|Type||Online brand of Shop Direct Group|
England, United Kingdom
|Area served||United Kingdom|
|Key people||Sir David Barclay and Sir Frederick Barclay (Owners)
Mark Newton-Jones (Chief Executive)
|Owner(s)||Shop Direct Group|
Stores in Britain
Woolworths started out in the UK in 1909 as F.W Woolworth & Co, part of the American company that was established in 1879. The first store was on Church Street in Liverpool and sold children's clothing, stationery and toys from the very beginning. Woolworths took off in the mid-1920s with stores opening as often as every two to three weeks. By 2008 there were 807 Woolworths stores.
Woolworths return as an online retailer
In November 2008 Woolworths Group entered administration with Deloitte, and by early January 2009 all of its stores had closed. Woolworths' financial performance had been declining in the previous few years, and the events of the closure coincided with the financial crisis and recession which was occurring at the time.
On 2 February 2009, barely a month after the last Woolworths stores closed, it was announced that the Woolworths brand in the UK, as well as the Ladybird clothing brand had been bought by Shop Direct Group, who are the owners of companies such as Littlewoods, Kays and Great Universal. The Times estimated that they would have paid between £5 million and £10 million for the brand. Shop Direct Group announced their intention to restart the Woolworths brand as an online retailer by the summer of 2009. The website uses the same URL as Woolworths had used under the Woolworths Group, and as of February 2009 Shop Direct were seeking input from the public about what they wanted the site to be like. It is also believed that a catalogue may follow. Woolworths also launched an Easter egg website, called Woolies Wonderland, for Easter 2009.
On 25 June 2009, woolworths.co.uk reopened with in excess of half a million products on offer. Users of Twitter were told that they would be the first to be informed about the site's launch by Matthew Hardcastle but users were told on the morning of launch. News sources reported details of the launch the day before.
Ladybird is a brand of clothing for children aged 0–13 years, that is sold by the Shop Direct Group on the Woolworths website. On 1 February 2009, Shop Direct purchased the Ladybird brand and whole rights from the administrators of Woolworths Group. The brand has a history which dates back to a trading partnership beginning in 1934 between the original firm Adolf Pasold & Son and Woolworths.
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- Judge, Elizabeth; Leroux, Marcus (2 February 2009). "Woolworths to return online in surprise deal". London: The Times. Retrieved 2 February 2009.
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- "Administrators announce sale of Woolworths brand". Deloitte. 2 February 2009. Retrieved 5 February 2009.
- Judge, Elizabeth; Leroux, Marcus (3 February 2009). "Woolworths to reopen online as Shop Direct buys name". London: The Times. Retrieved 3 February 2009.
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- retailerIdviewsearchText (2010-12-14). "Full of toys, entertainment, kids clothing, party ideas & pic n' mix". Woolworths.co.uk. Retrieved 2011-01-02.
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- "Team_woolies - Twitter". Team_woolies. Retrieved 25 June 2009.
- Barnes, Marcus (24 June 2009). "Woolies launch their website". London: The Sun. Retrieved 2 July 2009.
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- Goodman, Matthew; Walsh, Kate (1 February 2009). "Littlewoods owner Shop Direct snaps up Ladybird". London: The Times. Retrieved 2 February 2009.
- Pasold history Retrieved 18 November 2009[dead link]