Woolworths is Dead, Long Live Woolworths!

Not being English, I did not expect to feel a pang of sadness for the demise of the British high street’s den of tackiness, otherwise known as Woolies. Nevertheless I was shocked to see this shopping staple credit-crunched into liquidation. On one hand, I might have made the divination long ago while perusing through aisles and aisles of badly designed useless tat, yet on the other I feel like a garish rug has been pulled from under my feet.

 

Who will fit into this Woolworths-shaped emptiness? Will Boots or WH Smiths step in and start selling branded toys and fluorescent jelly sweets? Will you get tatty kiddies’ fancy dress costumes in your local M&S? Will some shrewd entrepreneur who hasn’t been smashed to smithereens already pick up the slack and bring us the shiny, new, improved Silkworths?

 

Well, today I went to see the apocalypse for myself. My local Woolies full to the brim with discount-hungry shoppers with the greedy eyes of looters in a riot. Boxes torn, toys on the floor, my toddler almost getting trampled on by the stampede. We were like vultures picking at the baring bones of a tinselled spectre. Mile long queues allowed me to take a closer look at the size of the retailer’s desperation: On some of the shelves I found fading Christmas stockings inscribed with the words: ‘Baby’s First Christmas 2006’. I am serious. Even their website seems to have given up.

Ironically, though, the economy’s collapse means that this year my son will get better Xmas pressies! For example, I got a JCB toy workbench and tools, reduced from £59.99 to £29.99. And I got him a wicked little keyboard for £20,00 (encouraging those musical genes: tick). If you’re reading this now, I’m afraid you probably missed the boat. I’ve heard reports of Woolworths outlets being stripped down to their last 10% off packets of Maltesers.

 

Where will we go now to indulge our longing for all that is tasteless and twee?

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1 Response to “Woolworths is Dead, Long Live Woolworths!”


  1. 1 Jillian Page December 12, 2008 at 5:16 am

    Lordie, Woolworths is dead?! I don’t think they’ve been in Canada for long time, but I remember shopping there when I was a kid. Well, I didn’t actually do much shopping there, but they had a great soda fountain bar where I could perch with my friends for a while. And I bought my first 45 record at Woolworths — I was short a nickel, but they let me have it, anyway.

    Long live Woolworths!

    Nicely written, Kd.

    Cheers
    Jillian

    P.S. I suppose Wal-mart contributed to putting them out of business, yes?


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