Photos from the Lexington Herald-Leader archives updated daily

Woolworth announces closing, 1989

Posted on December 13, 2017 | in Uncategorized | by

The exterior of the F.W. Woolworth Co., Nov. 3, 1989, after it was announced that the five-and-dime store at 106 West Main Street would close its doors after 88 years in downtown Lexington. Woolworth, which opened its first Lexington store in 1901, had occupied this site since Sept. 9, 1948. Woolworth stores became fixtures in downtowns across the country, but the trend toward suburban malls and competition from discounters, including Kmart and Walmart, began to undercut the company by the 1960s. The company had signed a 40-year lease that was credited with keeping the store open during the 1960s and 1970s, when other retailers were forced to leave downtown Lexington. Lease payments were low enough that Woolworth could survive as the downtown declined and its sales decreased from the peaks of the 1950s and early 1960s. After closing, the building become one of Lexington’s most notorious eyesores, sitting empty for more than a decade before being torn down in 2004 and turned into a parking lot. The other buildings on that block were razed in 2008 to make way for the CentrePointe development. Photo by Frank Anderson | Staff


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