Closure dates announced for Woolies shops
END OF LINE: Redundancies will be ‘devastating’, says union
STAFF and shoppers at Woolworths stores in Ashford, Hythe and Folkestone could have just 10 days left before the shops close.
And the Tenterden branch is among branches scheduled to close on December 27.
The administrator has announced that all 807 UK outlets will close by January 5, with the loss of more than 27,000 jobs. Deloitte says it has received bids for about 300 stores.
A quarter, including Tenterden’s, will close for the final time on Saturday, December 27, with the remaining 600 to cease trading on or before January 5.
The shopkeepers’ union Usdaw said staff at Woolies’ branches in Kent would be notified of planned closure dates this week.
National officer John Gorle said: “We’re shocked and deeply disappointed by the news that no buyer has yet been found for Woolworths.
“Redundancy is devastating at any time of the year, but particularly so at Christmas.”
Woolworths has been a legendary shopping name since 1909 when it opened its first store in Liverpool.
The company has been squeezed by the credit crunch and retail downturn, and has debts of £385 million owed to investors GMAC and Burdale.
For a history of local Woolworths stores, see page 12
Crowds at Ashford’s Woolworths store on what could be one of its last days