Last Woolworths stores to close

The last remaining Woolworths stores will close their doors for the final time at the end of trading today.

The closures bring to an end a massive clearance sale which even saw the stores' fixtures and fittings sold off at bargain prices.



The collapse leaves 27,000 workers out of work.



The firm's 807 stores have been closing in tranches throughout the final weeks of December after selling off stock, fixtures and fittings at discount prices.



The final 200 were expected to close yesterday but administrator Deloitte gave the chain a brief reprieve to shift the remaining stock and allow final arrangements to be made.



Deloitte would not confirm how much money has been raised by the stock sale but many stores have been emptied by bargain hunters.



It has held talks with other retailers to take on the leases of around 300 Woolworths stores and hopes to sell off the Ladybird children's clothes and Chad Valley toys brands.



Dragons' Den entrepreneur Theo Paphitis showed an interest in buying parts of the collapsed chain.



But after days of negotiation at the start of last month, Mr Paphitis, who made his fortune by turning around companies including stationery business Ryman and the Contessa and La Senza lingerie chains, said it had not been possible to reach a deal with administrators from Deloitte.



Mr Paphitis said: "My vision was that we could retain the Woolworths brand name through purchasing a large share of the existing retail business. This would have involved providing a secure future for as many employees as possible."



Yesterday shoppers at the Brixton store, in south London, were flocking to snap up last-minute bargains.



Lucy Ferguson, 33, who works in media sales, said: "It is just really sad, isn't it? They are just down to the odds and ends.



"It is a really big shop on Brixton High Street and you just wonder what will happen to it and how it will change the character of the road. I imagine it will remain empty for some time.



"The problem was, you never really knew what Woolworths sold."



But Katheleen Nullin, 62 and retired, said she would be lost without the shop.



"I'm really disappointed that it is closing down because I've been coming for years, as has my family.



"I've got tears in my eyes thinking about it closing, I wish someone could have saved it. I think it is a brilliant shop, the best on the high street.



Businessman John Kerr, 51, had picked up a few bargain calendars. He said: "I'm not surprised. I blame the money speculators who took it over in 2000. They just ran the business down and then leased it back. It had no hope, really.



"It's a family thing - yes, you can buy the same things in other stores but there isn't anywhere where you can buy anything from videos to toys to sweets all under one roof. It covers all generations."



Housewife Ruby Fatmi, 31, said: "It is a shame, they've got cheap but good stuff. Even before the sale it was always very cheap. I come here all the time for things for the family."

News
people'It can last and it's terrifying'
Sport
Danny Welbeck's Manchester United future is in doubt
footballGunners confirm signing from Manchester United
Sport
footballStriker has moved on loan for the remainder of the season
Sport
footballFeaturing Bart Simpson
PROMOTED VIDEO
New Articles
Olivia Colman topped the list of the 30 most influential females in broadcasting
tv
News
Kelly Brook
peopleA spokesperson said the support group was 'extremely disappointed'
News
The five geckos were launched into space to find out about the effects of weightlessness on the creatures’ sex lives
i100
Life and Style
techIf those brochure kitchens look a little too perfect to be true, well, that’s probably because they are
Sport
Andy Murray celebrates a shot while playing Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
TennisWin sets up blockbuster US Open quarter-final against Djokovic
Arts and Entertainment
Hare’s a riddle: Kit Williams with the treasure linked to Masquerade
booksRiddling trilogy could net you $3m
Arts and Entertainment
Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand performs live
music Pro-independence show to take place four days before vote
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
News
news Video - hailed as 'most original' since Benedict Cumberbatch's
News
i100
Life and Style
The longer David Sedaris had his Fitbit, the further afield his walks took him through the West Sussex countryside
lifeDavid Sedaris: What I learnt from my fitness tracker about the world
Arts and Entertainment
Word master: Self holds up a copy of his novel ‘Umbrella’
booksUnlike 'talented mediocrity' George Orwell, you must approach this writer dictionary in hand
News
i100
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

SQL Implementation Consultant (VB,C#, SQL, Java, Eclipse, integ

£40000 - £50000 per annum + benefits+bonus+package: Harrington Starr: SQL Impl...

Head of IT (Windows, Server, VMware, SAN, Fidessa, Equities)

£85000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Head of IT (Windows, Server, VMware, SAN, ...

Technical Software Consultant (Excel, VBA, SQL, JAVA, Oracle)

£40000 - £50000 per annum: Harrington Starr: You will not be expected to hav...

SQL DBA/Developer

£500 per day: Harrington Starr: SQL DBA/Developer SQL, C#, VBA, Data Warehousi...

Day In a Page

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

James Frey's literary treasure hunt

Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering