Woolies to be relaunched online

Woolworths logo

Woolworths is to be relaunched as an online store after its name was bought for an undisclosed sum by the owner of Littlewoods.

Falling sales fourced the high street favourite, which first opened its doors 100 years ago, into administration at the end of 2008, resulting in the loss of 27,000 jobs and more than 800 store closures. However, Shop Direct, which is the UK’s biggest online and home shopping retailer, has confirmed that is has bought the much-loved brand and plans to re-launch Woolworths as an online store within the next few months.

Shop Direct sells major brands - such as Nike, Levi’s and Sony - through its home shopping and online stores, incuding Littlewoods and Additions Direct. It is itself owned by Sir David and Sir Frederick Barclay, also the owners of the Daily Telegraph.

In its January trading update, Shop Direct announced a 9% increase in sales over the Christmas period, with online sales growing 44%. Earlier this month, Mark Newton Jones, chief executive of Shop Direct, predicted that by 2010/11 around 70% of all its sales will be conducted online.

The Woolworths website currently states: “Well worth the wait, Woolworths back soon. We've got high hopes and big ideas for the Woolworths we want to bring back to you!”

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