12 – 14 St Mary’s Gate, Manchester M1 1PX
Extract from Woolworths Museum: “(the store) had 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.”
Source: Manchester History
“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.