Fifteen years have passed since Woolworths stores across the UK closed their doors for the final time, and some former stores are still empty to this day. What happened to your local Woolworths store? 

Woolworths, affectionately known as 'Woolies' by some shoppers was founded in 1909 in Liverpool and by 2009 had 807 locations across the country.

However, following the 2008 financial crash, the chain which was known for its bargain prices and shopping variety collapsed and all remaining stores were closed by early January 2009.

A report named #Woolies15 has been written by retail consultant Graham Soult of CannyInsights who has marked the occasion by chronicling the current state of former Woolworths sites in the UK.

Graham has also filed similar reports five and ten years after the collapse, named #Woolies5 and #Woolies10. 

Overall, Graham said this year's findings paint "a positive picture" as 672 (83%) of former Woolworths sites are still in use for retail purposes. 

The biggest owner of the former sites is Poundland, who now have ownership of 134 sites across the UK which were formerly home to Woolworths.

In the North East, some sites such as Peterlee, Newton Aycliffe and Stanley are still empty, whilst many are still in use and have been refurbished into new stores including Tesco, Primark and B&M.

Here's an interactive map of the site of former Woolworths from around the North East, detailing what the site is being used for now - which was your local store?


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In Graham's report, he utilised Newton Aycliffe as a case study for Woolworths, which opened as their 1007th store in 1958.

In 2013, a town centre re-vamp saw the building be renovated.

But now, the building is still empty and no new tenant has signed up to take over the location.