Woolworths finds a buyer

Feb. 2, 2009 at 1:31 PM
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LONDON, Feb. 2 (UPI) -- British retail chain Woolworths is set to rise from the grave as an Internet store, the company's new owners said.

The retailer went into administration and closed all 807 stores after Christmas. In the process, 27,000 jobs were lost and other retailers quickly secured many of the Woolworth locations, The Times of London reported Monday.

However, retailer Shop Direct has now purchased the brand with intent to turn Woolworth's into an Internet retailer.

Shop Direct Chief Executive Officer Mark Newton-Jones said the store was "a much-loved brand that engenders huge affection among British consumers and is an important part of the country's retail heritage."

The new store would have "limited" opportunity for the 27,000 out-of-work Woolworth employees, the company said.

Shop Direct itself recently announced job cuts, the Times said. As many as 1,500 jobs could go as the company closes a call center in Merseyside, England, the Times said.

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