11 – 12 The Brittox, Devizes, Wiltshire SN10 1AL
Woolworths opened in Devizes in 1933. The building was interesting looking, different on the upper floors.
Source: Wiltshire Heritage Museum
Woolworths traded here for 75 years, closing in January 2009.
Source: Townsend, A.
Today it is an Iceland.
24-25 High Street, Chippenham, Wiltshire SN15 3ET
Woolworths opened on Chippenham High Street in April 1933. It was a purpose-built store with 5 bays and a central pediment.
Source: Historic England
This is a staff photo from the 1950s, it looks like it was a cold day from all the Woolworths girls wearing their coats.
The store was modernised in 1957/58. Then in 1974, the store was converted to self-service, with further modernisation the following year. In 1977 a Garden Centre was added as an annex. This was when the recognisable single floor frontage was replaced with a smooth two-floor frontage which you can see below.
Chippenham Woolworths was an Early Operation Focus comparison store, having a full refurbishment in 1986. In 1990, the Garden Centre annex was closed and put up for sale. During the 1990s the store was used for concept development, pioneering the Heartland store format (which included reopening the Garden Centre as a salesfloor extension, giving space to reintroduce petcare, a limited range of toiletries and video rental). The store appeared in Analysts video in 1995 to illustrate how the business had changed and managed to generate £100m profit in a single year. Heartland elements were progressively dropped and the store narrowly escaped selection as a Woolworths General Store – instead it was upgraded to the latest 10/10 specification after demerger. [Extract from 100thbirthday.co.uk]
Former Head Office employee Elizabeth Seabrook has fond memories of the store. She says that in 1993 Chippenham was a trial store for Central Replenishment, she thinks the store was chosen because it was near the project manager’s house! When they visited the store from HO she remembers staying at the Angel Inn across the road.
Source: Wright J.
2008 photo from my Facebook group:
The store closed in January 2009. I took this photo when I visited Chippenham in April 2009:
Today the unit has been split into two stores – Poundland and Costa Coffee. If you are ever in Chippenham, you can sit and have a coffee in what used to be a Woolworths.
Source: ballysundriven, Flickr
32 Fore Street, Trowbridge, Wiltshire
Woolworths opened in Trowbridge in 1928. It was on Fore Street, pictured below in the centre, left side (the shop with lots of people in front of it).
Source: Mary Evans Picture Library
In the 1960s the store had a makeover, and the whole front of the building looks different with new windows, a new fascia.
Source: Francis Frith
This close-up photo from 1984 shows in beautiful detail the mosaics on the pillar, the W on the entrance floor tiles. This man was polishing the windows and they really are shining. If you look on the door, you can read the sticker saying “Thank you for shopping with us”. You can see the music department was at the front of the store with a huge ‘Records’ sign. And you can also see baskets at the entrance and presumably the checkouts.
Source: Lloyd M.
In this 1984 photo, people are sheltering from the rain at the front of Trowbridge Woolworths. The windows are saying “Look into our Toy Shop” – the photo was taken in November so this must have been the start of Christmas in store.
Source: Lloyd M.
Moving on to more recent days, the store had another makeover with the latest logo, the pillar at the front becoming rectangular and the oblong tiling on the pillar and sides.
Source: Wiltshire Times
The store closed in December 2008, the day after Boxing Day.
Today it’s a British Heart Foundation Shop – take a closer look and you’ll see the Woolworths tiles have been painted red.
55 – 59 Silver Street, Salisbury, Wiltshire
Woolworths opened in Salisbury in 1927 and it was originally at 55 – 59 Silver Street (right side, centre in the below photo).
On the right here, the fascia has been changed to just ‘F.W. Woolworth & Co Ltd’ centred.
The frontage looks quite large in this photo, with three entrances. They moved to the High Street in the 1957, and this photo shows the Silver Street store vacated with posters signposted the new location.
This is the interior vacated but it is interesting to see the layout of a traditional old-style store with the individual mahogany counters, and the hanging lights.
Today the Silver Street building still exists and it houses the Real Eating Company, Ecco and Holland & Barrett. Actually this explains the three entrances, if it was originally three shops put together to make a Woolworth store – and then put back to three shops.
22-30 High Street, Salisbury, Wiltshire SP1 2NS
In 1957 Woolworths moved to a purpose-built store on the High Street, somewhere to right of the Crown Hotel in this photo.
Source: Francis Frith
This is what it looked like:
Source: Salisbury Journal
This is a more recent photo from 2006 and I absolutely love seeing the wooden window frames above the doors and the peppermint blue on the doors. It looks like there was a cafe instore from the A-board outside.
Source: Facey P.
Here is the store shortly before it closed in January 2009. We can see they had a refurb from the change in the fascia and the loss of the peppermint blue on the doors!
Source: Talbot C.
Today New Look trades from the old High Street store and you know what, the windows above the doors are still there and that makes me happy.
23-24 Regent Street, Swindon, Wiltshire
Woolworths opened in Swindon the 12th September 1914 on Regent Street where it traded in a small buildling which was then extended to the left (No, 23) in 1936.
Here it is in the 1950s:
And the 1960s:
There was a refurb in 1973, which is when I presume they lost their beautiful Art Deco style facade. There was another refurb in 1980 and one more in 1995. It seems Swindon was the true trial store for the chain.
Source: Woolworths Museum
Extract from the Woolworths Museum: “As a prototype, the City store at Regent Street, Swindon, which had been one of Frank Woolworth’s first and favourite locations, was relaid, with new products and a new look. Unlike the work at Hounslow in 1994, the transformation was achieved cheaply and the result was spectacular. New ranges included a large cookshop, displayed on wooden tables as well as regular counters. It offered a more fashionable range, including kitchen appliances and a wider selection of china and glassware. Kids ranges were moved towards the front of the dual entrance store, in a carpeted area to the left hand side of the main gangway. The restaurant was moved down to the ground floor and given a new look. Swindon had the look and feel of a modern department store. The idea was repeated in Doncaster, Yorkshire and was refined further in the branch in the Arndale Centre at Luton, Bedfordshire.”
Here is the store in 2006. This is the image many head office folk will remember as we were sent on training courses in Swindon. It truly was enormous inside.
Source: Armin Grewe
The store closed down in January 2009, and a year later it reopened as a temporary BHS, while their site was demolished as part of the £25m ‘The Parade‘ redevelopment project that houses stores including BHS, Topshop and River Island. This is now complete.
Today the unit has been spilt and is occupied by the oh-so-glam Poundworld, DiscountUK and Peacocks. Priceless next door seems to have disappeared too.
Source: Property Link