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.
Finding a Woolworths that has never been reoccupied, and that still has its main fascia intact, is almost quite emotional.
Of 807 stores, there is only one other left like this (Margate).
Who knows how long this one will still be hanging around? pic.twitter.com/k7Xi3ik5qS
— Graham Soult FIPM (@soult) December 21, 2018
In Kidderminster, where there's one of only a handful of ex-Woolworths (currently 5, I think) never to be reoccupied pic.twitter.com/f1srHCjFzU
— Graham Soult FIPM (@soult) December 21, 2015
Newton Aycliffe still one of only a handful of places where the Woolworths has never been reoccupied. Rest of centre in decent shape, though pic.twitter.com/QQNqLmC0Ob
— Graham Soult FIPM (@soult) April 12, 2017
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.
— Don Kehoe (@don_kehoe) September 30, 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.