Category Archives: London

Kilburn – Store 150

100-104 High Road, Kilburn, London NW6 4HX

The 150th Woolworths store to open was Kilburn in North London, in 1923. I can’t find any photos of the exterior from the early days, but there is this one of the inside from the 1930s, showing a spectacular spring bulbs display.

Kilburn Woolworths (inside) 1932

Kilburn Woolworths (inside) 1932

Source: Flashbak

This photo shows the inside in the 1960s, a very busy store showing the Woolworths girls each in charge of their counters.

Kilburn Woolworths (inside) 1960s

Kilburn Woolworths (inside) 1960s

Source: Museum of London

Kilburn Woolworths traded from the High Road all the way to the end, and apparently had wooden floors for the longest time out of all the Woolworths stores. It finally closed in December 2008.

Kilburn Woolworths 2008

Kilburn Woolworths 2008

Source: Oxyman

Today you will find Iceland in its place.

Kilburn Former Woolworths - Iceland

Kilburn Former Woolworths – Iceland

Source: Flickr

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Leyton – Store 129 / 2024

612-614a Lea Bridge Road, Leyton, London E10 7DL

One of the early London stores, this one opened in 1923 in the Bakers Arms district on Lea Bridge Road, with a striking Art Deco facade. It was an L-Shaped store with the main entrance on Lea Bridge Road, and a smaller side entrance on the High Road.

Leyton Woolworths 1939 - front

Leyton Woolworths 1939 – front

In these photos taken in 1939, the windows had been neatly taped up for safety, to prepare for the war. As a result, both frontages stayed intact during the blitz.

Leyton Woolworths 1939 - High Road side

Leyton Woolworths 1939 – High Road side

Somewhere along the line you can see the Woolworth fascia got a sixties makeover, just looking at the typeface used.

Leyton Woolworths 1967 - 1975

Leyton Woolworths 1967 – 1975

Above three photos – source: Historic England

In the 2000s, this was one of the stores chosen to be a general store, and had it’s store number renamed from 129 to 2024.

Leyton Woolworths 2008

Leyton Woolworths 2008

Source: Lock, D.

Then it was tranformed back to a normal Woolworths until its closure in December 2008.

Woolworths Leyton 2008

Woolworths Leyton 2008

Source: Flickr

Today the main part of the building is an Iceland, and it is pleasing to see the Art Deco facade remains.

Leyton Iceland Former Woolworths 2017

Leyton Iceland – Former Woolworths – 2017

Source: London Postcode Walks

The High Road side entrance is now a Greggs.

Leyton Greggs - High Road - former Woolworths

Leyton Greggs – High Road – former Woolworths

Source: All in London

East Ham – Store 127

72/76 High Street North, East Ham London E6 2JL

Originally Woolworths opened in East Ham in the 1920s at 193 High Street. It can be seen in this photo opposite the Palace Theatre.

East Ham Woolworths 1937

East Ham Woolworths 1937

Source: The Newham Story Forums

East Ham was bombed severely in WW2, and the Woolworths was flattened on September 7th 1940 (Source: The First Day of the Blitz: September 7, 1940, by Peter Stansky)

The store was rebuilt at 72-26 High Street North on the corner of Skeffington Road, and this is what it looked like.

East Ham Woolworths 2008

East Ham Woolworths 2008

Source: bowroaduk, Flickr

This was my friend Ruksana’s local store from her childhood. She remembers it being a long store and her mum always buying her kitchenware from here, in particular Tefal. The store closed on 30th December 2008.

Shortly after it closed, Poundland took over the premises. This was one of 4 Poundlands that cut their prices to 97p in 2013 to undercut the many poundshops on the High Street! Today it is back to £1, as I popped in there to buy some chocolates. It definitely still has a Woolworths feel to it.

East Ham Poundland

East Ham Poundland 2014

East Ham Poundland

East Ham Poundland

East Ham Poundland

East Ham Poundland

The original Woolworths which was at 193 High Street opposite East Ham station and the Palace (which became C&A, today a Lidl) is now Sports Direct.

20141228_131806

East Ham Sports Direct

 

 

 

Palmer’s Green – Store 126 / 2000

240 – 244 Green Lanes, Palmer’s Green, London N13 5TU

Woolworths opened in Green Lanes in Palmer’s Green, North London, in 1922. Green Lanes is an ancient route running from Stoke Newington to Enfield, running through quite a few North London neighbourhoods, each with their own shopping area. It was a good choice to put a Woolworths store here.

In the February 2000, Palmer’s Green became a pilot ‘General Store’ and was renumbered ‘2000’.

Palmers Green Woolworths 2008

Palmers Green Woolworths 2008

Source: Flickr

The ‘General Stores’ concept had actually been developed 15 years earlier, in 1985. It came alive in the year 2000, with the conversion of a few Woolworths stores to become convenience stores, selling food, health and beauty, having a pharmacy as well as photo processing, faxing and photocopying services.

I actually visited this store – I was at university and living in a student house in the area, and I remember walking into the store and feeling very disappointed. This was not a Woolworths!! Gone were the departments you would expect in a Woolworths, and instead were these tiny offerings. A bit of food, a bit of makeup. It looked very sparse.

The trial was called off in July 2002, as ‘at the end of the day, customers do not want to buy food from Woolworths’. All 22 general stores went back to being traditional Woolworths, but they did not bother to change the fascias back.

This Woolworths closed down for good in December 2008, and today it is an Iceland.

Palmers Green Former Woolworths - Iceland

Palmers Green Former Woolworths – Iceland

 

 

Hounslow – Store 106

263 – 277 High Street, Hounslow, Middx

Woolworths opened on Hounslow High Street in 1921. Sadly this store got completely destroyed in WWII.

Hounslow Woolworths 1940s

Hounslow Woolworths 1940s

Source: Woolworths Museum

Woolworths opened as a temporary store at 263 High Street in 1949. It is pictured here as a self-service supermarket – it may have been converted to this when a new Woolworths store opened at 269-270 High Street in 1959.

Hounslow Woolworths 1959

Hounslow Woolworths 1959

Source: Historic England

The lasting solution for Woolworths was to introduce food market departments to their traditional stores, so the two stores merged to become a huge store at 263 – 277 High Street.

In 1984 this branch became a prototype ‘Operation Facelift’ store, with geranium red walls and fixtures, wider shopping aisles, new wall signage, full lighting and perimeter cash desks.

In 1987 the Treaty Shopping Centre opened and Woolworths backed onto this shopping centre.

In 1991 the store was extended and refitted as a ‘store of the future’ with touch-screen ordering kiosks, and a new style cafe called ‘The Cafe’.

The store closed when the chain went bust in December 2008.

Hounslow Woolworths 2008

Hounslow Woolworths 2008

The building became part of a huge redevelopment scheme – it was taken down and completely rebuilt to become a very modern looking H&M and Next.

Hounslow Former Woolworths - H&M and Next 2014

Hounslow Former Woolworths – H&M and Next 2014

Source: Quidnet Capital Partners

Dalston Kingsland – Store 102

36 – 40 Kingsland High Street, Dalston, London E8 2JR

Woolworths originally opened on Kingsland High Street in Dalston in 1921 at numbers 64 – 66. They traded here until the late 1960s (see below on the right).

Dalston Kingsland Woolworths 1939

Dalston Kingsland Woolworths 1939

Source: Hackney Council

This is now a Poundland and vape shop.

Dalston Kingsland Former Woolworths - Poundland

Dalston Kingsland Former Woolworths – Poundland

Source: Flickr

In the late 1960s, Woolworths moved along the road to numbers 36-40, directly opposite the train station. The building was a former theatrical store, but this was demolished to create a purpose-built Woolworths store. Although there are no photos of the store, you can recognised the style from this photo of the building today. Closing date is unknown, I am guessing the 1980s but I could be wrong. Today you will find a Hair & Cosmetics shop and a McDonalds.

Dalston Former Woolworths - McDonalds

Dalston Former Woolworths – McDonalds

Source: Loving Dalston

Hackney – Store 94

333-337 Mare Street, Hackney, London E8 1HY

Woolworths opened in Hackney, East London in 1921. It was right next to a railway bridge. The store had an Art Deco facade.

Hackney Woolworths 1968

Hackney Woolworths 1968

Source: Pinterest

In the 1970s the store was modernised and you can see the new fascia below.

Hackney Woolworths 1970s

Hackney Woolworths 1970s

Source: Pinterest

The store lasted to the end in December 2008.

Hackney Woolworths 2008

Hackney Woolworths 2008

Today the building is occupied by Iceland, and you can still see the Art Deco facade above it.

Hackney Former Woolworths - Iceland

Hackney Former Woolworths – Iceland

Chiswick – Store 91 / 2021

356 – 362 High Road, Chiswick, London W4 5TE

Woolworths opened in Chiswick, West London, in 1920 on the High Road on the site of the former Palais cinema. The store traded here for nearly 90 years. In the 80s it became a Heartland store, and in the early 2000s it became a General store and was renumbered 2021. My husband was a trainee manager at the time and he said it did terribly, as it was directly opposite an M&S Simply Food. With Chiswick being a posh area, customers simply would not choose Woolworths over M&S to buy their bread and milk.

Chiswick Woolworths 2008

Chiswick Woolworths 2008

It was also the store where a man just strolled in and stole 4 microwaves that were stacked by the entrance. On checking the CCTV, they saw that he looked around, picked up the microwaves, walked out and just loaded them into the boot of his car. It does sound quite amusing now.

In June 2008 it was announced that Woolworths were selling the leaseholds of 4 London stores – Chiswick, Angel, Clapham Junction and Edgware Road – to Waitrose for £25.5m. So the store closed in the summer of 2008 and became a Waitrose.

Chiswick Former Woolworths - Waitrose

Chiswick Former Woolworths – Waitrose

Source: Ballysundriven

Acton – Store 87

106 – 112 High Street, Acton, London W3 6RH

Woolworths opened on Acton High Street in West London on 31st July 1920. It wasn’t a purpose-built store as the architecture is uniform along the High Street. The store was extended on 14th February 1931, and then modernised in July 1937.

Nearly three decades late, the store was modernised in April 1964. Two years later there was further extension in December 1966, and in August 1978 the store was modernised again.

It was cut down in March 1986, with the unit sublet by Chartwell Land.

There are no photos of the store, but it did exist as my other half remembers shopping there in the 1990s. Acton Woolworths finally closed on 12th June 1993.

Today the building is occupied by the Belvedere pub.

Acton Former Woolworths - The Belverdere
Acton Former Woolworths – The Belvedere

 

With thanks to Graham Hill for supplying the dates.


The next store has already been written about:

Torquay – Store 88

Stratford – Store 86

352 – 356 High Street, Stratford, London E15 4OW

The 86th Woolworths store opened in Stratford in East London in 1920. You can see it below on the far right.

Stratford London Woolworths 1920s

Stratford London Woolworths 1920s

Source: The Newham Story

The store is on the 1972 list with it’s High Street address. In 1974 the Stratford Shopping Centre was built, and Woolworths moved into there at some point.

Today the High Street building does not exist, as most of the High Street has been demolished for regeneration over the years. I think they are building flats there now . The nearest surviving building is The Builders Arm pub at number 302.

43-44 The Mall, Stratford Centre E15

Woolworths traded at its new location in the Stratford Centre, and unusually the store kept it’s store number 86.  It traded until the chain’s closure in 2008. Who knows if it would have survived anyway with neighbouring Westfield Stratford opening.

Stratford Woolworths 2008

Stratford Woolworths 2008

Source: Diamond Geezer

Today the unit is occupied by Poundland.

Stratford Former Woolworths - Poundland

 

Walworth – Store 82

367 – 369 Walworth Road, London SE17 2AL

Woolworths opened their 82nd store in 1919 in Walworth, South East London. Unfortunately there are no photos online of this store. It did exist, as it is mentioned in the Woolworths Museum.

The store closed on 20th January 1990.

The store at the address today is Argos, which you can see below. The building itself matches the rest of the shopping parade, so this was a store where Woolworths did not change the architecture.

Walworth Former Woolworths - Argos

Walworth Former Woolworths – Argos

On a side note, try saying Walworth Woolworths really quickly. It’s a bit of a tongue twister.


Read about the previous store:

Weston-Super-Mare – Store 81

Streatham – Store 78

148-154 High Road, Streatham, SW16 1DF

Woolworths opened their 78th store in Streatham, South London, in 1918. From the below photo you can see they built their own building amongst the continuous architecture of Streatham High Road, in the 1950s or 60s.

Streatham Woolworths 1960

Streatham Woolworths 1960

Source: Francis Frith

This windows on the top floor were filled in at some time. The store became a general store in the 2000s, and I actually visited this store – I bought some cans of paint to do a makeover to my bedroom. The paint was at the back of the store.

Streatham Woolworths 2008

Streatham Woolworths 2008

Source: Alamy

The store closed when the company went bust in December 2008, and it became a 99p store, which in turn became Poundland. You can still see the Woolworths architecture above – though I must admit this isn’t one of my favourite styles.

Streatham Former Woolworths - Poundland

Streatham Former Woolworths – Poundland

Source: The Local Data Company


The next store has already been written:

Aberdeen – Store 79

Ealing Broadway – Store 74 \ 1149

43-47 New Broadway, Ealing, London W5 5AX

Store 74 opened in Ealing Broadway in 1916 in a purpose-built store – the date can be seen in the pediment.

Ealing Broadway Woolworths 1930

Ealing Broadway Woolworths 1930

Source: Historic England

The store was extended some time between 1930 and 1965, and the building went up. You can see it below on the right side (the taller building in the middle)

Ealing Broadway Woolworths 1965

Ealing Broadway Woolworths 1965

Source: Francis Frith

In the 1987 it became a trial ‘Kidstore’ concept store, the first one of its kind, selling kids clothing, toys and confectionary only.  It was renumbered to 1149. Shoppers liked the new look and sales were good, leading to two further Kidstore branches in Colchester and Lewisham. You can read more about it here. The successes from Kidstore were implemented into all Woolworth stores. A lot of non-performing departments were dropped, such as food, furniture and adult clothing, and it also led to the rebrand of F.W.Woolworth to ‘Woolworths’.

Ealing Broadway Kidstore Woolworths 1980s

Ealing Broadway Kidstore Woolworths 1980s

Source: Pinterest

The store was branded back to ‘Woolworths’ in 1988/89.

Ealing Broadway Woolworths 1990

Ealing Broadway Woolworths 1990

Source: Kinsella B.

The big calculator from the Kidstore days was kept as a display item at the cashpoint.

Inside Ealing Broadway Woolworths 1990

Inside Ealing Broadway Woolworths 1990

Thank you to former employee Beverley Kinsella for these photos.

Inside Ealing Broadway Woolworths 1990

Inside Ealing Broadway Woolworths 1990

A couple of years later in 1992 the store closed. Today the building is occupied by Sports Direct.

Ealing Broadway Former Woolworths - Sports Direct

Source: All in London


The next store has already been written about:

Aberdare – Store 75

Walthamstow – Store 70

115 High Street, Walthamstow, London E17 7AA

Woolworths opened on Walthamstow High Street in 1916, at the top end on the junction with St James Street/Blackhorse Road, it was probably number 1 High Street. The store was opposite Burtons. It looks like it has a 1930s art deco update from the below photo. There was a side entrance on Blackhorse Road.

Walthamstow Woolworths 1960s

Walthamstow Woolworths 1960s

Source: Walthamstow in Pictures Facebook Group

The store was on an awkward road bend, where Blackhorse Road became St James Street. The sharp bend sometimes caused trolley buses to come off their connectors.

Sadly the store was demolished to make the road less awkward.

If you compare the below image with the 1960s one, you can see on the right the LCS (Coop) building is still there. And in the background those 3 shops are still there. The road goes through where Woolworths was.

Walthamstow Former Woolworths

Walthamstow Former Woolworths

Woolworths moved up the High Street to 115, and built a huge superstore with a warehouse style look. This opened on 15th June 1972.

Walthamstow Woolworths 1972

Walthamstow Woolworths 1972

Source: Pinterest

The store lasted until the end, closing in 2008.

Walthamstow Woolworths 2008

Walthamstow Woolworths 2008

Today it is Wilko’s.

Walthamstow Former Woolworths Wilko

Walthamstow Former Woolworths Wilko

Source: Twitter


NEXT:

Store 71 – Sutton

Tooting – Store 64

17 – 21 Mitcham Road, Tooting, London SW17 9PJ

Woolworths opened their 64th store in Tooting, South London in 1916. It was in a prominent location on the crossroads of Tooting Broadway. In 1926 Tooting Broadway Underground Station opened opposite the store which made it even more of an ideal location.

Tooting Woolworths 1926

Tooting Woolworths 1926

Source: Wandsworth Borough Photos

The building looks like a typical 1920s Woolworths building, though it appears the left side has been let out to another retailer. In the 1926 photo above, you can just about make out the 3d and 6d text next to F.W.Woolworth. In the below 1950s photos,  you can see the pricing has gone.

Tooting Woolworths 1959

Tooting Woolworths 1959

Source: Wandsworth Borough Photos

The building to the right of Woolworths became a Marks and Spencers store around 1968. They erected a purpose-built superstore, though some say this was looking tired in the noughties. Woolworths closed in January 2009, and the M&S had already closed in 2008.

Tooting Woolworths 2008

Tooting Woolworths 2008

Source: Wikimedia

The Woolworths store became a Poundland for a short period, while next door a brand new Primark store was being built in 2009.

Tooting Former Woolworths - Poundland

Tooting Former Woolworths – Poundland 2009

Source: Getty images

And today the unit is occupied by Wilkos, and you can still see the 1920s Woolies architecture above.

Tooting Former Woolworths - Wilko

Tooting Former Woolworths – Wilko 2012

Source: Ballysundriven

Stoke Newington – Store 61

142/146 High Street, Stoke Newington, London N16 7JL

One of the very early stores, Woolworths opened in the North London town of Stoke Newington in 1915. It was part of a parade of shops, not a specifically purpose-built store, and you can see it below through the decades looking relatively unchanged.

Woolworths Stoke Newington 1950s

Woolworths Stoke Newington 1950s

Source: Flickr, Hornbeam Arts

Woolworths Stoke Newington 1980s

Woolworths Stoke Newington 1980s

Source: Flickr, Hornbeam Arts

Stoke Newington Woolworths 2008

Stoke Newington Woolworths 2008

Photo from my Facebook group.

After Woolworths closed on 27th December 2008, Iceland bought the store in January 2009, where it is still trading today.

Stoke Newington Iceland 2012

Stoke Newington Iceland 2012

 

Wandsworth – Store 58

153 – 155 Wandsworth High Street, Wandsworth, London SW18 4JB

Staying on the South London side, the fifth-eighth Woolworths store opened on Wandsworth High Street in 1915. Below you can see the store on the left in the 1950s – it looks like it was a small one. The frontage is interesting with the central roof feature and the sun rays flaring out of the circular window.

Wandsworth Woolworths 1950s

Wandsworth Woolworths 1950s

Source: Wandsworth Borough Photos

In 1971, the Wandsworth Arndale Centre opened (the biggest covered shopping centre at the time) and Woolworths opened inside there, facing Garratt Street – this lasted until 1992. We can assume the smaller Wandsworth High Street branch closed then.

Today the building still exists and it is quite eye-catching. If you are ever in Wandsworth, take a look above the British Heart Foundation Furniture & Electrical store.

Wandsworths Former Woolworths - British Heart Foundation Furniture Shop

Wandsworths Former Woolworths – British Heart Foundation Furniture Shop

Deptford – Store 57

110 – 112 High Street, Deptford, London SE8 4NU

Woolworths opened their 57th store on Deptford High Street in 1915. Not to be confused with the New Cross store that got tragically destroyed in the Second World War killing 168 people. This store is a different one in the nearby Deptford High Street and it survived the war if this photo is correct.

Deptford Woolworths 1960s

Deptford Woolworths 1960s

Source: ipernity

There is not much information online about the store. The address 110 -112 High Street is shared by Iceland and Right Price Superstore, and the frontage above does look like a 1970s Woolworths facade. So perhaps the store was modernised at that time to convert to self-service. The store closed on 9th April 1984. If you know more about Deptford Woolworths, please do let us know in the comments.

Deptford Former Woolworths | Iceland

Deptford Former Woolworths | Iceland

Putney – Store 45 / 1264

45 – 53 Putney High Street, Putney, London SW15 1SZ

One of the very early stores, Woolworths opened on Putney High Street sometime between 1914 – 1915. You can see it in the below photo – the fourth building along.

Putney Woolworths 1958

Putney Woolworths 1958

Source: Roll the Dice, Flickr

In the 1960s, they moved across the road. Today Robert Dyas and Boots are where the Woolworths used to be at 45 – 53.

Putney High Street 2015

Putney High Street 2015

Source: Roll the Dice, Flickr

60 – 62 High Street, Putney, London SW15 1SF

This was the new building, in classic 1960s style. They traded here at 60 – 62 High Street until they closed on 5th January 2009.

Putney Woolworths 2008

Putney Woolworths 2008

Source: citykey.co.uk

On 8th October 2009, a TK Maxx opened in its place.

TK Maxx Putney 2015

TK Maxx, Putney 2015

Source: ballysundriven, Flickr

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.