Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Farewell Woolworths

British shoppers bade a final farewell to Woolworths today as the company's remaining 200 stores closed for the last time. Most outlets had already shut down with many of the 807 shops ending trading before the New Year.

Another 200 stores opened for the final time on Saturday after a one-day reprieve by the High Street chain's administrator Deloitte.

Woolworths, a family favourite on the high street for 100 years, went into administration in November with debts of £385million.

The chain - whose first British store was opened by American FW Woolworth in Liverpool in 1909 - is the most high-profile UK High Street casualty of the economic downturn, leaving 27,000 workers facing redundancy.

It ran into trouble this year after struggling with huge debts, and its problems were compounded when it was forced to pay cash for goods after credit insurers were no longer prepared to cover its suppliers.

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