back to article Woolies to be resurrected as online-only store

Woolworths has been given the kiss of life as an online-only store after Shop Direct bought the now defunct UK High Street retailer’s brand name. Financial terms of the deal were kept secret by the David and Frederick Barclay-owned company, which is Blighty’s biggest home shopping dealer and operates under well-known brands …


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  1. Adam Foxton


    will you be able to buy Pic n mix online and get it delivered?

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What's the point?

    What's the point? the brand name is associated with being out of date and a failure of modern retailing. The brand has little to no real value apart from nostalgia. Why not come up with something new that would cost nothing rather than building on the corpse of one of the most public failures of 21st century in the UK.

  3. Jerome
    Thumb Up

    Pick and Mix 2.0

    I expect nothing less than a fully web 2.0 compliant AJAX app to allow me to pick out all the good bits from the pick and mix, to be swiftly rushed to my door via free next day delivery.

  4. JB


    I heard an interview with someone involved in this venture on Radio 4 this morning. The chap was gamely trying to convince us that it will be the same old Woolies only online. Yes, they're cashing in on the name, that's business, but why all the publicity crap about it being the same as the good old Woolworths? I suppose if they didn't bother trying to publicise it in that way, it would reveal the venture to be what it is, just another cookie-cutter e-tailer. I suppose it's Commodore and Littlewoods all over again.

  5. pctechxp

    @Adam Foxton

    You beat me to the question.

    In the meantime there is which I've been meaning to order from.

  6. Rob


    27,000 jobs lost and Wollies will still live on, how many jobs will be created with it's shift to online only.

    Not exactly the death knell for high street retailers but it's still quite scary for that such a large retailer will stil live on and the 27,000 staff are wondering how they will live.

    I wonder how much they bought the brand for?

  7. Mark
    Gates Horns

    Just tell me..

    When the hlaf price fire sale will be.

    The Woolworths brand is now damaged goods (actually it has been damaged goods for along time now). All this shows, is how dumb the Barclay Brothers really are. (unless they bought it for less than a tenner).

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    good idea

    IF they can still get the original suppliers: those Chad Valley toys and Ladybird clothes were reasonable value .

    Credit crunched father of young one.

  9. Ian

    out-of-date failure

    @Anonymous Coward - those brand values should fit perfectly with the rest of the portfolio. Kays?

  10. Rob Farnell

    Re: Pick and Mix 2.0

    That reminds me of this:

    Web 2.0

    Especially love the bit with the pizza.

  11. Pedantic Twat

    @What's the point?

    Assuming they paid peanuts for the brand all they have to do is replicate one of their existing websites and add 'Woolies' to the systems the call centres use to service all their brands.

    One very cheap extra outlet, trade on the name until it falls into disrepair and then get shot. Quite astute really. Only thing is of course that they just made a shed load of call centre employees redundant, maybe they'll need some back....

  12. Dave Bell

    Woolies not so wonderful

    It used to be that Woolworths was everywhere, even small market towns. They pulled out of Brigg in the Seventies, and WH Smith the same. But Brigg has more now than it did then. Boots never went away. There's Poundstretcher and Lidl and Wilkinson and Tesco.

    The last time I was in Woolworths it was nothing special. Can't eat the sweets, and the DVDs were less expensive than in HMV, but nothing special.

    And what is going to be different about an on-line Woolworths?

    OK, maybe the name is worth something, but what for?.And how can they sell it?

  13. Steve


    If the name alone was such a great selling point, why did they fail? I'm still not sure why we're all supposed to be cheering the fact that the name lives on.

    If there were no longer any jam doughnuts in the world and I bought the name to describe my new kick-you-in-the-bollocks service, there wouldn't be crowds of people in the street celebrating the fact that I had saved jam doughnuts.

    The may be people strewn across the street ruing the day they tried to buy a doughnut, but I'm not sure how that helps anyone.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Who really owns the name?

    If you look up Woolworths on a certain user-edited encyclopedia you'll find a long list of companies trading under the name in many countries of the world.

    Presumably the majority, but perhaps not all, of these originally had some connection with the original Americanl FW Woolworth but who actually owns the rights to the name now?

    I'd agree with the other posters. The name has no cachet now and, as with Littlewoods, the new owners must be hoping to cash in on misplaced nostalgia.

  15. Lukin Brewer

    Lives on?

    In a shambling zombie sense? "Store of the Dead"?

    Or is it more a Frankenstein's Monster / Herbert West affair - a bolt of digital lightning here, a shot of AJAX there?

    What I think it most reminds me of is the part in "Hellraiser" where Frank Cotton, the escapee from Hell, has consumed his brother Larry and is wearing his skin.

  16. James Pickett

    Deja Vu

    Er, didn't they already have an on-line operation (Big Red Book) that was a dismal failure?

    Those who don't learn from history, etc...

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Wool + Eyes

    Seems the buyers have had the Woolworths pulled over their eyes!

  18. James Prior

    It'll only go under again

    An article about this on the BBC News site also added that Shop Direct are having problems of there own - having recently made quite a few staff redundant.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    If I could borrow 100k per employee?

    Then I could probably run a business that would bankrupt small family owned shops too. Why are people so sentimental about the demise of a parasite?

  20. zenkaon

    brand name

    I think they'll find that the band name "Woolworths" is now associated with closing down sales, mass layoffs, empty shops and failure.

  21. Lottie


    I always wanted to visit an online shop that was dirty, sold crappy DVDs of awful movies and was full of staff who had to look at their hands to count to 12.

  22. Astarte

    UK Illness

    I think I'm losing heart in Albion.


    - Woolworths - No

    - C & A - No

    - Snow - Probably just the wong kind.

    Other paces in Europe.

    - Woolworths - thriving

    - C & A - Major brand and growing

    - Snow - prepared for

    - And nurses can probably pray too.

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