Saturday, 19 November 2011

Some iconic names...

A long afternoon in Aberdeen's central library proved useful, throwing up lots of interesting imagery of a historic Aberdeen high street. Here are a couple examples and some thoughts.

Woolworth at its 1979 Union Street home
Located where Primark currently is on Union Street, an old household name that in 2008/9 succumbed to its debts and went into administration closing all of its 800+ high street shops. - BBC news article on closure.

Woolworths was a place to pick up bargains. In its later years it faced stiff competition from pound shops and supermarkets who began to offer the same kind of items so really lost its place in the market. 

However the name Woolworths has been "re-born" over the Internet. The name was purchased and turned into an Internet shop ( I have to admit I only discovered this myself whilst doing some background research into Woolworths. Having a browse around the website it is in a very competitive marketplace with Amazon and even eBay. The most interesting aspect though is that someone decided the brand itself was worth purchasing and turning into an online shop, nostalgia? As an Internet brand I think people are more likely to google Amazon or eBay over Woolworths.

My fond memories of Woolies was the cheap pick n' mix which they are offering online.

Bruce Miller & Co in George Street 1900-1984
Moving to Union Street in 1984 where it would remain until its closure in 2011 after 100 years in business. (

Bruce Millers was a very iconic, local independent business situated in Aberdeen. It's a great shame that a company with such local heritage has closed its doors for good. Independent shops offer a welcoming change from the super brands that are all very much in uniform nationally.

I would like to try get in touch with people who worked at Bruce Millers, especially the owners. This could prove fruitful in providing information of how trading over the years has changed and allow me to look at how graphic design has influenced a change in consumerism. Does good design and strong brands create enough desire that the high street is no longer required? 

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