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Sometimes I still can't believe Woolworths is actually gone. It was a great store. Woolworths used to sell such a wide range of items, children's toys and clothes, DVD's, games, CD's, Gifts, Home ware, books and the best part of all the woolworths stores was definitely the pic n mix. I used to go in woolworths if I was ever struggling for gifts for our godchildren, they had all sorts of great gifts like pens and play doh, and the dressing up outfits were always a winner, especially for younger children. I know you can probably get all of this from the internet now, which is probably a contributing factor to the demise of woolworths, but sometimes it's better to be able to see things like that in the flesh before you buy them. I really miss the pic n mix, other stores have tried to do it, but they will never have the range of sweets that woolworths had. Gone are the days when you could fill a cup with loads of sweets and not get charged the earth (like at the cinema or blockbuster). Woolworths prices were always very low and competitive, and it was one of those places that if I was ever really struggling for a gift for anyone I could go and have a mooch round here and very often find something. Woolworths does still have a website where you can get most of their items from, but it's just not the same. They do have the pic n mix on the website, but I can't imagine ordering sweets from a website, it's not very instant, but a good idea from them. I think it's a shame they went down, and their stores closed. I have to make do with average sweets in packets now. It's rubbish.
I miss Woolies! *A bit about the store* Woolworths was a high street retail chain within the Uk. The first store was opened in 1909 and unfortuantely went into administration in November 2008 leading to 27000 job losses over 807 stores with the final store closing its doors on 7th January 2009. *What did they sell* Woolworths sold a range of items instore which include DVD and entertainment - provided by Entertainment UK. They sold chart release and older dvds, music cds, computer consoles and games and mobile phones. Food - sweets including pic n mix provided by CandyKing and various others boxed and individual sweets. The range varied depending on season but included a wide selection of Easter goodies and Christmas selection boxes. Kids clothing- quality clothing provided by Ladybird. From newborn up to teenage sizes. Toys - premium branded toys aswell as own branded toys from Chad Valley. Special offers on certain toys. Woolies also sold gardening equipment, household items, stationary, Christmas items including trees and decorations, cards and books. *Other information* Most Woolworths stores operated the lottery on behalf of Camelot. Staff wore distinctive red tshirts with name badges. Woolworths online also stocked additional items including nursery and household items. These were mainly detailed in the catalogue you could pick up in store. *My Opinion* Woolworths closing was the end of an era and a very upsetting experience for those who worked there. My Mum worked there for several years and mainly was in charge of the sweety department but also operated the tills. My dad worked there part time alongside his nightshift job at first and was in charge of the stockroom. After deciding to leave the nightshift job, he managed to secure a fulltime job managing the stockroom alongside another man who he became close friends with. The day my parents and other staff found out about the company going to Administration was an awful day. With both of them working in the same shop, they were very worried how they would cope financially. Thankfully both of them are now working again. Our local Woolies was situated in a prime position at the top of our town centre and was always busy especially at Christmas and everyone was extremely disappointed when the doors finally closed on 5th January last year. I myself loved going in and always liked to buy my stationary and sweets in there! It helped that we got family and friends discount so saved some money too! I am aware that the website has been taken over but out of loyalty to my parents i choose not to shop on there!
I was so disappointed when Woolworths closed down. I loved that shop so much. You could get whatever you needed it in. When it was a birthday, Christmas, Easter etc, I always went to Woolies to get something. When they did close last Christmas, the sales were amazing. Because of the credit crunch etc, I got a lot of my Christmas pressies from there and it saved me a fortune. I am going to be lost this year without Woolies. I am so glad that they are now online. However, they don't really have that much online, but hopefully, the more people that find out about it and buy things, they will get more back on. I really do hope that things get better and they will eventually open their stores again. I really miss their pic and mix, their toys and clothes. I used to love their party dresses for girls and all the character clothes for boys. Some shops are selling Woolworths "worth it" range in their stores, so its not all bad I suppose.
When i heard that Woolworths was in financial trouble i never imagined it would ever actually close down i always thougt there would be someone out there to save it. Unfortunately they did close down all of their stores at the beginning of this year and so many people lost there jobs (my thought are with all their previous employees - good luck). I didnt think it would impact me as much as it has. I work in a shopping centre which used to have a Woolworths like so many others (it was one of the biggest stores in the centre) and even now i seem to direct customers to Woolworths when they ask for something we dont sell before remembering its demise. It used to sell a variety of items including electrical/DIY/stationary/media/toys/onfectionary/clothes... the list seems to be endless and to be able to get almost anything in one place was just great and at a good value usually.(especially their value range) I just dont understand where the world has gone so wrong where such a huge organisation can collapse so suddenly. I really miss Woolworths but i doubt we will be seeing its return as it would have been done already. I did get a good range of sale items on its final few days (3 tins paint for less than £10) but i would have much preferred it to stay open instead. I can only give 5 stars to woolies memory any less would feel unfair. Finally RIP Woolies and good luck everyone out there who has lost their jobs.
Woolworths was my favourite stationary retailer, selling stuff from books to notebooks to pens and pencils, it was the ideal place to get equipment for school/college/university. To be honest, as a college student, it was perfect for me. It's a shame that they had to close down due to financial problems, because I got so used to shopping there, that it was sort of like second nature. I remember just when they shut down, I had wanted to get these note pads from there as they were selling them cheap, sort of like the pukka pads, and I was fed up because I remembered that it was closed down so I had to pay more at another retailer for the same style pads which was a shame. Not only does it sell stationary, it also sold art equipment, toys for kids, kid's clothes, you name it, which was also beneficial to me as whenever I shopped for pens and extra stuff, I always bought a little something for my baby brother, rather than going to Mothercare. The clothes are also of good quality and not cheaply made, so that was a plus. The pricing was also good and in some cases reasonable. Their offers were the best though and that was what made Woolworths unique. I always used to buy my pens there, 30 in a pack for about £1. A bargain considering that other retailers only do about 15 or so for the same price. The pens were also the best I've used and were suitable for anything, ie. exams and such. It really was the place to go to, to cater for all your needs. Also, they were known for their chocolates and sweets. Whenever there was an occasion, I'd always go there to get celebrations or if I wanted to buy little singular sweets, I'd scoop alot and put it into a pack and take it to the counter. They were really yummy too. Definately a shame that they're gone. I read their blog and it says they hope to be back soon and that they're not gone forever. I hope this is true, really do.
I used to work for another company that were part of Woolworths before they closed down. When Woolworths decided to close I was extremely upset, mainly due to the fact that I was to be made redundant, but largely because Woolies has been around FOREVER and the high street just isn't the same without it! The massive discounts that were applied during the closure of Woolies were however amazing. I myself found bargains (Facial Sauna for just 50p instead of £5!) However, I seem to feel a little bit like he public took advantage of these fantastic prices. I visited three Woolies stores after they announced they were closing and the state of the places was astonishing. One store even had people trampling over goods on the floor as well as each other to find the bargains they wanted! Woolies was a great store and I believe it will be sadly missed from our local high streets and shopping centres!
I used to love Woolies before they all closed down very recently after 100 years of business, I find it very sad, but to be honest, I think its their own fault... They made the mistake of having their fingers in everyones pies, they sold a bit of everything, but at a higher price...which is obviously no good!! Their sweets were 10 times more expensive than the likes of Wilkinsons, their clothes more expensive than Asda. Yes, their DVds and music were good, but even then, plces such as HMV are cheaper still. So people would look around there and then go buy their stuff from other places, thats what I found alot, I'd go in and look at the stuff (toys etc) then go to Argos and get the items from there for cheaper!! So to be honest, when it came down to it I wasn't that surprised when they said they were closing, I think before they did this, they needed to cut back on their costs even just by 10%, try to salvage the shop. Get rid of the clothes and cafe's...they just weren't bringing in the money!! But what happened happened, and they're closed, and its so sad that after 100 years the shop had to close its doors for the last time. You woudl have thought after all the government bail outs happening for the likes of Lloyds, who then went on to spend thousands on their shareholders christmas parties...they could have maybe given Woolworths a loan to at least try to sort them out, give them a chance, but hey they didn't. Lots of people have lost their jobs...but the government dont care about that do they....they only care about thew workers of Jaguar,...well think about it...the jaguars they sell....they're making money on the tax they're paying on the car and the petrol used to run it...so of course they're more interested in bailing them out inmstead.....even though the majority of people have been hit hard by the credit crunch and can't afford the cars anyway!!!!! Anyway to stop this going into a political rant which its going to if i'm not careful I shall shut up now lol!!!! In conclusion, before Woolies closed down, it was a good shop, it had everything you needed, even if it was a little bit more expensive than other places. Poor Woolies...end of an era!
I have many fond memories of shopping in Woolworths as a child and I was very sorry to see it go, mainly for these nostalgic reasons. Where I grew up - in a town called Northallerton in North Yorkshire - it was one of only two shops in the town where you could buy the latest singles (I bought most of my music there on cassette in the early 1990s!) and also the latest films (on VHS of course!) They also did a mean line in kids pick 'n' mix; very expensive but the sugar rush was great! I can remember trying to buy some Champagne truffles in there for my Nanna when I was about 13 and two shop assistants arguing over whether this was legal or not! (I was eventually allowed to buy them, I still don't know if I was breaking the law by doing so, the rebel in me would like to think so!) This was also the place where you got dragged to when it was school uniform time; in recent years I had come to appreciate just how good the children's clothing range "Ladybird" was in Woolworths when buying clothes for my own children. Unfortunately Woolworths could no longer compete in the increasingly competitive retail market; for example, as good as Ladybird clothing was, it was a fair bit more expensive than the equally good children's clothing you can get in Tesco or Asda. Their CDs and DVDs were much more expensive than you would find on websites such as CD Wow and Play.com. I think that the main problem with Woolworths was that it just didn't have enough of a "niche" appeal; in a sense it was Jack of all trades and master of none. I think it will be missed by many people, especially in small towns where people will now have to travel out of town or shop online for their music and films.
As most people will already know woolworths stores have been effected by the recession that is hitting our country pritty badly and at the begining of this month closed all there stores after the liquidators sold off the stock, i for one was sad to see wooolworths go as it was a fantastic store that stocked a very large amount of items at very reasonable price and am afraid if a store like this didnt make it we stand to see a lot more going the same way over the coming months. They stocked everything from childrens clothing, shoes, school uniforms, stationery, toys, gardening products, diy products, videos, cds, dvds, tvs, dvd players stereos, mobile phones, home wear, and decorating items. aswell as all this they always had an extensive range of boxed chocolates ideal for a gift for someones birthday and a great pick and mix stand. We had used this store for many years, i used to buy the stationary for work from there, we sed to get my daughters school uniforms from there, we brought a kettle from there for our kitchen which was a great bargain at just £5 and it is still going strong 3 years later, we used to buy a lot of toys from there for birthdays and christmases. I will surely miss this store, it is rhumoured that the little red book part of there store is going to continue trading through an internet site as it was owned by a diferent company
Woolworths was a store that I have very fond memories of as a child, My grandparents would treat my brother and I to a bag of pick and mix every Saturday as we took our weekly shopping trip to Hinckley, and as an adult shopping for my little boys first clothes before he was born, and as he got a little older treating him to the many toys they had for sale, with my son only being two when they sadly closed pick and mix was not a tradition I was able to keep up. The Recent History Of Woolworths. Woolworths or woollies and it came to be known by the media and public was a British group that owned 800 branches, It was the UK's biggest seller of candy king Pick and Mix sweets and also had its own range of Chad valley toys, Ladybird clothing and the value range of Worthit children's clothes. Throughout recent history Woolworths has had a lot of competition and has tried to compete against many other stores. Wilkinson's was fast expanding and in direct competition, Argos was growing fast in popularity so in the summer of 2006 Woolworths launched an in store collection service for items ordered on their web site or in store to compliment there already well established indoor ordering system which was soon followed by the big red book which came to light in late September to compete with the already hugely popular Argos book. In the years building up to 2008 the company moved into the entertainment and electronics market the smaller in town stores known as Woolworths would sell a small amount of electronic goods and have a huge selection of cds, dvds and computer games and other entertainment ranges. Other stores were then open on the outskirts of town known as Big W that stocked everything that you would find in the little Woolworths stores and a lot more items that were not available in local stores, the choices in these big W stores were endless. My Opinion Of Woolworths. I really liked shopping in Woolworths for toys for my little one but found that they were quite a bit more expensive than their competitors and a bit behind the times. This however did not stop me having a wander around whenever I passed. Being into buying DVDs (I say buying as I rarely get time to watch them) I would always have a look at their collection, although they did have a wide selection it wasn't always a good one. I often scoured the shelves for an old classic but is was very rare that they would have any, if they did it was a lot more expensive than in any other shop that was selling the same film.One thing that you couldn't beat Woolworths on was the a number of old DVDs selling at £1.00 only problem was that I or anyone else I knew had even heard of the majority of titles in the selection. The new selection of DVDs that were selling in the Hinckley branch was very small and very expensive, I do tend to look at the prices of things a lot more now that I have more financial commitments and less money to spend on the things that I would like and as a result of this I can say that I never once bought a new release from Woolworths. The clothing range While I was pregnant I went around all the shops in Hinckley (not that many) that would sell clothes for newborns and of course Woolworths was one of them, At the time I found a good selection of clothes that I bought if this had been my second child I probably wouldn't have been so eager. As a first time mum anything that I classed as cute I bought, Compared to other stores yes Woolworths had clothes that I classed as cute but not as much of a range, the prices were more expensive (ladybird range) than other places with no difference in quality and as my little boy got older we found that there were less and less items to choose from, with this factor and the contributing factor that I had to cut down on my spending the less I was buying from there until it became so that I didn't buy anything Woolworths to me was a shop that will be missed and if it had moved with the times and kept an eye on its prices compared to those of its competitors I strongly believe that it would still be here today as peoples favourite and not an old favourite as people have described it as today. I think that it is very true to say that shop loyalty is a thing of the past, with everyone feeling the pinch if one item in shop a is identical to that in shop b but shop a was charging £3.00 more I think that the majority would go to shop b
Woolworths was one of those chains that we all took for granted, i know many people such as myself chose to go and buy an item such as a DVD or maybe something for the house from stores who seemed to brain wash us with fancy posters and advertising schemes which simply drew us in without even thinking about good old woolies that was usually only a stones throw away. And now one of the oldest and dearest chains the United Kingdom has ever known has all but gone with the only reminants being its 850 former stores which stand empty and locked away from the outside world behind its boarded up windows, with only their distinct red and white 'Woolworths' sign left to haunt us all. However its too late to morn what has passed, maybe Woolies could have been saved, maybe it couldn't. Possibly if we had respected it a little more then maybe it wouldn't have gone under but at the same time maybe if the former owners had invested in a little more diverse merchandise to tempt us in with then it could have saved itself? Who knows, what I do know is that Woolies was unique. I have my own distinct and warm memories of being taken around my local Woolworths branch by my late mother, and I remember feeling as though this store had an atmosphere that couldn't be beat, especially on Xmas eve when the hole store would be alive with the pulse of festivity, and eager shoppers would be looking for there last minute stocking fillers. This was a common memory for people of my generation and I dread the day in the not so distant future when younger generations ask 'what was Woolworths?' I would say that Woolworths was a shop that catered for all and welcomed anyone, it was the backbone of our highstreets, it was the pride of the nation. And of course the employer of over 23,000 staff who are the unrecognised victims from this collapse. So while the rest of us flocked in like vultures to clear the store of its stock during the closing down sales it was the staff who battled on with a smile knowing that each day which passed would be a day closer to losing there jobs, and some of these people had worked in the chain for generations! It is too these people that I extend my best wishes of luck for the future, and I bid farewell to a giant that was one of only a handful of victims to be taken during this credit crunch. And whats more, the chain is exactelly 100 years old this year with the first ever store opening back in 1909, so Happy Birthday Woolies and farewell.
Woolworth's....... Woolworth's is a store that has been around for quite some time now and unfortunately it's not going to be around for much longer. Now apparently the store has been open since to late 30's but was exceptionally popular in the 50's. There was also a song written about Woolworth's and the fact you could get everything under one roof. I love Woolworth's and it is going to be sorely missed in my little town, as it was really the only store ever worth a look around. The store literally sells everything and anything. Chad Valley is the stores own toy range, they do a wide variety of toys for all different ages, and the quality is very good. Not only do Woolworth's stock Chad Valley toys, they also stock all the well-known makers of toys and toy items. You can often get these toys at a rather cheap price (especially now the store is closing and there is up to 60% off most things). Ladybird is the clothing range that Woolworth's stock and this is high quality clothing for children from birth to the age of 10 I believe. This is all again at a reasonable price and more often than not you can get a good bargain. Other things Woolworth's sell ranges from DVD's and CD's to sweets and Chocolate. There range of home ware is rather good too and again at a reasonable price. Most things you could think of are sold at Woolworth's and in our town it really was the only shop where you could get what you wanted. On an Island like where I live these stores were the centre of the town and I do believe that the store closing will have a major impact on the amount of people that will now travel to the larger towns instead of shopping locally. It is such a good store and it will be sadly missed. 5 stars and HIGH RECOMMENDATION.
What I know about woolworths is simple:- My mother worked for them when I was a child in what was then the delicatessen counter which sadly no longer exists. They sold every type of meat and cheese product imaginable and I remember the smells and tastes of these items so well. On this counter also they had a fresh juice machine and popcorn maker and ice cream machine where you could buy a cone for a few pennies old money. The other items in the store ranged from children's and adult clothes to records and tapes too ironing boards and kitchen apparel and toys and sweets. They were the first to bring in Pic and Mix and the first to open their doors to customers roaming around and shopping for themselves. I loved shopping there as a child and later on worked for them for a short time myself. The company was a friendly family linked company and expanded with time to many other linked stores like Comet and Superdrug. I always enjoyed walking around the store browsing through the many nicnacks watching various changes over the years. I enjoyed the quirkyness of the shop and the friendly staff members and take time now to remember the fact that they are now out of work due to this very sad closure of a great institution. I remember woolworths right from a very early age and find it very sad that it has to close its doors for the very last time. I hope that all the remaining staff soon find work and in this time of recession found it possible to have a reasonable christmas. I am deeply saddened by the loss of the great company who opened the way for so many other stores now like it in many ways. They were there as a provider of quality items at a knockdown price and served us well over the years. I cannot help thinking that they may have stretched themselves a bit too thin though when they branched out from shop to catalogue sales and internet sales. Perhaps this was their undoing, or maybe they just could not keep up with the times. Which ever way it was I salute you all the staff and Directors of this great company I will miss your great red bannered stores and the many hours browsing and buying I used to do in your vast cornucopia of goodies. Thank You and goodbye my friend. This so far is information I found out about woolworths on Wikipedia. I found it fascinating and thought you might like to know a bit about the origins of woolworths too. The F.W. Woolworth Co. was among the first five-and-dime stores, which sold discounted general merchandise at fixed prices, usually five or ten cents, undercutting the prices of other local merchants. Woolworth's, as the stores popularly became known, was one of the first American retailers to put merchandise out for the shopping public to handle and select without the assistance of a sales clerk. Earlier retailers had kept all merchandise behind a counter, and customers presented the clerk with a list of items they wished to buy. After working in a dry goods store in Watertown, New York, Frank Winfield Woolworth opened his first Woolworth's store in Utica, New York, in 1878, but the store failed within a year. However, a second store he opened on June 21, 1879 in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, became a success. Frank Woolworth brought his brother Charles Sumner Woolworth into the business, and together they opened more stores, often in partnership with other business associates. The Woolworth brothers also entered into partnerships with "friendly rivals" to maximize inventory purchasing power for both parties.In 1910, Frank Woolworth commissioned the construction of the Woolworth Building in New York City. This building was entirely paid for in cash. It was completed in 1913 and was the tallest building in the world until 1930. It also served as the company's headquarters until it was sold by the F.W. Woolworth Company's successor, the Venator Group, in 1998. By 1911, there were six chains of affiliated stores operating in the United States and Canada. That year, Frank and Charles incorporated the F. W. Woolworth Company and through a merger brought all 596 stores together under one corporate entity. One of the "friendly rival" predecessor chains included several stores initially opened as Woolworth & Knox stores starting as early as September 20, 1884 as well as S. H. Knox & Co. 5 & 10 Cent Stores opened after an 1889 buyout by his cousin, Seymour H. Knox I. Knox's chain grew to 98 U.S. and 13 Canada stores by the time of the corporate consolidation in 1911. Fred Kirby added 96 stores, Earle Charlton added 35, Charles Sumner Woolworth added 15, and William Moore added 2. A Woolworth store The stores eventually incorporated lunch counters after the success of the counters in the first store in the UK in Liverpool and served as general gathering places, a precursor to the modern shopping mall food court. A Woolworth's lunch counter in Greensboro, North Carolina became the setting for a significant event during the civil rights movement The Woolworth's concept was widely copied, and five-and-ten-cent stores (also known as five-and-dime stores) were a fixture in American downtowns through the 1960s, and became anchors for suburban strip malls by the mid 1970s. Criticisms that five-and-dime stores drove local merchants out of business would repeat themselves in the early 21st century, when big box discount stores became popular. However, many five-and-dime stores were locally owned or franchised, as are many dollar stores today. In the 1960s, the five-and-dime concept evolved into the larger discount store format. In 1962, Woolworths founded a discount chain called Woolco. This was the same year as its competitors opened similar retail chains that sold merchandise at a discount: the S.S. Kresge Company opened Kmart; Dayton's opened Target; and Sam Walton opened his first Wal-Mart store. By Woolworth's 100th anniversary in 1979, it had become the largest department store chain in the world, according to the Guinness Book of World Records. Woolworth's expansion led to specialty store acquisitions. In 1963, Woolworth purchased the Kinney Shoe Corporation and operated it as a subsidiary. That led to specialty shoe store expansion, including Style in 1967, Susie Casuals in 1968, and Foot Locker in 1974. Woolworth also diversified its portfolio of specialty stores in the 1980s, including Afterthoughts, Northern Reflections, and Champs Sports. By 1989, the company was pursuing an aggressive strategy of multiple specialty store formats targeted at enclosed shopping malls. The idea was that if a particular retail concept failed at a given mall, the company quickly could replace it with a different one. The company's purported goal was to operate 10 various specialty stores in each major American shopping mall, but this never came to pass as Woolworth never was able to develop that number of successful specialty retail formats. This activity, however, did lead to the development of the successful Foot Locker and Northern Reflections apparel shops, as well as Best Of Times, a timepiece retailer. In 1989, Woolworth purchased Champs Sports, leading to the development of the Woolworth Athletic Group. The growth and expansion of the company contributed to its downfall. The Woolworth company moved away from its five-and-dime roots and placed less emphasis on its department store chain as it focused on its specialty stores. But the company was unable to compete with other chains that had eroded its market share. While it was a success in Canada, the Woolco chain closed in the United States in 1983. On October 15, 1993, Woolworths embarked on a restructuring plan that included closing half of its 800-plus general merchandise stores in the United States and converting its Canadian stores to a closeout division named The Bargain! Shop. Woolco and Woolworth survived in Canada until 1994, when the majority of its stores there were sold to Wal-Mart. Stores that were not purchased by Wal-Mart were converted to The Bargain! Shop stores. Still with the decline of the signature stores, Woolworth marched on with a new focus toward athletic goods on January 30, 1997, acquiring the mail-order catalogue athletic retailer Eastbay. On July 17, 1997, Woolworths closed its remaining department stores in the U.S. and changed its corporate name to Venture. In that same year, Wal-Mart replaced Woolworths as a component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Analysts at the time cited the lower prices of the large discount stores and the expansion of supermarket grocery stores -- which had begun to stock merchandise also sold by five-and-dime stores -- as contributors to Woolworth's decline in the late 20th century. In 1999, Venator moved out of the Woolworth building in New York City to offices on 34th Street. On October 20, 2001, the company changed names again; this time, it took the name of its top retail performer and became Foot Locker, Inc. Foot Locker stores chiefly sell athletic clothing and footwear. I will now ask you all to think for a small momment for all those affected by this closure of such a great company. In my case part of my and my mothers life too. I think it will affect a vast amount of companies too maybe not directly but indirectly. It is a sobering thought isn't it. So please when you are running through the last remains of Woolworths and cannot find the bargain of the century your looking for, take time to think what this closure is doing to those that once worked for them and what the effect will have on those around them and those linked with the company. I thank you all for these thoughts. Woolworth's for me is like an end to an era, and I for one will miss them.
Well, we've heard recently that, despite the attempts of Theo Paphitis (one of the Dragons from the tv show Dragons' Den), Woolworths is going in to Administration. Woolworths is a high street chain in the UK, where one can buy all sorts of things, including sweets and chocolates, birthday and christmas cards, cds and dvds, clothes for babies and young children, and home and garden products. A few years ago they brought out a catalogue, making them a bit more like Argos, and they also now have a website for online shopping. Woolworths, I heard the other day, have been in business for 99 years! They are a feature of most high streets in this country and I do think that they are timeless. This is because of the wide range of products that they sell and the fact that they have moved with the times, for example by creating an online presence. I went in to Woolworths the other day. Sadly it was not because I was looking for something specific (although if I had seen something interesting or which would have made a good Christmas present, I would have bought it!) and I was disappointed that the store was such a mess. I kbow that they are closing down in, now, about one week, but I still thought that the products all over the floor and the badly kept displays let the store down. I don't know enough about these things to speculate on why Woolworths went in to Administration (other than their massive debts!) and I always thought that they were a great store, where you had a good chance of finding what you wanted, and that they were a brand that could be trusted. However I think that the counter staff were often just out of school, and whilst this is not inherently a bad thing, I think that perhaps they needed some training in customer service skills (certainly where I live anyway) and that perhaps this contributed to their downfall (after all, businesses that provide better custimer service do better in general). Having criticised them, I do love Woolworths, and I am gutted that they are likely to disappear from our high streets very soon.
So Woolworths have gone into administration but are still currently selling their products. What went wrong? What are prices currently like? I have been into two Woolworth stores in the last couple of weeks and to be honest, one of them was offering 50% off most products. Unfortunately, it was still full of the junk that they have sold for years. One of the shops clearly had no heating on and there was snow outside. Not a good way to get someone to spend money but obviously they are cutting back on costs. Because of the cheap stuff they have been selling at high prices, I, just like many others have shopped elsewhere. Mainly, I used to buy music from my local Woolworths but I have moved on to other places. However, an interesting point to note is that Woolworths have in place a distribution centre for other companies to use. One such place is Zavvi. Currently you cannot order from their online store because of the problems linked to Woolworths. Woolworths is a place I rarely shop. It was great back in the day, but has too much competition which is better. Wilkinsons, for example. They also sell the same cheap rubbish but for reasonable prices and hence I would go there. For music, I go to play.com, Amazon or HMV for rare CD's. They became a Jack of all trades and master of none. I cannot think of a single product that I would recommend someone go to Woolworths to buy. Seriously. But is this the real problem? Are they a victim of the Icelandic financial crash? Although a significant proportion of their shares are owned by an Icelandic company (12.4%), I feel that Woolworths hasn't moved with the times. Their offer of 50% off most items did make me go into the store, but without that clearance, I would normally walk straight past this store.