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Woolworths enters the world of dotcoms February 3, 2009

Posted by BCME UK in Social media.
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By Sophie

Fantastic news! Woolworths are to be reborn in the online world. The much loved brand has been bought by Shop Direct and will launch the new Woolworths shopping website in the summer.

I’m pretty sure I was one of many that shed a tear or two (if only on the inside) when I heard that Woolworths was closing. I’ve got fond memories of Woolworths. It was part of my childhood – be it mainly for the sweet section that my classmates and I used to raid on the way home from school. However the closure sadly became inevitable when the chain was taken over by administrators at Deloitte due to mounting debts of up to £385m.

So my question is, “If Woolworths failed to succeed in the high street, what will Shop Direct chief exec, Mark Newton-Jones, do differently to ensure they have a successful online life?”

In my own personal opinion, Woolworths failed to ‘specialise’ in anything in the end. They were a bit of a toy shop, an electrical store, a music/entertainment retailer and even a children’s clothes store. And they didn’t exactly own any of these areas either.

But it looks like Newton-Jones has an early action plan. And it seems to be a rather good one at that. If you’re going to have a presence online – you need to speak to this online audience and find out what products and ranges they want to see from Woolworths. Sensibly, he’s set up a Woolies website on which he asked what we liked and disliked about the old high street stories. The exact offerings will be announced in the next few months but it seems that computer games, DVDs and toys are still on the agenda. I’ve also heard on the grapevine that their kid’s clothes brand Ladybird will also be expanded.

I think the fact that Woolworths are already engaging with their new online audience in these early stages is a good sign. And seeing that the great British public has such a strong affection for the company, let’s hope that whatever their new sales strategy is… it works!

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