Woolworths into administration

Woolworths may be one of the oldest names on the highstreet, almost 100 years old, but it hasn’t saved their brand of oddly unrelated tat products from going under in the credit crunch. Amid cries of despair from the public, and over shadowing the demise of MFI (doesn’t anyone give a toss about them?) Woolworths has gone into administration and will be broken up, sold off and its staff made redundant.

So why are people bothered? If the general public actually shopped at Woollies this would never have happened. When was the last time you went into a Woolworths store?

Personally I’m glad they’re going under, good riddance. I’ve two awful customer service experiences in Woolworths over the years and am not in the slightest bit sorry to the latest, and biggest, casualty of the credit crunch.

First off, when Star Wars was released on VHS in the special edition format I pre-ordered it from Woollies in Newport, South Wales. When I went into the store to pick it up, on the day of release, they said they didn’t have any widescreen versions left and that as I hadn’t specified widescreen all I could have was a full screen version.

If I’d wanted over half the film cut out of it, I’d have asked for it. Still, I left, giving them my number and instructing them to call when the widescreen came back in… the widescreen I’d ordered and paid a deposit for. Some weeks later they called saying my VHS boxset was in. Great. I went into town to collect it, only to be told that they’d just sold the last one.

What about my pre-order? I’d just received a call to say it was in??? Nope, they’d sold it.

I demanded my deposit back and bought the Laserdisc version from Our Price.

The second bit of Woolworths lunacy came some years later when in Bracknell. I picked up two Thomas the Tank Engine products for their ‘buy one get one half price’ (BOGOF) offer. The offer said ‘ALL Thomas the Tank Engine products’.

Sure enough, one of the products I picked up wasn’t on their list, so I was refused the discount. Despite bringing their attention to the sign in the store and the wording on the sign they refused. I left.

I then filed a complaint with Trading Standards and phoned Woolworths head office. Trading Standards investigated the matter and Woollies head office said I could go back into the store to get the discount. It was too late though as I wasn’t about to head back into town again.

Now, today, I see that Woollies has been advertising its closing down sale (not before time) with a ‘All Stock 50% Off’ sign in their windows. Yet, the sign is wrong. Very few items are 50% off and shoppers have been angered by the lack of a sale.

Way to go Woolworths, you can’t even do a closing down sale without annoying your customers. Is it any wonder they’re going under?

Darren Jamieson, aka MrDaz, is the Technical Director and co-founder of Engage Web and has been working online in a career spanning two decades. His first website was built in 1998 and is still live today.

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2 thoughts on “Woolworths into administration”

  1. There’s confusing wording on the closing down sales regarding the reduction of vat being deducted at the till, this has led a few people I’ve spoken to thinking that the 50% will also be deducted at the till. I’m always wary of signs that say ‘up to’ 50% off anyway.

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