Personal piece: We-go to Ugo

Last week, fellow Notizie writer Mason Moore and I decided to pay a visit to the town of Nuneaton.

While we were there, we stopped by the Station Retail Park, where we noticed that the signs for the former UGO were still present.

UGO has now been closed for eight years, but signs of its presence remain in the building.

While we were in Nuneaton, we reflected on the story of how the shop’s local branch came to be, and of course, its eventual downfall.

The Station Retail Park started life as an ELS furniture store until this shop shut down. Following this, the former ELS building was repurposed and split into three separate units. These units were Blockbuster (which would close a few years later and be taken over by 365 Bargains), …instore (which rebranded as Poundstretcher) and Netto.

In 2010, major supermarket ASDA purchased all of Netto’s UK stores. Shortly afterwards, ASDA was required to sell 47 stores to other companies, due to competition laws.

The Nuneaton Netto store was sold to Haldanes Group as one of their new UGO stores. UGO remained in operation for two years. During that time, the Nuneaton branch appeared on Kayvan Novak’s disguise show, Facejacker, when he infamously ‘took over’ the self-scanners in the shop.

In 2012, UGO was sold to Poundstretcher. Most of the UGO stores were transformed into Poundstretcher stores, with two exceptions. One of these exceptions was the Nuneaton branch, as there was a Poundstretcher next door, which had rebranded …instore by this point. This meant that when UGO closed, the Nuneaton store remained desolate, and it still is today, eight years later.

While we were in Station Retail Park, we took two photographs of the interior of the empty store. You can see these photos below.

Vinyl floor stickers for Ugo reading “Ugo this way for value”
An interior view of the former Netto and Ugo staff room

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