5-6 Queens Square, High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire
In 1926 Woolworths opened on Queens Square in High Wycombe, and I think it was a long store that went through to Priory Road with another entrance there (where Primark is today).
Source: Woolworths 100 Years on the High Street, Kathryn A Morrison
Here you can see the store on the right side of the photo on Queens Square, looking towards Frogmoor.
Here is the Priory Road entrance on the far left of the photo, decorated for the Silver Jubilee of King George V. – this is the junction with Church Street.
A 1940s view:
The store in 1971 just before moving to its new location on the High Street.
Recently it has been a YMCA chariity shop and sometime it was a First Choice Travel Agents. At the Priory Street side, this has become part of Primark I think.
And here is it today – let’s hope something nice moves in
Source: Realla Property Search Engine
9-10 High Street, High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire HP11 2BT
In 1969 Woolworths bought the site of the Red Lion Hotel, keeping the famous Red Lion statue. The hotel was demolished and a new store built behind arches. Offices were also built on upper floors as Woolworths were trying to generate extra revenue by letting out this space. Below you can see the store just after it reopened.
Originally the store was arranged over 2 floors with two entrances, one fronting the High Street and the other Castle Street – it was a very large store. They then closed the Castle Street entrance. Below you can see a view of the former rear entrance (formerly the site of the Odeon Cinema) on Castle Street.
In 1984, High Wycombe Woolworths was one of nine stores that tested out the concept ‘Electronics World’ – trying to link Comet and Woolworths, but this was abandoned in 1987.
In the 2000s, High Wycombe Woolworths was a 10/10 store and had a cafe. It was also the store where the head office team would test out promotions before they went live.
Today the building has been split into two, one side is Iceland, the other is Poundworld. The hotel’s iconic red lion statue, a major High Wycombe landmark, still stands on the colonnade outside the store.
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