Graham Soult's quote in the Daily Mirror

We are pleased to get a mention in today’s Daily Mirror, where there is a story looking at what has become of the 807 former Woolworths stores, 11 years after the chain’s closure.

Though the headline of the online version of the article – “Dozens of ex-Woolworths stores still stand empty as High Street crisis deepens” – appears to paint a very negative picture, an alternative reading of the same numbers would be that over 760 of 807 ex-Woolworths stores remain in active use.

As explained in our #Woolies10 report a year ago, the vast majority of these currently vacant stores are ones that were taken over by other retailers after Woolworths collapsed, only for those businesses in turn to go bust or downsize their estates – notably Poundworld, Store Twenty One, and The Original Factory Shop.

Where the article is particularly interesting is in its focus on the three of 807 ex-Woolworths stores that have never been occupied again – Longton in Stoke-on-Trent, Kidderminster in Worcestershire, and Newton Aycliffe here in the North East – and the reactions (or excuses) of the property owners that the Mirror has managed to track down.

All three are stores that we have visited and tweeted about in recent years.

For a long time, a fourth Woolworths site remained unused – the one in Margate High Street – but it was repurposed into a successful art exhibition space by The Margate School in 2019.

You can read the full Mirror article here, or for more detailed insights into what became of the Woolworths store estate (as of January 2019), our free-to-download #Woolies10 report is an interesting read.

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