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Woolworths R.I.P?

Woolworths. Those shops often housed in art-deco buildings, a ubiquitous retailer. I have been a customer of Woolworths for nearly half a century. I used to buy fishing stuff from them when I was a wee boy, when the floor was polished wood and the goods were sold from large rectangular counter/gondola displays. Then when I was a bit older it was packs of five cassettes or the latest album or single. Even now hardly a week goes by without my visiting Woolies in Dumbarton or Helensburgh for a light bulb or a CD or a screwdriver or maybe some pic ‘n’ mix. From a local perspective, Woolworths is almost as much a part of Helensburgh and Dumbarton as the Rivers Clyde or Leven. I’m sure this kind of association will be typical from towns accross the UK. They tended to occupy the same site in towns, often refurbishing, rarely expanding or relocating.

And now the following news from the Times:

“Woolworths, the iconic 99-year-old six-penny retail chain, is on the verge of collapsing into corporate bankruptcy despite desperate last-ditch government efforts to save it.

The board of Woolworths plc, believing it had exhausted all its other options, met at 6pm at the retailer’s central London headquarters to vote on a move that threatens thousands of British jobs.

Here they will agree to put two of Wooworths’ subsidiaries – its 815 store high street arm and its DVD distribution business EUK, which between them employ nearly 30,000 people – into corporate bankruptcy or administration.”

4 Responses

  1. Kind of makes me feel bad for pocketing a sweetie from the pick’n’mix counter every time I came out of the swimming pool all those years ago…

  2. My own shoplifting career in Woolies consisted one day of losing a mackerel spinner on a snag whilst fishing at the pier (aged about 11). Check pockets – three and a half pence, a spangle wrapper and the figure from my James Bond Aston Martin DBS Corgi car. Cost of new spinner – 20p. Conceal spinner in hand and attempt to leave. Manager (who incidentally knows my parents) considers catching me, retrieving goods and a lecture as sufficient justice. I never nicked anything from a shop again (except of course the odd pick ‘n’ mix with TK)

  3. Are we all to blame- is there anyone who hasn’t shoplifted in Woolies in their childhood? My mum still feels guilty about a yellow comb she whipped from one when she was a wee girl.

    I swear she will be talking about that on her death bed.

    It will be missed- great for stationery. And things that you think will be hard to get hold of, you always try Woolies first, don’t you?

  4. Only in Woolworths could you buy a trolley jack and a deep fat fryer in the same place. I can see now why they went tits up.

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