The Woolworths Museum

1950s Fancy Goods, Jewellery and Artificial Flowers

In the 1950s the Fancy Goods Department at Woolworths offered a wide array of merchandise - including pictures and frames, Briar Pipes for smokers, artificial flowers and until 1954 even occasional gramophone records.  The range changed regularly and was very popular with customers, at a time when post-war austerity measures meant many of these items were very hard to find.


Briar pipes and smokers' requisites (in the foreground) were a popular part of Woolworth's diverse range of "Fancy Goods" in the 1950s


The range of artificial flowers - made from plastic, paper and silk, was a popular addition to the Woolworth range in the 1950s, as shown by this rare full colour photgraph

A rare colour photograph from the 1950s, shows off the new range of artificial flowers which was offered in every Woolworth store. Made of paper and silk, the flowers were great value for sixpence each. The bright colours and florist's shop style of display helped the counter to catch the customer's eye. It quickly became a major money-spinner.


Jewellery was a mainstay of the Woolworth's range in the Fifties. This is the display in Kingsbury, London, another of the blitzed stores reinstated to the Portsmouth design. Woolworths pioneered bakelite and later plastic materials to allow a broad-range of designs at economical prices.

F.W. Woolworth Buyers in the chain's Dublin Office spotted new ranges of Jewellery in the Eastern Block in the late 1940s. By the Fifties the range had spread to mainland Britain and proved an instant hit with shoppers. Just as they had scored a hit with bakelite products in the Thirties, a new generation of man-made materials had allowed them to offer a broad selection of fashionable pieces at rock-bottom prices.


Navigation Links

Point and shoot picture

Store front

Sweets and ices


Toiletries and cosmetics

Pictures, artificial flowers and fancy goods

Christmas cards and decorations


Cards, stationery and books

Wool and haberdashery

Children's, Men's and Ladies' Fashions


China and Glassware


Kitchen and Homewares

Paint, DIY and Repair


Building the store

Grand staircase