42 – 46 Abington Street, Northampton NN1 2AZ
Woolworths opened their second Northampton store in 1929 on Abington Street. This one was known by locals as ‘Top Woolies’, and the first one as ‘Bottom Woolies’ (Store 53). The store was purpose-built in red brick.
Source: Northampton Council
Art Deco tile cladding was added later, with the parapet hiding the roof at the top.
Source: Northampton Council
In the 1970s the fascia was updated to the new logo. Bottom Woolies closed so that this was the only Northampton Woolworths.
In more recent days, the front was changed so the doors were in the centre with windows to the sides. It closed after the chain went bust in December 2008.
In this photo of the store after closure, you can see the window posters – I wonder if it was an experimental kids store, with the bright bold writing?
Today Tesco Metro is in the building, but look up and you’ll see some original Woolworths architecture.
10 – 11 Market Street, Wellingborough, Northants NN8 1AW
Woolworths opened in Wellingborough in 1928 on Market Street, on the site of the former Walter and John Goss stationers and printers. Woolworths put a single-storey building up with their recognisable architecture and the central pediment. There was a protuding wall to the left where they placed vertical signage.
In the 1970s a new store was built that was much larger and covered numbers 10 – 11 Market Street, replacing the old building.
The store lasted until the end in December 2008.
It became a QD Stores, which then closed down. Today it is a B&M, the second branch in the town.
95 High Street, Rushden, Northants NN10 0NR
Woolworths opened in Rushden in 1926, opening on the High Street. Robert Clark has done a lot of research into this particular store, collating some fascinating stories – have a read here.
In October 1997, the store closed for a refurbishment and was converted to a Woolworths ‘Local’.
Source: Wade J.
The unit became Heron Foods, but they closed after a year.
It was briefly a recycling centre selling upcycled goods, then in 2013 it opened as a Costa. And they have kept the Woolworths tiled pillar, and the frontage as it was, just painted brown. Next time you are in Rushden, have a coffee and imagine you are sitting in Woolies.
51 – 55 High Street, Kettering, Northamptonshire NN16 8TE
Woolworths opened in Kettering in 1926. You can see the store on the left of this 1950s photo.
In 2002, Kettering was on of the first 10/10 trial stores – you can read more about the new look stores here. From the outside the most noticeable different was the fascia – red lowercase letters on pale blue. Inside were a lot more changes.
“Results in Kettering were even better, combining double digit sales growth with positive customer feedback. But Market Harborough struggled. It emerged that the new look made such a small store feel too congested.
Tall fixtures like the card racks blocked sight-lines, while the dense layout had pinch-points in the front and middle sections of the floor which severely constrained access to the back counters. Analysis determined that the new look was only suitable for a sales area of over 12,000 square feet (1,115m2). Despite their higher profitability, the smaller stores would have to wait.”
Source: Woolworths Museum
The store closed in January 2009.
It became a branch of QD stores.
Today B&M Bargains is in the building.