Clo­sure dates an­nounced for Woolies shops

END OF LINE: Re­dun­dan­cies will be ‘dev­as­tat­ing’, says union

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Front Page -

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

Pic­ture: Dave Downey pd 1519903

Crowds at Ash­ford’s Wool­worths store on what could be one of its last days

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