A Letter from Nantwich

December 2008                                                                                          

There was misery in store at Christmas

 

 

 

 

Doom and gloom at a long-established Nantwich store

THERE was an end of an era at Nantwich in Christmas 2008.  Woolworths, in Swine Market, was one of the 800 or so stores in the national chain which closed after the store went into administration.

    Around 200 closed their doors for the last time on Saturday, December 27. The remaining 600 or so still had a January 5 closing date, but with hopes that a buyer might still be found.

   With discounts of "up to 50%" promised, the stores nationwide tried to sell as many goods as they could as the end loomed.

   Some shoppers complained that the cuts were really 10% or 20% at best, according to national television. And they were having a go at the luckless staff who might have expected a little sympathy at the prospect of being jobless in the very near future.

    But that's the "me, me" generation for you.  

    I am not aware of this happening in Nantwich - nor can I say that it didn't. In fact, when I popped in the other day, the staff were surprisingly cheerful in the circumstances. This was despite the fact that the store presented a gloomy picture with rows of empty shelves and the remaining stock being consolidated on to fewer and fewer shelves. 

    Normally the shelves would have been filled with replacement stock more or less straight away. But now there were no more deliveries due and it really was a case of "when it's gone, it's gone."

   The Swine Market premises are quite large, for

 

 

a Nantwich store, and the question now would be who would want to take the building over.

 

 THERE has always been a Woolworth's store in Nantwich in my life time, although when I first knew it, it occupied a prime position in The Square (now M&Co, a branch of the clothing chain) in slightly smaller premises. I have been able to push the date when there was definitely a shop in Nantwich back to 1930 thanks to someone who, like me, always remembers there being a Woolworth's in Nantwich.

   Of course, it would have been called a shop rather than a store in those days. Well, it was called "WooIies", of course. I remember that there were wooden counters down each side wall - set a few feet from the wall so that staff could stand behind them to serve customers - and a central island of more counters with staff in the middle.

    At the end, the store, like most others, was self-service with goods being put into baskets before being taken to a check-out area near to the front doors. Apart from these areas there were no counters with staff standing behind them. All stock was displayed on row after row of shelf units.

    I cannot remember whether the staff in the premises on the Square took your money and gave you any change that was due, or just handed you the items you wished to buy. Then again, I can't remember a cash counter, so it must have been pay as you bought.

   An empty shop always casts gloom on an area - an empty store will be that much worse.

 

lAS many people will know, Woolworth's is an import from America, an idea of Franklin Winfield Woolworth (1852-1919). His middle name was a store brand for a time.

 

SWINE MARKET PREMISES BACK IN BUSINESS WITH FIRM NEW TO NANTWICH

DISCOUNT store B&M took over the Woolworth's store, re-opening the Swine Market premises on Wednesday, February 4, 2009. The firm, which sells toys, electrical and household goods, food and drink, health and beauty items, garden equipment and home furnishings, has 89 stores throughout the U.K.  

   It later opened another branch on the industrial estate off Middlewich Road

   Good news for the staff: I understand that the Woolworth's manager was employed as the B&M manager and that many of the former staff were taken on, too.

o Pictures; The new B&M store on its first day of trading.

FOLLOW THESE LINKS TO OTHER PAGES:  HOME | ASK ANDREW | CHANGING SCENES | CONTENTS | AIRMAN'S  GRAVE | CHARITY SHOPS | CHURCHE'S MANSION

WHAT IS A DABBER? | FAMILY LINES | FUNNY PHOTOS | GREENSPACES SOUTH CHESHIRE  | (The former) LAMB HOTEL | LETTERS | LETTERS UPDATES | LOST HOUSES

NANTWICH CIVIC SOCIETY | NANTWICH IN BLOOM | NANTWICH TOWN FC | NANTWICH VIDEOS | NEW HOUSING IN NANTWICH | NEWS ITEMS | OLD NANTWICH PICTURES

PICTURES PLEASE | PLACES TO SEE | RIVERSIDE | SPOTLIGHT ON . . . | STAPELEY MANOR | STREET NAMES | THE HACIENDA | THINGS YOU SAY

THIS AND THAT | WEBSITES |  WHAT'S  ON