Neath - Shops of the past
There have been many changes in the Neath shopping streets in recent years with shops closing down due to the recession. One of the first shops to go was Woolworths in 2008.
Woolworths Group plc was a listed British company that owned the Woolworths store chain, which had more than 800 stores at its peak. The group sold a large range of goods with its own LadyBird children's clothing ranges, Chad Valley toys and the WorthIt! value ranges. The chain was the UK's leading supplier of Candyking "pick 'n' mix" sweets. It was also sometimes referred to as "Woolies" by the UK media, the general public, and occasionally in its own television commercials.
On 26th November 2008, the trading of shares in Woolworths Group plc was suspended and the Woolworths and Entertainment UK subsidiaries entered administration. Woolworths Group plc also entered administration on 27th January 2009. The administrators closed all 807 Woolworths stores between 27th December 2008 and 6th January 2009 resulting in 27,000 job losses. It was a sad loss for Neath.
More shops followed, with out of town stores with ease of parking, and the Internet, with on-line shopping from the comfort of one's home, adding to the problem.
First, let us have a flash back to around 1930 and see what Neath looked like in those days.
Now lets look the same area in Neath from 2008 onwards
The last days of Stead & Simpsons. In the background you will note that Poundland (the Pound Shop) is where Woolworth's used to be.
Burton's another great name - gone.
Below is a famous name that was once in Queen Street
Photography by Mike Davies