Category Archives: Warwickshire

Sutton Coldfield – Store 155

97 The Parade, Sutton Coldfield, Warwickshire

The 155th Woolworths store opened in the royal town of Sutton Coldfield (made royal by Henry VIII in 1528). It opened on The Parade on the former site of a cinema. It must have done well, as a zebra crossing was put in front of the store – I am guessing there would have been high footfall at this location.

Sutton Coldfield Woolworths 1960s

Sutton Coldfield Woolworths 1960s

Source: www.sutton-coldfield.net

68-74 Parade, Gracechurch Centre, Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands B72 1PR

In the 1960s Woolworths moved across the road from number 97 to a much larger site at numbers 68-74. In 1974 the Gracechurch Centre was opened and Woolworths backed into this shopping centre, with a second entrance. It was an extremely large store on multiple floors that included a cafe.

Sutton Coldfield Woolworths 2008

Sutton Coldfield Woolworths 2008

The store closed when the chain went bust in December 2008 and it lay empty for 18 months, probably due to it’s size and the fact that most major brands were already present in Sutton Coldfield. In the end H&M moved from inside the shopping centre to this building, as well as the Card Factory to the left.

Sutton Coldfield Former Woolworths - Card Factory and H&M

Sutton Coldfield Former Woolworths – Card Factory and H&M

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Coventry – Store 123

Smithford Street, Coventry, Warwickshire

Woolworths opened in Coventry on 25th November 1922, on the main shopping area of Smithford Street. A building with an Art Deco facade was erected (see on the left in this photo).

Coventry Woolworths 1920s

Coventry Woolworths 1920s

The store was enlarge in 1931 (middle right of this photo).

Coventry Woolworths 1931

Coventry Woolworths 1931

Coventry Woolworths 1930s

Coventry Woolworths 1931

Source: Historic England

There was a further enlargement in 1938, but some after there was an IRA attack in 1939 with minor damage. Then in 1940 the store was destroyed completely along with most of Smithford Street when bombs dropping during WW2.

A new shopping area had to be built over the old Smithford Street. This happened in the 1950s.

The Precinct, Coventry, Warwickshire CV1 1DT

A building called ‘The Precinct’ was built, and Woolworths occupied most of the building from Coventry Point to the Lower Precinct. The main entrance facing onto the Lower Precinct (pictured below). The photo does show it being called ‘The Woolworth Building’.  It was a massive superstore, with the ground floor being the length of the building, plus a basement floor and a gallery cafeteria at one end.

Coventry Woolworths 1953

Coventry Woolworths 1953

Source: Historic England

Coventry Woolworths 1961

Coventry Woolworths 1961

Source: Getty Images

Coventry Woolworths 1970s

Coventry Woolworths 1970s

Source: Coventry Telegraph

In the 1980s, the store suffered a downturn in trade and reduced its occupancy of the building to the market end basement, ground floor and gallery cafeteria.  The address was updated from ‘The Precinct’ to ’10-12 Market Way’ on the store list.

More recently it reduced space further by closing the basement.

Coventry Woolworths 2008

Coventry Woolworths 2008

Source: Gammie E.

The store closed in December 2008, and now Poundland occupies that unit.

Coventry Former Woolworths - Poundland

Coventry Former Woolworths – Poundland

As for how the whole ‘Lower Precinct’ building looks now, it actually looks the same as the 1953 photos, even the random balcony is still there. Trees have grown, there is now a roof shelter and a water fountain, plus the road has been pedestrianised. Boots is where the original 1950s Woolworth store was, and Sport Direct occupies the other half of it.

Coventry Former Woolworths - Boots

Coventry Former Woolworths – Boots

Source: Flickr

Rugby – Store 117

30 High Street, Rugby, Warwickshire

Woolworths opened in Rugby in 1922. I can’t find much information about the store from the early years, but from this photo we can see they had a large store upgrade in 1962.

Rugby Woolworths 1962

Rugby Woolworths 1962

Source: Historic England

I’m wondering if the below photo is of a back entrance, as the buildings to the right are different.

Rugby Woolworths 1960s

Source: Petcher A

The store was one that spent the longest time without a refurb, as after 1962 there wasn’t another refurb until 2006!!

The store closed in December 2008.

Rugby Woolworths 2008

Rugby Woolworths 2008

Source: Petcher A

Today it is Poundland (previously 99p store), and you can still see the Woolies architecture above.

Rugby Former Woolworths - now Poundland

Rugby Former Woolworths – now Poundland

Source: Ballysundriven

 

Leamington Spa – Store 114

60/62 The Parade, Leamington Spa, Warwickshire

This building has a blue plaque – for much of the 19th and early 20th centuries The Parade was residential, and number 60 was once the home of Henry Peach Robinson – a local photographic pioneer. Woolworths opened here in 1922.

There are no photos of the store online – but I can gather there was a cafe. Leamington Spa looks very regal in its photos, and like Bath, the shops had to have a uniform look with white buildings. Still, it looks as though Woolworths made a point of difference with the grey border around the windows.

Leamington Spa Woolworths (back entrance)

Leamington Spa Woolworths (back entrance)

Source: Flickr

The store closed in December 2008 and became an H&M.

Leamington Spa Former Woolworths - H&M

Leamington Spa Former Woolworths – H&M

Source: Ballysundriven