Reorder In Retail: Individual Woolworth Stores Reopened As Wellies By Local Management

Reorder In Retail: Individual Woolworth Stores Reopened As Wellies By Local Management
Piers Fawkes, PSFK
  • 13 march 2009

Is this a sign of ‘reorder’ taking affect? At the start of this year, the UK saw the bankruptcy of Woolworth’s and this closed 807 stores across the country. While the retail brand couldn’t apparently compete in this turmoil, several of the individual stores did turn a profit. After the closures, some of the old managers have leased the old properties and reopened the stores as Wellworths – or ‘Wellies’ for short.

The Sun has a report on the re-opening of one store in the county of Dorset:

Enterprising ex-manager Claire Robertson defied the recession to launch a new spin-off and gave all 22 staff their jobs back. Around 500 customers flooded the shop in Dorchester, Dorset, as it was officially opened by DJ Chris Evans… Mum-of-two Claire, 34, said: “I’m thrilled. It could not have gone any better. I’ve been overwhelmed by the staff and public’s support. Everyone has worked really hard to get it open in time. Some staff have been here 30 years. I wouldn’t have thought about re-opening if it wasn’t for them. The shop resembles Woolworths but I want to make it a lot more personal.”

Claire worked her way up from Saturday girl to manager during 18 years with Woolies but lost her job when the store shut in early January. But realising how profitable the old shop was, she secured funding and re-opened as Wellworths — or ‘Wellies’ for short. She is hoping for an annual turnover of £2million and has been approached about opening similar stores elsewhere.



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