The Lost Hypermarket: An A to Z of Long Lost Brands

Lost items from our supermarket shelves If you have spent more than four decades on this planet, you will have seen many shops go the way of dinosaurs. Not a single day goes by without there being a “Do You Remember the Woolworths Pick and Mix” counter or “School Puddings” meme. I have yet to…

The Stores That Tesco Ate: A Lost Precinct Not So Perfect Ten

A look at ten supermarket chains absorbed by Tesco since 1945 For social historians and retail commentators, the recent history of Tesco is peppered with twists and turns. Contemporary hagiographies focus on the store chain’s tax affairs, or their presence on our High Streets. Much of the groundwork was set in the 1960s and 1970s…

The Lost Precinct Advent Calendar – #24: Woolworths

A Cracking Christmas, 1981 style We have come to the end of our Lost Precinct Advent Calendar and, as you would expect, we have saved the best clip to the last. This time, from the variety store of all variety stores, with a bit of inspiration from ABBA and a star studded line up. The…

The Lost Precinct Advent Calendar – #23: Queensway

Everyone’s a winner (though ultimately some won more than others) So, we go to our penultimate door within The Lost Precinct Advent Calendar. We hope you have enjoyed the journey so far and that it has got you talking to your younger relatives about forgotten foodmarkets or defunct discounters. The Ad of Christmas Past Each…

The Lost Precinct Advent Calendar – #22: C&A

Clemens and August, arr. Cook and Greenaway The Ad of Christmas Past Once upon a time, long before Primark opened its first department stores in England, Scotland and Wales, there was one retailer that offered affordable smart and casual clothing. C&A – Clemens and August to use its full name – was a mainstay of…

The Lost Precinct Advent Calendar – #21: Zodiac Toys

The place to go-go, back in 1985 The Ad of Christmas Past Oh the colour, how much colour in this advert? A shame this was done in the pre-digital era, coming off a fuzzy VHS cassette. At first, we see seven children jumping out of jack-in-a-boxes with one letter spelling the name of the toy…

The Lost Precinct Advent Calendar – #20 Bejam

When a plea for Frozen stuff meant a bag of peas  The Ad of Christmas Past With the rise of the chest freezer and deep freeze fridge freezers, the early 1970s saw a rise in popularity for frozen food. Freezer Centres would form part of many a High Street. As well as regional chains, there was…

The Lost Precinct Advent Calendar – #19 Gateway Superstores

“Full of Fresh Ideas” – for 1987  The Ad of Christmas Past Till the early 1980s, there was a seemingly unwritten rule that ensured all supermarket chain adverts shouted about its prices. TESCO’s Checkout campaigns in 1977 and 1982 perpetuated this though with less brash tones. By the mid-1980s, chains turned their guns towards the experience…

The Lost Precinct Advent Calendar – #18 DER

What do you think you’re playing at by name checking former Hallé Orchestra conductors?  The Ad of Christmas Past DER. Or if you prefer to use its original name, Domestic and Electrical Rentals. The advertisement eschews the ‘do not touch’ approach by encouraging customers to try before they rent! Which in the mid 1980s when this ad…