22/36 Church Street, Liverpool L1 3AY
The first ever Woolworths store in the UK was opened on Church Street in Liverpool on the 5th November 1909. Liverpool was chosen due to it’s location, being a seaport and due to the fact it had an electric railway – in fact the next stores to open went along the railway track.
This postcard is from the online Woolworths Museum and you can read more about the first store here. It used to be the entrance to the Tatler Cinema, and if you look on Google, you can find photos of the cinema where you can see the same windows. The store had three floors and was always packed with customers, with famously long queues. But there was no way to extend the store. They closed the store and built a new one. Today the old store is now Clarks.
Source: Graham Soult, Soult’s Retail View
A huge new flagship store was built on 22 -36 Church Street (see above photo from the Woolworths Museum, building in the centre). It came out that Harrods were in talks to demolish a church and replace it with a department store, but they pulled out. That’s when Woolworths stepped in. The new flagship Woolworths store opened on 4th August 1923, and you can read more about that here.
Source: Chriscarma, Flickr
The store closed in the 1980s, and you can see in it’s glory from this amazing photo taken by Chriscarma on Flickr – such beautiful architecture. And below is a photo from the day it closed on 4th June 1983.
Source: Mayer, P.
And today the building still exists – it is Topshop, L’Occitane and the entrance to Liverpool One – a shopping arcade linking to Peter’s Lane.
Source: Liverpool Echo
Next time you are shopping in Liverpool and you walk past Clarks or walk into Liverpool One, look up and see a part of Woolworths history.
190/191 High Street, Exeter, Devon EX4 3DX
Woolworths first opened in Exeter on 1st December 1923 on Fore Street, in former tobacconist building H C Lloyd & Son Ltd.
In 1934 they moved on to the High Street, purchasing 190 and 191, which were Garton & King and Pinder & Tuckwell. The two buildings were put together with an impressive Monks Park Stonework facade, installed by the Bath and Portland Stone Firms Ltd, which you can see below.
Source: Exeter Memories
In 1976 they moved out of this building into the then new shopping centre. Today this building is occupied by McDonalds and MenKind.
Source: Exeter Express and Echo
Unit 100, Guildhall Shopping Centre, Exeter, Devon EX4 3DX
The new Guildhall Shopping Centre was built in the 1970s, and Woolworths moved into a 2-storey unit in 1976. Their site was on the North Street side, with entrances on Waterbeer Street and Trickhay Street. There was a cafe on the top floor, with a third entrance/exit which led to the first floor of the shopping centre.
Source: Exeter Memories
The store closed in December 2008. Soon afterwards, Wilko took over the building, where it is still trading today. This is a view from inside the shopping centre.
4-5 Commercial Street, Aberdare, Mid Glamorgan CF44 7RN
Woolworths opened in Aberdare in 1919. This store was the third one to open in Wales. In the below photo from 1965, you can see the store on the left.
Source: Francis Frith
Shortly after they changed to fascia to the new 1970s style.
Source: Media Wales Photos
This photo was taken 5 days before it closed in December 2008.
The building didn’t stay empty for long and was soon taken over by B&M Bargains.