Category Archives: Scotland

Dundee – Store 174

48 – 60 Murraygate, Dundee, Angus DD1 2BD

Woolworths opened in Dundee up in Scotland in November 1924. Initial plans were to face this building in cream-coloured terracotta but the plans were abandoned.

Dundee Woolworths 1924

Dundee Woolworths 1924

Source: Historic England

In the 1939 the building was updated to become a three-storey one with a faience front.

“I can remember Woolies in the 60s when they still had the original old wooden counters, but around the beginning of the 70s the store was modernised and got itself some new open plan style rack shelving.

One of the relics from the old store they kept going, however, was the huge weighing machine tucked away in the corner beside the photo booth. A big red & silver thing it was, a penny a go.

Another memory from the 70s I always associate with Woolies were the budget priced “Top Of The Pops” albums with glamour girls on the LP covers. 12 chart hits for 60p or something. For that price though you didn’t get the original artists, oh no, these were 2nd rate rogues imitating our favourite pop groups. The work of session musicians in fact, and they were mince!

Oh yes, and get this, I was once thrown out of Woolies when aged around 12/13. I was in the Murraygate store just having a look around, probably been there for 15/20 minutes, when this frumpy middle-aged wifie (the floor-walker) came over to me and escorted me to the door. Was I stealing? No. Causing a scene with a shop assistant? Nope. My crime, she told me on the way out, was “being in the shop too long”. What the…??!!!”

Source: Retro Dundee

Dundee Woolworths 1980s

Dundee Woolworths 1980s

Source: Pinterest

“‘We’ll cut through Woolies,’ was a welcome statement by my mum, coming at the end of a joyless eternity of staring at rolls of fabric in Smith and Horner’s.

I don’t think sometimes we even stopped in Woolies as we ‘cut through’ on our way to the bus – in the Murraygate entrance, through the shop, up the wee stair and out the back door into the court, then through the pend to Albert Square.”

Memory from Neale E.

The store closed in March 1984 and John Menzies moved in. They were bought by WHSmith in 1998 and I assume that is when this store closed and became a Tesco on the ground floor with JJB Sports on the upper floors.

Dundee Former Woolworths - John Menzies

Dundee Former Woolworths – John Menzies (1987)

Source: Retro Dundee

Today Tesco Metro operates from this building, but if you look up you can see the 1930s Woolworths architecture. The JJB Sports floors are To Let in this photo, but today Intersports trades from here.

Dundee Former Woolworths - Tesco Metro

Dundee Former Woolworths – Tesco Metro

Source: Ballysundriven

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Paisley – Store 168

14 – 16 High Street, Paisley, Renfrewshire

Woolworths opened on Paisley High Street in Scotland in 1924. Again I have no early photos of the store, just this one where we can gather there was a store makeover in 1969, with the oversized ‘Woolworth’ letters experiment on the fascia.

According to a local Facebook group, the tallest man in Paisley (who was 7ft tall) was working here as a store detective until the store closed in 1988.

Paisley Woolworths 1969

Paisley Woolworths 1969

Source: Historic England

After Paisley Woolworths closed, the unit was subdivided and became a WHSmith and an Etam store. Etam stores closed down nationwide and now that unit is Sports Direct.

Paisley Former Woolworths - WHSmith and Sports Direct

Paisley Former Woolworths – WHSmith and Sports Direct

Source: Ballysundriven

Stirling – Store 166

7 – 13 Port Street, Stirling FK8 2EJ

Woolworths opened in the Scottish town of Stirling in 1924. It’s original location is unknown, but in 1962 they moved to numbers 7 to 13 Port Street, adding a 1960s shopfront to an older building. The fascia had pale grey Saivo mosaic, with red and gold lettering and a projecting illuminated Woolworth sign (see on the far right on this photo). The structural columns were also clad in the mosaic. (Source: Woolworth’s 100 years on the high street – Morrison K.)

Stirling Woolworths 1970s

Stirling Woolworths 1970s

Source: Historic England

In 1977 the Thistles Shopping Centre opened and Woolworths moved into there. The Port Street building is now occupied by a Bank of Scotland branch.

Stirling Former Woolworths - Bank of Scotland

Stirling Former Woolworths – Bank of Scotland

Source: Citylets.co.uk

42 Orchard Croft, Thistle Centre, Stirling FK8 2EE

The store inside the Thistles shopping centre kept the store number 166. This was what Woolworths looked like inside. It closed in December 2008.

Stirling Woolworths 2005

Stirling Woolworths 2005

Source: Emily and James

Today H&M is in it’s place.

Stirling Former Woolworths - H&M

Stirling Former Woolworths – H&M

Source: Soult G

Hamilton – Store 146

Quarry Street, Hamiton, Lanarkshire

Woolworths opened in Hamilton in 1923, originally on Quarry Street.

Hamilton Woolworths 1932

Hamilton Woolworths 1932

Source: Old Hamilton

29 Regent Way, Hamilton, Lanarkshire ML3 7EQ

In 1965 a new shopping centre was built and Woolworths moved here. This was where they stayed until the chain closed in December 2008. From this photo you can see there was a blue fascia up, which means this was a 10/10 trial store.

Hamilton Woolworths 2008

Hamilton Woolworths 2008

Source: Daily Record

Today Wilkos is in its place.

Hamilton Former Woolworths - Wilko

Hamilton Former Woolworths – Wilko

Source: The Regent Shopping Centre

Kirkcaldy – Store 145

234 – 242 High Street, Kirkcaldy, Fife

The 145th Woolworths store opened in Kirkcaldy in Scotland. There are no photos of it on the internet at all, but we can guess from the photo of the building today, that it had a makeover in the 1950s/60s, being extended to become a huge store.

The store closed down on 28th June 1986.

In the 1990, a Woolworths Music and Video store opened at 148 High Street (Store 1168) and then in the late 1990s, a traditional Woolworths returned to Kirkcaldy at the Mercat Shopping Centre on the High Street (Store 1201).

Today the building of the original store at 234 – 242 High Street houses the Kirkcaldy Indoor Market, which gives an idea of the size of the Woolworths store that was. The Woolworths does are still in use after all these years.

Kirkcaldy Former Woolworths - Indoor Market

Kirkcaldy Former Woolworths – Indoor Market

Source: Flickr

And what is exciting is that an original mosaic Woolworths floor still exists in front of the fire doors at the far right of the building.

Kirkcaldy Woolworths W

Kirkcaldy Woolworths W

If you do have any photos of any of the Kirkcaldy Woolworths store, please do send them in, it would be great to see how they looked.

Dunfermline – Store 124

52 – 58 High Street, Dunfermline, Fife

We’re in Scotland again! Store 124 was on the medieval High Street of Dunfermline, Fife, and it opened in 1922.

Dunfermline Woolworths 1922

Dunfermline Woolworths 1922

Source: Dunfermline Through Time – Simpson E., Robertson G.

In the 1939 they moved across the road and built a new store with an Art Deco facade, contrasting with the French Gothic neighbouring buildings.

Dunfermline Woolworths 1939

Dunfermline Woolworths 1939

Source: Postcard on Ebay

The store was the one that drew the crowds on this High Street.

Dunfermline Woolworths 1950s

Dunfermline Woolworths 1950s

Source: Flickr

This Woolworths closed in 1984, and today it is a Poundstretcher. And if you are ever shopping on Dunfermline High Street, do take a look above Poundstretcher. Though it looks like the windows have been covered up, you can still see the remains of the Woolworths Art Deco facade.

Dunfermline Former Woolworths - Poundstretcher

Dunfermline Former Woolworths – Poundstretcher

Source: Acuitus

Dumbarton – Store 122

97 – 99 High Street, Dumbarton, Strathclyde G82 1PH

In 1922 Woolworths opened another Scottish store in the Glasgow area – in the town of Dumbarton. They opened next to the Earl of Glencairn’s Greit House of 1623 (the building with the arches on the left of this photo)

Dumbarton Woolworths 1922

Dumbarton Woolworths 1922

Source: Historic England

In the 1930s the store had an Art Deco update to its look. The fact that this was allowed shows the clout that Woolworths had in such towns with historic buildings.

Dumbarton Woolworths 1950s

Dumbarton Woolworths 1950s

Source: Pinterest

There were updates to the fascia through the years.

Dumbarton Woolworths 1971

Dumbarton Woolworths 1971

Source: Historic England

Dumbarton Woolworths 1979

Dumbarton Woolworths 1979

Source: West Dunbartonshire Council

It was branded a Woolworths ‘Local’ store until its last days in December 2008.

Dumbarton Woolworths 2008

Dumbarton Woolworths 2008

Source: Dunbartonshire Council

And today it is a Wetherspoons pub, the Art Deco facade is still there and you can sit and have a drink in this old Woolworths.

Dumbarton Former Woolworths - Wetherspoons

Dumbarton Former Woolworths – Wetherspoons

Source: Flickr

Glasgow, Charing Cross – Store 121

164-168 Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow G2 3DH

Woolworths opened their THIRD Glasgow store in the Charing Cross area in 1922. It was on Sauchiehall Street, backing onto Renfrew Street. The other Glasgow stores were Store 39 in Union Street and Store 118 in Argyle Street.

Glasgow Charing Cross Woolworths 1920s-30s

Glasgow Charing Cross Woolworths 1920s-30s

Source: Pinterest

Glasgow Charing Cross Woolworths- Sauchiehall Street

Glasgow Charing Cross Woolworths – back entrance

Source: Guardian

The store was reclad in tiles in 1936-6 to add a touch of style, in order to compete with Marks and Spencer’s striking new premises next door (Extract from Woolworth’s 100 Years on the High Street K. Morrison)

Glasgow Charing Cross Woolworths 1930s

Glasgow Charing Cross Woolworths 1930s

Source: Historic England

Glasgow Charing Cross Woolworths 1938

Glasgow Charing Cross Woolworths 1938

Source: Mitchell Library / Hidden Glasgow

Glasgow Charing Cross Woolworths back

Glasgow Charing Cross Woolworths back

Source: Mitchell Library

The store closed some time before 1972, as it is not listed on the store list of that year.

Very recently, some original signage was revealed at Renfrew Street – this photo was taken in 2015.

Glasgow Charing Cross Woolworths - Ghost Sign 2015

Glasgow Charing Cross Woolworths – Ghost Sign 2015

Source: Flickr

It has all gone now, and the store next to M&S, in the spot where Woolworths was, is now a souvenir shop called I Love Glasgow.

Glasgow Charing Cross Former Woolworths - I Love Glasgow

Glasgow Charing Cross Former Woolworths – I Love Glasgow

Source: Local Data Search

Glasgow Argyle Street – Store 118

36/48 Argyle Street, Glasgow, C.2

Woolworths opened their second Glasgow store on Argyle Street in 1922. The first opened in Union Street 8 years earlier. The design of the new store was the opposite of reserved, almost a ‘look at me’ store.

Glasgow Argyle Street Woolworths 1930s

Glasgow Argyle Street Woolworths 1930s

Source: Historic England

Unusually the fascia has the “NOTHING IN THESE STORES OVER 6D” in the centre. “WOOLWORTHS STORES” also appears in a semi-circle above the parapet wall.

The adaptations were agreed with the landlord, replacing signs from a previous occupant.

-Woolworths Museum

Glasgow Argyle Street Woolworths 1930s

Glasgow Argyle Street Woolworths 1930s

Source: Glasgow History

Glasgow Argyle Street Woolworths 1930s

Glasgow Argyle Street Woolworths 1930s

Source: Pinterest

In 1960 there was a huge fire.

“The street was closed for six hours as the spectacular blaze showered embers on a large area of the city centre, and caused an explosion. In all, 80 firemen worked to stop the blaze spreading and six later needed hospital treatment for burns. The fire began in the basement where stocks included fireworks and Christmas decoration. The store, at the corner of Miller Street, was burned out but it later reopened.”

Glasgow Evening Times

This photo was taken in 1963 of the new rebuilt store, it does have a sixties Woolworths style to it.

Glasgow Argyle Street Woolworths 1963

Glasgow Argyle Street Woolworths 1963

Source: Pinterest

This store closed, the date is unknown. And today it is TK Maxx, where you can see the windows have changed but other than that, it looks the same.

Glasgow Argyle Street Former Woolworths - TK Maxx

Glasgow Argyle Street Former Woolworths – TK Maxx

Source: Evening Times

Store 1188

199-201 Argyle Street, Glasgow

In 1994 Woolworths opened in another location on Argyle Street. It would have been a very large, L-shaped store.

Glasgow Argyle Street Woolworths 2008

Glasgow Argyle Street Woolworths 2008

Source: Nugent T

Today it is Poundland – this photo is a crossover one in 2011, where Poundland has opened but the Woolworths signage is still up.

Glasgow Argyle Street Woolworths 2008

Glasgow Argyle Street Former Woolworths – Poundland (2011)

Source: Farrington A

Greenock – Store 96

75 – 77 Hamilton Street, Greenock, Renfrewshire

Woolworths opened their 96th store in Greenock, Scotland. Greenock’s main shopping thoroughfare was Hamilton Street, which connected West Blackhall Street in the west to Clyde Square in the east. Woolworths was at number 75 to 77, which you can see below on the left side with the Art Deco facade.

Greenock Woolworths 1966

Greenock Woolworths 1966

Source: McLean Museum

41 Hamilton Way, Shopping Mall, Greenock, Inverclyde PA15 1RS

In 1975 Hamilton Street disappeared along with several other streets as the area was pedestrianised as Hamilton Way. Woolworths was at number 41 Hamilton Way, keeping it’s store number 96. In the 1990s a shopping centre was built on Hamilton Way, incorporating Woolworths. The store was a large L-shaped one with two entrances. Below you can see the outside entrance on Charles Place. There was also an entrance on the shopping centre side.

Greenocks Woolworths 2008

Greenocks Woolworths 2008

Source: Nugent T

The store closed in January 2009 when the chain went bust, and today Wilkos is in its place. This is the shopping centre side.

Greenocks Former Woolworths - Wilko

Greenocks Former Woolworths – Wilko

Source: Acuitus

Glasgow Union Street – Store 39

62 – 70 Union Street, Glasgow, Strathclyde G1 3QS

Woolworths opened their first Scottish store in Glasgow on 2nd October 1914, next to a cinema.

Glasgow Union Street Woolworths 1914

Glasgow Union Street Woolworths 1914

Source: Woolworths Museum

In 1921 the store was extended, taking over the cinema next door. Shortly after the works were finished, a serious fire broke out in the stockroom that affected neighbouring buildings, causing alarm to the City as it was so close to the station.

Glasgow Union Street Woolworths 1921

Glasgow Union Street Woolworths 1921

Source: Woolworths Museum

By the 1950s, the store was considered off-location, as it sales were being dwarfed by the nearly Argyle Street branch. The store was closed in 1971, the freehold sold.

Glasgow Union Street Woolworths - no date

Glasgow Union Street Woolworths – no date

Source: Evening Times

Today part of Poundland and Rymans are where the Woolworths store was. The building is Category B Listed (that’s the Scottish version of Grade II), so although it’s not Woolworths architecture, it is still a historical building to admire.

Glasgow Union Street Former Woolworths | Poundland Rymans

Glasgow Union Street Former Woolworths | Poundland Rymans

Source: NovaLoca


You can read about Store 38 – Swindon here.