Search

Woolworths fall ‘has not hurt’ Beccles in ten years since closure

PUBLISHED: 11:00 31 December 2018 | UPDATED: 11:11 03 January 2019

Staff dance around Beccles Woolworths in 2006. Photo: Bill Smith

Staff dance around Beccles Woolworths in 2006. Photo: Bill Smith

Archant © 2006

Ten years ago the Beccles branch of Woolworths, which had stood in the very heart of the town for more than 70 years, shut their doors for the final time.

A cake was made to mark the time that Woolworths had been in Beccles. Photo: Nick Butcher, 2009.A cake was made to mark the time that Woolworths had been in Beccles. Photo: Nick Butcher, 2009.

Ten years ago the Beccles branch of Woolworths, which had stood in the very heart of the town for more than 70 years, shut their doors for the final time.

During the financial crisis in 2008, administrators were called after the company had accumulated around £400 million worth of debt, with thousands of people ultimately losing their jobs up and down the country.

At the time, the fall of ‘Woolies’ was concerning for businesses everywhere, but perhaps nowhere more so than smaller towns relying on busy shops and healthy revenues.

In Beccles, the former Woolworths store on New Market would only be empty for three months, with Norwich-based discount retailer QD Stores moving in three months later.

After a decade without the high-street favourite the Beccles Business and Tourism Association (BBTA) have said the loss of the hight-street store hasn’t affected business revenue in the area.

Christine Pinset, the chair of the BBTA said the store’s closure hadn’t made a difference and QD Stores and Woolworths are “very similar stores”.

Jon Sexton, the former chair of the BBTA said: “Woolworths was the first major high street retailer to go around the time of the 2008 recession, and since then it is the digital revolution we are living through which is having a massive detrimental effect on the high street.

“Woolworths was a great British retailer for many years but times are changing dramatically. I am with Christine in that it has not made much difference.”

At the time the store employed 30 members of staff and was among the best performing branches in the country.

A reunion is to be held this weekend for former workers at the Beccles branch to mark the 10 years since it closed on Tuesday, January 6 2009.

Now, former staff at the store are welcoming past colleagues to the Fox and Hounds, on Ravensmere, Beccles, for a reunion from 1pm until 4pm on Sunday, January 6.

Anyone who worked at Woolworths in Beccles during its 73 year run is welcome, with visitors encouraged to bring photos of their time at the store.

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the Beccles and Bungay Journal

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists