Have you got £300 million and a clear vision for Woolworths?
PUBLISHED: 12:37 16 December 2008 | UPDATED: 22:46 15 June 2010
AS the end of national treasure Woolworths looms, 'closing down sale' posters were slow to go up in the beleaguered chainstore's Honiton branch.
AS the end of national treasure Woolworths looms, 'closing down sale' posters were slow to go up in the beleaguered chainstore's Honiton branch.Loyal staff at the Lace Walk outlet were soldiering on last Thursday morning, dealing with long queues of customers.It had been announced earlier that no buyer had been found for the national chainstore and that stock would be sold off.More than 30,000 jobs are at stake across the country and, even if a last-minute buyer for the business is found, it is thought unlikely that all branches will be saved.Shoppers, who took advantage of discounts at the Honiton store last Thursday morning, told the Herald : "We feel like vultures. You've got to feel for Woolworths' staff."Mobile phones had been removed from the shop's shelves.However, prices appeared much the same as the day before, with goods being reduced in price by up to 50 per cent. Many items had been reduced by just 10 or 20 per cent.Glamorous bean bags, in pink and lilac shades, were on sale at the knockdown price of under £8.Meanwhile, a campaign looks set to be launched in Honiton to save the store. But, with national debts totalling almost £400 million, the rural outlet is unlikely to be among the shops saved by any rescue package.Retail experts are predicting hundreds of Woolworths stores will now close - some before the New Year.Herald reader Patricia Clow, of Honiton, believes it will be a sad day for the town when the store closes."The staff are friendly and helpful, without exception," she said. Mrs Clow has written to receivers, asking if the Honiton branch can be saved.She is urging other Woolworths fans to lobby the receivers. Full details on page 4.Woolworths has a particular place in the hearts of Honiton residents.After pulling out of the town when it opened a store in the then newly-built Guildhall Shopping Centre, in Exeter, Woolworths returned - acknowledging that Honiton was a shopping centre in its own right and not, as predicted, a mere dormitory town for Exeter.The original Woolworths was located in the former Pannier Market (now The Bed Expert).Woolworths was put into administration at the end of November.If any Herald reader happens to have a spare £300 million and a clear vision for Woolworths' future, contact the receivers, Deloitte, at Athene Place, 66 Shoe Lane, London EC4A 3B - and don't forget to contact us as well!