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WOOLWORTHS shops in Sheffield


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Sheffield History

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Everyone remembers Woolworths shops in Sheffield. With it's pick and mix and music counter. Sadly Woolworths is no more in Sheffield and they've all disappeared after the chain went bust. 

But where was your favourite Woolworths and what do you remember buying from there?

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boginspro

Definitely the old one on Haymarket before they moved into the one the other side of Dixon Lane in the Castle Market development. It was pictured in this thread       -------------------     

    -------------------              and if you look at the picture of the Pick 'n Mix counter you may imagine why it was my favourite. 

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I am pretty sure there was one at Attercliife just below Banners, there was also a Woolworths in Meadowhall, I think it just sold music and possibly children's clothes.

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History dude

Woolies had their own record label till about 1965. It was called Embassy. They were mainly cover acts singing the latest pop tunes. If anyone has one in their record collection you know for certain it was purchased originally there as they were sold nowhere else. Many of them are now highly sort after especially the rock and roll covers and the Beatles covers. 

I remember buying records from the one near the Castle Market around 1977. They also sold hi-fi equipment such as music centres. I remember some were on power and you could press the buttons on them. Some used to have loud switching thumps from the speakers! They sold a lot of Waltham equipment, some Hittachi. 

The girls that worked the record store counters became well known for either being very bright or very stupid. You would ask for a certain record and they would say never heard of that. Or "it's not in the chart".

On the other hand somebody would go in and whistle a tune at them and be given the correct record! That happened a lot in the 80's when people who had been on holiday abroad would whistle the tunes they had heard on holiday, but had no idea what it was or who sang it. Saturday Night by Whigfield was rumoured to have reached the number one on that basis!

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Woollies retained gas lighting in many of their stores for years as an alternative source of lighting. The wire mesh covered glass  light bowls were a feature of all the older shops. No one would ever bring an Embassy record with them to a teenage 1960's style "party"  out of embarrassment...that they are now sought after just shows how times change.

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Woolworths on the Moor had a side entrance near to the cafe. This came out opposite the Golden Dragon. On another thread I've posted a picture of the carved W on the front facade.

I remember the Haymarket branch had a doughnut machine which was a fascinating watch as ring doughnuts were dispensed into hot oil which cooked them on one side. Somehow they flowed away towards a flipper which turned them over to do the other side. I think at the end there was a mechanism which took them from the oil and dropped them on to sugar to coat them.

Incidentally the original Woolworth, Frank W Woolworth, had the middle name of Winfield - which became the name of the own brand products.

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22 hours ago, Sheffield History said:

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Woolworth's on The Moor

The two “ W” on either end of the building are still there despite a new store now being on the site.

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History dude

Certainly from the late 70's perhaps earlier the top left part (front) of the Moor branch was the music department. They would lay out the top 50 records on the rear wall up to the windows. With the sales desk down at the end after the number one section. I don't think that Woolies laid out the "official top 50". Certainly later on they laid out their own sales chart. Some of which was made up. For example it was agreed that Eurovision songs would be given a place in the chart, even if the public were not actually buying them. But I reckon many of the records they sold were the ones that were no longer in the top 50. These were placed (though they looked like they were dumped there) in a receptacle for the public to look through. Often three quarters the price of a chart record. Like many record shops they had to buy them in bulk and "guess" in many ways which records would be popular with the public. Though the record companies reps would guide them to buy some records on the basis that it would be as big as the last record by the act. And of course it wasn't. Leaving Woolies with a pile of records unsold. By selling them off cheap they could get some of the money back, but not make a profit on them. As a rough guide the shop might have got the records for say 10p each (1977 prices) and sold them back as a chart single at 75p. So a 20 to 25p ex chart single didn't make them lots of money.    

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Sheffield History

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A couple of photos of Woolworths on The Moor which are screenshots from the movie Threads which was filmed on there

 

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lysandernovo

I recall that there was a Woolies down on Attercliffe Common...a smallish affair!

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tozzin
On 26/01/2021 at 10:34, lysandernovo said:

I recall that there was a Woolies down on Attercliffe Common...a smallish affair!

Littlewoods had a store just a few yards away from Woolworths, I always remember the smell of the narrow hardwood floorboards and as soon as you walked on them they started to creak, brilliant.

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DaveJC

A great example of not moving with the times, they stuck their heels in whist the rest of the world cruised right past them, they ain’t the first and won’t be the last. When I was a kid you could throw me into Woolies and come back knowing that I’d be staring at the latest toy being demonstrated, I would be ‘rewarded’ with one of those super soft creamy ice cones, why did kids like them.? 🤮

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lysandernovo

I don't remember Woolies being especially good with toys...let alone seeing them being demonstrated. Back in the mid 50s when I became more of a "free agent" it was their Embassy records that dragged my generation into their bazaars...as well as the occasional cheap meal in their KAF...with Woolies gravy....the like of which I have never tasted since!!!

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Rppear

Woolworths on the Moor used to be very good for its selection of Airfix models.  Grandparents used to take us into town on a Saturday morning, park on Matilda Street and use the side entrance, my recollection is that the cafeteria used to be on the right from that entrance.  We would be given a timescale which was enough to go round Woolworths then pop into Redgates a few doors up.

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