One of the oldest stores in the world based in the United Kingdom is closing shop as UK economy slides into recession.
About 200 stores of Woolworths scattered all ever United Kingdom are closing shop today. Another 200 more are closing on December 30, 2008, then 200 more on January 2 and the rest on January 5, 2009. Unless a last minute buyer is found, 27,000 temporary and permanent employees will lose their jobs, according to guardian co.uk.
Woolworths which originated from Pennsylvania, USA was founded in 1909 in Liverpool, England. It has 800 stores as of December 2008 serving UK and Ireland with approximately 30,000 employees as of December 2008.
As the stores are scheduled for closure, bargain hunters queued for hours to buy goods at discount prices. ‘I’ve got some school clothes for my children and various other bits and pieces. It’s sad to see Woolworths go’ said Teresa Stewart from Suffolk.
United Kingdom has not been spared of the worldwide economic downturn. Woolworth is the biggest casualty in UK that is expected to shake the domestic economy as thousands of workers will lose their jobs because of its closure. Two other high profile companies have closed shop ahead of Woolworths which include furniture retailer MFI and music and games chain Zavvi.
Unlike in the US whose big players include automotive giants like Ford, Chrysler and General Motors, there were few companies as yet that have gone into receivership in UK but a significant number are being placed in administration or rescued from possible closure.
In the meantime, some companies in the UK are finding ways and means to survive the effects of the worldwide economic crises by downsizing their operations and reducing their number of employees