Tag Archives: Woolworth

Swansea – Store 14 / 135

Store 14:
239-242 High Street, Swansea, West Glamorgan SA1 1PL

The FIRST Welsh store to join the chain, this store opened in 1912 on Castle Street.

Swansea Woolworths 1912

Swansea Woolworths 1912

Source: Woolworths Museum

Swansea Woolworths 1927

Swansea Woolworths 1927

Source: Francis Frith

The store was so successful that they bought out the neighbouring Hotel Cameron premises in 1927 and moved there in 1928. The original premises vanished in a junction improvement scheme.

Swansea Woolworths 1930s

Swansea Woolworths 1930s

Source: Swansea Recalled

The building was demolished down to the first floor after being bombed in the Blitz.

Swansea Woolworths 1940s

Swansea Woolworths 1940s

Source: Swansea Recalled

It was then used up to the first store, without the use of the old upper floor offices which had proved difficult to sub-let in the Great Depression anyway. Here is how it looked in 1949. The Cafeteria signage was the same, but the 3d and 6d lettering was dropped.

Swansea Woolworths 1949

Swansea Woolworths 1949

Source: Woolworths 100 Years on the High Street, Kathryn A Morrison

1n 1958-59, the store was rebuilt in a 60s style, as you can see in the photo below, opening on 16th November 1959. This is the building that Swansea locals will recognise as Argos today. On 28th June 1986 the store closed as part of cost-cutting back in the 1980s, and sold to Argos. Understandable as there was another Woolworths store just 5 minutes walk away from this site.

Swansea Woolworths 1959

Swansea Woolworths 1959

Source: Woolworths 100 Years on the High Street, Kathryn A Morrison

Here is it as Argos today.

Swansea Woolworths-Argos-2017

Swansea Woolworths-Argos-2017

Store 135 :
242-246 Oxford Street, Swansea, West Glamorgan SA1 3BA

Meanwhile over at Oxford Street in Swansea, a Woolworths store opened in 1923.

Swansea Woolworths 2008

Swansea Woolworths 2008

I actually can’t find any information at all about this particular store, or how it looked between 1923 and 2008. This building is now Poundland.

Swansea Poundland 2017

Swansea Poundland 2017

If you have any old photos of the Oxford Street store that you don’t mind sharing, do let me know in the comments.

Sutton – Store 71

148/150 High Street, Sutton, Surrey

Sutton Woolworths was one of the very early stores of the chain. It opened in the High Street in 1916. In the below 1923 postcard, the Woolworths store can be seen on the right. It was next to the Surrey County Theatre which opened in 1921.

Sutton Woolworths 1923

Sutton Woolworths 1923

Source: Woolworthsmuseum.co.uk

Below you can see the store to the far right. I’m estimating this to be in the 1930s from the cars.

Sutton Woolworths 1930s

Sutton Woolworths 1930s

Source: CinemaTreasures.org

Below is a 1935 postcard, where it can be seen that the store has had a refurbishment with an art deco cinema-style facade, quite suitable considering what the neighbouring building was.

Sutton Woolworths 1935

Sutton Woolworths 1935

Source: CinemaTreasures.org

This photo was taken shortly before Sutton High Street was pedestrianised in the early 1980s. Woolworths is on the left, where you can see the store’s 60s makeover – with the upper floors covered in what looks like concrete.

Woolworths Sutton Early-1980s

Woolworths Sutton Early-1980s

Source: Flickr, Simpson E.

Looking at the building today, yes it does seem to be some sort of grey concrete cladding, or maybe it’s metal. The store has been split into 2 units, a Burton/Dorothy Perkins and a Superdrug (I’ve merged two photos here from 192.com)

Sutton Burton Dorothy Perkins Superdrug 2015

Sutton Burton/Dorothy Perkins and Superdrug 2015

Source: 192.com

I don’t know the exact date Woolworths left this building, but I do know that the chain acquired Superdrug in 1988 and Woolworths opened in a new building at 71 High Street, Sutton in 1994.

I will cover the 71 High Street store (Store No. 1192) in a separate post.

Wrexham – Store 445

56 Hope Street, Wrexham, Denbighshire LL11 1BE

Woolworths opened at 56 Hope Street in Wrexham on 25th July 1931, and extended 5 years later into neighbouring 58. They traded from this location for nearly 40 years. Below is a photo from 1965, and I have circled the Woolworths store on the right.

Wrexham Woolworths 1965

Source: Francis Frith

8- 10 Regent Street, Wrexham, Denbighshire LL11 1SF

On 12th November 1970, they relocated to the new larger premises on Regent Street, where it was 2 floors up, and had an escalator down to a basement floor.

Wrexham Woolworths 1971

Wrexham Woolworths 1971

Source: 100thbirthday.co.uk

It seems as though it was destined to be a trial store for the Woolworths group. In 1984, Wrexham was one of 20 stores that trialled the ‘Daily Provisions’ cornerstone strategy. They reopened with a grocery section, an up-scale offer of bread, cakes and take-away food, and a new delicatessen counter in the basement selling fresh fish and meat. Apparently there was an amazing giant model of a fish on the wall over the fish counter!

In 1988 it tried the comparison store format. Then in 1992 the store was refurbished. And finally in the 2000s, the store was one of the new style 10/10 stores until it closed on 5th January 2009.

Wrexham Woolworths 2011

Wrexham Woolworths 2011

Source: Ballysundriven, Flickr

Wrexham Woolworths back

Wrexham Woolworths (Lord Street back entrance)

Source: geograph

It lay empty from a long 2 and a half years, until August 2011 when Discount UK opened. Today Bargain Buys trades from this location, and The Chinese Buffet is in the basement with it’s entrance on Lord Street.

Wrexham Bargain Buys 2015

Wrexham Bargain Buys 2015

Source: 192.com

The Chinese Buffet, Wrexham

The Chinese Buffet, Wrexham

Source: Groupon

And as for the original Woolworths on Hope Street, this is now WHSmith. It’s a new building, as there was a huge fire in 2001 and the building had to be demolished. Here is how it looks today.

Wrexham WHSmith

WHSmith, Hope Street, Wrexham

 

If you liked reading this, you may enjoy reading about Rhyl – Store 308.

Reading – Store 111/1180

61/64 Broad Street, Reading RG1 2AJ

Woolworths originally opened at 51 Broad Street, Reading in the Spring of 1922, which is where H&M is today. Some pretty fantastic vintage photos of the Reading store have been put up on www.reading-forum.co.uk by markjuk. (http://www.reading-forum.co.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?t=5709&p=51409)

THEN:

Reading Woolworths 1920s

Reading Woolworths 1920s

Source: http://readingimages.epixtech.co.uk/loc/1261402.PDF

NOW:

Reading H&M 2014

Reading H&M 2014

Source: http://uk-retail.pldbgw-dtz.maximalls.net/dynamic/image/2374271?x=340

The store was expanded to have entrances in Broad Street, Friar Street, Union Street and West Street, often used as a shortcut by shoppers to get from Friar Street to Broad Street. It sounds like it was MASSIVE, I can’t even imagine!

THEN:

Reading WW 1950

Reading Woolworths 1950

Source: http://www.100thbirthday.co.uk/images/StoreGallery/pages/0111Reading-1950.htm

Reading Woolworths 1955

Reading Woolworths 1955

Source: http://readingimages.epixtech.co.uk/loc/1285592.pdf

According to the Wargrave Local History Society, “Woolworths had moved to their present position in 1939, having earlier been nearer Union Street, although for a period in the late 80’s it was a shopping mall, then becoming Woolworths again.” Source: http://www.wargravehistory.org.uk/nov98.html

Reading WW 1945

Reading Woolworths Interior 1945

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Woolworths_Group#mediaviewer/File:A_Picture_of_a_Southern_Town-_Life_in_Wartime_Reading,_Berkshire,_England,_UK,_1945_D25360.jpg

Reading WW West Street Entrance 1979

Reading Woolworths West Street Entrance 1979

Source: http://readingimages.epixtech.co.uk/loc/1317811.PDF

Reading WW back

Reading Woolworths Friar Street Entrance 2013

Source: http://www.soultsretailview.co.uk/2013/03/16/pick-n-mixed-grill-the-ex-woolworths-that-are-now-wetherspoons/

Now this shopping mall concept sounds interesting. According to 100thbirthday.co.uk, it was originally a prototype for a new large store format called ‘Jupiter’, but they decided on ‘The Woolworth Mall’, piloting Ladybird clothing, the ‘Le Cafe’ restaurant, as well as opticians, show repair and estate agent concessions and selling large kitchen appliances! The mall used yellow and grey colours rather than the traditional red and white, although not for long as the concept was dropped quickly in favour of getting rid of huge city centre stores.

Reading Woolworths 1980

Reading Woolworths 1980

Source: http://readingimages.epixtech.co.uk/loc/1317805.PDF

Reading Woolworths 1980

Reading Woolworths 1980

Source: http://readingimages.epixtech.co.uk/loc/1304042.PDF

“The site was closed for redevelopment in 1989, closing on 17th June. When the development was complete Woolworths moved into a small store in part of its original footprint, which opened on the company’s 85th birthday, 5th November 1992 (Store 1180).” Extract from 100thbirthday.co.uk (Source: http://www.100thbirthday.co.uk/images/StoreGallery/pages/0111Reading-1950.htm)

Reading WW 2008

Reading Woolworths 2008

When I took these photos, I did notice how new the building looked – definitely not an original. The Reading Forum clarified this – Markjuk recalls “that a fire in the early 90s caused by squatters who in habited the derelict building, set fire to it causing extensive damage to the old Broad Street entrance prompting it to be demolished a few months later. Rather than save this art deco architecture, it was demolished and replaced with a bog standard brick building of no significance.” (Source: http://www.reading-forum.co.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?t=5709&p=51409)

NOW:

Reading Clas Olsen 2014

Reading Clas Ohlson 2014

And today it is a shiny new Clas Ohlson, selling pretty much what Woolies used to sell. I do like their pastel coloured straws 🙂