333-337 Mare Street, Hackney, London E8 1HY
Woolworths opened in Hackney, East London in 1921. It was right next to a railway bridge. The store had an Art Deco facade.
In the 1970s the store was modernised and you can see the new fascia below.
The store lasted to the end in December 2008.
Today the building is occupied by Iceland, and you can still see the Art Deco facade above it.
356 – 362 High Road, Chiswick, London W4 5TE
Woolworths opened in Chiswick, West London, in 1920 on the High Road on the site of the former Palais cinema. The store traded here for nearly 90 years. In the 80s it became a Heartland store, and in the early 2000s it became a General store and was renumbered 2021. My husband was a trainee manager at the time and he said it did terribly, as it was directly opposite an M&S Simply Food. With Chiswick being a posh area, customers simply would not choose Woolworths over M&S to buy their bread and milk.
It was also the store where a man just strolled in and stole 4 microwaves that were stacked by the entrance. On checking the CCTV, they saw that he looked around, picked up the microwaves, walked out and just loaded them into the boot of his car. It does sound quite amusing now.
In June 2008 it was announced that Woolworths were selling the leaseholds of 4 London stores – Chiswick, Angel, Clapham Junction and Edgware Road – to Waitrose for £25.5m. So the store closed in the summer of 2008 and became a Waitrose.
352 – 356 High Street, Stratford, London E15 4OW
The 86th Woolworths store opened in Stratford in East London in 1920. You can see it below on the far right.
Source: The Newham Story
The store is on the 1972 list with it’s High Street address. In 1974 the Stratford Shopping Centre was built, and Woolworths moved into there at some point.
Today the High Street building does not exist, as most of the High Street has been demolished for regeneration over the years. I think they are building flats there now . The nearest surviving building is The Builders Arm pub at number 302.
43-44 The Mall, Stratford Centre E15
Woolworths traded at its new location in the Stratford Centre, and unusually the store kept it’s store number 86. It traded until the chain’s closure in 2008. Who knows if it would have survived anyway with neighbouring Westfield Stratford opening.
Source: Diamond Geezer
Today the unit is occupied by Poundland.
367 – 369 Walworth Road, London SE17 2AL
Woolworths opened their 82nd store in 1919 in Walworth, South East London. Unfortunately there are no photos online of this store. It did exist, as it is mentioned in the Woolworths Museum.
I presume it closed in the 1980s, when there were mass closures.
The store at the address today is Argos, which you can see below. The building itself matches the rest of the shopping parade, so this was a store where Woolworths did not change the architecture.
On a side note, try saying Walworth Woolworths really quickly. It’s a bit of a tongue twister.
Read about the previous store:
148-154 High Road, Streatham, SW16 1DF
Woolworths opened their 78th store in Streatham, South London, in 1918. From the below photo you can see they built their own building amongst the continuous architecture of Streatham High Road, in the 1950s or 60s.
Source: Francis Frith
This windows on the top floor were filled in at some time. The store became a general store in the 2000s, and I actually visited this store – I bought some cans of paint to do a makeover to my bedroom. The paint was at the back of the store.
The store closed when the company went bust in December 2008, and it became a 99p store, which in turn became Poundland. You can still see the Woolworths architecture above – though I must admit this isn’t one of my favourite styles.
Source: The Local Data Company
The next store has already been written:
115 High Street, Walthamstow, London E17 7AA
Woolworths opened on Walthamstow High Street in 1916, at the top end on the junction with St James Street/Blackhorse Road, it was probably number 1 High Street. The store was opposite Burtons. It looks like it has a 1930s art deco update from the below photo. There was a side entrance on Blackhorse Road.
The store was on an awkward road bend, where Blackhorse Road became St James Street. The sharp bend sometimes caused trolley buses to come off their connectors.
Sadly the store was demolished to make the road less awkward.
If you compare the below image with the 1960s one, you can see on the right the LCS (Coop) building is still there. And in the background those 3 shops are still there. The road goes through where Woolworths was.
Woolworths moved up the High Street to 115, and built a huge superstore with a warehouse style look. This opened on 15th June 1972.
The store lasted until the end, closing in 2008.
Today it is Wilko’s.
17 – 21 Mitcham Road, Tooting, London SW17 9PJ
Woolworths opened their 64th store in Tooting, South London in 1916. It was in a prominent location on the crossroads of Tooting Broadway. In 1926 Tooting Broadway Underground Station opened opposite the store which made it even more of an ideal location.
Source: Wandsworth Borough Photos
The building looks like a typical 1920s Woolworths building, though it appears the left side has been let out to another retailer. In the 1926 photo above, you can just about make out the 3d and 6d text next to F.W.Woolworth. In the below 1950s photos, you can see the pricing has gone.
Source: Wandsworth Borough Photos
The building to the right of Woolworths became a Marks and Spencers store around 1968. They erected a purpose-built superstore, though some say this was looking tired in the noughties. Woolworths closed in January 2009, and the M&S had already closed in 2008.
The Woolworths store became a Poundland for a short period, while next door a brand new Primark store was being built in 2009.
Source: Getty images
And today the unit is occupied by Wilkos, and you can still see the 1920s Woolies architecture above.
153 – 155 Wandsworth High Street, Wandsworth, London SW18 4JB
Staying on the South London side, the fifth-eighth Woolworths store opened on Wandsworth High Street in 1915. Below you can see the store on the left in the 1950s – it looks like it was a small one. The frontage is interesting with the central roof feature and the sun rays flaring out of the circular window.
Source: Wandsworth Borough Photos
In 1971, the Wandsworth Arndale Centre opened (the biggest covered shopping centre at the time) and Woolworths opened inside there, facing Garratt Street. We can assume the smaller Wandsworth High Street branch closed then.
Today the building still exists and it is quite eye-catching. If you are ever in Wandsworth, take a look above the British Heart Foundation Furniture & Electrical store.
110 – 112 High Street, Deptford, London SE8 4NU
Woolworths opened their 57th store on Deptford High Street in 1915. Not to be confused with the New Cross store that got tragically destroyed in the Second World War killing 168 people. This store is a different one in the nearby Deptford High Street and it survived the war if this photo is correct.
There is not much information online about the store. The address 110 -112 High Street is shared by Iceland and Right Price Superstore, and the frontage above does look like a 1970s Woolworths facade. So perhaps the store was modernised at that time to convert to self-service. There is no closure date online – I am guessing it closed in the 1980s. If you know more about Deptford Woolworths, please do let us know in the comments.
154 – 156 The Broadway, Cricklewood, London NW2 3ED
Store 42 was in Cricklewood, North West London, opening late 1914. Iconic premises were chosen at the end of the Broadway. The pub next door was the local transport hub, where buses to and from the city centre terminated.
Source: Woolworths Museum
There is not much information on the store during it’s lifetime. It closed in 1984 and today there is an Iceland in the building.
84-90 King Street, Hammersmith, London W6 0PY
Store 41 opened in Hammersmith in October 1914 at 84 King Street, right next door to the Hammersmith Cinematograph Theatre – a cinema that went bust in 1915.
Hammersmith Woolworths was one of the best performing and most loved stores in the UK, so in the 1920s there were plans to redevelop the site. The neighbouring buildings were secretly bought. The new store was built at 84-90, finished in Portland Stone and marble, with art deco finishes that were more luxurious than the other stores.
Source: Woolworth’s 100 years on the High Street, Morrison K
Below is a close-up and you can see the windows boarded up during the second world war.
Source: Woolworths Museum
There is this extract from the Woolworths Museum on how they kept trading while building this store:
“The development must have been something to behold. The Board was determined not to allow any loss of trading during the development, so the new building was put up around the old one, with trade transferred into the new section midway through the project so that the old building could be pulled down and replaced before the Upper Floors, including a popular tea bar and restaurant, as well large stockrooms and comfortable staff accommodation could be added upstairs. The new premises were opened in stages through the 1930s, with neon signage added just before World War II as a response to a ‘hated competitor’, which I would be guess would be the British Home Stores branch which opened opposite at that time, run by a rival American consortium.
Weeks after the work was completed, the building was side-swiped by the Luftwaffe, causing minor damage to the facade but destroying the new fascia and breaking most of windows and damaged the polished brass window and door frames. These were hastily repaired/replaced to make the ‘We’re carrying on’ picture, which had to be approved by the Censor before it was published in a special staff magazine for employees serving in H.M. Forces. It was among the first in the country to have a fascia without a reference to ‘Nothing over Sixpence’ or ‘3D and 6D stores’, as the repairs came days after the chain was forced to drop its long-standing fixed prices by wartime inflation.”
In 1982, the store was closed and the freehold sold when Kingfisher took over.
Today the building is occupied by KFC, Cashino Gaming and a Best Western Seraphine Hotel upstairs. So you can actually have a holiday in an old Woolworths building – who knows, you could be sleeping in the old stockroom!
Source: Best Western
48-50 High Road, Wood Green, London N22 6DG
The twenty-sixth Woolworths store opened in Wood Green in north London. It opened in the High Road in 1913. There’s not much information on the store from the early days, but in the 1950s Wood Green had 3 big department stores – Woolworths, BHS and Marks and Spencer (which opened in the late 1920s). I found this interesting extract about shopping in Wood Green in the 50s:
“One source of entertainment was the antics of the “spivs” who illegally sold things (possibly of doubtful origin) out of suitcases in front of the stores (Woolworths, BHS and M&S). They had a look-out hovering on the kerb who signalled the arrival of the patrolling policeman. The suitcases would then snapped shut and the spivs would quickly disappear into one of the stores only to re-appear again when the coast was clear. The day of reckoning came one day when the police came through the stores from the back entrances on Bury Road and several spivs were “nicked”.” Stephen Holliday
Source: Dowling M.
In the above photo you can see the Woolworths store just behind the bus in 1981. It was next to Marks and Spencer. The store had been extended sideways in 1973/4 so it went behind the other shops to the left and had a separate side entrance (around where Barclays Bank is today). On the reopening day of the new larger store, the pavement was packed with customers queueing to get in (Source: John, former employee)
There is no information on when the store closed. We do know that a new Woolworths opened in The Mall shopping centre – Store 1240 – which closed when Woolworths collapsed.
The building of Store 26 in more recent years was a Dorothy Perkins, which closed in 2016, and a bit of the frontage went to Sainsbury’s. The inside of Sainsbury’s is actually the old Woolworths – so it was quite a big store. The front of this building does look very 60s/70s, I would assume this happened when they did the big side extension in 1973/4.
Source: Google Street View
The Dorothy Perkins side became a Peacocks store. But now the store is vacant. Again.
19-21 The Quadrant, Richmond, Surrey TW9 1BP
Woolworths opened Store 23 in Richmond in 1913 on The Quadrant. Unfortunately there are no photos of the store. They moved from this site in 1963 and Lloyd’s Bank is now at that address:
1/2/3 Lower George Street, Richmond, Surrey TW9 1AB
In 1963 Woolworths moved to Lower George Street, but again there are no photos of the exterior. There was a refreshments bar inside. It closed along with five other stores in the country on 29th January 1983. Today a new development has been built on that site that includes Whole Foods Supermarket.
65/69 The Broadway, Wimbledon SW19 1QY
The twenty-first Woolworths store opened in Wimbledon in South West London. Originally numbered 30 The Broadway, it was later renumbered 65. You can see the store to the right of this photo.
Source: Merton Memories
When Mackies the drapers closed in 1936, the store was extended to the corner of Gladstone Road. It was one of very few stores designed by Woolworths with exposed brickwork in a moderne style (styles of architecture popular from 1925 through to the 1940s).
Source: Historic England Archive
Somehow, Woolworths of Wimbledon survived the bombings of World War 2 intact despite direct hits on other buildings nearby in both The Broadway itself and Gladstone Road.
The worst day in the Wimbledon branch’s history came in 1981 when it was destroyed by fire. A small blaze was discovered in the stockroom and the premises quickly evacuated. However, staff and customers alike watched as the fire brigade appeared to bring the flames under control but too late to stop the building’s destruction. In the aftermath, while damping down, three firemen became disoriented and were trapped as the edifice collapsed. One died and the other two were taken to hospital. Source: Wimbledon Guardian
Source: Featherstone P.
After the fire, the store had to be rebuilt and did not reopen until 1982. The replacement was clad in red brick with vertical window panels and an attic floor disguised as a roof.
Source: Merton Memories
The store closed for good at the end of December 2008.
Source: Harris, S.
Today the building is occupied by TK Maxx.
Source: All in London
142/148 High Street, Lewisham, London SE13 6JJ
Woolworths opened its twentieth store in Lewisham, South East London in 1913. I am guessing this is because of its location near a railway station. Below you can see how it first looked before it had a rebuild.
Source: Woolworth’s 100 years on the high street, Morrison K.
In 1937 the store was upgraded with a cinema front. The company was particularly proud of its galleried frontage. The neon lettering at the top of the building cost £50,000!
When Lewisham Shopping Centre opened behind the Woolworths store in 1975, Woolworths made another entrance at the back to the shopping centre. In the 80s, the store was halved in size and that is when Superdrug moved in. Then in the 90s, the store was split again and they kept the shopping centre side, which had a new store number, until closure in 2008.
Today the building is shared by Superdrug and Currys, and somehow just does not look so grand anymore. Doesn’t it look huge in the old photos?? Maybe it’s the angle of the 1930s photo that makes it look bigger than it actually is. Still, it is great that the Art Deco front is still here – if you ever are on Lewisham High Street, do have a look out for it.
Source: The Lost Byway
91/95 Rye Lane, Peckham, London SE15 5EZ
Another London store, this one opened on the 13th July 1912 on Rye Lane in Peckham, across from the fashionable Jones and Higgins Department Store. The location was chosen as it was right by a railway station (Peckham Rye).
Over the next 96 years, the store was rebuilt twice and extended six times. Below is the first rebuid in the 1930s, where they have taken over Kennedy’s Sausages which was on its left to make a bigger store.
There is no date for the below photo but it looks 1950s/60s from the clothing. The store looks strikingly similar to the 1930s photo above, so you can see how a 1930s store would have looked in colour. It does look very inviting.
Below you can see the second rebuild and the store looking even bigger. In 2005 Peckham was the 100th store to be converted to the new 10/10 format. Three years later the store closed for good – you can see ‘last 3 days’ in the windows.
Source: Peckham Peculiar
Now the building is occupied by Sports Direct, a fashion store (formerly 99p store) and a gym upstairs.
If you’re looking for stores 7 – 14, they are here:
259a Caledonian Road, London N1 1EE
Another short post for you, this store opened in 1955. Very similar in style to the Shoreditch store that opened 2 years later. Today it is an Iceland store.
142/146 Hoxton Street, London N1 6SH
This is going to be the first of a few ‘short but sweet’ posts, as I find it fascinating that there were so many London Woolworths stores that we see day to day without realising. Here is the Shoreditch store, which opened in 1957. Hoxton Street was severely bombed in the Blitz, so many streets had to be rebuilt. Here it looks as though Woolworths purpose built this one in the late 50s. I don’t know when it closed, possibly in the 1980s. Today it is a Poundland.
142/146 High Street, Stoke Newington, London N16 7JL
One of the very early stores, Woolworths opened in the North London town of Stoke Newington in 1915. It was part of a parade of shops, not a specifically purpose-built store, and you can see it below through the decades looking relatively unchanged.
Source: Flickr, Hornbeam Arts
Source: Flickr, Hornbeam Arts
Photo from my Facebook group.
After Woolworths closed on 27th December 2008, Iceland bought the store in January 2009, where it is still trading today.
87 High Street, West Wickham, Kent BR4 0NZ
Woolworths opened in West Wickham High Street in 1935. You can see it in the centre of this 1950s photo.
Source: Beckenham History Website
They traded from this site without much change to the exterior at all. This was one of the stores that had the doors to one side rather than in the centre. It closed on 30th December 2008.
Source: Flickr, Danny
Shortly after it’s closure, a Carpetright opened here, where it still trades today.
Source: Flickr, Mark