Posts Tagged ‘Woolworths’

No Woolworths

Thursday, April 23rd, 2009

We’ve had some lovely sunny Spring days recently, so I’ve been out in the garden enjoying the warmth, the lovely flowers that are out and having a look to see what needs doing.

Lots needs doing! It’s a bit of a daunting task, but I wanted to make a start so I went into the garage to look for my trowel. It wasn’t where it should have been, but I did find an old rusty one so I had a go with that. Unfortunately it wasn’t very well. It was old and decrepid and it’s strength had gone. As I tried to use it, it bent in half. In the past, that wasn’t a problem. I would just nip down to Woolworths which was a few doors away from where I work, and get a nice new shiny trowel. But now what will do? Where will I get my trowel from now?

Since all the Woolworths branches closed their doors early in January this year, there have been so many times when I’ve wanted to pop in get to something I needed. Pritt Stick for my cardmaking, Easter Eggs, scissors after I broke some trimming a rubber stamp, plant pots to fill with flowers and put by the front door and lots of other things.

I work in a small town and don’t often get the chance to go to my nearest city with bigger shops and more choice. But it’s the convenience as well as the range of stock that I miss now that Woolworths has gone. It would only take a few minutes to nip in before work, but if I go to my nearest city, it would take at least a morning.

I’ll have to hunt around a bit harder, as I know there must be several trowels around somewhere, if only I could find them.

Oh no it isn’t…..

Friday, January 9th, 2009

I’ve just seen the Pantomime at the local Theatre for the third time! I work as a volunteer in the Front of House team where I sell programmes, check tickets and show people to their seats. I usually do it once a week, but when it’s Pantomime season there are two or three performances a day for two weeks, so we all have to do at least three. I like doing one of mine right at the beginning and another at the end. The difference is amazing! The actors get better and better during the run, so for the first few shows they can be quite wooden, but at the end of the run they’ve really got into it. Considering that they’re professional actors often used to working in TV, I think their performance should be good right from the first night. Pantomime is a British tradition so if you don’t know about it here are a few guidelines. There is always a baddie and a dame who is a man dressed up as a woman and a principle boy who is the hero and is a girl dressed up as a boy… confused yet? There are lots of songs and slapstick and jokes including topical ones. Yesterday the Dame said ‘ It’s dark and empty in here – are we in Woolworths?’ There’s no mime, and the show usually ends with a wedding when the hero has rescued the princess from the baddie and marries her. It’s a Christmas tradition and there are always a lot children in the audience.

The end of an era

Tuesday, January 6th, 2009

Today the last remaining 200 branches of Woolworths closed their doors for good. It’s been very sad watching my local branch day by day as more and more of the shop was emptied and barricaded off. It’s been such a successful chain of stores for so many years. Most people have happy memories of either working or shopping in Woolworths. There are now many people out of work as all the staff come to the end of their employment. I wish them well in their future and hope that they are able to find other jobs. After 99 years, goodbye Woolworths.

Sales on the High Street

Friday, January 2nd, 2009

As soon as Christmas was over, all the shops in my local High Street joined Woolworths by having sales. The Street was and still is a row of huge posters where shop windows displaying merchandise used to be. The credit crunch has definately made it’s presence felt, because I’ve never seen sales with such huge reductions before, or with such huge sale posters either.
I had decided not to go shopping in the sales because there wasn’t anything I needed and the huge reductions would be a temptation to buy things I didn’t need. By the time I leave work, all the shops are shut, but in between Christmas and New Year I went in earlier, and so left earlier too. One day as I left work I passed a well know shoe shop and wandered in to see what was in their sale. I have quite small feet – UK size 4 – so I am often able to get nice shoes in the sales. There was just one pair in my size that I liked. They were similar to a pair I had bought peviously for the winter, but these ones were a blue/grey colour which would be perfect for the summer. I tried them on and they fitted well and were very comfortable. So now I have a pair of shoes ready for the summer that only cost me two thirds of the normal price. That’s it for me. I’ll resist all the other sales offers.

Nearing the end…..

Saturday, December 27th, 2008

200 branches of Woolworths closed their doors for the last time today. Another 600 will close over the next few days. I had a look round my local branch today. Each time I go in, it’s changed dramatically. Last week the household department which is down a few steps, was closed and barricaded off. Today half of the store was blocked off with shelf units. It was a very famliar place looking very unfamiliar. I am very impressed with staff. Even though they must be losing their jobs in a few days time, they are as polite and helpful as they have always been. I keep hearing people sharing their past memories of Woolworths with the staff members. People are behaving as if it is a bereavement, and that doesn’t surprise me, because I’m sure that Woolworths played a special part in most peoples lives and childhoods. People have happy memories connected with Woolworths, and it’s loss is like a bereavement.

Weekend break

Tuesday, December 16th, 2008

I’ve just had a weekend away on the South Coast and really enjoyed it. It was great to get away for a break, and the weather was good for December. It wasn’t icy like it has been here, and there wasn’t much rain. I visited a couple of towns to have a look round at the different shops and architecture. They both had a Woolworths, but there’s not much left in them now.
I love the sea at any time of the year, but in the winter it’s so wild. When I walked along the seafront, there were big waves rising up and crashing down making so much spray that I was looking at everything through a mist. I love the sound that the sea makes. I could just stand and listen to it. Nature’s music. And I love the colours. Beautiful shades of turquoise sea next to yellow ochre sand. So calming and relaxing. And so many seagulls dancing and splashing on the beach to make me laugh.

Closing down sale

Friday, December 12th, 2008

I went back to Woolworths today, and this time they were having a closing down sale. It didn’t seem to be any different from before, though. There was still up to 50% off, but the most usual reduction was 20%. The only difference seemed to be that there was a big sign on the window saying ‘Closing Down Sale’ I was visiting a different town today, so it was a different Woolworths, but I wanted to look round while I still can. I didn’t buy anything today, as there wasn’t anything I needed. I did look for a mug or a cereal bowl to go with my plate, but unfortunately they had sold out.

Woolworths sale

Tuesday, December 9th, 2008

My local Woolworths branch has had a sale for several days. I expect Woolworths all over the country are doing the same thing. It’s not being called a closing down sale, but that’s really what it is. It’s being promoted as an ‘up to 50% off’ sale. I resisted going in when the sale first started, because I didn’t want to be tempted to buy things that I don’t need just because they’re reduced. But today I decided to have a look before it was too late and everything was sold out and the store closed down. Although everything was reduced by ‘up to’ 50%, the most usual reduction was 20% which is still a substantial saving. I knew what I was looking for – an idea I’d had for a Christmas present. I found what I wanted at 20% off just in time as they only had 2 left! Then I had a wander round, and I got 4 Christmas presents, which was a good start to my Christmas shopping. I also bought myself a souvenir to remind me of a shop that’s had a special place on the high street and in people’s lives for a long time. My souvenir is a cream coloured dinner plate with blue and brown spots around the edge. It’s a Jeff Banks design and it will look nice on my blue kitchen table.

Is it the end of Woolworths?

Wednesday, November 26th, 2008

In the news today we hear that Woolworths is to go into administration. What a shock! Woolworths has always been there, part of the High Street, part of life. I was taken there by my Mother when I was a child. I can remember her buying loose biscuits. They were right at the front of the shop in shiny silver biscuit tins. The biscuits would be weighed and then put into a paper bag. I wonder when they started to be sold in packets? Did they used to sell bacon there as well, or am I getting it muddled up with the Co-op? Then as a teenager, I would meet my friends in Woolies on a Saturday. We would spend all morning in there, listening to the latest records. and sitting in the coffee bar making a drink last for ages. There was make up to look at and buy. When did that stop being sold? Christmas was always a special time to wander round Woolworths. They’ve always had wonderful Christmas decorations that it was fun looking it.
Over the years Woolworths and what they stock has changed. Have they suffered from too many rivals? Is there always somewhere else to buy something better and cheaper than WW now? They don’t seem to have kept up with modernising their shops like other chains, which made them seem a bit old fashioned, but at the same time it meant that they had a welcome familiarness to them. All over the country there’s a similarity in the shops, so that you can feel at home even when on holiday.
Next year it would have been the centenary of the first Woolworths to be opened in England. so after 99 years I wonder if it’s the end or will someone take them over and carry on. Will our High Streets ever be the same again?