What happened to the former Woolworths stores in south east London

In January 2009, Woolworths closed the doors to its remaining 807 UK stores following a financial crisis, but the brand was saved in Germany by HH Holding.

Current HH Holding chief Roman Heini has said he seeks to expand internationally and says the UK is on his “bucket list” of destinations.

Over the years there were more than 40 stores across south London with 15 in south east London from when Woolworths first opened in 1909.

When Woolworths closed in 2009, the remaining stores across south east London closed their doors for good, marking the end to the popular high street chain.

We’re taking a look back over what happened to the remaining south east London stores that closed in 2009 and what they have become since.

Eltham High Street

Number 173 – 179 Eltham High Street was once the former home of Woolworths for many years, until it shut in 2009, when all of its remaining stores closed.

According to Google, between September 2009 to September 2015 the unit was then taken over by the 99p store before being taken over by Poundland from June 2016.

Leegate Shopping Centre

Many locals to Lee Green who grew up between the 1960s-2000s will remember the Woolworths that used to be located at 16 Leegate.

The store first opened its doors in 1965, marking the 1,110th Woolworth store to open in the UK.

The unit was later taken over by Sue Ryder which is still open today.

Bromley High Street

Bromley High Street formerly had a Woolworths located where the Poundland store is today on the high street.

The store closed along with 806 other stores nationwide. It was later taken over by Poundland and has occupied the space ever since.

Bexleyheath Broadway

Originally located on 93 Broadway, Woolworths opened in Bexleyheath store in the 1930s before it moved to number 77 in the early 80s.

The store was again relocated to units 93-105 Broadway in May 2000, where it traded until its eventual closure in 2008, and the unit was later taken over by H&M.

This Is Local London: H&M is now situated in the former Woolworths unit.H&M is now situated in the former Woolworths unit. (Image: Google)


Woolworths on Orpington High Street first opened in the mid 1930s where it traded right up until it closed its doors in 2008.

The unit was later taken over by Poundworld from 2012 until 2014, before it was taken on by Bargain Buys between October 2014 and October 2017.

The unit was then taken over by Pondworld Plus between April 2018 and June 2019, and finally Home Needs furniture from August 2020 until August 2021.

However, the unit of the former Woolworths store is set to be demolished to make way for the development of 40 flats opposite Orpington’s Walnuts Shopping Centre, which received approval from Bromley Council in 2021.


Woolworths’ Blackfen branch was formerly located on Blackfen Road and opened in the 1930s, trading there for 70 years before closing in 2009.

The unit was later taken over by Machine Mart, although it is not known exactly when.


Lewisham’s Woolworths was formerly located at 142 – 148 Lewisham High Street when it first opened in the late 1930s.

The store was later halved in size around the time that Superdrug moved into part of the former unit in the 80s.

After the unit was again downgraded in size to the inside of the shopping centre, Woolworths closed its doors for good in 2008.

The unit was then taken over by Superdrug and was later joined by Gap Outlet in May 2021.

But by July 2022, Gap was then replaced by a branch of Lewisham Youth Theatre.

This Is Local London: Superdrug and Lewisham Youth Theatre are where Woolworths used to beSuperdrug and Lewisham Youth Theatre are where Woolworths used to be (Image: Google)


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