118 – 128 High Street, Watford, Herts WD1 2BH
Woolworths first came to Watford during World War One, when the fish and poultry shop owned by AE Smith at 124 High Street was replaced by “FW Woolworth and Co, bazaar” in 1916.
Over the years, the store expanded by taking over adjacent shops, and carried the “3d and 5d Stores” sign.
By the mid-1960s, the store had extended to the corner of King Street.
During a modernisation programme in the 1980s, a new shop was built on the corner of High Street and King Street.
Source: Guy, C.
However the store was one of the ones sold when Kingfisher took over, and it closed in the mid-80s.
Watford was without a High Street Woolies for nearly 20 years, until the shop near Clarendon Road opened in 2000.
So what happened to the building? Well you wouldn’t recognise it but it is now McDonald’s, Waterstones and a TUI Holiday Shop.
71 High Street, Sutton, Surrey SM1 1DT
After Woolworths closed at 148/150 High Street, they moved down the road to 71 High Street.
71 High Street was quite a historical building in Sutton. It was where Sutton’s first department store was located, called Shinner’s Department store, built in 1935.
Source: K Park Prints and Collectables
Source: Old UK Photos
In 1979 Shinner’s was taken over by Allders, and they stayed in this building until 1991 when they moved into the new St Nicholas Shopping Centre (and then became Debenhams). Woolworths moved here in 1994, with a new store number 1192. It looks as though the building was rebuilt from the new-looking red brickwork, so perhaps this is why there was a 3-year gap. Woolworths traded here for 14 years until it closed in early January 2009.
Source: Featherstone, P.
Waterstones moved in, and it was the first Waterstones to trial their Cafe W concept. Meanwhile, the former Sutton Woolworths store manager teamed up with another store manager to open the toy shop Toy Barnhaus, which is still successfully trading today with 7 branches.
Source: Sutton Film Office
10/14 Princes Street, Edinburgh EH2 2AW
In 1925, Woolworths built their Scottish flagship store on the busy and bustling Princes Street, opening its doors in March 1926. It was the second store in Edinburgh after the first one in Leith, but this one was much grander.
Source: ifo Apple Store
Here is it in 1933. Its location next to the Royal British Hotel and Palace Cinema, and opposite the infamous Waverley Steps made it a national landmark.
In 1956 they expanded into the cinema next door, demolishing it and extending their external facade and adding a floor in the roof. The F.W.Woolworth fascia was updated to extend the whole way across.
Here it is in the 1980s shortly before closing, with it’s updated logo.
Source: The Scotsman
1984 they closed down when Kingfisher took over and closed most of their large Woolworth stores. A Wimpy soon opened in its place, here it is in 1986.
Source: Lost Edinburgh Facebook Group
In the 1990s the Wimpy became a Burger King. Here is the parade of shops in 2009, with Boots, Evans and Waterstones.
Source: Beth’s Blogging (design) Blog
All the shops left and the building was empty for a number of years. Then in 2011, Apple started a $20 million reconstruction of the whole building, with the insides totally changed but keeping the grand exterior facade as it was – as fortunately this is a listed building.
This is a photo taken by my brother in March 2015 – we can see it is an Apple Store and a Barclays, and the Royal British Hotel is still there. The Apple branding is very subtle, and the interior is completely open – quite different from it’s Woolworths day, yet the exterior is keeping its heritage. Good work Apple.