Woolworths could return to UK

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Super S
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Re: Woolworths could return to UK

Post by Super S »

storewanderer wrote: January 27th, 2024, 10:09 pm
Out west in the 80's and 90's the drugstore chains Longs and Payless were exactly that: a scaled down K-Mart type of a store. Osco/Sav-On and Thrifty were not... they handled fewer categories... and more of a focus on consumable food/liquor.

I never saw a Woolworth in the urban shopping districts. I think those were mostly gone by the 90's. The ones I saw out west were either downtown or mall stores. They also had an "express" format which was smaller and in at least a couple of CA malls in the early 90's. It was missing things like clothing.

The Downtown Reno Woolworth flooded and was very damaged in the period right before the entire chain closed (both Reno locations survived until the last of the chain closed). They promptly repaired the store from the flood damage. The store was about to have a grand reopening right as they announced the chain was closing. The store was "modernized" during the renovation with some different categories present, converting the restaurant to a deli/frozen yogurt format, and rearrangement of the store (it had a basement). Decor was still rather sterile but the gray and red walls gave way to lighter colors. The store reopened in liquidation sale on day 1 of reopening.
I remember the old PayLess Drug stores and that is a good description. They had a lot of categories that went away or were scaled way back under Rite Aid such as apparel in some stores, electronics, automotive, hardware, sporting goods, garden centers, just to name a few. In rural areas they often were the only store that had these items in the pre-Walmart days, and PayLess was owned by Kmart for a while.

As for Woolworth, they decided to remain in downtown Longview, WA even as the Triangle Center opened in the 1960s (which evolved into a small, enclosed mall which had Newberry's) and as the Three Rivers Mall opened in the 1980s. Three Rivers Mall did have a smaller Newberry's for a while but it did not last long. Woolworth remained in Longview right until the chain folded (and as the JCPenney across the street and the Sears next door moved to the newer mall), and it is now a pawn shop. However, it retains the Woolworth's name in the concrete outside the entryway, and the lunch counter, while not serving food, is still mostly intact.
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Re: Woolworths could return to UK

Post by storewanderer »

Objectively speaking I think Dollar General is actually much better than Woolworth. It has a wider mix of products, more consumable goods, and more competitive pricing. They have stronger private label programs throughout their store than Woolworth ever had.

Now I wonder if Dollar General could do well in malls. I think it could. Canada malls almost always have Dollar Tree and/or Dollarama. But of course the US malls are too good for those types of stores. No wonder so few people go to the US malls.

I thought it was a huge loss when Woolworth closed and left the local mall. It was a fairly short time period when the arcade closed, Woolworth closed, a dollar store (may have been a chain, not sure, was maybe 8k square feet of cheap general merchandise type stuff, didn't have food as I recall), and a greeting card shop closed.
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Re: Woolworths could return to UK

Post by BillyGr »

storewanderer wrote: January 29th, 2024, 12:09 am I thought it was a huge loss when Woolworth closed and left the local mall. It was a fairly short time period when the arcade closed, Woolworth closed, a dollar store (may have been a chain, not sure, was maybe 8k square feet of cheap general merchandise type stuff, didn't have food as I recall), and a greeting card shop closed.
Not sure what you may have had, we had All for a Dollar and I think Everything's $1 as common mall-based dollar stores.

At least in this area, they tended to be more common in the malls that would, themselves, eventually close, which of course didn't help those chains do well as they would lose locations.
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Re: Woolworths could return to UK

Post by storewanderer »

BillyGr wrote: January 29th, 2024, 10:06 am
storewanderer wrote: January 29th, 2024, 12:09 am I thought it was a huge loss when Woolworth closed and left the local mall. It was a fairly short time period when the arcade closed, Woolworth closed, a dollar store (may have been a chain, not sure, was maybe 8k square feet of cheap general merchandise type stuff, didn't have food as I recall), and a greeting card shop closed.
Not sure what you may have had, we had All for a Dollar and I think Everything's $1 as common mall-based dollar stores.

At least in this area, they tended to be more common in the malls that would, themselves, eventually close, which of course didn't help those chains do well as they would lose locations.
If I recall the store I am thinking of was called "Just a Buck." It was gone by the late 90's. I think it was a small chain but it was pretty bare bones. No employee uniforms, basic cash register (no fancy point of sale), no branded bags, no private label. The mall with this store did close, but the store closed long before the mall. When the mall closed this store's space was an art gallery.
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Re: Woolworths could return to UK

Post by BillyGr »

storewanderer wrote: January 30th, 2024, 12:30 am
BillyGr wrote: January 29th, 2024, 10:06 am
storewanderer wrote: January 29th, 2024, 12:09 am I thought it was a huge loss when Woolworth closed and left the local mall. It was a fairly short time period when the arcade closed, Woolworth closed, a dollar store (may have been a chain, not sure, was maybe 8k square feet of cheap general merchandise type stuff, didn't have food as I recall), and a greeting card shop closed.
Not sure what you may have had, we had All for a Dollar and I think Everything's $1 as common mall-based dollar stores.

At least in this area, they tended to be more common in the malls that would, themselves, eventually close, which of course didn't help those chains do well as they would lose locations.
If I recall the store I am thinking of was called "Just a Buck." It was gone by the late 90's. I think it was a small chain but it was pretty bare bones. No employee uniforms, basic cash register (no fancy point of sale), no branded bags, no private label. The mall with this store did close, but the store closed long before the mall. When the mall closed this store's space was an art gallery.
Check out the site https://www.justabuck.com. It is a small chain HQ here in NY, but they offer franchises (for instance, there is currently one in Alabama, while the rest are primarily southern NY and NJ).

We did have one of these in a local mall as well, I wasn't sure just how widely they ever spread (or if that is the same one you had, but the name is, anyhow).
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