Woodsides to go on but not as we know it

Woodsides department store in Lisburn. US1538-527cd  Picture: Cliff Donaldson
Woodsides department store in Lisburn. US1538-527cd Picture: Cliff Donaldson

A local councillor has said he will beavailable to support workers at Lisburn’s Woodsides store when it ceases to trade in its current form.

Alexander Redpath, said he was ‘onside’ to provide whatever support he could at what he described as a ‘difficult time’ as the 44-year-old business is to be rebranded as Woodsides Fashion Store.

“It is a great shame that Woodsides as we currently know it will cease to trade,” he said.

“The contribution Woodsides has made to the local economy over the years will be greatly missed.

“I am glad that the clothing and accessory business will continue to trade at the current site and I am glad this familiar name will not completely disappear from our high street. My thoughts are with those who will cease to work with Woodsides.”

In the summer the company were talking with staff over its future and in a statement they said the changes at the Market Square store were due to take place on October 10.

The store which had branches close in Ballymena, Bangor and Larne has undergone a number of changes, since it opened its doors back in 1971.

The original store was burnt down in 1977 during the Troubles and then rebuilt with an extended supermarket.

In 1990, a further incendiary device caused extensive damage, and the company took the opportunity at that time to extend the clothing, gardening and homeware departments as customer shopping habits were changing.

Commenting on the latest news the company stated;

“TF Woodside & Co Ltd. trading as Woodsides are entering a new era this October, due initially to the expiry of our lease and with a further change in customer shopping habits.

“This means that Woodsides as you know it will cease to trade.

“However Woodsides, stocking ladies and gents clothing along with accessories will continue to trade from our existing premises;

“This will give us an opportunity to further develop our clothing and accessory business while making access more convenient for all our customers.

“Woodsides have always strived to provide a well-priced, quality product and will continue to do so.

“We hope to welcome all of our loyal customers to our newly renovated ‘Woodsides Fashions’ store, opening late October.

“T.F. Woodside and Co. Ltd would like to thank each and every one of our customers and staff for their loyal support over the last 44 years.”

The shutters had previously come down for the final time at the Woodsides stores in Ballyclare, Ballymena and Bangor in 2011.