Tomorrow may be the last day you can shop at Woolworths, a high street chain that has existed for nearly 100 years in Britain. It caused quite a stir at the time of the launch, with a clever marketing tactic – everything was sixpence. It opened in the UK in Liverpool in 1909 but the first stores were nickel & dime (everything 5Â¢ or 10Â¢) shops in the US which had been going since 1879.
Local mid to large-size towns where I grew up all had a Woolies, and I remember it for pick ‘n’ mix, 45s (singles), tapes, CDs and stationery. Letchworth had a Woolworths which was closed down in the late 80s, only to come back many years later, now closing again.
Possibly a victim of e-Commerce, the stores have no major draw for impulse purchases compared to stock that is increasingly available at hypermarkets. They always had a low quality, low cost aspect and the chain has perhaps had its day – indeed town centre shops in general have really changed since the 1980s when I grew up.
A visit to Woolies – in Hitchin in particular – used to be a regular thing for me when I was at school. I remember browsing records and later CDs, buying sweets and occasionally looking at the back of the shop for other household items and the occasional gadget or Christmas present. Bye bye Woolworths, my childhood shopping days are now truly gone.
If you have any Woolie(s) memories, why not share them by commenting on this post.