Decade since demise of retail giant left void in High Street
It’s been 10 years since “The Wonder of Woolworths” disappeared from town centres up and down the country, including in our district.
Business pundits say the company lost its direction in the changing world of retailing, but many mourned the passing of what was once a household name.
For customers, a trip to the store, which formed an integral part of the High Street furniture, holds fond childhood memories.
It became a weekly treat to pop along and scoop up pick ‘n’ mix or cut price broken biscuits.
Known affectionately as “Woolies”, it had branches in Canterbury, Herne Bay, Whitstable and Faversham, where shelves were crammed with a diverse range of goods from lightbulbs and garden tools to long player records.
Generations were kitted out in its own Ladybird children’s clothing range.
But the retail chain also fell vic- tim to the recession and eventually went into administration with the loss of thousands of jobs, including many long-serving staff.
News of its imminent shutdown prompted massive queues of customers waiting for the doors to open to pick up a last-minute bargain.
The Canterbury site is now a Poundland, Whitstable and Herne Bay’s stores are both Iceland supermarkets, and Faversham’s is BK Homewares.