Archive:
January 2009

The beginning of the end

On 5 November, a poster appeared in the staff area at Woolworths. “Remember remember the 5th of November,” it proclaimed. The copy went on to outline how Woolworths would celebrate 100 years on Britian’s High Streets on 5 November 2009, and to look out for the celebrations the company would be having throughout the year. […]

Identity crisis

One widespread criticism of Woolworths was that its stores were in bad nick. There’s no question that a lot of buildings were old and hadn’t really been looked after properly. The labyrinthine stockrooms of the Leith store had to be seen to be believed! But I never saw Woolworths stores as particularly drab. What perhaps […]

The blunder of Woolworths

By the time I started working for Woolworths, the company was pushing its in-store ordering system big time. In Summer 2006 The Big Red Book was launched to encourage customers to make use of the ordering facility. As sales assistants, we were always encouraged to offer to order any items that weren’t in stock. Unfortunately, […]

It wasn’t just the credit crunch

One question that many of my friends have asked me over the past couple of months is, did I see it coming? For many, it was a shock that an institution like Woolworths could even be in mild difficulty, never mind on the brink of going out of business. But the honest answer to their […]

Woolworths: Childhood memories and adult gripes

I have felt very sad about the demise of Woolworths ever since the business began to unravel in front of my eyes around two months ago. I was not sad so much because of my job — I was planning on leaving after the Christmas period anyway. I was just sad to see Woolies go […]

Woolworths as it was known and loved, and neglected

In 1982, the British arm of Woolworths was separated from the American parent when it was bought by retail consortium Paternoster, later to become Kingfisher. It changed the direction of the company forever. According to the Woolworths Virtual Museum, BBC News reported on Woolworths being under British ownership for the first time against a backdrop […]

Woolworths: The curiously British US-based company

Today, the shutter came down for the final time at Woolworths Kirkcaldy, Store 1201. It was among the final group of branches to close. It is the end of an era. This institution had been a fixture in Britain’s High Streets for almost 100 years. The history of the original company set up by Frank […]

Sleeping patterns: At project completion

My new year’s resolution for 2008 was to get my sleeping pattern into check. To help me do this I recorded data about my sleep on a daily basis throughout the year. Although it was clearly impossible to get precise measurements of things such as the time I fell asleep, I managed to make estimates […]