Old photos tell the story of Joplings past as transformation of iconic Sunderland department store begins

As the old Joplings store undergoes a major transformation into new flats, these poignant photographs show just how it looked in the aftermath of its closure.

The revamp of the iconic department store, in John Street, is under way after Jaspia Ltd was given planning approval to turn it into 166 student bedrooms over four floors.

A section of the shop floor as it was before the work began. Photos courtesy of 5 Star PR Marketing.

A section of the shop floor as it was before the work began. Photos courtesy of 5 Star PR Marketing.

The shop closed its doors to customers in June 2010 when the company went into administration, leading to the loss of 100 jobs in the city.

The student accommodation plans were submitted after a number of proposals to turn it into a hotel failed to come to fruition.

Joplings’ place in Wearside’s shopping history began in 1919, when it launched in High Street West in 1919 before moving to John Street in 1956.

Its part in city life will be marked with an area dedicated to the history of the business as part of the building’s revamp to turn it into housing.

We are very confident this will have a positive impact not just in Sunniside but to the city centre as a whole, which is exactly what we want.

Steven Kwan

Photographs taken of the interior of the old store show how the building was left after the shop floors and other areas were cleared following the closure, including its kitchen and cafe area to its ladies’ clothing sales area and announcement system.

Steven Kwan, a spokesman for Jaspia through 5 Star PR and Marketing, said: “With Joplings House being such an iconic building and business in Sunderland’s history, we very much believe that it is our duty to carry on that legacy to serve the City of Sunderland.

“Therefore, we are in constant communication with businesses in the area, residents, council and university to see how we are able to help not just the Sunniside area, but the city as a whole.

“We have already had very positive feedback from them and on social media about our plans and our work in redeveloping Joplings.

Steven Kwan with BP Multi Service's Andy Phillips outside the former Joplings store.

Steven Kwan with BP Multi Service's Andy Phillips outside the former Joplings store.

“We are very confident this will have a positive impact not just in Sunniside but to the city centre as a whole, which is exactly what we want.”

A card used by staff at Joplings was found on the floor as developers moved in. Photos courtesy of 5 Star PR Marketing.

A card used by staff at Joplings was found on the floor as developers moved in. Photos courtesy of 5 Star PR Marketing.

A retail area of Joplings following its closure. Photos courtesy of 5 Star PR Marketing.

A retail area of Joplings following its closure. Photos courtesy of 5 Star PR Marketing.

Artwork could still be seen on the walls of the sales areas following the closure of Joplings. Photos courtesy of 5 Star PR Marketing.

Artwork could still be seen on the walls of the sales areas following the closure of Joplings. Photos courtesy of 5 Star PR Marketing.

One of the exit signs from Joplings before the work began on turning the former store into student accommodation. Photos courtesy of 5 Star PR Marketing.

One of the exit signs from Joplings before the work began on turning the former store into student accommodation. Photos courtesy of 5 Star PR Marketing.

Former Joplings store.

Former Joplings store.