17/12/2008

Woolworths Stores 'To Be Closed By Early January'

Administrators have confirmed that troubled UK chain Woolworths will close its doors for good next month, after almost a century of High Street trading.

All the Northern Ireland stores will be included, although it not yet known if the local outlets will be among the first of the 807 stores to close - on December 27 - or if they will trade on until January and finally pull down the shutters in the New Year.

What is sure, however, is that all 27,000 permanent and temporary staff will all lose their jobs.

Administrators Deloitte have failed to find a buyer for the business, and staff were informed this morning of the closure timetable in an email from head office.
News Image
The official closing date of the iconic brand, which traded for 99 years, was announced as 27 December. However it is understood most staff are due to finish up on Christmas Eve.

Remaining stores will close their doors by 5 January.

Last week shoppers flocked to Woolworths stores throughout the UK and cleared shelves of goods at a closing-down sale following a failure to find a buyer for the struggling firm.

The administrators said that while there was still interest in parts of the business, they admitted they had "not come close" to finding a buyer for the firm.

Neville Kahn from Deloitte said that an extra 50 million items would be delivered to Woolworths stores and bigger discounts - some of more than 60% - would be offered to get rid of remaining stock.

Shop windows will also display a countdown showing how much time is left before the store will close, he added.

Staff will be retained for a few days following store closures.

(JM)

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