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Could it be the reason Woolworths bit the dust?

I got a bit nostalgic this morning. Remembering the over-priced, over-thumbed pick ‘n’ mix on offer at Lichfield’s Woolworths store, I began to wonder if we’d lost a great tradition in the city.

Lichfield Woolworths. Picture: Rachel Groves

Lichfield Woolworths. Picture: Rachel Groves

But I actually struggled to think of reasons why I missed Woolies. After all, even the appeal of a jelly sweet with someone else’s thumbprint in tends to wear off after a while.

So I asked over on the old Twittervine what others missed about this great old institution. Would it be the cheeriness of the staff, the selection of goods on offer or the joy of paying over the odds for a Bing Crosby Collection CD?

Sadly not. Only one response was forthcoming…

It was handy to walk through to get to the car park if it was raining.

So there we have it. We only liked Lichfield’s Woolworths when it was raining or closing down. Maybe it was for the best after all.

A volunteer wrote this. Say thanks with a coffee.


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  1. aphex666

    24th February, 2009 at 9:09 pm

    Woolworth’s problems was that it was jack of all trades master of none.

    No one could respond with a reason they miss it because no one had it at the top of their list when they shopped for things. Their closure is an example that in retail it’s survival of the fittest Woolworth’s was unfit and outdated.

  2. Alex Mowbray

    24th February, 2009 at 10:28 pm

    Yep, I think Aphex666 is correct – there was nothing it did best and was doomed by competition from supermarkets and the net. For that reason, I can see the same thing happening to WH Smith’s in the not too-distant future.

  3. Paul Groves

    25th February, 2009 at 12:30 pm

    My tweeted response was, perhaps, a little flippant.

    But having used Lichfield’s Woolworths as a thoroughfare several times prior to its closure I did linger on occasion and simply couldn’t find anything worth buying (or which wasn’t available cheaper elsewhere) – a retail bypass in every sense.

    Woolworths wasn’t a victim of the cerdit crunch. It was a victim of failing to keep up with retail trends for the last decade and more.

    Like many I could wax lyrical about shopping at Woolies when I was younger. But there would be little point as that was 20-odd years ago and whereas I moved on as a consumer, Woolies didn’t as a retailer.

  4. Ian

    26th February, 2009 at 9:03 pm

    They did do a very good range of JML products though.

    Thank God you can still get Dryer Balls at Boots.

  5. Sammy J

    26th February, 2009 at 9:04 pm

    I hope Dryer Balls is a product and not just a statement!!!