Wednesday, November 26, 2008

UK: "Woolies" to Close after Christmas; 30,000 Jobs in Jeopardy

by Bill McBride on 11/26/2008 10:40:00 PM

From The Times: Woolworths stores to close after Christmas

Woolworths went into administration last night, putting thousands of high street jobs at risk despite last-ditch government efforts to save it.

The retail chain, which opened its first British shop almost 100 years ago, has debts of £385 million. Its 800 outlets will open as usual today, but many are expected to shut for good after Christmas.

The decision to call in the administrators was taken despite the intervention of ministers anxious to save the jobs of almost 30,000 people who work for Woolworths.
Also on high street:
MFI, the kitchens and furniture retailer, also called in administrators. The company has 100 stores and employs 1,000 people. Many other retailers are struggling to stay afloat, heavily discounting stock to entice consumers before Christmas. Price cuts of up to 40 per cent are widely available in many shops.