Category Archives: Leicestershire

Market Harborough – Store 301

19 High Street, Market Harborough, Leics LE16 7NW

Woolworths opened in Market Harborough on the site of an old motor garage at 19 High Street in 1928. The garage was demolished and the Woolworths store was built in their recognisable style.

Market Harborough Woolworths 1960s

Market Harborough Woolworths 1960s

Market Harborough Woolworths 1965

Market Harborough Woolworths 1965

Source: Francis Frith 

They traded here until the 1970s. Today a Savers store trades from this site, which opened there in the 2010s. You can tell it was a Woolworth store from the style of the upper floor and the tiles.

Savers, Market Harborough, 2012

Savers, Market Harborough, 2012

Source: ballysundriven

45-51 The Square, Market Harborough LE16 7PA

Woolworths relocated to 43-51 The Square, which is just down the road from its first location on the High Street.

Woolworths, Market Harborough, 2008

Woolworths, Market Harborough, 2008

Source: citykey

You may notice that the Woolworths logo is different from the usual. This is because this was a 10/10 store, where a new look was trialled in 2002/03. Market Harborough was the lucky store that got chosen to try out the new design for the smaller stores. Unfortunately it didn’t work as well as it did in the larger stores – the store became too congested and customers found it hard to get to the back of the shop on busy days. So the design wasn’t rolled out to the rest of the small Woolworths stores.

Market Harborough Woolworths closed on 27th December 2008. Here is it after it closed down:

Market Harborough Woolworths 2009

Market Harborough Woolworths 2009

Source: ballysundriven, Flickr

In late 2009 it became a New Look, which it still is today.

New Look, Market Harborough, 2014

New Look, Market Harborough, 2014

Source: Hilsden C.

This post was originally written in March 2015

Loughborough – Store 226

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.

Loughborough Woolworths 1920s or 30s

Loughborough Woolworths 1920s or 30s

See it on the right of this postcard.

Loughborough Woolworths 1930s

Loughborough Woolworths 1930s

An interesting photo here, I can’t quite make out what is happening. There seems to be a lot of animals.

Loughborough Woolworths date unknown

Loughborough Woolworths date unknown

Woolworths is on the left of this 1950s photo.

Loughborough Woolworths 1955

Loughborough Woolworths 1955

Loughborough Woolworths 1957

Loughborough Woolworths 1957

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.

Loughborough Woolworths late 1950s

Loughborough Woolworths late 1950s

The old building still exists – it is now Superdrug.

Loughborough Former Woolworths - Superdrug

Loughborough Former Woolworths – 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.

Loughborough Woolworths 1960s

Loughborough Woolworths 1960s

Loughborough Woolworths 1965

Loughborough Woolworths 1965

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.

Loughborough Former Woolworths - Primark

Loughborough Former Woolworths – Primark

 


Photos from Remember Loughborough

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.