The Worry of Woolies

By SallyB2 Last edited 108 months ago
The Worry of Woolies

Gone but not forgotten: it looks as if Woolies, darling of the high street, may be enjoying something of an afterlife. In North London they are being colonised by the 99p Store chain (which has already caused one riot of anticipation this week). Last month a former branch opened as an art gallery in Leytonstone. Perhaps the most interesting/worrying reincarnation is in Peckham, where the empty store has opened up as a co-operative bazaar selling tight clothing covered in glitter and plastic furniture covered in glitter. High Street historians would see this as a glorious return to Woolies' market trader roots: cynics might simply see it as the devolution of the High Street. What's happened to your Woolies: is it still standing sad and empty, or has it been recycled? (Image/sinister pictures)

Last Updated 05 July 2009


O2 is in a deal to buy up a few of the Woolies shops in East London to expand their range. Also in the frame to buy and expand is Waitrose and Iceland. So all may not be lost in the high street.


Iceland I'd heard about, but the idea of a huge room filled with frozen food is very depressing so I was trying to ignore it. Waitrose would be going back to their roots if they are opening high street branches, and this would, I am sure, be mostly welcome. Interesting to note that Woolies lives - on the internet:


Yes woolies on the net, no shops and pick and mix !!


not true, they're selling pic n mix online


'Co-operative bazaar' is a rather optimistic term to describe the loss of Woolies in Peckham to yet another badly run filthy shop selling tat that manages to make the area even more grubby than usual.

This is hardly surprising given the broken paving, tatty street furniture, rubbish and general stench of grotty butchers and grocers throughout the entire stretch of Peckham Rye and the High Street.

It looks more like a squalid part of Africa than belonging to one of the richest cities in the world, not helped by its population of pram faced blingsters and wannabee gangsters that step around its rubbish strewn streets.

When the 'best' shop is Primark and national Pound shop chains don't even bother to have a retail presence, it's understandable why the loss of Woolies is keenly lamented.


What has replaced Woolies in Peckham is disappointing. Also disappointing was the recent facebook campaign to lure H&M to replace it. Nothing against H&M per se just against the "blandification" of every high street with similar stores.

I'm aware the number of "grotty butchers" is a constant cause of irritation to some residents, and is in itself "blandification" of sorts. However it is important to note these "grotty butchers and grocers" are the economic backbone of the high street. A number of the "better" store chains abandoned the high street some time ago, Sainsbury's, Marks and Sparks, BHS.

It is clear, a process of gentrification is slowly but surely infiltrating Peckham, I sincerely hope when these major chains that abandoned Peckham wish to return; they're made to do something worthwhile for the area first.

Finally, I was under the impression referring to all mothers in an area as "pram faced" was as passé as doing Ali G impersonations. Not to worry I'm sure when Southwark cleanse the “squalid African” like streets they will also cleanse the area of it's working classes, Africans, Asians and South Americans. At that time Woolies will probably become a GAP/Starbucks.

Alternative Future Peckham