Alworths to open to plug Woolworths gap

Alworths, a chain of high street general stores with a similar proposition to the “old” high street Woolworths, is set to open next month.

The first store will open in the former Woolworths site in Didcot, Oxfordshire on 5 November with plans for four more to open before Christmas.

The chain is being set up by ex-Woolworths head of stores Andy Latham, who worked for the defunct retail chain for 25 years.

He plans to open 22 Alworths stores in the next 12 months, many in former Woolworths locations.

Latham hopes Alworths will plug the gap left by Woolworths by offering a similar range of toys, homeware, stationery, gifts and pick and mix sweets.

Alworths will also run weekly price promotions on branded products.

Latham says: “This is a perfect time to launch Alworths. Not only does the UK high street desperately need an element of regeneration, but customers have not been able to find the products they need in their local towns. Woolworths left a big gap in the high street and in many people’s lives. Alworths will be servicing the local community and offering jobs to many local people.”

The chain has employed 15 former Woolworths staff at its head office and in the store manager role.

Several former Woolies stores have opened under new identities since the demise of the retail chain. In March, former manager of the Dorchester branch of Woolworths reopened the store as Wellworths, followed by a former Woolworths in Stornoway which opened last week under the name WeeW.

The Woolworths brand, which is now owned by the Shop Direct Group and operates as an online retailer launched a Halloween marketing campaign this week.

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