Category Archives: manchester

Manchester Deansgate – Store 230

12 – 14 St Mary’s Gate, Manchester M1 1PX

Woolworths opened its third Manchester store on 6th August 1926 in the Exchange Arcade on St Mary’s Gate, at the end of Deansgate. The other two stores were Store 4 and Store 77.

Extract from Woolworths Museum: “(the store)┬áhad fallen prey to German bombers during a two-night blitz of the City, suffering a direct hit at 9.40 pm on Sunday, 22 December 1940. Reconstruction commenced in 1948, with the new premises opening in 1951. For several years the store stood alone in the centre of a bomb site, before the neighbouring properties were rebuilt.”

Manchester Exchange Arcade Woolworths 1955

Manchester Deansgate Woolworths 1955

Manchester Exchange Arcade Woolworths 1961

Manchester Deansgate Woolworths 1961

Source: Manchester History

Manchester Deansgate Woolworths 1969

Manchester Deansgate Woolworths 1969

“The successful and popular freehold superstore was one of those sacrificed in 1972 to fund the huge cost of decimalisation. The decision to close was particularly ironic, given that questions had been asked in Parliament about how the chain had managed to obtain the steel for the huge girders in its superstructure shortly after World War II despite the City already having a large Woolies nearby on the corner of Oldham Street and Piccadilly. Most of the staff transferred to one of the neighbouring branches at Piccadilly or in Salford.”

I don’t know what retailer moved in after 1972, but today you will find Joy and Paperchase in the building. They have somehow made the building look better too, new windows by the looks of it.

Manchester Exchange Arcade Former Woolworths - Joy Paperchase

Manchester Deansgate Former Woolworths – Joy Paperchase