12 Potteries Mall Stores We Loved – Then Lost

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Buying habits may have changed drastically over the years, but few people can yet resist a trip down the hall to see what great deals they can uncover.

And since its opening in 1988, there has been a succession of stores at the Potteries shopping center.

Those who remember those early days will no doubt have clear images of those awe-inspiring glass elevators taking shoppers between floors and what looked like endless rows of stores.

Such was the excitement of the initial opening on June 1, 1988 that Staffordshire Police recruited additional officers to handle the expected crowds.

But times have changed and there are a lot of stores that have disappeared – and we would like to see a lot of them again.

StokeonTrentLive reporter Dave Knapper talks about some of the candidates who would make a welcome return – along with some suggestions from our readers.

1) Disney store

Where to start ? Always one of the first that buyers call for a return. What an exciting store it was – able to transport young people directly throughout Disney and was stocked with toys, clothing, and just about anything associated with the global brand. But the magic ended and the store closed in 2013.



Hanley’s Disney Store closed in 2013

But Lee Harvey wrote on our Facebook page: “People always want to get the Disney store back so they can peek at it like an art gallery. You actually have to buy things to make them stop. should charge you an entrance fee to make it worth coming back. “

Jane Barker added: “Disney no longer has any physical stores other than the flagship stores in Dublin and London. They are focusing on their online business and will no longer operate on Main Street. Unfortunately for all those who hope, they will never come back. “

2) Food court

At a time when developers are turning iconic buildings into food halls, this little gem was truly ahead of its time. A wide choice of units serving a multitude of treats and a large seating area. Just walking past made you hungry.



The old Potteries mall food court
The old Potteries mall food court

StokeonTrentLive readers would love to see him return. Jane Broadhurst said: “The food court was the best. All you have now are fancy cafes with overpriced food.”

Nicola Amison said: “Definitely the food court! And more toy stores.”

3) gadget shop

Perhaps it found its real popularity around Christmas time when people were looking for this unique gift. But it was still fun walking around a store where there was always a real chance that a remote control helicopter would hang over your head.

4) Monsoon

Last year, Monsoon closed its doors alongside Accessorize. Both were popular with anyone looking for women’s or children’s fashion.



Sales assistant Emily Tabbinor pictured inside Monsoon in 2016

The closure in 2020 came less than a year after the company warned less profitable or loss-making stores would be closed.

5) Music area

Do you remember when we used to buy cassettes and CDs? Music Zone has really given HMV value for money with its wide range of offerings and wide choice of genres. You would be guaranteed to have an album for around £ 1.

6) Debenhams

In May, the shelves were laid bare as the store prepared to leave the mall after spending several years delighting shoppers with the choice floors it could offer. It was sad to see the store in such a ravaged state from its heyday, with many people worrying that Hanley had lost such a large unit and employer.



Debenhams store manager Richard Agnew is pictured with three of the 43 sales assistant jobs that were created at the Hanley store for Christmas. From left to right, Paige Jones 16, Craig Cairns 20, Richard Agnew Store Manager and Steve Phillips 37.

While it has only just passed away, a number of StokeonTrentLive readers would love it to return. Ema Hawkins wrote: “Debenhams, then I will always have a job!”

6) Littlewoods

There was always something oddly exciting about a catalog store and the wonder of where everything was stored. I’m willing to be wrong – but didn’t Littlewoods have great coffee too? As a youngster, and with my mom dropped off at work, this is where my dad bought a breakfast that a kid my size shouldn’t have had to eat.

7) Topman and Topshop

These were great places to have everything from your everyday outfit to something a little more elegant to go out at night. As someone who used to squeeze in skinny jeans and the spikest shoes before going to The Underground or The Sugarmill, then Topman was ideal.



Topshop in Hanley
Topshop in Hanley

And how did everyone who worked there always look so cool? Just as many were reeling from Topshop and Topman, we also lost Miss Selfridge.

8) Tammy Girl

With its wide range of stylish clothes, it was sort of an iconic store in the 1990s and gave young fashionistas the chance to get their hands on various items.

9) Bobangles

It was perfect for anyone looking for accessories, earrings, headbands and a whole range of things to complement your style.



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10) All: Sports

I have a confession, I’ve worked here before, and there’s a good chance I tried to sell you some trainer cleaner. With our cool gray polo shirts with fluorescent stripes we had a great look at All: Sports. For a while, he mixed traditional sports equipment, fashionable items, and sports equipment. Based right across from where JD once sat, we had a friendly rivalry …

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11) Dixons / Currys

It was the time when you were dragged through all the electrical stores while your mom and dad were looking for a bargain. It was the days before the internet and sometimes it was like watching Del Boy negotiate a deal with a disoriented part-time worker on Saturday.

When I was young it was always nice to watch the latest stereos – even if you felt a bit like Alan Partridge on his VIP trip to Tandy (if you know it, you know it). It was a time of Rumbelows and Radio Rentals where you could try and play them against each other. Whether it works or not, I should ask Del … sorry, I mean my dad.

12) Dolcis

Maybe that was the brand’s style, but I always assumed this particular shoe store was “chic.” Back then my mom would take me straight to Beans in Smallthorne.

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