Thursday 27 November 2008

Woolworths bankruptcy: end of era?

Back in the 1930’s one iconic sign of the great depression in Jarrow was that the town’s Woolworths couldn’t stay open. Now that’s in danger of happening to us all, as Woolworths calls in the receivers — bad news for 30,000 staff, suppliers, and even competitors who may well find their businesses hit by the dumping of a large amount of liquidation stock on the market in the run-up to Christmas. Of course times have moved on, and Woolworth’s, like the rest of the high street, was in big trouble from out of town competition before ever the credit crunch came along. Ironically, Woolworth’s original winning formula was based on providing a comprehensive range of everyday practical goods conveniently under one roof — exactly the battleground on which it has been beaten by today’s out-of-town supermarkets.

All the same, Woolies’ demise after 99 years marks the end of a much-loved national institution
. We Brits excoriate those national institutions we love best. Here, from earlier and kinder days, is affectionate comment from Brummy legend Jasper Carrott:

As the circle of businesses affected by the current troubles expands, one or two colleagues have discussed with me positive practical attempts to offer love, prayer and personal support to people in the broader communities they serve who may be feeling isolated and vulnerable. I’m more than happy to know of good practice. Can we spread ideas around?


Anonymous said...

Have you been saving that clip up? :D

Bishop Alan Wilson said...

No, but back in the eighties Lucy and I used to roar with laughter at Jasper Carott, whose two big targets. I remember were Skodas and Woolworths. The Skoda got taken over by Volkswagen and ceased to be funny, leaving Woolies supreme... It's very sad to think they've reached the end of the road, but I suspect they would have gone West years ago had there not been a period very favourab le to retail in the UK that kept it artificially alive.

Anonymous said...

woollies is going strong here in Australia and also in NZ i believe that a long time ago there was a link between the 2 companies which has since been severed

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