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Is Woolworths coming back to the high street?

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Written by: Emma Lunn
27/10/2020
A series of Tweets claims the high street stalwart will make a surprise return to the high street next year – but is it a hoax?

A new Twitter account @UKWoolworths announced at 9am today that Woolworths will be opening physical stores next year.

One Tweet from the account said: “Here to save 2020! Woolworths is coming back to your high street, as a physical store! A couple of legal things to get sorted, but we’re full steam ahead at Woolworths HQ. We want to get this right, so we need your help. What do you want at your UK #YourWoolworths?”

The Tweet prompted nostalgic Tweets from Woolies fans keen to see the return of pick ‘n’ mix, cheap homeware and vinyl records.

Another Tweet from the @UKWoolworths account said: “Our return will be via. 3 trial stores, that are being planned to open late 2021. Can’t wait to be back!”

A further Tweet said: “So… we’re popular (that’s for sure!) Our trial stores will open in 2021. Very own the online Woolworths, so we will be retail only. Before we launch we have a few legal contracts to sign, but we’re super excited! This will be your Woolsworths”

But some experts have cast doubts about whether the announcement is genuine.

Jim Waterson, media editor at The Guardian, Tweeted: “Random @UKWoolworths Twitter account with no followers and no website makes some random claim about Woolies returning and website editors dive in on the hunt for some nostalgia-laced traffic.”

Other Twitter users pointed to a number of spelling mistakes in the Tweets and suggested it may be a hoax.

What happened to Woolworths?

Originally, the British branch of the US-based FW Woolworth Company, Woolworths sold factory-made goods at rock bottom prices to the mass market.

It had about 1,000 UK stores in the 1980s. It then became part of retail giant Kingfisher, owner of B&Q, but was floated as a separate company in 2001.

Woolworths Group plc entered administration on 27 January 2009. Shop Direct bought the Woolworths trademark and sold to customers online through Woolworth.com. The name was finally dropped in 2015 and Woolworths.com became Very.com.

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