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Is this the end of the road for Woolworths?

It has today been announced that all 813 Woolworths stores will start a closing down sale tomorrow with little prospect of the group being taken over as a going concern. The move has been announced by the administrators of the group after seemingly failing to find an appropriate buyer willing to take on the business and the associated liabilities. This brings to an end over 50 years of business on the UK high Street and takes away one of the talismans of the UK retail sector which was probably left behind as the new technology age took over.

While the business had debts of over £300 million there had been hopes that a number of interested parties would be able to put together a suitable business plan and offer to tempt the administrators into selling the business. Unfortunately so far this has not been the case and the administrators have publicly declared they are not hopeful of finding a suitable buyer in the short term which would mean a full close down in the New Year.

Quite what will happen to the 813 stores on the UK high street remains to be seen but with the retail sector under pressure they may remain empty for some time.

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