27 October 2020 12:41
People have been getting nostalgic about former High Street favourite Woolworths. The department store, famed for selling everything from records to rolling pins, posters to party food, was a high-profile casualty of the high street revolution after the arrival of online shopping. But now, speculation is rife about "exciting news" the brand is set to reveal today. In a tweet, Woolworths UK said: "We have decided to push our 2021 announcement forward. One of the very early Woolworths stores One of the very early Woolworths stores, the Brighton branch opened in Western Road on 5th August 1916.
It was joined by two further Brighton stores in London Road and St James Street in 1927. In 1968 the store was modernised and reduced in size, with the right side being sold to Clinton Cards. Below is the store in 2004, a year when Geri Halliwell visited one November evening to meet hundreds of fans, many of whom had been queuing since lunchtime. This store became a 10/10 new format store in the 2000s, before closing for good on 30 December 2008. The building didn't stay empty for long, in April 2009 H&M announced they would be moving in.
However, Very Group - which now owns the Woolworths name - told MailOnline it had not heard of any plans to open stores, scotching the rumours to the dismay of Woolies fans. In 2018, Tony Page, a former Woolies director, tried to revive the brand by purchasing the name - even selling his family home to boost funds - but his bid of £10million was beaten by Very. Woolworths opened its first UK store in Liverpool in 1909 and became a much-loved fixture in high streets across Britain. The chain, famous for its pick 'n' mix sweets and homewear range, went into administration in 2008 and closed all its branches in January the following year. In the 1980s Woolies focused on entertainment, confectionery and children's toys and clothing and - at one stage - was Britain's largest pop music retailer.
But now, with a website not working and without a verified blue tick on social media, customers feel they have been let down. "I think the Woolworths thing is a hoax... as if 2020 couldn't get any crueller," one wrote. @UKWoolworths had teased the news yesterday, saying: "Since we're kinda trending on the Twitter world, we have decided to push our 2021 announcement forward! Some exciting news later today, see you then." It then added: "Here to save 2020! Woolworths is coming back to your high street, as a physical store! A couple of legal things to get sorted, but we're full steam ahead at Woolworths HQ." When questioned as to why the website was not working, the Twitter account replied: "We're having some IT issues due to a huge rise in activity. We're working with our provider to fix this. Very's website is not affected as we are two desperate companies." The tweet has not gone down well with Twitter users though, with one saying: "So Woolworths coming back is a potential hoax? Course it is. What else do I expect from 2020." "Definitely a hoax," a second feared. "I mean I assume everyone realises this Woolworth's coming back thing is hoax right?" another asked. But another replied: "Y'know the Woolworths thing that might be a hoax? If we all wear I Believe badges like in Miracle on 34th Street it MIGHT ACTUALLY HAPPEN." Founded in 1909, its 807 stores closed between December 2008 and January 2009, resulting in 27,000 job losses. Our readers have a lot of love for Woolies.... Liz Evans said: "I miss them all, to be fair, but it has to be Woolies!! Followed very closely by C&A." Serena Johal posted: "I miss Woolworths and going out getting a Blockbuster with the family. I miss them days." George Mulyihill voted: "Woolies, C&A and BHS in this order." Christine Doyle has fond memories of Woolworths, saying: "Woollies! My first job - loved it and miss the stores." Mavis Drew's vote also went to Woolies, saying: "Woolworths would be my choice...the store you could almost get everything." Craig Phillips said: "Woolies without a doubt. If only for the pick n mix!" As a subscriber, you are shown 80% less display advertising when reading our articles. Those ads you do see are predominantly from local businesses promoting local services. These adverts enable local businesses to get in front of their target audience – the local community. It is important that we continue to promote these adverts as our local businesses need as much support as possible during these challenging times. Close