened at numbers 39-40. Keightley’s ironmonger’s shop was demolished to build the new Woolworths store.
Lila Walker worked at Loughborough Woolworths, she says “first at the small store in Market Place, then a few months later it moved to a much bigger site across the road . I worked for Woolworths for a lot of years. 1959 until 1964. Had my boys, then returned in 1972. Stayed at the Loughborough store until 1992 in various roles. Moving to 474 Coalville as an Assistant Manager. After an accident I left just before they closed down . The worst thing that happened to 226 was they closed it and moved to a larger site and called it Big W.”
And that is exactly what happened – in 2004 this Woolworths closed, when they moved to the Rushes as a Big W with new store number 1254 (now Tesco).
The old Woolworths is now a Primark, but look up and you’ll still see the Woolworths architecture.
Photos from Remember Loughborough
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
Source: Leicester Memories
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.
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.
Source: Leicester Mercury
In the 1980s, the Leicester store modernised again as a prototype ‘Weekend’ store and it was a hit with shoppers.
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).
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.